Ableton Key Commands

Here’s a re-post of my collection of Ableton key commands…

One of the best ways to get fast at Ableton Live is to master the key commands.  Here’s a list of key commands I put together when I was studying to become an Ableton Certified Trainer.  Copy and paste this and keep it by you as you work.  I found a lot of cool functions just by putting together this list.  If I’ve left any out, please shoot them over to add to the list.  Enjoy….

Com N: New Live Set
Com O: Open Live Set
Com W: Close Live Set
Com S: Save Live Set
Shift Com S: Save Live Set As
Shift Com R: Export Audio/Video

Com z: Undo
Shift – Com Z: Redo
Com x: Cut
Shift – Com X: Cut Time – Select a loop, Hit this command,  Everything in the loop will be cut and that amount of time will vanish from the arrangement.
Com c: Copy
Com V: Paste
Shift Com V: Paste Time:  – Select loop, Copy, Then paste – will copy over what’s there
Com D: Duplicate
Shift Com D: Duplicate Time:  Automatically duplicates what’s in the loop
Delete Key: Delete
Shift Com Delete: Deletes what’s in the loop
Com R: Rename
Com E: Cut
Com J: Consolidate
Com U: Quantize
Shift Com U: Quantize Settings
Com G: Group
Shift Com G: Ungroup
Com L: Loop Selection
Shift Com L: Select Loop
Com A: Select All

Com I: Insert Silence
Shift Com I: Capture and Insert Scene : Takes all the clips that are playing at a given moment and creates a whole    new scene with them
Com T: Audio Track
Shift Com T:  Midi Track
Opt Com T: Return Track
Shift Com M: Insert Midi Clip
Opt Com F: Create Fade: Also allows for the creation of cross-fades!***** To do this – select the track in       arrangement  view, then hit the clip you want to add a fade or cross-fade to.  Then hit this command and you’ll see the fades appear

F11: Full Screen  – Doesn’t seem to work on new MacBook Pro
Shift Com F: Search In Browser
Opt Com O: Overview of the Entire Track
Opt Com I: Ins and Outs
Opt Com S: Sends
Opt Com R: Returns
Opt Com M: Mixer
Zoom In: +
Zoom Out: -


Com M: Edit Midi Map (Midi Mapping Short Cut)
Com K: Key Mapping Shortcut
Shift Com K: Computer MIDI Keyboard
Com 1: Smaller Launch Quantization
Com 2: Larger Launch Quantization
Com 3: Triplet Launch Quantization
Com 4: Kill Launch Quantization
Com 5: Fixed Grid
Com B: Draw Mode
Com F: Follow: If activated, display will scroll during playback to keep the current song position visible.


Tab – Switches from Session to Arrangement View
Shift Tab – Switches from Track to Clip View


Dan FreeMan, C0m1x, Ableton Certified Trainer

Reeps One And Linden Jay – Ableton Live User Group 10.14.14

Here’s some footage from the extraordinary UK beatboxer Reeps One and producer Linden Jay at last night’s Ableton Live User Group.  The vocals are completely processed through Ableton and essentially Linden is mixing him in real time.  With every kick, he boosts the lows and at times filters and jacks the highs.



Reeps One and Linden Jay at the NYC Dubspot Ableton User Group

Dubspot NYC Ableton User Group w/Erin Barra – 9.23.14

Dubspot NYC Ableton User Group

Dubspot NYC Ableton User Group

8.19.14 – NYC Dubspot Ableton User Group – The Mast

Ableton User Group - The Mast 8.19.14

Ableton User Group - The Mast 8.19.14

5 Tips On Optimizing Ableton Live’s Performance During A Live Set

5 Tips On Optimizing Ableton Live’s Performance During A Live Set.

The worst thing that can happen to a live performer using a computer is a complete onstage crash. One fantastic thing about Ableton Live is that it’s a remarkably stable program – if used right. I’ve used Ableton Live since 2005, starting with version 3, for live performances. Since then, I’ve played hundreds of shows and in all of those, I can count only 3 times when the program crashed. Two of those instances came from playing outdoor shows on hot summer days with the sun directly on the laptop which happened to overheat the computer and drastically slow the processors. I’ve even dropped a computer off a DJ booth onto a dance floor (ouch) and when I picked up the laptop, the Live set was still up and running.  Here are five ways I’ve found over the years to keep my live sets from ending with a computer fail.

1. Clean and Organize Your Sets Before A Performance

As an Ableton Certified Trainer, I consult with artists on their live Ableton sets. It’s amazing how many people I’ve seen come in with seemingly infinite numbers of tracks, scenes and clips for a 45 – 60 minute set. Before the show, go through your tracks, clips and scenes and clear out anything that you know you are not going to use. I do this before every performance. So invest a bit a time into it if you haven’t before and make it a habit.

2. Keep Plug-Ins Native As Much As Possible

Ableton’s native plug-ins work quite smoothly and are incredibly stable and efficient. Although I use plenty of outside plug-ins in production and mixing, for live performance I try and avoid them as much as possible. If you absolutely need to use them, use them with caution. Instead of putting a bunch on different tracks, can you put just one into a send? Can you take parts that are played with MIDI and an plug-in synth and convert them to audio? I think a lot of what’s kept my performance Ableton happy has been my avoidance whenever possible of external synths and effects.

Read the rest on the Dubspot blog…

Comandante Zero (CØ) Ableton Live Set.

Comandante Zero (CØ) Ableton Live Set.


MMNY Panel Discussion With Adriano Clemente

Here’s a podcast I did in April for Make Music New York with my fellow Dubspot instructor and Ableton Certified Trainer Adriano Clemente at the Cornelia St. Cafe in NYC.  We talked about how digital technology and controllerism is shaping live performance and give a live demo of some of our instruments including the Ableton PUSH. 


Dubspot NYC Ableton User Group – July 22, 2014: 9:30 – 11:00

This Tuesday, July 22 the Dubspot NYC Ableton User Group is back with Brent Arnold.

Dubspot NYC Ableton User Group

Words To Live By…

With the news becoming unbearable to watch, here are some words that were shared by Tim McCarthy which I found incredible apt.

“Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death–ought to decide, indeed, to earn one’s death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. One is responsible to life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return. One must negotiate this passage as nobly as possible, for the sake of those coming after us.”- James Baldwin.

Matt’s Blondie Set-Up

I’ve known Matt for quite awhile.  Fantastic musician.  Here’s his description of how he uses Ableton Live to trigger tracks and sounds for Blondie.


New Dubspot Video

Here’s a recent video I did that is the first of a series on different ways of using Ableton Live with analog instruments.  Enjoy.