Ableton Live 9 Keyboard Shortcut Reference

Alright, time for a post with some actual content. I just picked up the Ableton Live 9 Suite DAW as part of their promotion offering an upgrade to those that purchased Live 8 Suite recently. I’m still reviewing all of the new features as I mix/master a remix compilation CD, but in the meantime I had an idea to visually document all of the handy keyboard shortcuts relating to the user interface. A lot of the power leveraged in the Ableton interface is simply in allowing you to move gracefully around the application, getting all of the technical crap out of your way so you can just make music. It’s why I moved onto the platform from Fruity Loops almost a decade ago (sheesh) and it’s why I continue to support Ableton by spending the exorbinant amount of money to purchase a licensed copy. If you haven’t, have no fear as I will not judge. But honestly, there’s a lot of satisfaction to be had in not being terrified of their amazing piracy protection scheme locking you out of all of your hard work! /rant

Okay anyway, check out the image below for a breakdown of available shortcuts in the Session view of Ableton. These are only the basic ones that are enough to get you where you need to be, but if you’re looking for a more exhaustive list then definitely check out the link below where somebody has meticulously organized and listed all of the available keyboard shortcuts in each different work area. Even if you’re just here for the graphic, go get it anyway! Cheers, and if you just picked up Live 9 yourself please remember to HAVE FUN. :-)

External link: Ableton Live 2-page keyboard shortcut list

Ableton Live 9 - Keyboard Shortcuts (Session View)

4 thoughts on “Ableton Live 9 Keyboard Shortcut Reference

  1. Good question, haha. First answer: time, started to familiarize myself with them back at 463 eight (8!!) years ago. Second answer is that they’ve arranged the key combos somewhat functionally, so the slideouts on the left are Ctrl+Alt+[first letter of function], the shortcuts that control the piano roll grid on the bottom go Ctrl+1, 2, 3, 4, 5, different combinations with Ctrl+T to create new tracks – Ableton pays incredible attention to squeezing every ounce of productivity out of the interface without being too overbearing as long as someone is willing to spend some time with the built-in lessons.

    To anyone interested in making music but intimidated by these things: Don’t be! Grab a trial copy of Ableton Live and install, when you open the program for the first time it comes up with an example track loaded and a list of getting started lessons on the right. Challenge yourself to be awesome. :-)

  2. Nice little guide, and a clean design. I look forward to coming back here. Also, I bet I can point a few people here when they ask questions regarding keyboard shortcuts. Consider your shit bookmarked.

    • Right on, thanks a lot! I hadn’t bothered with the blog format for a long time because I usually wouldn’t have the time necessary to set up a design I was content with – of course, it seems that WordPress has made huge strides since I last used it and so far I’m completely satisfied.

      I write chiptune music and more recently got into circuit bending/Arduino stuff, so if you’re down with any of that (and all sorts of other techy nonesuch) than I think you’ll be quite content with this site – appreciate the feedback!

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