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Ableton Live 11 101
Ableton Live 11 Beginner's Guide
by: rishabhrajan
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  • ccfpcl
    Posts: 3
    Joined: Aug 4th, 2021
    Newbie: Cant get Ableton to record my VST audio
    Hi. New user of Lite. I've installed a VST plugin (Arturia synth). All seems to be working fine, but it won't record the audio from the plugin. I hear it, The level meters are moving on the track VU. The track is armed to record. It's set to all ins/all channels. I've tried AUTO and IN mode. It will route the audio to Ex.out (the levels move). Nothing works. Also, there is nothing on the Channels In meters for the track. Help please! Chris.
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 1428
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Newbie: Cant get Ableton to record my VST audio
    Hi Chris - When you use a virtual instrument in a DAW (Ableton Live or any DAW) it doesn't record audio, it records MIDI data. You insert the plug-in in the instrument slot on a MIDI track (not an Audio track) and play it from a MIDI keyboard (or other MIDI controller) and what's recorded is MIDI note data -- the performance data only, not the audio. In playback that recorded MIDI note data will trigger the sounds/notes from the plug-in -- the MIDI note data is separate from the instrument sound being triggered. That way you have more flexibility than if an audio wave was recorded -- you can tweak the sound in the plug-in or even swap it out for a different instrument after the performance has been recorded. You should see a display of the MIDI note data as note bars in the Clips, and you can open the Clips in the Clip Editor at the bottom to tweak/edit/quantize the MIDI performance data, if desired. If at some point you want/need to permanently print that track as an audio file, you can either Freeze & Flatten the track, or simply route its output to an audio track and re-record it an audio file that way. If you're new to all this, in the Ableton Live course attached above (click More Info) you might want to check out the videos on MIDI vs Audio tracks (7, 8) and recording & editing MIDI tracks (18, 19, etc)..
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  • ccfpcl
    Posts: 3
    Joined: Aug 4th, 2021
    Re: Newbie: Cant get Ableton to record my VST audio
    Hi Joe, Many thanks for your helpful answer. In that case, I'm not sure having the VST is much use to me, there's too much I need to control on the synth during a performance. So I'm now trying to get my PC's sound output into an audio track. I've read the Ableton instructions and a video I've found, that recommends using VBCable and ASIO4ALL. It seems to be a very convoluted process but I've made some progress. However I have two issues: 1) the sound being recorded is very distorted 2) Whereas if I play a youtube video, the sound is recorded into Ableton, when I play my synth (NOT the VST), nothing is recorded. Can you help me further with this? Best Regards, Chris.
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 1428
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Newbie: Cant get Ableton to record my VST audio
    Hi Chris - Unfortunately, I can't advise you on anything to do with Windows audio/MIDI setup (I'm strictly a Mac guy), but to record audio from an external synth you should be able to just plug the synth's audio output into an input on your interface, create an audio track, select that interface input as the input for that audio track, and record, just as you would with a microphone. (I assume you are talking about an external synth with its own internal sounds, and not just a MIDI controller, which has no sounds and would require the use of a virtual instrument plug-in?) Of course I'm not familiar with your setup or the specifics of your workflow, but in Ableton most virtual instruments can be controlled extensively from the keyboard, though it may require quite a bit of setup within Live..
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  • ccfpcl
    Posts: 3
    Joined: Aug 4th, 2021
    Re: Newbie: Cant get Ableton to record my VST audio
    OK. Thanks for your help Joe.
    Reply
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