The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Ableton Live 11 Lite: Recording Audio Clips

Ableton Live is a JACKDAW that doesn’t need to be introduced, and its combination of performance and production features means it’s as popular with artists and DJs as it is with creators.

Live 11 Lite is a scaled-down version of Ableton Live, with all the essential workflows, instruments and effects, but with a limited number of tracks, and for many years this has come with hardware applications and products. This month you can get a free copy of Ableton Live 11 Lite with the latest issue of Computer Music Magazine.

To mark this momentous occasion and also to help you get started using this fabulous software, we have put together a series of tutorials that present everything you need to get started with Ableton Live 11 Lite, so that you can learn how to create a track from stripe.

Our tutorials are primarily intended for new users, but that said, we will also point out some of the new features that you will find in Live 11 Lite, so even if you have used Live Lite before, there may be a few things you need to do. learn here.

Finally, while Live 11 Lite is great software, there are more complete versions of Ableton Live available at Ableton website. So let’s create in Live 11 Lite!


ableton live 11 lite

(Image credit: Ableton)

Step 1: Session View can handle audio as well, and while you might not want to record a full vocal performance this way, it’s ideal for capturing smaller portions of audio. Here we are going to add two audio parts, a guitar riff and a shaker. Both parts will be mono, so to start off we select a single input (input 1 for us) on the track.

ableton live 11 lite

(Image credit: Ableton)

2nd step: With our source plugged in, we can activate the Auto Monitor option on the track. Select the Save button and get ready to save. We want a countdown as well, so head over to the top bar of the app and next to the time signature choose the drop-down menu and select the required countdown. We chose a bar.

ableton live 11 lite

(Image credit: Ableton)

Step 3: To start recording a new audio clip, just click the Record button in an empty clip slot. Once you’ve recorded your part, hit Stop on the main transport and you’ll see your audio in the Sample Editor at the bottom.

ableton live 11 lite

(Image credit: Ableton)

Step 4: Although we recorded an entire 8 bar section, when replaying we decided to loop only bars 3 and 4, so the first thing to do is set those loop points. As before, we can do this using the loop settings, or just dragging the markers in the clip display to create a loop brace.

ableton live 11 lite

(Image credit: Ableton)

Step 5: Our 2 bar guitar riff sounds great, but we can tighten up the timing by shifting a few notes. It’s incredibly easy in Live Lite, and creating new “distortion markers” is as easy as double-clicking in the marker area above the waveform. You can see the orange chain markers and we’ve adjusted them to improve the timing.

ableton live 11 lite

(Image credit: Ableton)

Step 6: It is important to note that Live Lite incorporates various different time stretching algorithms. Using the warp markers to fix the timing of the guitar part makes use of this and it is important that you use whichever sounds best. You’ll find it to the left of the Sample Editor and we’ve opted for the Complex Pro setting.

ableton live 11 lite

(Image credit: Ableton)

Step 7: When we recorded our guitar riff, we actually did two different versions, a low octave and a high octave. We are now going to edit the upper octave in the same way. Again, the timing was adjusted using the chain markers and an appropriate time stretching algorithm selected.

ableton live 11 lite

(Image credit: Ableton)

Step 8: Now let’s register the shaker. Select the next audio track and assign the input. We have our mic connected to input 2, so for us it’s input 2. As before, activate the Record Arm button at the bottom, select an empty clip and start recording by clicking on its Record button.

ableton live 11 lite

(Image credit: Ableton)

Step 9: Again, we’ve picked a few bars that we like and set our loop points accordingly. The timing could be a bit better, but this time we’re going to use quantize to fix it. Select a 2 bar section and open the quantize dialog as before. Here we have selected 1 / 16th and only 80% to leave an impression.

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