How to Set Up a Mic on Ableton Live 8

Updated March 23, 2017

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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


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

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About the Author

Seamus Islwyn has been writing for radio, print and online publications since 2003, covering subjects from independent Canadian music to automobile smuggling in the Balkans. His work has appeared in the "Tirana Times" in Albania, and he also composes and produces electronic music. Islwyn holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from McGill University and a certificate in radio broadcasting from Humber College.