5 Ableton features you need to know

Picture of Post by distilled noise

Post by distilled noise

I make house music, I share tips for house music producers on YT and Patreon.

Hi friend,

this Tuesday I wanna tell you about 5 Ableton features that most people are not aware about.

If you know about all 5 of them, congrats, you know your tools.

If some of those are new to you, I’m glad you learned something new today.

So what are those features?

Let’s start from the simple ones:

1 – Additional packs: Ableton license comes with tons of additional packs (not included in the basic installation) that you can download from the website or straight from the app menu. Loads of inspiring instruments, samples and effects.

Ableton additional packs tab.

2 – Quick guide: on the lower left corner of the Ableton window there is a little triangle. If you click on it, the quick guide appears. Hover with your mouse on any knob/parameter and you will see a brief explanation of what it does. This feature is super handy for knowing a bit more about some Live functions without having to look for it on the manual.

Ableton Info view.

Let’s move to some more advanced feature:

3 – Hot swapping grooves: no one of the users I gave tuition to knew about this feature. The hot swap function is a little button (arrows in circle) on every Live device that allows you to quickly test different presets/devices. Now, this function can also be used with grooves, allowing to change the groove setting on every single MIDI or Audio clip of your project with just one click. Open the “groove pool” and find the hot swap button next to the groove you are using, select a different groove from the menu, and listen how it sounds. If you don’t know what the groove pool is, well, you need to watch my latest video on You Tube. Find the link lower in this email.

Groove Pool and the Hot Swap button.

4 – Creating defaults: creating defaults saves you a lot of time on basic operations, like setting the EQ to your favorite init settings or putting the same basic effects chain on a new track (in my case: EQ, Filter, Utility). Set a device in your favorite way then right click on it and “Save setting as default preset”. Same thing after you loaded a certain chain of devices on a track: right click on the track and “Save this track as default Audio/MIDI track”. But you can create even more advanced defaults, like for when you drag a sample on a MIDI track or on a drum rack.

Default setting creation on Eq Eight.

5 – Saving MIDI clips: this feature allows you not only to save a MIDI pattern, but also the Instrument that you have on that MIDI track and all the effects chain. If you have a simpler, you also save the sample loaded on it. All of this simply dragging and dropping the MIDI clip from the project to a folder of your choice in the Ableton Live menu.

Drag and drop the MIDI clip in a folder.

To go more in depth on these features, I suggest to watch my latest You Tube video.


Every month I share a project on Patreon, made with Ableton Live 10, only with stock instruments.

This month I wanted to do a reconstruction of a 90’s house track. It came out so close! Check yourself:

Orignal Mix:


My reconstruction (preview):

If you are reading this post later than July 2023, find the project on my website.


1 – How to create Ethereal Pads

This YT video by Thought-Forms gained almost 50k views in 9 days. It shows an amazing technique to create pads for ambient soundscapes.

2 – Three tips to find your own sound

From my video archive on You Tube, my advices on how to look for and find your sound. Watch it here.


Here I share what I’ve been listening to lately both from the house music world and from every other genre.

I will keep feeding this section of my newsletter, with the hope you enjoy it.


Well, I’ll share again the track I reconstructed, cause I love it and you should listen to it: Matron 3000 – Matron 3000 (Original Mix)


Aereo – Vincent Delerm (Spotify)
I love how they recorded the noise of the fingers on the keyboard while it was played.