So you're a Live user and finally got your first piece of hardware kit. Wondering how to make them work together? This tutorial explores effective techniques to integrate hardware with Ableton Live.  

Audio Basics

Input configuration

MIDI Basics

MIDI preferences.
PRO-TIP: If you want to use your drum machine or other external gear as the master clock rather than Live’s transport, configure your hardware for internal clock usage and enable Sync on the corresponding Input port in Live’s MIDI preferences; now a button showing “EXT” will show up at the far left of Live’s tempo area, in the far upper left of the GUI, next to the Tap button. Enabling this toggle will allow you to start Live’s clock by pressing play on the drum machine.


PRO-TIP: To intentionally send the same MIDI notes to different pieces of hardware on different MIDI ports, stack multiple External Instrument devices in separate chains of an Instrument Rack.
External synth configured via the External Instrument device.
PRO-TIP: To split MIDI through separate parallel devices going to an external polyphonic synth, stack the MIDI Effects to separate chains of a MIDI Effect Rack placed before your External Instrument. 

Triggering Drum Machines 

Drum Rack with a single External Instrument.
Drum Rack pads configured with multiple External Instruments, set to the correct playback notes.
PRO-TIP: Don’t forget to save your Drum Racks and External Instruments for easy recall in your setup, minus all the drop-down configurations. 

Final Capture 

Recording a take from my MicroBrute in the session view.

Integration Station 


Noah Pred is a Canadian record producer, sound designer, technologist, DJ, and Ableton Certified Trainer living in Berlin, Germany. Releasing dozens of records and touring extensively since the '90s, he currently teaches a wide variety of techniques for stage and studio at the BIMM Institute. For more information, please visit: http://... Read More


I'm using Ableton with a Roland System-1 and a TB-3.
But I'm having troubles to use the automation of as an example the LP Cutoff Filter or any other midi knob / fader.
I hate it that i only can change it in the clip and not in the session view like a VST automation.
Or another thing I want to control those parameters thru the use of Push 2.
Is there a way to do this things and how?
Mark L
Hi. I am trying to connect my Roland TB3 to my Ableton Live 10. I have tried to find solutions on line. But still no luck. I've read that in prefences, in the audio tap the audio drop down box should be reading the TB3 , but its not. I am using an M Audio Midisport 1x1,using a Modi lead to connect the Roland to my PC. Any suggestions please. Thanks.

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