Getting Started 2: Recording Audio

  • Live Versions: 8
  • Operating System: All


Learn how to record audio with Ableton Live.


Before we start, make sure that you’ve set up your external audio interface correctly.  If you need help with this, refer to the tutorial Getting Started 1: Audio Interface.

In Ableton Live there are two views for recording audio, which can be toggled with the Tab key. For this video, we’re going to use the Session View.

You should have one track called “Audio.” If not, go to the Create menu and select Insert Audio Track.

Now let’s look at the In/Out section of this track. This is where we’ll tell each track to look for an incoming audio signal. If you can’t see this section, click the Show/Hide In/Out Section button in the lower right hand corner.

Now, let’s prepare the track for recording by clicking the Arm button. If you’re not hearing anything, select the correct input channel in the track's Audio From chooser.

Adjust the input gain on your audio interface.

You may be hearing a delay from when you play to when you hear the audible result in Live. This is called latency. To correct this, go to Live’s Preferences by hitting [Control + comma] on a PC, or [Command + comma] on a Mac. In the “Audio” tab, make the buffer size as small as possible, without crackling.  Note that if you’re a Windows user and you have an ASIO interface, your latency settings might be in a separate control panel.

Now, let’s enable the metronome so we can record along to a click track. Let's set a one-bar count-in. To do this [right-click] on Windows or [ctrl-click] on a Mac and select 1 Bar.

To begin recording click one of the clip slot record buttons. When you're done, click the play button to play back the clip.

In the example movie, we've recorded 5 bars, which is too long, so we'll adjust the length of the clip to 4 bars.

You’ve now mastered the basics of recording audio with Ableton Live.