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Setting up audio preferences

From: Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

Video: Setting up audio preferences

Using an external audio interface with Live allows you to record and monitor audio at a higher resolution than using a computer's built-in audio inputs and outputs. In this video we'll discuss how to configure Ableton Live to work with an external audio interface, and learn how to activate the interface inputs and outputs. So before you start using Ableton Live you want to connect your audio interface to your computer, start your computer, and then if necessary load the interface's driver. Then you can go ahead and launch Ableton Live. To access the settings that will allow you to configure your audio interface to work with Live, choose Preferences from the Live menu on Mac, or the Options menu on a PC, or use the key command Command+Comma or Ctrl+Comma on PC.

Setting up audio preferences

Using an external audio interface with Live allows you to record and monitor audio at a higher resolution than using a computer's built-in audio inputs and outputs. In this video we'll discuss how to configure Ableton Live to work with an external audio interface, and learn how to activate the interface inputs and outputs. So before you start using Ableton Live you want to connect your audio interface to your computer, start your computer, and then if necessary load the interface's driver. Then you can go ahead and launch Ableton Live. To access the settings that will allow you to configure your audio interface to work with Live, choose Preferences from the Live menu on Mac, or the Options menu on a PC, or use the key command Command+Comma or Ctrl+Comma on PC.

The Preferences are organized into tabs, and I'm on the Audio tab here. First of all, we see the Driver Type, which in this case I only have the option of CoreAudio. On a Mac or a PC if there is a driver that's specific to your interface, you'll need to load that, and it should be visible in this menu. Then we can go down and click the Audio Input Device, and we should see your interface listed in this list. If not, again, you'll need to go back and check on that driver. So I've got the Hammerfall DSP set currently as my input device, and I want to check the available input, so I am going to click the Input Config button.

And here I see that currently, out of all the inputs and outputs available on this device, only 1 and 2 are enabled, both mono and stereo. So I am going to go ahead and I am going to enable 3 and 4 for both mono and stereo, and I'll click OK. And I am going to close Preferences by hitting the Escape key. Now I'll click the Input Assignment button on the Audio Track in Live, and I see both 1 and 2 available stereo, 3 and 4 stereo, and then it's mono inputs 1 through 4.

I'll go back into Preferences by using the key command Command+Comma, and I'll see that I have the same options here available for the Audio Output Device. Now I am doing something different here because I'm recording this video, but in most cases you are going to want to make sure that the input device and the output device are set to the same device to avoid conflicts. We have the same option here for the Output Config, and in this case this particular interface only has two outputs. Next, if you are going to record audio into an Ableton Live set, you'll want to set the sample rate, bit depth and audio file type here in Preferences; these settings will affect any audio recorded into a Live set.

For Sample Rate, the options are 44,100k, 48,000, and 96,000, with 44.1 kHz, being the consumer audio CD standard and 48 and 96 being higher resolution options. Let me go ahead and choose 44,100. The Sample Rate and Pitch Conversion parameter affects the audio quality of an audio clip when it is stretched to fit a different tempo, or transposed to work in another key. The default Sample Rate and Pitch Conversion setting is a global setting. This can also be set at the clip level if necessary, and we'll discuss this in a later video.

So next, I'll click the Record Warp and Launch tab, and our top option here is File Type, and our choices are WAV and AIF. WAV was developed for the PC and AIF for the Mac, but today they are both cross-platform, interchangeable. They are both uncompressed audio format, so they work both the same pretty much. So I am going to choose WAV. And then for bit depth our options are 16, 24, and 32-bit. Again, 16 is the consumer audio CD standard, 24 and 32 being higher resolution options.

Now most engineers are going to recommend that you record at a higher bit rate. That's going to give you the biggest bang for your buck in improving the audio quality. I'll go ahead and choose 24-bit. So in this video we learned how to configure Live so that you can effectively use an audio interface rather than your computer's built-in interface.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Ableton Live 8 Essential Training
Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

69 video lessons · 16996 viewers

Rick Schmunk
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 30s
    1. Welcome
      49s
    2. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 8m 43s
    1. What is a digital audio workstation?
      4m 13s
    2. Choosing the right gear and setting up a system
      4m 30s
  3. 12m 59s
    1. Setting up audio preferences
      3m 54s
    2. Setting up MIDI preferences
      3m 31s
    3. Optimizing performance
      5m 34s
  4. 35m 42s
    1. Understanding Session view
      8m 7s
    2. Working with Live browsers
      5m 3s
    3. Working with Live clips
      7m 57s
    4. Understanding clip properties
      7m 52s
    5. Working with Live scenes
      6m 43s
  5. 28m 16s
    1. Building Live Sets and projects
      4m 25s
    2. Learning Live file management
      4m 2s
    3. Exporting content from Live
      7m 32s
    4. Importing and exporting Live Packs
      3m 17s
    5. Searching for and auditioning clips
      4m 58s
    6. Setting up frequently accessed folders
      4m 2s
  6. 23m 3s
    1. Preparing to record MIDI
      5m 51s
    2. Recording and overdubbing MIDI
      4m 32s
    3. Working with alternate MIDI entry methods
      6m 49s
    4. Using multi-output virtual instruments
      5m 51s
  7. 24m 26s
    1. The MIDI Editor
      4m 49s
    2. Quantizing MIDI data
      6m 6s
    3. Advanced MIDI editing
      6m 49s
    4. Setting up groove in editing
      6m 42s
  8. 9m 18s
    1. Preparing to record
      5m 0s
    2. Recording audio
      4m 18s
  9. 22m 37s
    1. Understanding Arrangement view
      3m 41s
    2. Recording in Arrangement view
      3m 51s
    3. Recording from Session view to Arrangement view
      5m 21s
    4. Reworking clips
      9m 44s
  10. 27m 57s
    1. Understanding Live's mixer
      12m 38s
    2. Using sends and returns
      3m 47s
    3. Building headphone cues
      3m 49s
    4. Grouping tracks
      7m 43s
  11. 43m 14s
    1. Working with effect devices
      4m 56s
    2. Understanding EQ and filters
      7m 14s
    3. Using compressors and dynamic processors
      7m 28s
    4. Building interesting effects with delay effect processing
      8m 18s
    5. Using reverb effectively
      8m 22s
    6. Setting up side chain effects easily
      6m 56s
  12. 15m 37s
    1. Creating rhythmic patterns with the Arpeggiator effect
      8m 38s
    2. Building background parts with the Chord and Scale effects
      6m 59s
  13. 25m 24s
    1. Building automation patterns
      8m 44s
    2. Editing existing automation information
      5m 3s
    3. Using fades to mask audio pops and clicks
      4m 10s
    4. Understanding the power of clip envelopes
      7m 27s
  14. 20m 17s
    1. Understanding the basics of looping
      6m 54s
    2. Creating tracks that loop smoothly
      7m 50s
    3. Using warp features to quantize audio
      5m 33s
  15. 17m 47s
    1. Using the computer keyboard to control Live
      6m 39s
    2. Mapping device controls to the MIDI keyboard
      4m 36s
    3. Using Live's instant mapping feature
      6m 32s
  16. 10m 44s
    1. Exporting audio
      5m 37s
    2. Freezing tracks
      5m 7s
  17. 20m 45s
    1. Building with the Impulse virtual instrument
      11m 35s
    2. Working with the Simpler virtual instrument
      9m 10s
  18. 36m 22s
    1. Overview of Live racks
      10m 13s
    2. Combining instruments and effects into a single device
      8m 22s
    3. Adding effects with Drum Rack
      11m 28s
    4. Assigning rack parameters to macros
      6m 19s
  19. 13m 53s
    1. Setting up ReWire with Pro Tools
      7m 3s
    2. Setting up ReWire with Logic
      6m 50s
  20. 33m 43s
    1. Preparing audio clips with the Warp tool
      14m 31s
    2. Triggering clips using follow actions
      8m 9s
    3. Using Live as a sound source
      11m 3s
  21. 7m 21s
    1. Working with video files
      7m 21s
  22. 37s
    1. Further Recommendations
      37s

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