64-bit vs 32-bit FAQ

  • Live Versions: 8.4 - 9
  • Operating System: All

Which version does Ableton recommend?

We recommend using the 64-bit version of Live on machines with a 64-bit operating system and more than 4GB installed memory. On machines with 4GB memory or less, or on machines with a 32-bit operating system we recommend using the 32-bit version of Live.

What is the difference between the 32-bit version of Live and the 64-bit version?

The terms 32-bit and 64-bit refer to how much of your computer's memory (RAM) can be used by applications. The 32-bit version of Live (like all 32-bit applications) can use up to 4GB of RAM, which means that it may not be possible to use very large sample collections or very memory-hungry plug-ins.

In contrast, the 64-bit version of Live can use a theoretical maximum of 16 exabytes of RAM - much more RAM than computers actually have. This means you can work with Live Sets (natively, with third-party plug-ins, and in ReWire configurations) that are much larger and more memory-intensive than in the 32-bit version.

There are no further technical advantages of a 64-bit version of Live.

I have a 64-bit operating system, so I need to run the 64-bit version of Live, right?

Not necessarily. Current 64-bit versions of Windows and Mac OS X support 32-bit applications.

But a 64-bit version of Live has a better system integration and therefore performs better than a 32-bit version on my 64-bit operating system, right?

Not necessarily. There are no differences in the CPU handling between the 32-bit and the 64-bit version.

The main advantage to be gained from the 64-bit version is the ability to address additional RAM.


Does it make sense to run the 64-bit version when I have 4GB or less RAM installed on my machine?

No. The advantage of the 64-bit version is that it can address more than 4GB of memory.

What are the system requirements for the 64-bit version of Live?

You can use the 64-bit version of Live if you are running a 64-bit version of Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 on a PC, or Mac OS 10.5 or higher on an Intel-based Mac. A minimum of 8GB RAM is recommended.

Can I install the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Live at the same time?

It is possible and there are no technical issues to be expected by having different Live versions installed at the same time, but to keep things simple, we don't recommend such a setup. Please note that you will need to manually rename the application after the first installation (Mac) or choose a different installation folder (PC).

Can Ableton Live 64-bit load 32-bit plug-ins?

In short, no. A 64-bit host can only handle 64-bit plug-ins.  

This said however, it's possible to "bridge" a 32-bit plug-in with a third party tool (such as jBridge or 32 Lives). In this case the bridge runs as an application between the plug-in and the host as kind of a translator. This makes the plug-in compatible with 64-bit hosts. 

It is to be expected that a plug-in translated in this manner will never run as dependably as a 32-bit plug-in in a 32-bit host or a true 64-bit plug-in in a 64-bit host.

Is Ableton developing their own 64-32-bit plug-in bridge?

No. There are no plans to implement our own 64-32-bit plug-in bridge.

Can I use ReWire with the 64-bit version of Live?

Yes, ReWire (with Live as either master or slave) works properly, but can only be used when ReWired to another application that is also 64-bit.

What are the limitations of the 64-bit version of Live?

The 64-bit version of Live 8 will not support Max for Live or The Bridge. However, the 64-bit version of Live 9 does support Max for Live.

Please find info on the 64-bit version of Max 6 to be used with Live 9 here.

When using the 64-bit version of Live, it is not possible to use Serato Scratch Live for real-time control of your Ableton Live Set. Sets cannot be loaded or synced to a deck in Scratch Live, and Live's clips and tracks will not appear in Scratch Live. 

Serato mixes saved in .als (Ableton Live Set) format can still be opened in the 64-bit version of Live and will work as expected.

Will my old Live Sets, Live Clips, and device presets still work in the 64-bit version of Live?

Live documents made in 32-bit versions of Live will work properly in the 64-bit version of Live, and vice versa. If the Live Sets use features which are not available in the 64-bit version, those features will be limited or disabled as described below:

  • Max for Live - in a 64-bit version of Live 8, the Live document will load and play, but the Max devices will behave as if they were bypassed. In 64-bit versions of Live 9, Max for Live is fully supported.
  • Plug-ins - Live documents that were created using 32-bit versions of plug-ins will work normally, but only if 64-bit versions of the same plug-ins are installed. 

Does the 64-bit version sound better or different than the 32-bit version?

No. There's no difference in the resolution in Live's internal processing between the 32- and the 64-bit version.

Does the 64-bit version of Live support video?