Ableton Live Tutorial: Pre-analysing Audio for DJ Sets

Any audio files first need to be analysed when you import them into Live. If you drag and drop long or a lot of samples into a Live Set at once, this might take quite a while. Not only does it take away time you could use for making music, if you add songs while playing a DJ set, you really can't wait around much.

Luckily it's possible to pre-analyse audio files. During the analysis, Live will create an additional file, the analysis file. It will be saved in the same location as the audio file it refers to and it has the same name with an added .asd extension. Analysis files store data about the audio sample to ensure a good stretching quality, faster waveform display and tempo detection in long samples. A clip's default settings can also be stored in it.

How to pre-analyse multiple audio files:

  1. Use Live's File Browser to navigate to the folder containing the files to be analysed.
  2. Right-click (Win) or Ctrl-click (Mac) on the folder, then choose "Analyze Audio" from the context-menu.

Easy enough, isn't it? Any questions or remarks? Hit me with a comment. :)

There are plenty more Ableton Live tutorials where this one came from.

By |2017-02-02T20:22:50+00:00January 21st, 2013|Ableton Live Tutorials|13 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.


  1. Manuel April 4, 2013 at 19:27 - Reply

    How to accomplish the same thing but in LIVE 9?

    • Madeleine April 4, 2013 at 19:35 - Reply

      Even though it says in the Live 9 manual that it works the same way, there seems to be no way to pre-analyse files at all.

      • +ru- March 31, 2015 at 03:50

        Hey Madeline, great little tip. It’s also good to note that users of Ableton 9 can still use this trick with Live 8, even if it is unauthorized. Just load the program into demo mode (by clicking the no internet connection/later button splayed upon the startup dialogues) and follow your aforementioned instructions. When you head back to Ableton 9, your analysis files should be hanging around, ready to do work.

        Hope this helps out!


      • Madeleine March 31, 2015 at 14:45

        Thanks for the workaround tip. Not very elegant, but it does the job. I’m wondering when Ableton will finally re-implement the feature in Live 9.

  2. George VP August 19, 2013 at 15:29 - Reply

    Hello … I am looking for this feature in Ableton Live 9. Could you help me in this one please ? . Thank you

    • Madeleine August 19, 2013 at 15:39 - Reply

      I’m afraid they forgot to implement it in the overhauled browser in Live 9. I’d suggest you contact Ableton about it so they can hopefully quickly rectify this oversight. In the meantime, you can simply drag and drop all the files into an empty Live Set that you need to be analysed.

  3. Hauke January 11, 2014 at 18:28 - Reply

    Hab auch gerade bemerkt, dass die Funktion bei Live 9 nicht vorhanden ist. Hoffentlich kommt das noch.

  4. kevin January 14, 2014 at 17:19 - Reply

    Is it possible to display the tempo’s of the analyzed audio prior to importing?


    • Madeleine January 14, 2014 at 23:59 - Reply

      Not in Live, no or in the file info. Live will take the tempo of the first file though… There should be apps though that can analyse the tempo so you could name the file accordingly.

  5. mp3 March 5, 2014 at 19:57 - Reply

    I bought a midi workstation. Now what software do I need to record songs on my computer?

    • Madeleine March 6, 2014 at 22:03 - Reply

      Any DAW should work. A lot of hardware comes with Lite versions of sequencing software. So you might try one of those. Ableton Live would be an option, but so would be Cubase, Logic, Reason and all the other DAWs out there.

  6. Janik April 20, 2014 at 15:58 - Reply

    Ist es irgendwie möglich den Zielordner für die Analysedatein zu ändern?
    Das ich also einen Ordner machen kann der alle Analysedatein sammelt?

    • Madeleine April 20, 2014 at 19:52 - Reply

      Nein, die Analyse-Dateien werden immer im gleichen Verzeichnis wie die Audiodateien, zu denen sie gehören, gespeichert.

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