There’s just one browser in Live 9. It’s divided into 2 sections—on the left is a sidebar, containing two sections—Categories and Places. On the right is the ‘content pane’ where…

Ableton Live Browser

Ableton Live Browser

There’s just one browser in Live 9. It’s divided into 2 sections—on the left is a sidebar, containing two sections—Categories and Places. On the right is the ‘content pane’ where you find all the sub-menus. It’s still accessed via cmd alt B, but try cmd F and then ▼ instead, as this gives you focus on the browser. Just use cmd alt B for closing the browser.

The new Browser in Live 9

The new Browser in Live 9

Cmd F will open the browser and (crucially) focus on the search bar. Then if you then hit ▼, you shift focus to the content pane. This saves you reaching for the mouse/trackpad. You can then navigate around with your arrow keys, and the ►◀ keys will open and close folders, as well as take you from the sidebar to the content pane. Whichever item you select on in the sidebar opens a sub-menu to the right. To load an item into a selected or new track in Live, just hit the enter key.

Quick tip – if you are going to open and close the browser with a mouse or trackpad, you can click anywhere on the left of Live, below the actual Browser button and above the groove pool button, to open it, and double click on it’s right hand edge to close it.

Categories

Categories in Live 9's new Browser

This is where all the Ableton stuff can be found. Categories is divided into categories – Sounds, Drums, Instruments, Audio Effects, Midi Effects, Max for Live, Plugins, Clips and Samples. Each has an icon to make finding the right one quicker, so it’s worth memorising them. The principle here is that you are browsing by type (category) rather than where they are in the Library.

Places

Places in Live 9's New Browser

This is the section for your personal folders. It contains your Packs, User Library, Live 8 Library and Current Project. You cannot browse your whole hard drive as in Live 8, you must select folders to appear. I added my Samples folder and was a bit confused because only a couple of packs showed up, and then they all showed up, but not all the subfolders. To be fair, expecting 30GB to load in a couple of seconds is asking a bit much! Just give it a few hours (you only do it the once en masse) and they’ll all appear. Next I loaded up my Live Projects folder, Music, and Midi. The locations of the User Library, Packs and Live 8 Library are set in Preferences: Library.

Setting Live 9's library preferences

Searching (cmd F)

searching the browser in Live 9

A search filters whichever Category is selected. Notice how the highlight colour changes. Unlike the Live 8 browser, which could take several minutes, a search for a common sample like kick will be instantaneous, even if you search your personal samples folder or the everything category. You can click through the other sections to see what kicks show up there as well, and the searches will again be instantaneous. For instance, if you look in Audio Effects, you will see kick presets for EQ8 and Compressor. If you look in Places: Samples (your personal samples, if you’ve put them there), your kicks will be organised in sample packs, i.e. each sample pack will just show kicks. This is very cool. Searching can take a while at first, but it becomes very fast after a couple of times.

Multisamples

To import a multisample that’s not specifically for Sampler, try to drag in a Kontakt patch. It will appear in Places:User Library:Sampler:Imports. Now double click to load and check the root notes are correct. If not, amend and re-save.

Auditioning

At the time of writing there is a controversial aspect to auditioning loops—when you click on something else in Live, the audition stops. This is a feature not a bug. However Ableton are considering it. You can get around the volume aspect of this problem by mapping the preview volume to hardware. This way, at least you can tweak the audition volume without the sample stopping.

You can now preview presets (not user created ones though) of instruments like Operator now as well as audio. The browser will play a C3.

Using your Live 8 Library, racks etc

This may change, but at the time of writing, here is what to do. You can specify the location of your Live 8 Library in Places. Also you can specify a User Library, and an installation folder for packs. Most people will want to retain the ability to use Live 8 separately for some time yet, for example if using software that’s not adapted to Live 9 yet such as Isotonik 8 for DJs. Much of the stuff in the Live 8 library is missing from the Live 9 Core Library. The idea was to keep the download small. So to use them just get them via the Live 8 Library and re-save. They will appear in the Live 9 locations as explained below. There will be a Live 8 Legacy Pack coming eventually.

Library locations for Live 9

using Live 8 Library in Ableton Live 9

The Live 8 Folder in Places has been made read-only, so you shouldn’t be able to make them unusable (by changing them in 9). However, personally I would advise that for now you save racks etc in 9 under a new name, eg “AUD 9”, so as to be sure the original is untouched and can therefore still be used in Live 8. This also helps you identify which is for 8 and which is for 9. You may not want to bother, it’s up to you. It’s just me playing on the safe side. Basically you can use racks etc created in 8 in Live 9, but not the other way round.

renaming Live 8 presets in Live 9

So, you can load an old rack (eg AUD) from Places: Live8 Library, and save it with a new name. The new version should be located in Live 9’s browser in the Instruments Category, under Instrument Racks, at the bottom of the list…

new rack saves in Categories in Live 9-2

…and also in Places: User Library.

New rack saved in Live in in User Places

You can create your own sub-folders, but they won’t show up in Categories at the moment.

Subfolder in Live 9's new User library

Content

Ableton have split things up in Live 9. The basic library is called Core Library and appears in Packs. User-created content appears in the User Library. Third party packs and Max content show in Packs. Additionally, everything from Ableton or saved in Live 9 appears in one or more of the Categories.

An Ableton Instrument Rack preset will show in:

Places: Core Library: Sounds

Categories: Sounds

Categories: Instruments: Instrument Rack

Categories: All Results.

A rack saved in Live 9 it will appear in:

Places: User Library: Presets: Instruments: Instrument Rack

Categories: Instruments: Instrument Rack

Categories: All results

Racks made in Live 8 will only appear in:

Places: Live 8 Library: Presets: Instruments: Instrument Rack

How to get User Presets from your User Library to show in the Sounds Category

You can get your saved presets to show in the Sounds Category. Just make sure they are within a folder with the same name as a Sounds category, eg Bass or Brass. If necessary just create a folder with the right name in your User Library. Don’t use subfolders if you want to do this as they will stop the presets showing in Sounds. Actually you can, if you do it the right way. A preset must be directly in a folder with the ‘right’ name. So Minimoog: Bass: Minimoog1 would show, but Bass: Minimoog: Minimoog1 would not.

Suppose you have an Analog Bass sound. Let’s say for simplicity you made it from scratch. Save it. Call it kdf bass. It will show in User Library under Analog. Now right click the Analog folder and select ‘New Folder’. Rename this Bass. Drag kdf bass in. Now it will show in the Sounds Category Bass section. Note – it might show at the bottom of the category (unless you search) rather than in alphabetical order. The list of names and location is shown below. If you’re brave and/or knowledgeable, you can try hacking it to create now categories, but personally I wouldn’t risk it!

How to get a User Preset to show in Sounds category in Live 9

List of names you can use for User Folders so presets will show in the Sounds Category:

Macintosh HD:Applications:Ableton Live 9 ALPHA.app:Contents:App-Resources:Core Library:Ableton Folder Info:VirtualFolders.cfg

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>

<Ableton MajorVersion=”4″ MinorVersion=”9.0_299″ SchemaChangeCount=”5″ Creator=”Ableton Live 9.0b36″>
<VirtualFolderConfig>
<Groups>

<VirtualFolderGroup GroupName=”Sounds”>
<Folders>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Ambient &amp; Evolving” Patterns=”Ambient &amp; Evolving, Ambient, Evolving”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Bass” Patterns=”Bass, Basses, Synth Bass”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Brass” Patterns=”Brass, Horns, Bass Trombone, Brass Ensemble, French Horn, Trombone , Trumpet, Tuba”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Effects” Patterns=”Effects, FX, Special-FX, Special Effects”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Exotic” Patterns=”Exotic”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Experimental” Patterns=”Experimental”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Guitar &amp; Plucked” Patterns=”Guitar &amp; Plucked, Plucked, Guitar, Guitar Amped, Guitar Clean, Harp”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Mallets” Patterns=”Mallets, Crotales, Glockenspiel, Marimba, Suspended Cymbal,  Timpani, Tubular Bells, Vibraphone, Xylophone”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Percussive” Patterns=”Percussive, Percussives”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Piano &amp; Keys” Patterns=”Piano &amp; Keys”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Strings” Patterns=”Strings, Cello, Double Bass, Strings Ensemble, Viola, Violin”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Synth Keys” Patterns=”Synth Keys”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Synth Lead” Patterns=”Synth Lead”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Synth Misc” Patterns=”Synth Misc, Synth”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Pad” Patterns=”Synth Pad, Pad, Pads”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Synth Rhythmic” Patterns=”Synth Rhythmic”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Vintage” Patterns=”Vintage”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Voices” Patterns=”Voices, Voice”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Winds” Patterns=”Winds, Woodwinds, Alto Flute, Alto Sax, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Clarinet, Concert Flute, Contra Bassoon, English Horn, Oboe, Piccolo, Woodwinds Ensemble”/>
</Folders>
</VirtualFolderGroup>

<VirtualFolderGroup GroupName=”Synths”>
<Folders>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Ambient &amp; Evolving” Patterns=”Ambient &amp; Evolving, Ambient, Evolving”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Bass” Patterns=”Bass, Basses, Synth Bass”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Brass” Patterns=”Brass, Horns, Bass Trombone, Brass Ensemble, French Horn, Trombone , Trumpet, Tuba”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Components” Patterns=”Components”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Effects” Patterns=”Effects, FX, Special-FX, Special Effects”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Exotic” Patterns=”Exotic”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Experimental” Patterns=”Experimental”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Guitar &amp; Plucked” Patterns=”Guitar &amp; Plucked, Plucked, Guitar, Guitar Amped, Guitar Clean, Harp”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Mallets” Patterns=”Mallets, Crotales, Glockenspiel, Marimba, Suspended Cymbal,  Timpani, Tubular Bells, Vibraphone, Xylophone”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Percussive” Patterns=”Percussive, Percussives”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Piano &amp; Keys” Patterns=”Piano &amp; Keys”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Strings” Patterns=”Strings, Cello, Double Bass, Strings Ensemble, Viola, Violin”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Synth Keys” Patterns=”Synth Keys”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Synth Lead” Patterns=”Synth Lead”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Synth Misc” Patterns=”Synth Misc, Synth”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Pad” Patterns=”Synth Pad, Pad, Pads”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Synth Rhythmic” Patterns=”Synth Rhythmic”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Templates” Patterns=”Templates”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Vintage” Patterns=”Vintage”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Voices” Patterns=”Voices, Voice”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Winds” Patterns=”Winds, Woodwinds, Alto Flute, Alto Sax, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Clarinet, Concert Flute, Contra Bassoon, English Horn, Oboe, Piccolo, Woodwinds Ensemble”/>
</Folders>
</VirtualFolderGroup>

<VirtualFolderGroup GroupName=”Drums”>
<Folders>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Bell” Patterns=”Bell, Bells, Belltree, Bell Tree, Jingle Bell, Chime, Chimes, Triangle, Triangles, Agogo, Agogos, Cowbell, Cowbells”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Bongo” Patterns=”Bongo, Bongos”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Clap” Patterns=”Clap, Claps”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Conga” Patterns=”Conga, Congas, Quinto, Quintos, Tumba, Tumbas”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Cymbal” Patterns=”Cymbal, Cymbals, Crash, Crash Cymbal, Crash Cymbals, Splash, Splash Cymbal, Splash Cymbals, China, Finger Cymbal, Finger Cymbals, Gong, Gongs”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Hihat” Patterns=”Hihat, Hihats, HiHat, HiHats, Hi-hat, Hi-hats, Hi-Hat, Hi-Hats, High-Hat, High Hat, High-hat, High hat, High Hat, HH, hh, Charleston Machine,
Hihats Closed, Hihats Close, Hihats Open, Hihats Opened, HiHats Closed, HiHats Close, HiHats Open, HiHats Opened,
Hi-hats Closed, Hi-hats Close, Hi-hats Open, Hi-hats Opened, Hi-Hats Closed, Hi-Hats Close, Hi-Hats Open, Hi-Hats Opened,
Hats Closed, Hats Close, Hats Open, Hats Opened,
Closed Hihats, Close Hihats, Open Hihats, Opened Hihats, Closed HiHats, Close HiHats, Open HiHats, Opened HiHats,
Closed Hi-hats, Close Hi-hats, Open Hi-hats, Opened Hi-hats, Closed Hi-Hats, Close Hi-Hats, Open Hi-Hats, Opened Hi-Hats,
Closed Hihat, Close Hihat, Open Hihat, Closed HiHat, Close HiHat, Open HiHat,
Closed Hi-hat, Close Hi-hat, Open Hi-hat, Closed Hi-Hat, Close Hi-Hat, Open Hi-Hat,
Closed Hats, Open Hats, Closed Hat, Open Hat”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Kick” Patterns=”Bass Drum, Bass Drums, BD, Kick, Kicks, Kick Drum”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Misc Percussion” Patterns=”Percussion, Percussions, Hand Drum, Electronic Percussion, E-Percussion, Synth Percussion, Synth Perc, Synthetic Percussion, Combo Hits, Cuica, Cuicas, Finger Snip, Finger Snap, Samba Whstl, Surdo”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Ride” Patterns=”Ride, Rides, Ride Cymbal, Ride Cymbals”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Rim” Patterns=”Rim, Rimclick, Rim Click, Sidestick, Side Stick”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Shaker” Patterns=”Shaker, Shakers, Cabasa, Caxixi, Maracas”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Snare” Patterns=”Snare, Snares, Snare Drum, Snare Drums, SD”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Snare Articulation” Patterns=”Snare Articulation, Snare Press, Snare Roll, Snare Rolls”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Tambourine” Patterns=”Tambourine, Tambourin, Tamb, Tamborine, Pandeiro, Tmbourim, Tmbourin”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Timbales” Patterns=”Timbales, Timbale, Timb, “/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Tom” Patterns=”Tom, Toms, Tom-Tom, Tom-Toms”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Wood” Patterns=”Wood, Wooden, Clave, Claves, Castagnet, Castagnets, Guiro, Guiros, Castanet, Castanets, Vibraslap”/>
</Folders>
</VirtualFolderGroup>

<VirtualFolderGroup GroupName=”AudioFx”>
<Folders>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Amp Simulation” Patterns=”Amp Simulation”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Mixing &amp; Mastering” Patterns=”Mixing &amp; Mastering, Basic Mixing”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Modulation &amp; Rhythmic” Patterns=”Modulation &amp; Rhythmic”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Performance &amp; DJ” Patterns=”Performance &amp; DJ”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Space” Patterns=”Space, Reverb, Delay”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Hall” Patterns=”Hall”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Room” Patterns=”Room”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Special” Patterns=”Special”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Drums” Patterns=”Drums”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Filter” Patterns=”Filter”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Formant” Patterns=”Formant”/>
<VirtualFolder Name=”Instrument” Patterns=”Instrument”/>
</Folders>
</VirtualFolderGroup>

<VirtualFolderGroup GroupName=”MidiFx”>
<Folders>
</Folders>
</VirtualFolderGroup>

</Groups>
</VirtualFolderConfig>
</Ableton>

‘Sounds Project’

This is an idea I read at 365 Live Tips, could be worth a try. Create a new set, save it as a new Project somewhere safe eg Documents, and name it ‘Sounds’ or similar. Make it a Place and delete the .als, so you just have a folder. You can make subfolders in here. You can drag stuff in from your songs, just make sure preferences is set to ‘always’ or ‘ask’ so everything gets saved. Live will store presets, clips etc here for you.

Making things show up in searches

I experimented with a hihat sample that wasn’t showing up in All Results in a search for hat. It was called VEH3 Closed Hihats 001.wav. These didn’t show up in All Results, but capitalising the second h in Hihat to HiHat on one of them did make it show up there.

Founder of MacAbleton.com