When you've finished composing and mixing a song in Ableton Live, you'll need to save the final product. You can save it as an Ableton set, but unless the intended listener has both Ableton Live and all of the VSTs you used to produce the song, she won't be able to listen to it. If you plan to distribute your song on CD or upload it to the Internet, export it as an audio file. Ableton also allows you to export MIDI clips you've composed, which you can then open in a different sequencer.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Launch Ableton and open the set from which you want to export. Click "File" followed by "Export Audio/Video." To export a specific track from the set, select it from the "Rendered Track" drop-down menu. To export the entire set, leave "Rendered Track" set to "Master."
Click "Normalize" to set the exported track to its maximum volume. Choose either "WAV" or "AIFF" as the export format from the "File Type" drop-down menu. WAV files are more common in a Windows environment, whereas Mac software tends to prefer AIFFs. Both operating systems, however, can support either format.
Choose a "Sample Rate" and a "Bit Depth" from the respective drop-down menus. For CD-quality audio, set the sample rate to "44100" and the bit depth to "16." If your set contains samples recorded at a higher quality than the bit depth to which you're exporting the set, choose either "Rectangular" or "Triangular" from the "Dither Options" menu; otherwise, leave this option set to "No Dither."
Click "OK." Type in a name for the exported audio and click "Save." Ableton renders the set to an audio waveform and exports it to the hard disk.
Start Ableton. Open a set containing MIDI tracks. Click on either a MIDI track or a MIDI clip within a track.
Click "File" followed by "Export MIDI Clip." Type in a name for the exported MIDI.
Click "Save." Ableton exports the MIDI clip or track to the hard disk.
Tips and warnings
- To select multiple MIDI clips for export, hold "Ctrl" and click each clip you want to export.
- If you're not sure which dither option to choose, use "No Dither."
- Rendered audio may occasionally contain artefacts or distortion. Listen to the exported file immediately after completing the process, and re-export it if necessary.
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