File import/export or recording fails due to 2 GB file size limit

In Ableton Live 11 and earlier versions, the maximum size for audio files is set to 2GB. (See below for how this is calculated). This can lead to issues when recording, importing, or exporting, such as:

  1. When recording audio for a long time, Live suddenly stops recording and eventually crashes, even though there is enough free space left on the hard disk.
  2. When trying to export or consolidate audio with a large selected time range, Live shows the message: “Live only supports rendering files of less than 2047 MB”.
  3. When trying to import a file larger than 2GB, Live displays an error message.


  • Try exporting at a lower sampling rate and bit depth (e.g. 44,1 kHz / 16-bit, CD audio quality) if you were using higher settings before.
  • Try exporting as MP3 (Live 10 and later) or FLAC.
  • If neither of the above is an option, then you can export in several smaller parts and combine in an audio editor afterwards (like Audacity).
  • If you're importing a file which is larger than 2GB,  try splitting the file into smaller sections using Audacity.

How to calculate the file size of an audio file

The maximum duration of a single audio file can be calculated like this:

  • 16 Bit = 2 Byte
  • Stereo = 2 channels
  • 192 kHz = 192000 samples per second
  • 2 * 2 * 192000 Bytes/sec = 768000 Bytes/sec
  • 60 sec * 768000 Bytes = 46080000 Bytes/min = ~44 MB/min
  • 44 MB * 46 min = ~2GB

Maximum duration of a single file at different sample frequencies (stereo, 16-bit):

  • 44,1 kHz: ~203 min (10 MB/min)
  • 48 kHz: ~186 min (11 MB/min)
  • 88,2 kHz: ~101 min (20 MB/min)
  • 96 kHz: ~93 min (22 MB/min)
  • 192 kHz: ~46 min (44 MB/min)

Calculate the file size of your audio recordings based on sample rate, bit depth, mono/stereo.

Ableton offers these in-depth help and learning resources: