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

9. arrangement view commands 

I'm a big fan of arrangement view. I often refer to it as the greatest sequencer of all time because that's what I believe it is - incredibly detailed & robust, yet simple enough to do basic arrangements. the minimalist layout is pleasing to look at & leaves many of the best features just under the hood, often accessible with these shortcuts:

split clip at selection: cmd + e

cmd e split clip important best ableton live shortcut

one of the best tools, whatever the audio you're working with. I split clips all the time in order to automate volume but it's just as useful for creating variation & derivatives out of a loop, color coding sections, & endless other uses. when you're all done & ready to rejoin...

consolidate selection into clip: cmd + j

consolidate selection best ableton shortcut

consolidate. what a joy. truly one of my favorite audio production tools. there are gobs of ways to use this creatively: you can split clips into new loops, "render" out a warp setting or transposition modulation, etc. one thing that you should never forget is you can consolidate silence. so if you load in a kick & want it to loop on the quarter note, you can consolidate the tiny clip containing the sample & silence up to the next beat to have a kick drum sample that lasts exactly one quarter note long. just note that a newly consolidated clip will default to unlooped so just press that loop button & you're good to go!

create fade/crossfade: cmd + alt + f

create fade/crossfade osx ableton live shortcut how to

we're really on a role in this section. fades are so important... you'll often need a slight fade at the beginning or end of a clip if the endpoints aren't on a zero-crossing, & I love to crossfade to smoothly blend between two different amplitudes when I'm using split clips to automate volume, but the uses are myriad & in many ways obvious - the shortcut itself is all that may be elusive.

loop selection: cmd + l

loop selection arrangement mode ableton live shortcut

a lovely shortcut for use with all that's talked about in the loop bracket section, it's so speedy to simply loop what's selected - definitely a shortcut for the efficiency expert.

insert silence: cmd + i

insert silence ableton live keyboard shortcut

woof. another banger. insert silence can really help you get creative with your arrangement & just give you extra space to work in. the beatles famously used to drop in odd half bars or extra beats to create odd time signatures or build extra anticipation before a chorus & insert time can help you do these kinds of things quickly in live.

pan left/right of selection: cmd + alt

pan arrangement view OS X mac keyboard shortcut ableton live

I mostly like to click & drag the ruler to navigate my arrangement, but this simple shortcut will let you drag around your arrangement from anywhere. very handy when you're on a zoom.

unfold all tracks: alt + click (unfold)

ableton live shortcut unfold all tracks mac osx

the deeper you get into a project, the harder it becomes to navigate vertically. by holding down alt & clicking the fold arrow, all tracks will collapse. the same process works in reverse if you want all your tracks to unfold.

scroll display to follow playback: cmd + shift + f

scroll display follow playback osx ableton live keyboard shortcuts mac osx

this is a useful feature if you want to examine your track in detail as you play it. as soon as you interact with live in some way, it will disengage from following, so keep that in mind.

drag clips into arrangement mode ableton live individual clips shortcut