User Wavetables

  • Live Versions: 10.1 and higher (Suite only)
  • Operating system: All

You can add custom wavetables to the Wavetable instrument in Live 10.1 and higher.


As “wavetable” has various meanings, we'll refer to the following terms throughout this article:

  • Wavetable: The instrument.
  • wavetable: A 1024 sample long single cycle waveform.
  • sprite: A collection of wavetables in one file. For example, the default "Basic Shapes" preset is a sprite containing sine, triangle, saw, and square wavetables.

How to load a custom wavetable


Drag an audio file onto Wavetable's sprite visualization area (where you see the representation of the waveform). The audio file can be dragged from the Browser, from a clip slot in the set, or directly from Explorer (Windows)/Finder (Mac). If you add an audio file from a folder, you can use the Next/Previous arrows to load the next or previous files from that same folder.


Processing the file

When you select a custom file the following processing happens:

  • Wavetable reads the first few seconds (up to 256 wavetables) from the file.
  • It's downmixed to mono.
  • Wavetable ensures that there are at least 2 wavetables so that the position slider has something to cycle through.
  • If the file was created using Serum, it's downsampled to 1024 samples per wavetable. This is because Serum generates larger files (2048 samples per wavetable).

"Raw" mode

If the “Raw” button is not checked, the following processing happens:

  • Any leading or trailing silence is ignored.
  • The edges of each wavetable are faded to zero to avoid clicks.
  • The phase differences between neighboring wavetables are minimized to avoid weird phasing noises.
  • The wavetables are normalized.


I dragged a sample onto Wavetable and a dialog box pops up that say ‘cannot read samples from samples while recording or decoding'.

Users can use any sample as a custom sprite, however if the file is large and encoded (e.g. an mp3 of a song), Live needs to decode and analyze the file before it can be used as a custom wavetable.

Workaround: Drag the file into the arrangement or a session clip slot. Once Live has analyzed the file (the waveform is visible), drag it onto Wavetable.

I dropped a file onto Wavetable but the instrument was replaced by Simpler.

When dragging & dropping, the sample needs to be dropped on the oscillator section (the sprite visualization). If it's dropped anywhere else in Wavetable, the entire device is replaced with Simpler.

When I change the contents of my user sprites directory, the list in Wavetable doesn't change right away.

Live does not monitor the user sprites directory for changes.

Workaround: Deleting the device and undoing will force the directory to be re-read.

When I collect all and save, my list of user sprites is gone – only the sprite I was using is there.

Wavetable uses the same mechanism as Simpler for collecting samples. When you Collect all and Save, this copies both user sprites and sample files into the project folder. So that the list of user sprites isn't filled with all audio content from a Set, Live only uses the single file that you have selected.

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