How to Set Up a Mic on Ableton Live 8

Written by seamus islwyn
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How to Set Up a Mic on Ableton Live 8
Use a microphone stand for hands-free recording. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Hooking up a microphone to your computer allows you to record sung or spoken vocals into the Ableton Live 8 digital audio workstation. Once you've set up a mic, you can overdub vocals onto a backing track, apply effects to your voice or slice a vocal into a MIDI track. You can also use Ableton Live 8's built-in vocoder plug-in to modulate a synthesizer or carrier sample with your voice, thereby creating robotic vocals in the style of Kraftwerk or Daft Punk.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Plug the microphone into the "Mic" jack on your computer's sound card. Click the "Start" menu button, then "Control Panel." Click "Hardware and Sound," then click "Manage Audio Devices" in the "Sound" section.

  2. 2

    Click the "Recording" tab. Click the icon next to "Microphone." Click "Set Default," then "OK."

  3. 3

    Launch Ableton Live 8. Click "Options" in the top menu bar, then select "Preferences" from the menu. Click "Audio." If your sound card is not already enabled in Ableton, select it from the "Audio Device" drop-down menu button.

  4. 4

    Click "Input Config." If you're using a stereo microphone, click "1/2 (stereo)." If you have a mono microphone, or if you're not sure what kind of microphone you're using, click "1 (mono) & 2 (mono)." Click the "OK" button and close the "Preferences" window.

  5. 5

    Click the "Arm Session Recording" icon, which looks like a circle inside a rectangle, at the bottom of the audio track. Click the circle icon inside the first clip slot to start recording from the microphone. Adjust the track's volume slider to change the recording level.

  6. 6

    Press the spacebar to stop recording. Click the "Play" button inside the newly recorded clip to listen to the recording.

Tips and warnings

  • Leaving your computer speakers on while recording into a microphone can create feedback.

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