Ableton Live: Housekeeping via the File Manager Part 1

When working on music, you quite often deal with big file sizes and lots of files can get accumulated rather quickly. Sure, computer hard drives offer increasingly more space, but as with anything, some tidying up becomes necessary and should be done routinely. Of course, you don't want to do this while being creative and in the flow. And you don't need to. There are some neat functions included in the File Manager for the housekeeping in Live.

Locating and Collecting Files

You might already know that with Live's File Manager you can locate missing samples and collect them into your current Live Set. If not, I've already explained this in a tutorial. However, you can also do this for more than just a Live Set so you can choose which files to perform the housekeeping on and with a few clicks let Live do most of the work for you while you can wander off to do other things.

The Live Library

Choose 'Manage Files' from the File menu, then click on 'Manage Library'.

The current Live Project

Choose 'Manage Files' from the File menu, then click on 'Manage Project'.

Any Live Project

Right-click (Win) or Ctrl-click (Mac) on a Project in the Live Browser and choose the 'Manage Project' command from the context menu.

All Projects within a folder (and its subfolders)

Right-click (Win) or Ctrl-click (Mac) on a folder in the Live Browser and choose the 'Manage All Projects' command from the context menu.

Any selection of Live Sets, Live Clips or Presets

Highlight and right-click (Win) or Ctrl-click (Mac) on the files in the Live Browser and choose the 'Manage Files' command from the context menu.

Depending on how many files you've chosen to perform the housekeeping on, the process of Live scanning everything might take quite some time. Now you can locate Missing Files as described here, or collect External Files into whatever you've chosen.

  1. Click the triangle next to External Files to unfold its options. If external files are used, their number in each category will be displayed - Library, other Projects or elsewhere.
  2. Click 'Show' to see the external files from each location in Live's Browser.
  3. Activate the 'Collect into Project' from the desired locations.

Once you're done, don't forget to click on 'Collect and Save' at the bottom of the File Manager to save all changes.

Continue to housekeeping tutorial part 2.

Anything to ask or add? Let me know. :)

By | 2017-02-02T20:23:05+00:00 January 9th, 2013|Ableton Live Tutorials|3 Comments

About the Author:

Madeleine Bloom is a musician, producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer from Berlin. She studied Electroacoustic Music at the Franz Liszt Conservatory. In the last few years she's worked as a technical support for Ableton and has helped countless people with her in-depth knowledge of Ableton Live, various other music apps as well as audio engineering.

3 Comments

  1. michael September 17, 2013 at 08:22 - Reply

    Hi Madeline,
    I am a new member.
    Love your site’
    You are a born teacher!(I say this as someone who taught at a university
    for many years).

    I am interested in the housekeeping tutorial to
    rescue me from the chaos I have created with my live files.

    But In Live 9 I do not seem able to enter the manage projects or
    manage files command from the browser.

    Any suggestions
    Thanks
    Michael Fibonacci

    • Madeleine September 17, 2013 at 11:39 - Reply

      Thanks for your praise. Unfortunately these functions are gone in the new Live 9 browser and as it seems without an adequate replacement elsewhere. You can only go through all of your Live Sets or Projects separately for some housekeeping.

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