How To Make Ableton Run Faster

Ableton is a powerful and popular software for musicians, but it can be challenging to learn and use. The more you know about the program, the more enjoyable your music will sound. Find out below how to make Ableton run faster!

Ableton is a complex software program that allows you to compose and perform electronic music.

It can be challenging to learn and use, but mastering Ableton will enable you to produce the highest quality music.

Here are several tips for maximizing your performance in Ableton:

Table of Contents

1. Know which version of Live works best for your computer hardware

Know which version of Live works best for your computer hardware

Know which version of Live works best for your computer hardware. The older versions were known to run slowly on specific systems. Be sure to download the correct version if you want it to run smoothly.


2. Understand how MIDI works

Understand how MIDI works

Understand how MIDI works with many instruments at once in different channels. For example, if you have a keyboard playing a melody line while another tool plays a chord progression.

You need not map these notes to different channels, but they require separate tracks to play the chord progression on its way.


3. Using an external MIDI controller

Using an external MIDI controller

Using an external MIDI controller can improve your performance by allowing you to play the instrument with pads instead of using the mouse and keyboard.

Some keyboards come with Ableton presets for this purpose, but you can also save your templates later if desired.


4. Make sure that all of the MIDI tracks are routed

Make sure that all of the MIDI tracks are routed

Make sure that all of the MIDI tracks are routed through one virtual MIDI port so that they’re easier to control, monitor, and set up in general. This way, you will not have issues controlling multiple instruments at once or other problems where the program cannot process too many notes coming into it at once.


5. Learn how to activate different real-time processors

Learn how to activate different real-time processors

Learn how to activate different real-time processors that let you apply effects to individual notes as they are being played rather than process them after recording.


6. Be aware of which plugins are being used

Be aware of which plugins are being used so that you can reduce the amount of processing power needed for high-quality sound output. By disabling certain features – such as reverb or chorus, for example – you can free up resources for other tasks.


7. Enable Live’s “Reduced Latency When Monitoring” option

Enable Live’s “Reduced Latency When Monitoring” option

To maximize performance, enable Live’s “Reduced Latency When Monitoring” option, located in Preferences under Audio.

This setting allows the audio signal from your computer to be passed directly to your speakers while delaying the signal going into your headphones by only a concise amount of time.


8. Route MIDI tracks through one virtual port

If possible, route MIDI tracks through one virtual port and audio tracks through another to reduce the number of resources needed and improve stability.


9. Install a second sound card

Install a second sound card

If possible, install a second sound card on your computer and route all external MIDI hardware through this new one. This way, it will not interfere with the audio signal coming from Ableton but still process its data without causing any disruption or latency issues.


10. Be sure to use Live’s version of “Auto Save”

Be sure to use Live’s version of “Auto Save”

Be sure to use Live’s version of “AutoSave” (which is located in Preferences under File) so that you don’t lose your work if anything goes wrong.

Suppose you plan on working for an extended period throughout several days. In that case, we recommend saving your progress every few hours by hitting Ctrl+S – this will create different versions and allow you to return to earlier versions if necessary (and because it saves automatically without any input from the user).


11. Enable Ableton’s “Multiprocessing” option

Enable Ableton’s “Multiprocessing” option

If you are on a computer with two or more processors, enable Ableton’s “Multiprocessing” option, which will allow you to run several tasks simultaneously. Keep in mind that this feature may not work on some systems, so be sure to consult your manual before trying it out.


12. Make use of the program’s MIDI clock settings

Make use of the program’s MIDI clock settings

If you are running Live on a laptop – make use of the program’s MIDI clock settings (located in Preferences) so that any external MIDI accessory can communicate with your device without causing potential issues or lagging.


13. Test using different USB ports

Test using different USB ports

Test using different USB ports every time you restart your system to avoid problems like dropping communication between hardware and software (because not every port is created equal; some might cause difficulties with MIDI or audio signals).


14. Make sure that Ableton is not automatically setting the sample rate

Make sure that Ableton is not automatically setting the sample rate

Make sure that Ableton is not automatically setting sample rates for your system, which can cause problems when you try to change it manually. If this happens, the program will record the data at a much lower quality because it cannot process any other size.


15. Disable Live’s Warnings “Offer Restore Default Settings”

Disable Live’s Warnings “Offer Restore Default Settings” and “Delete Undo Files When Closing Document”, both located in Preferences under File, to make sure that they don’t interrupt your workflow.

These options are great for new users who do not know what settings need to be changed or how to use certain features of Ableton; however, if you are well experienced in making music with this software, you should disable these warnings so that they don’t prevent you from being able to save your work.


16. Maximize the number of tracks

Maximize the number of tracks playing at once by using “Group Tracks” to send separate signals through a single bus or audio way, which will help improve stability issues and reduce the processing power needed.


17. Disable Live’s AutoPilot feature

Disable Live’s AutoPilot feature (which can be found under the Record Arm button) so that you don’t get put into Automation Record mode.

Suppose you accidentally try to activate this feature while clicking around on different buttons or knobs. In that case, it will cause problems with MIDI and audio recording – so disable it every time by hitting the Manual button located directly beneath it instead!


18. Enable Live’s Snap function

When creating complex music patterns and arrangements, enable Live’s Snap function so that you can line up MIDI and audio clips quickly with one another.


19. Disable Live’s Automatic Saving feature

Disable Live’s Automatic Saving feature (which is located in Preferences under File) as this will cause problems when trying to undo your work or load previous versions of a project. 


20. Experiment with turning off individual features 

Experiment with turning off individual features like Warp, EQ, Delay, etc and using the “Manage External Instrument” plugin, which Who can find under Audio Effects to determine which ones might be causing potential problems (like dropping notes).

If any command seems to be causing issues and Who cannot simply turn it off within the same menu, look for an external management plugin where you can disable them without influencing anything else.


21. Attempt to change your USB ports

Attempt to change your USB ports on your computer if Ableton has been crashing a lot – even if it is a bit inconvenient.


22. Learn to rearrange your song

Learn to rearrange your song in a way that might make Live easier for you to understand by using the Session View instead of the Arrangement view.


23. Enable “Draw Tool Follows Pointer”

Enable “Draw Tool Follows Pointer” under Preferences, Display so that when you hold down Alt and move your cursor around, this will allow extra options to be brought up or hidden from view.


24. Try to figure out why MIDI clips are not triggering correctly

When trying to figure out why MIDI clips are not triggering correctly, click on the track’s name to highlight it before accessing the Clip Envelope to determine what is causing any problems with sync or timing issues.


25. Group Unselected Tracks

“Group Unselected Tracks,” which can be found under the Tracks menu, might help if you are looking for an easier way to disable or enable multiple tracks at once.


26. Show/Hide All Notes

“Show/Hide All Notes” is also helpful when trying to keep track of all your notes and rests better than having them clutter up one long list.


27. Enable “Use Independent Sends And Returns”

Enable “Use Independent Sends And Returns” to separate groups of effects that are shared between tracks into individual channels that can be processed more quickly (if using specific plugins) without filters being applied to other instruments changing the sound unexpectedly.


28. Disable Live’s Clip Envelopes

Disable Live’s Clip Envelopes by Right-Clicking on any clip within Arrangement View, choosing “Clip, ” and opening the Clip Box.

This will make things a bit simpler if you are trying to edit clips in Session View better.


29. Make sure that your instruments all follow the same output routing

Make sure that your instruments all follow the same output routing to keep things organized; if not, they will start to act up and play random notes or won’t work at all without any error messages popping up on the screen. 


30. Disabling “Large Memory Cache” 

Disabling “Large Memory Cache” under Live’s File Folder tab will help save RAM when using specific third-party plugins so that there is less of a chance for them to freeze or crash while playing in real-time.


31. Disable Auto Solo

“Disable Auto Solo” is also helpful when wanting multiple tracks to sound together simultaneously.


32. Maximize the number of records

Maximize the number of records within Arrangement View by pressing “Alt+Shift+Right Arrow” so that you can work more efficiently.


33. Stop using any third-party plugins

Stop using any third-party plugins within MIDI tracks when there are specific effects I the browser that might do what you need – this will save RAM and keep things cleaner!


34. Copy Value Time Slice

“Copy Value Time Slice” is an excellent way to loop sections of an arrangement while being able to change its length without having to fear minor errors in timing occurring.


35. Selection Follows Cursor

“Selection Follows Cursor”, which is found under Preferences, General, helps make it easier to quickly navigate your project or files/folders on your hard drive.


36. Learn how to use nested clips

Learn how to use nested clips instead of building complicated basslines by recording them one note at a time; this will prevent issues with timing and allow you to play the notes in at faster or slower tempos without any problems.


37. Enable “Shift+Left Click On Track Header, Add New Track”

Enable “Shift+Left Click On Track Header, Add New Track”

Enable “Shift+Left Click On Track Header, Add New Track”, which is found under Preferences/General to speed up workflow by quickly building new tracks when working within Session View.


38. Export Audio/Video

Export Audio/Video

“Export Audio/Video” is helpful when wanting to share songs online or back them up on an external hard drive so that all of your work is not lost if Live crashes or becomes corrupted.


39. Delete Unused Clips And Assets

“Delete Unused Clips And Assets” will help free up space on your hard drive if they are taking up a lot of space in your project folder. Please make sure they are no longer needed before deleting them!


40. Disable Auto-Collapsing

“Disable Auto-Collapsing” and “Show Expanded Envelopes” will allow for more straightforward navigation while playing in Session View by clicking on the names of tracks and keeping them out of view when you are not using them.


41. How to make Ableton run faster using Automate Parameters

“Automate Parameters”, which can be found under MIDI Effects, can save work if automation is taking up too much time because it will continuously play notes without having to click every time continually.


42. Capture And Overdub Recording Automatically

Capture And Overdub Recording Automatically

“Capture And Overdub Recording Automatically” will aid in workflow by automatically creating new clips within Arrangement View whenever recording takes place. Who can find this under Preferences/Recording?


Conclusion

This article should have given you a few helpful tips about how to maximize your performance in Ableton. Whether you’re just starting or are an experienced user, the more you know about this powerful music production software, the better!

If you want to learn even more ways of maximizing your skills with Ableton and other helpful knowledge for musicians, check back here soon – we will be releasing new content regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Ableton running so slow?

Your computer might have a virus. I recommend rebooting it and scanning the system for viruses with a software program, such as Norton Computer Security or BitDefender Internet Security. If there is no malware on your machine, try opening Ableton in a smaller window.

How do I stop Ableton from lagging?

This is an issue that happens when your computer runs out of memory. It might be time to clean up your old files and start over.

It’s also something you can often fix by adjusting the settings in preferences or under tracks or projects. Sometimes restarting Ableton will do the trick, but if not, it might make more sense to start over with a new project (or even reinstall it).

Will Ableton run faster on SSD?

Running on an SSD will drastically reduce the time it takes to save and load projects.

Running Ableton Live (or any software) on a solid-state drive (SSD) instead of a spinning hard drive dramatically improves performance.

Saving and loading projects is much faster; scrubbing through extensive sessions or while changing parameters is smoother, and instant recall of settings makes working with large setups for live performances way more practical than ever before.

A good analogy I’ve seen online is that you’re doing any project where you’re constantly waiting for rendering to finish, playing back video footage, or retouching photos in Photoshop.

A musical score that needs to be reviewed after each change, an animation that takes hours per frame, or an audio-visual performance where changes need to take effect in real-time—running on an SSD will make you much more efficient.

Is Ableton CPU intensive?

Yes, Ableton is CPU intensive. It can be costly to upgrade computers with newer models to maintain the ability to run current software. Programmers build their software for computers that are five years old or less because they want their products to run on as many sold-to-date programs as possible.

As technology improves, older components no longer work well enough for these new requirements. For example, mixing tracks utilized power from all of the cores of a processor until there was one left unused and worthless for other tasks while running Ableton Live 10 program at total capacity even when using fewer tracks.


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Waleed Hassan Sheikh
By Waleed Hassan Sheikh

Waleed Hassan is a tech enthusiast both by passion and profession. He has been in touch with the PC's world since childhood. He loves to write the best of tech reviews, especially on laptops, to help regular user's and tech guys to choose the best in their budget. When he is not blogging, he can be found watching AFL or EPL matches.



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