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Ableton Quick Tip: Sampling Methods by Dom McLennon

One of the reasons why I enjoy Ableton Live so much is because of the freedom it gives you with developing and creating music. So when it comes to sampling, there’s just as much of a dynamic range regarding going about the process. In this article, I’ll explain a couple different methods you can go about sampling audio tracks as well as recording samples from instrument tracks within Ableton Live.

First you’re going to open your new project file. From here You have two options to get your file to sample into the program. The first is using your Explorer or Finder to click & drag the .wav, AIFF, mp3, mp4, etc into your session or arrange view.

Ableton Live Sampling Tutorial

Your second option is going directly from your computer’s native audio player; iTunes, Windows Media, etc, to drag files into the program’s Session or Arrange view. This particularly is useful when running Ableton in live production sets that you need to utilize your entire music catalog for.

Ableton Sampling Tips

From here, you can either warp your track to tempo and cut your sample directly in Arrange mode.

Ableton Live Sampling Tutorial

Ableton Live Sampling Tutorial

You can use control or command+E to cut the sample to whatever time you like and then manipulate your sample from there.

How to sample in Ableton Live

Your alternate option is to use one of Ableton Live’s Built-In Audio Devices to slice your sample, once you have set it to the right time. Either Drum Rack, Sampler, or Simpler can handle audio and can be used to crop, trim, reverse, slive and manipulate audio in many ways. My personal favorite is combining Drum Rack + Sampler to get the most robust feature from every sample, but there are many ways to mix and match these audio devices to build a powerhouse of sound and samples to work with.

From here you can either set up different clips and cuts in session mode for live playback and recording or use arrange mode to sequence your samples among tracks. The most streamlined way to record your midi instruments and sounds into audio for sampling is to record your midi into an audio track where the input type is linked with the instrument.

Ableton Sampling Tutorial

In this example, we’ve used Impulse as our MIDI instrument, and we will route it to the audio track below it.

Ableton Sampling Tutorial

From here you can arm your audio track underneath the midi and it will record any MIDI data sent from your instrument (Impulse in this example) to the audio track. This allows you to have the freedom of manipulating, reversing, and sampling/chopping your own instruments to create new sounds.

Ableton’s many routes to create make it a powerhouse in any producer’s arsenal if you give it some time and experiment with the tools given to you. We really hope this quick tip is useful in one way if not many and continue to stay connected to ProducerSpot for more ways to expand your creative horizons in your favorite digital platforms!

You might also like to read Ableton Live Tips: Improve Your Workflow

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