How To Set Up Audio Preferences In Ableton Live

Once you have chosen what type of audio card you will be using for Ableton Live and installed the drivers, it’s a good idea to make sure that your audio card is interfacing properly with Ableton.

In order to get to the Audio Preferences panel in Ableton Live, you’ll want to first go to “Options -> Preferences” as illustrated by the screen shot below:

After you’ve clicked preferences, you should be presented with this panel:

Now lets break down each section, so you have a better understanding of how to set up your audio preferences in Ableton Live:

Audio Device Section

  1. Driver Type – There are various driver types out there depending on your audio card. The most common you will run across include:
    • MME/DirectX – Window’s built-in driver
    • ASIO – The most common driver used with audio interfaces
    • Core Audio – Apple’s built in audio driver. Very low latency for onboard sound.
  2. Audio Device – This is where you will choose the audio device you would like to use with Ableton Live. In my case, I have installed the ASIO drivers which came bundled with my M-Audio Firewire Solo and chosen that as my primary sound device.
  3. Channel Configuration – Click on the “Input Config” to enable or disable inputs on your audio interface. It is recommended to only enable inputs you will be using, this will help to reduce the load on your CPU.

    The “Output Config” is handled the same way as your “Input Config”, just enable or disable the outputs you would like to route from Ableton to an external source. There are many routing possibilities you can use here; as an example you can set up a separate cue mix for a DJ setup. The same goes for unused outputs taking a hit on your CPU.

  4. Hardware Setup – Clicking on this button will bring up the options menu specific to the audio driver and device you have selected. For example, the M-Audio Firewire Solo has it’s own options panel outside of Ableton Live, this option will open that panel.

4 thoughts on “How To Set Up Audio Preferences In Ableton Live”

  1. Is there any way to force the ASIO driver setting when Ableton starts up?

    I use Ableton without a screen, keyboard, or mouse, which can work, but if Ableton starts before I’ve got my USB interface plugged in it will disable the ASIO driver and requires a screen to select it again.

  2. To whom it may concern,

    I just installed suite 8 and downloaded the ASIO driver…and have followed all instructions for that sound card. However, when I drop an instrument into the midi section I see things going on, but I have not sound. I DID have sound when I was setting up the audio preferences and using the TEST TONE, but I hear nothing regarding the instruments. I have a feeling it’s how the internal mixer section within Abelton is set up. I have looked everywhere on the web for a tutorial on how to set up the Audio From/Audio To area, but cannot find anything. I’m beginning an online class soon with Dubspot and I would like to use the software a bit. Could you please point me in the right direction for clear, basic instructions on how to set up this part of Abelton?

    Thank you,

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