Comping in Live FAQ

  • Live Versions: 11
  • Operating System: All

What is Comping?

Comping is an audio and MIDI recording technique which allows you to record performances into multiple take lanes in Arrangement View in order to edit the best parts into the final take.

You can also use comping creatively by combining samples and loops to get unexpected results that would be difficult to achieve otherwise.

How can I see the take lanes?

Take Lanes are hidden by default. You can activate them in Arrangement View by clicking Create > Insert Take Lane, by right-clicking on a Track header and choosing Show Take Lanes or by selecting the clip and pressing the keyboard shortcut:

  • Mac: [Shift + Option + T]
  • Windows:  [Shift + Alt + T]

Note: Take Lanes will not appear when you are in Automation Mode. You will need to switch off Automation Mode to view Take Lanes.

Are there other helpful keyboard shortcuts?

To swap parts of different take lanes, either click them using draw mode or press the keyboard shortcut:

  • Mac: [CMD + Arrow Up/Down] 
  • Windows: [Ctrl + Arrow Up/Down] 

To show take lanes or hide them, use the following keyboard shortcut:  

  • Mac: [CMD + Option + U]
  • Windows: [Ctrl + Alt + U]

Why can’t I click a certain section of a take in draw mode?

Make sure that there is no empty space between two sections in the main take.

How can I update the MIDI notes in a clip on the main take?

To mirror an updated MIDI clip, you need to click Enter on the selected clip. After, the current notes of the clip will be displayed in the main take.


Can I edit the take lanes?

Take lanes can be renamed, reordered, deleted, or added.

How can I use comping creatively?

Comping allows you to use your samples and loops in creative ways. Here are some ideas to get started: 

Groove extraction from a final comping take:

  • Consolidate the final take to one audio file
  • Right-click Extract Groove
  • Add the new Groove to any other clip

Use MIDI notes from a final comping take

  • Consolidate the final take to one audio file
  • Right-click Convert Harmony/Melody/Drums to New MIDI Track
  • Insert a synth or sampler to play the new MIDI notes 

Manually add samples or loops

  • Create a few empty track lanes
  • Drag some samples or loops on the lanes and create new variations
  • Samples can be edited the same way as audio tracks (nudge, split, duplicate, etc)

Can I use Comping in my version of Live 11?

  • Comping is available in Intro, Standard, and Suite.
  • Linked-track editing is available in Standard and Suite.

Ableton offers these in-depth help and learning resources: