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Prepare a recording project in Ableton Live 9

Hi, I am Julien Nicault from Annecy, France. I am following the Coursera class “Introduction to music production”. In this post, I’ll teach how to prepare a project in my DAW, Ableton Live 9, using the project checklist from the material as a guideline, as part of the second week assessment.

1 Proper project name and location

The first thing would be to create a new project in a proper hard drive location, so that all files related to the project will be easily identifiable. In ableton, create a new project using the menu File > New Live Set, then, save the file to the project to the desired location using the menu File > Save Live Set As, choose the desired location, and select a proper name for the Live set file (with .als extension). In the directory you selected; live created a subdirectory named like your project, all your project files will be placed there in subdirectories.

2 Digital Audio Preferences

In live preferences, in the “Audio” tab, select which audio interface to use as input and output.

3 Recording File Type

In live preferences, in the “Record Warp Launch” tab, select your recording file type, AIFF or WAV, usually, AIFF is preferred on Mac, while WAV is preferred on Windows.

4 Hardware settings

In live preferences, in the “Audio” tab, set the sampling rate of your sound card, if possible choose 48000 KHz, as this will make your recordings more compliant with other softwares, like video editing.

And the sampling word length, the word length !also called resolution) should be at least 16 bit, 24 bit is better change it in the live preferences, in the “Record Warp Launch” tab.

5 Buffer Size

Select the buffer size, in samples, the bigger the buffer size, the longer the latency, but this will give more processing power.

So for recording, it is better to choose a buffer size as low as possible (128 samples), so you get as little latency as possible for monitoring. And eventually raise that buffer size to a bigger number when you’re done recording, so you have more power to add effects and processing.

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