Ableton Live Tutorial: Create a Template Set

Did you know that you can create your own Template Set that will be opened whenever you start Live?

This can be very useful if you tend to use the same MIDI instruments and effects when trying out new ideas. Then you'd just have to open Live and start getting your ideas or recordings down without further delay. Or maybe you use Live to practise piano on your MIDI keyboard. Or always want to do 8 track audio recordings.

  • Add the amount of audio and MIDI tracks you need. Add the Input and Output routings as desired.
  • Add your preferred MIDI instrument presets, MIDI and audio effects to your tracks.
  • Create manual MIDI mappings or computer Key mappings that you tend to use over and over.
  • Once you've created the Live Set to your liking, open the Preferences > File/Folder. The shortcut for it is Ctrl + , (Windows) or Cmd + , (Mac). Click on the 'Save Current Set as Default' button to save the current Live Set as the default Template.
  • If you no longer want to use your own Template Set, hold down the SHIFT key while choosing 'New Live Set' from the File menu. This will create a new empty Live Set. Then click on 'Save Current Set as Default' in the Preferences > File/Folder once again.
One last tip:

If Live always mysteriously opens with an old Set of yours, you can use the above described method to revert back to an empty Set as well.

Do you have any questions, suggestions or other comments? Let me know.

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

By |2017-02-02T20:23:38+00:00November 23rd, 2012|Ableton Live Tutorials|9 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. […] If you end up working with the same presets, instruments or effects, it might make sense to create a Template Set. […]

  2. sam December 17, 2016 at 13:49 - Reply

    Hello, and thanks for your very helpful website.
    One question: how can i save different templates and then recall any of them from a list?

    • Madeleine Bloom December 17, 2016 at 18:47 - Reply

      A template set is just a saved Live Set, so you can create various Live Sets that you’d like to use as templates and save them in a dedicated folder somewhere under Documents. When you want to switch, open the set you’d like to set as the new template and press Save at the top of Preferences > File/Folder.

  3. sam December 17, 2016 at 23:42 - Reply

    Thanks for your answer! But my question is a little bit different: is there a way to have many default templates to choose from in case you want to start a new project with certain features, without having to store the new one each time as a Default one?
    In other words, is it possible to chose from a list o f templates that won’t be used As They Are but just open’d as No Title projects?

    • Madeleine Bloom December 18, 2016 at 10:13 - Reply

      I understood your question perfectly well. The solution I offered you is the only one there is. Otherwise you’d see a drop-down menu in the Preferences > File/Folder.

  4. Michael DeLisio December 28, 2016 at 22:34 - Reply

    There is a way to have many default templates as Sam asked for:

    1) Create a Templates directory in your User Library
    2) Create and save as many default templates as you wish in that Templates directory

    When you load up one of those templates it will create a new set called Untitled so that your templates are never affected.

    Happy New Year all!

    • Madeleine Bloom December 31, 2016 at 16:35 - Reply

      Ah, yes. That’s true. I overlooked that the User Library solves this issue. Do you mind if I steal this tip for a future video tutorial?

      Happy New Year to you, too!

  5. Michael DeLisio February 17, 2017 at 16:05 - Reply

    Hi Madeleine – nice to see that you made a video to share the template tip I had suggested.

    However in your video you created a folder called “Default Live Sets” that you placed in your User Library.

    It’s more useful if you create a folder called Templates in the User Library so that when the templates are called they create a set called Untitled. With the set called Untitled you never have to worry about over-writing your template.

    Your method creates a set with the name of the template and can be accidentally over-written with a save command.

    Hope that helps! Thanks for all that you share and keep up your good works!

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