Ableton Basics: Setting Up Your Interface

You may think it’s common knowledge, but properly setting up your Ableton rig truly starts with setting up your interface. It’s simple, but crucially important when you’re first getting started so that you can both record and hear audio playback.

All you need to get started is a computer that runs Ableton and an audio interface. Good, intuitive interfaces for beginners might include something like the M-Audio M-Track, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, or the combination mixer/interface used in this video, the Yamaha MG10XU. Each of these interfaces is USB-capable, so you can easily plug it into the USB jack on your machine.

Once you’ve plugged in your interface, you need to make sure Ableton is communicating with the device. Open up Preferences in your DAW and click into the audio tab. Once you’re in the audio settings tab, you can easily change the settings for both audio input and output to the interface you’re using.

Optionally, you can configure the inputs and outputs in a different way; if you have a two-channel interface, you can set up inputs 1 and 2 to record individually so you can record two things simultaneously or set them up to record together in stereo. The same is true of the stereo outs: they can function as individual outputs or a stereo pair. And once you’re done going through your setup, Ableton even provides a nifty test tone that lets you see whether everything is working the way it’s supposed to be!

Watch the video above to see exactly how you can get your interface set up just right, and keep an eye out for more videos covering Ableton basics!

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