The hidden export features in Ableton

In ableton, sampling on June 30, 2012 at 15:56

I’m pretty sure, you know that Ableton Live creates audio files in the project folder, but not everyone knows how to use this fact.

If you take a look at the project’s directory structure, you may find in the folder Sample/Processed more folders containing audio files.

The project folder structure.

The point I want to make is that can use this place as a kind of audio export, because you can copy every file and use it again in Ableton or load it into other audio applications.

Fortunately, the folder names are corresponding with the respective function in Ableton. If you freeze a track you will find new audio files in the freeze folder and so on.

And here are some things you can do by copying files from there:

  • Time stretching/compression of audio files

    After warping an audio track, its tempo depends on the global song tempo. But Ableton is nondestructive, so a time stretching or compression is done on the fly, when you play your song. Maybe you have moved some warp markers, the software will treat them as local tempo changes. For the sake of clarity, the used original audio file is untouched and you will hear something different, if you play this track.

    As you see, there are some good reasons for exporting this audio and the standard export feature is for my taste too complicated.

    What you have to do is such simple. Select the track in arrangement view and choose consolidate from the context menu. The rendered file will stored in the Consolidate folder.

  • Converting MIDI tracks into audio

    In case you have a MIDI track and you need an audio file, you have to freeze the track and the software will store the result in the Freeze folder.

  • Cutting or joining audio files

    As expected does crop create an audio file in the Crop folder. If you apply consolidate (in the arrangement view) to more than one audio track, you will get one single audio file in the Consolidate folder.

I’m pretty sure there are much more use cases. Note, if you just working in the session view and you need a feature only offered in arrangement view, just copy the track and past it into a suitable track of the arrangement. My tip is, don’t move such files from the place, if you don’t know, how Ableton is using this file.

That’s all for today. I hope this helps. Best regards.



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