Up and Running with Ableton Live 9
Illustration by John Hersey

Exporting your song


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Up and Running with Ableton Live 9

with Yeuda Ben-Atar

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Video: Exporting your song

After we finish our song, it's time to mix it down and export it to our computer. There are a couple of ways we can mix down a song in Ableton Live. First, we can set the loop bracket around the entire song. And I would recommend setting it even after the song is finished, just to give some space for any reverb or delay tail we might have, because if we listen to the end, we can see the audio doesn't stop exactly at about 21, but decaying or fading out slightly after. (music playing) After setting the Loop bracket, go to File > Export. Under Rendered Track, choose Master.
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Watch the Online Video Course Up and Running with Ableton Live 9
2h 11m Beginner Mar 05, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Discover how to get started creating and recording music with Ableton Live 9 in just two hours. Author and musician Yeuda Ben-Atar starts this course by showing how to set up all audio, MIDI, and external plugins and prep an initial project for recording. Then he jumps into high gear: making beats with the Ableton drum kits, recording with the built-in virtual instruments, and capturing live performance like vocals and guitar. After your tracks are recorded, learn how to arrange song clips, layer in effects, create and record automation, and quickly mix the tracks with groups, busses, EQ, compression, and other techniques. The final chapter in the course shows you how to save, export, and master your finished song.

Topics include:
  • Setting up plugins and projects
  • Creating a drumbeat
  • Converting audio to MIDI
  • Recording vocals
  • Warping and editing clips
  • Adding effects
  • Using time commands
  • Working with the mixer
  • Using side chain compression
  • Adding reverb and delay
  • Mixing dynamically with automation
  • Mastering a song
Subject:
Audio + Music
Software:
Ableton Live
Author:
Yeuda Ben-Atar

Exporting your song

After we finish our song, it's time to mix it down and export it to our computer. There are a couple of ways we can mix down a song in Ableton Live. First, we can set the loop bracket around the entire song. And I would recommend setting it even after the song is finished, just to give some space for any reverb or delay tail we might have, because if we listen to the end, we can see the audio doesn't stop exactly at about 21, but decaying or fading out slightly after. (music playing) After setting the Loop bracket, go to File > Export. Under Rendered Track, choose Master.

File Type should be WAV or AIFF, it's up to you. Sample Rate, I am going to keep the same Sample Rate that I worked so far, 44100. Bit Depth, I am going to keep it 24, because I still want the high-quality audio for the mastering stage. And no dither. We are going to do that after we do the mastering. Create Analysis File and Upload Audio to SoundCloud turned off. This is not the final stage, and we don't not to upload our song to Sound Cloud right now.

Hit OK. Choose a place on your computer you want to save the song. I am going to call it My song and hit Save. Live will then render the audio to disc. It might take a couple of minutes depending on the length of your song, and now your song is rendered into one file. There is another way we can mix down our song in Ableton Live. We can create a new audio track, Command+ T or Ctrl+T, making sure the inputs and outputs are visible, using the view selector, marked with I and O, and selecting Resampling from the first dropdown menu.

This will take everything that comes out of the master and will record it into this audio track. So let's arm the track, hit the Loop bracket so we can start from the beginning of song, and hit the Global Record button. (music playing) This process might take longer because we need to wait for the full length of the song to play.

There are a lot of the debates of which method gives you the best audio quality, and it's up to you to check both of them--exporting or resampling--to choose which one sounds better to you. When we export our song, Ableton will automatically collect all the files in our project and save them into the Projects folder. If you go to Live > Preferences and under the Library tab, we can see the Browser Behavior > Collect Files on Export is set to Always. If you set it to Never, you can collect all and save manually by going to File and choosing Collect All and Save.

Live will then ask you which files so you want to save: files from elsewhere, files from other Projects, files from User Library, and files from Factory Packs. This will take all the samples that were recorded, all the sample that we freeze and flatten, all the presets that you might have, and all the information for third-party plugins. But it's important to know that if you do use third-party plugins and you move to a different studio, or a different computer, if that computer doesn't have the plugins that you used, they are not going to work.

Let's hit Cancel, because we already did this automatically. You can also go to File > Manage Files > Manage Project and see all the files you are using in your project. We can see we have 3 media files and we have 11 files from elsewhere. Exporting your song is not the last stage. Next, we are going to master our mix down.

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