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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Ableton Live 2017 > The Lazy Guide to Ableton Live – Preset and sample busting

The Lazy Guide to Ableton Live – Preset and sample busting

It’s another installment of our Lazy Guide to Live. This time around we detail how to carry on being lazy with Live by disguising those synth presets and samples and how, with just a few simple tricks, you can easily call them your own…

Ableton Live A Lazy Guide

Level Beginner

Welcome to our world of Live laziness, but don’t feel bad about entering it as all of us technology users are inherently lazy – that’s what technology does to us. It takes the slog out of doing ‘stuff’; it’s just in our case, that ‘stuff’ is music. DAWS like Ableton Live are sitting at the very cutting edge of music technology and are here to take the strain out of music making so, really, you’re on a bit of a lazy tip already, admit it!

However, this tutorial is designed to take even more strain out of using Live. You may think it’s easy enough already but we’re here to guide you through some tips and techniques that you may be unaware of that will help make your compositions better. Ok easier…

It’s not the first time we’ve embarked on a course of slothful DAW use. In the last Ableton Live Focus (issue 44 available from we introduced Templates and the Virtual keyboard; got creative with clips; and then moved onto Follow Actions and Clip Automation. Those are standalone guides and you needn’t have read them to follow this one – each of our Lazy Guides has tutorials that work completely on their own.

You might think that Ableton Live is easy enough to use already but this tutorial is designed to make it even easier


You know that bit in the main text where we said that you didn’t need to have read our first Lazy Guide to do this one? Well we were stretching the truth… a little. In that tutorial we discussed Templates and how useful it is to have a Live Template loaded up with all of your favourite instruments and effects placed across various tracks. As one of our Lazy tutorials concerns them this time around, here’s a brief recap on how to set a Template up in Live if you don’t already follow this easy practice. So start a project from scratch, fill it up with your most used instruments and effects. You can even have a selection of beats loaded in there too – whatever you want basically. Then select Live’s Preferences and go to the File Folder tab. Check Save Current Set as Default and there you have it, whenever you load Live up this set will come with it…

MTF Step-by-Step 1. Easy preset busting

01 Looks it’s our new Template File – aptly called Live 2017. Templates are great but after a while those sounds can become a little tedious…
02 We’re going to change some of our favourite presets fast so we can still keep using our Template File but have options to quickly change its contents. The first overused sound comes from FM7…
03 It’s a pad sound and to quickly make it ours we’re going to add a Resonator effect – these will be good to change any pad sound. Try the first one, called Berlin, for size.…
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About MusicTech

Ableton Live can truly become the hub of your music making set-up whatever you use, be it hardware, iOS or software. We have tutorials to help you make the most of it in any situation plus features on freeware, mastering and mobile music making. WORKSHOPS: Making the most of the Sine wave - Create with this versatile wave Integrate Live with your iOS devices - for control and music Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release - what ADSR can do for you INTERVIEWS: Highasakite Stoni Apothek