Using defaults

  • Live Versions: All
  • Operating System: All

Storing Defaults in Live allows you to recall a specific device status each time you load that device. This way you can personalize how devices are configured when you instantiate them.

Instrument and Effect Defaults
Track Defaults
Audio to MIDI Defaults
Dropping Samples into a Drum Rack or MIDI track
Slicing Defaults
Plug-in Configuration Defaults
Restoring a Default to the original setting

Instrument and Effect Defaults

To store an Instrument or Effect Device default:

  1. Open a Device
  2. Adjust the parameters to your liking
  3. Right-click on the Device Header and choose Save as Default Preset from the context menu


The first time that you save a default preset for an Instrument or an Audio/MIDI Effect, an Instruments, Audio Effects or MIDI Effects folder will be created inside the Defaults folder in your User Library.


When saving a new default for this same effect, you will be asked if you intend to overwrite the previous one.

Track Defaults

Defaults exist also for Audio and MIDI channels, allowing you to set a default input or output and even an included instrument or effect whenever you add a channel. Right click on a Channel Header and choose Save as Default MIDI Track or Save as Default Audio Track respectively from the context menu.


Here is our video tutorial for both Instruments and Effects Defaults as well as Track Defaults:

Audio to MIDI Defaults

You can also create defaults to be used whenever you convert an audio file to MIDI.

For Drums to MIDI defaults, load your favorite Drum Rack, edit it to your taste, rename it and then drag the rack to this location in the Live browser:

User Library→Defaults→Audio to MIDI→Drums to MIDI

The same procedure applies to create your default Melody or Harmony to MIDI default: load your favorite Monophonic (Melody to MIDI) or Polyphonic (Harmony to MIDI) Instrument, and drag it to here:

User Library→Defaults→Audio to MIDI→Melody to MIDI, or respectively
User Library→Defaults→Audio to MIDI→Harmony to MIDI

Dropping Samples into a Drum Rack or MIDI track

To specify how Live behaves when dragging a sample to a Drum Rack or the Device View of a MIDI Track, load Simpler or Sampler in a MIDI Channel, edit it and then drag the device to here:

User Library→Defaults→Dropping Samples→On Device View/On Drum Rack

Slicing Defaults

For Slicing to MIDI, you can load an existing Slicing preset and modify that or start from scratch by loading an empty Drum Rack and putting a Simpler device into one of the slots.

When Slicing a sample to a Drum Rack, you will be able to choose which preset to use for Slicing.

Plug-in Configuration Defaults

Third-party VST and AU configurations can also be saved as defaults.

  1. Open a VST or AU
  2. Click the Configure button
  3. Assign your preferred parameters to the configure panel
  4. Right click on the device header and "Save as Default Configuration"

Note: Default presets for plug-ins do not save the settings of the configured parameters; only the parameter configuration within Live’s panel is saved. In order to save a plug-in preset as a default, save it in a rack instead.

Restoring a Default to the original setting

To restore a specific factory default, find its path within the Defaults folder in the User Library, and delete the saved default file.

For example, to reset your default Audio Track, navigate to the folder
User Library→Defaults→Creating Tracks→Audio Track and delete the file "Default Audio Track.als."

Ableton offers these in-depth help and learning resources: