the complete animated, annotated guide to ableton live shortcuts - osx

10. commands for tracks 

within live's architecture, tracks are like little homes for audio & midi to live in. you want to be a good landlord & to stay on top of your workflow you'll want to know these shortcuts for speed.

insert audio track: cmd + t

insert audio track ableton live shortcut

I generally prefer to create new audio tracks by dragging new samples into the blank space in arrangement or session view. when you want your new clips in a specific spot, however, this shortcut shines as it will create one directly beneath the current selected track.

insert midi track: cmd + shift + t

insert midi clip osx ableton shortcut

just like audio but for midi, obviously. once again I recommend just drag & dropping midi instruments in blank space but this is needed for creating new tracks squeezed between the existing ones. think that scene in harry potter when they go to that secret hiding headquarters, you know the one.

insert return track: cmd + alt + t

insert return track ableton live shortcut how to

return tracks are dead useful but you won't be creating too many as your project goes as the number of returns tends to be fairly small & fixed. more to this point, I recommend saving your most commonly used return tracks into your default template.

rename selected track: cmd + r

rename ableton live shortcut

I've touted many times the importance of labeling. just like keyboard shortcuts, it will save you tiny amounts of time throughout your project/year/life that build up into a huge amount of waste. every moment you were able to tell what is contained in your track at a glance versus a listen or scan is time saved. also, if you name from the beginning, all the clips you create within the track will be named after it, adding further convenience & efficiency.

rename next track: tab

tab to rename next ableton live keyboard shortcut

tabbing through while renaming will make the process so much quicker. if you didn't know about this simple function, you've probably felt justified in avoiding organization & all the click click click that comes with it. tab will let you label everything in a jif so there's no longer excuse!

group selected tracks: cmd + g

group selected tracks OS X mac keyboard shortcut ableton live

I love taking advantage of grouping in live - it's like extremely fast & intuitive bussing. you can affect multiple tracks at once which is essential if your workflow includes a lot of multitracking like myself.

ungroup tracks: cmd + shift + g

ableton live shortcut ungroup grouped tracks mac osx

when you no longer want your tracks all buddied up. of course, all effects affecting the group will be lost, but if you want to preserve a compressor that was gluing the grouped tracks together, check out this guide.

show grouped tracks: +

show grouped tracks ableton live keyboard shortcuts mac osx

besides working like extremely quick sends, grouped tracks are nice because they can save screen real estate when necessary. if you want to dig into the tracks contained, this command will do exactly what the unfold button. if you're a keyboard navigational fiend, you'll need this one.

hide grouped tracks: -

collapse hide group osx

opposite of above, collapse a group track.

move nonadjacent tracks without collapsing: cmd + arrow down/up

move nonadjacent ableton live keyboard shortcuts mac osx

this will let you move multiple tracks around without gaps, regardless of spacing. of course, a drag & drop with the mouse will work with the exact same behavior so there aren't too many applications for this one.

arm/solo multiple tracks: cmd + click

exclusive arm exclusive solo ableton live keyboard shortcuts mac OS X best

the function of this shortcut will depend on your settings in the record/warp/launch section of the preferences. if you have exclusive arm and solo enabled, cmd (ctrl) + clicking these in the mixer will allow you to arm or solo multiple tracks. if exclusive arm and solo are not enabled, this will allow you to to simultaneously disarm or desolo all other tracks but the one you click. I prefer to have exclusive arm & solo off, but what works best for you will depend on your workflow. with either setting, this use of cmd will definitely be useful as a quick override of that setting.

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