Getting Started 6: Exporting Audio

  • Live Versions: 8
  • Operating System: All


Learn how to render your track as audio in Live. This tutorial also covers the basics of options for audio export in Live.


When you’ve finished a song in Live, you’ll probably want to create a file that you can burn to a CD, upload to the Internet or bring to a mastering house. Today, we’ll look at how to quickly export, or “render” audio in Live.

The Arrangement View is where you arrange your song along the timeline from left to right. When you’re finished with your arrangement, select a range of time to render by clicking and dragging. Usually, you’ll want to render the whole song.

It’s often a good idea to select past the end of your material, so that reverb or delay sounds that extend beyond the last clip are included in the rendered file. When in doubt, listen to the end of your song and note when the last sound fades away. Then make your selection from there back to the beginning of your arrangement.

To make selection easier, hit [Shift Home] on a PC, or [Function (fn) Shift Back-arrow] on a Mac, to select all the way to the beginning.

Next, press [Control Shift R] on a PC, or [Command Shift R] on a Mac to begin the exporting process.

Depending on your version of Live, this window may look different. But the above movie shows typical settings.

Although selecting Normalize may make your track louder, it’s not the ideal solution for giving tracks a full, finished sound. For this, you’ll need to understand compression, limiting and mastering, which is beyond the scope of this tutorial.

You can save your song as either Wav or Aiff, which are both high-quality file types. Note that you can not render mp3s in Live, so you’ll need to use a third-party application to create mp3s from your wavs or aiffs.

To create a file that you can burn to an audio CD right away, make sure that Sample Rate is set to 44100, and Bit Depth is set to 16. We recommend setting Dither to Triangular.

If you plan to master your track later, however, choose a bit depth of 24 and No Dither. (leaving 44100 as is).

Now Click OK.

Select the location on your computer where you would like to save your wav or aiff and click Save. Wait as your song renders. This may take a couple minutes, depending on the length and complexity of your song.

For detailed information on these Exporting Audio options please see the "Managing Files and Sets" chapter of the Ableton Reference Manual, available from the Help Menu.

You should now be ready to export audio in Ableton Live.