This tutorial is only valid for Live 8. You can find an updated version for Live 9 and up here.
In Ableton Live, you can only have one Live Set open at any given time. So what if you want to merge two or more Live Sets or use parts of one in another Set? This can be necessary if you have different versions of a song/track you want to combine or when creating a Live Set for playing live. Luckily you don’t need to have a Live Set open to be able to use its tracks in another Live Set. Live’s built-in File Browser gives you easy access to complete or individual parts of Live Sets.
Merging complete Live Sets
- To avoid messing up an existing Live Set, it’s best to start with a New Live Set (Ctrl + N on Windows, Cmd + N on Mac).
- File Browser 1 is by default set to the Library, so you might want to use File Browser 2 or 3 instead to navigate to the first Live Set to merge.
- Simply drag the desired Live Set onto any Track Title Bar of the new Set. This will recreate the complete Live Set including all clips in Session and Arrangement View, its used devices, routing and automation. Only Return Tracks and the Master Track will be ignored.
- You can continue adding more Live Sets by dragging and dropping them onto the Track Title Bar area next to the already created Tracks. Do not drop them on the Track Title Bar of an already added track unless you want to overwrite it.
- Once you’ve merged the Live Sets into the new one, don’t forget to save it with Ctrl + S (Win)/ Cmd + S (Mac). Make sure, you don’t save it in an existing Live Project folder or the Live Library to avoid missing samples later on.
Merging individual parts of Live Sets
- Again start with a New Live Set (Ctrl + N on Windows, Cmd + N on Mac).
- Use File Browser 2 or 3 to navigate to the Live Set you want to use individual parts from. Once you’ve located the als-file of it, unfold its tracks by clicking on the little triangle to the left of the name. If a track contains any Session View Clips, a triangle will be shown to the left of the track title that can be used to unfold the separate clips.
- To add one or more tracks, simply highlight, then drag and drop them onto the Track Title Bar of the new Set. All contained clips in Session and Arrangement View, used devices, routing and automation of the track(s) will be reconstructed.
- To add Session View Clips, highlight, then drag and drop them onto the Clip Slot area. All devices, routings, automations from the Track it originally belonged to will be recreated as well.
- You can also preview Session View Clips directly in the File Browser. Make sure the headphones icon at the bottom left of the File Browser is turned on. Highlight the clip, then click on ‘Click to Preview’. This works for both audio and MIDI clips.
- You can continue adding more tracks or clips to the new Live Set with the above described method.
- Once you’ve added all tracks and clips as desired, don’t forget to save it with Ctrl + S (Win)/ Cmd + S (Mac). Make sure, you don’t save it in an existing Live Project folder or the Live Library to avoid missing samples later on.
- If you have used Grooves in a Live Set and want to use them in another one, unfolding the Live Set will reveal the Grooves folder which in turn can be unfolded. Now you can drag and drop a Groove directly onto a Clip.
If you have questions or remarks on this tutorial, comments are always appreciated and I’ll be sure to answer them.
There are plenty more Ableton Live tutorials where this one came from.