Using Live with ReWire

Support for ReWire was ended by the developer in 2020.

As of Ableton Live 11, ReWire is not available.

ReWire in Live 10 and earlier

While ReWire may still be visible in Live 10 and earlier, we cannot guarantee that it will work as expected, since the software is no longer updated.

Note: Live is capable of running as either ReWire Host or ReWire Device. However, certain DAWs can only be run as ReWire Host.

  1. How to install and enable ReWire
  2. How to use Live as ReWire Host
  3. How to use Live as ReWire Device
  4. Limitations of using Live as ReWire Device

How to install and enable ReWire

In order to download and install the ReWire engine, Live needs to be launched successfully once.

On Windows both the ReWire Host and ReWire Device may need to be run in administrator mode to successfully ReWire. To launch a program as Administrator, simply right-click the Live or other DAW icon from your desktop and select "Run as Administrator".

For Mac users, Live may also request admin privileges when first trying to configure the ReWire engine. Simply enter the admin password when prompted.

ReWire is bit depth dependent, therefore both DAWs need to run with the same bit depth (64-bit or 32-bit). Remember that Live 10 is only available in 64-bit mode, so the other DAW must be running in 64-bit mode too. This is handled differently on Windows and Mac:


Make sure to install the 64-bit or 32-bit version of your ReWire application as required.


Certain applications include both 32-bit and 64-bit formats. You can switch between the two formats as follows:

  • Open the Applications folder in Finder.
  • Select the application file and press Cmd + I to display the Info window (alternatively, right click on the application file and choose "Show Info".)
  • Tick the "Open in 32-bit mode" checkbox here to run the application in 32-bit mode. Leave it unchecked to use the program in 64-bit mode.
    32-bit info pane.png

How to use Live as ReWire Host

  1. In order to use Live as ReWire Host, start Live first.
  2. Once the program has finished loading, you can launch the second application, which will automatically run as ReWire Device (provided that the DAW can be used as ReWire Device).
  3. By pressing the play button in either the ReWire Host or the ReWire Device application, both DAWs will playback in sync.
  4. The External Instrument device is the most convenient way of using a ReWire device in Live. Find out how to use the External Instrument device here. 
    Note: External Instrument is only available in Live Suite or Standard. If you're using Live Intro or Lite, see step 5 (and following) instead.

  5. To hear the audio generated from the DAW running as the ReWire Device, create an audio track in Live and select the ReWire Device in the track's Input Type chooser ("Audio From" drop down menu). Also set the monitor to "In".Screen_Shot_2018-02-01_at_14.25.44.png
  6. ReWire provides a large number of channels to allow the routing of individual tracks from the ReWire Device application into discrete audio tracks in Live. You can choose which ReWire channels to monitor with a specific audio track in Live using the track's Input Channel chooser (second drop-down menu in the "Audio From" section).
  7. To send MIDI from Live to the ReWire Device, create a MIDI track in Live first. Next, in the MIDI track's Output Type chooser ("MIDI To" drop-down menu), select the ReWire Device. The Output Channel chooser will now let you choose a specific track or device from the session in the ReWire Device DAW.

How to use Live as ReWire Device

  1. Launch the DAW you intend to use as ReWire Host first.
  2. Enable ReWire in the DAW using our guide: How to enable ReWire in other DAWs.
  3. Launch Live. It should correctly detect that a ReWire application is already running and will switch to ReWire Host mode

Limitations of using Live as ReWire Device

When Live is running as ReWire Device:

  • No VST or AU plug-ins are available
  • Max for Live is not available
  • No physical audio inputs/outputs are available in Live. The ReWire Host application is handling the audio interface and the ins/outs. External material can be recorded with the ReWire Host application only.
  • ln Live 1-9, MIDI controllers and Control Surfaces are not available when Live is running in ReWire device mode. (In Live 10, they can be used).
  • MIDI sync in and out is disabled

Ableton offers these in-depth help and learning resources: