Ableton Live Workflow Tips Part 1 – The Editing Grid

When you are inspired you want to get your ideas down fast and stay in the flow. In the following series of Quick Tips I will give you some simple, but very useful tips for a better workflow in Live. Some you might already know, some you might have forgotten again or been totally unaware of. Incorporating them into your workflow will speed up the working process. Thus help you concentrate on what's really important... the music.

The editing grid in Live's Arrangement View can be very quickly adapted to your needs with a few handy shortcuts. This way there's less work with the mouse involved.

To have all grid options displayed, you can right-click (Windows) or Cmd-click (Mac) in Arrangement View's track area or in Clip View and choose the desired one. Even handier are the following shortcuts for the individual settings.

Default grid

Narrow the grid by doubling the lines , e.g. from quarter notes to eighth notes:

Ctrl + 1 (Windows), Cmd + 1 (Mac)

Narrowed grid

Widen the grid by halving the lines, e.g. quarter notes to half notes/minim:

Ctrl + 2 (Windows), Cmd + 2 (Mac)

Widened grid

Turn triplets mode on or off, e.g. quarter notes to quarter note triplets:

Ctrl + 3 (Windows), Cmd + 3 (Mac)

Triplet grid

Turn grid snapping on or off:

Ctrl + 4 (Windows), Cmd +4 (Mac)

Grid snapping off

Switch between adaptive and fixed grid:

Ctrl + 5 (Windows), Cmd + 5 (Mac)

Fixed grid

While grid snapping is by default turned on and best kept that way, you can temporarily disable it by pressing Alt (Windows) or Cmd (Mac) when performing an action (e.g., clip resizing). Now couple all these commands with the keys + and - to zoom in our out in Arrangement or Clip View. Once you've made them a habit, editing will be a breeze.

On to Ableton Live Workflow Tips Part 2 - Browser Bookmarks.

By |2017-02-02T20:24:00+00:00October 22nd, 2012|Ableton Live Tutorials|2 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. […] can use the commands I described in part 1 of the Workflow Tips series to widen or narrow the grid. For freehand drawing you can turn off the grid with Ctrl + 4 (Win) or […]

  2. […] You can change the grid settings for different note length. I’ve explained how in a little tutorial. […]

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