Hey everyone, this is Dave Parker for Breaking Audio. Today we’re going to talk a bit about Ableton’s browser. I’m going to give you a quick overview of it and show you some things you can do with it. If you like audio production tips with Pro Tools and Ableton feel free to subscribe to our youtube channel and you won’t miss a video. So let’s dive right in.
all right so here we are in ableton’s browser i’ve got a little bit of customization going on by the way i also blew it up nice and big for for youtube so it’s very visible um this is not the screen resolution i usually work at but uh yeah i’m going to really quickly blast through the um the overview of the browser if you want more detailed information about the browser uh you can check out the manual but i want to just kind of get to the good stuff right so up at the top here you have a search field where you can type in you know anything you know base it would bring up for example the base folder and whatever whatever category you have selected here it was searched by file name at the bottom you’ve got a little preview tab and that you can turn the preview on and off with this blue button here with the headphones maybe you do maybe you don’t want to hear the file when you click on it the first category here the first section in the browser is collections which is a relatively new thing um uh it’s really handy i’ve been experimenting a lot with it recently i’m gonna go into more detail with it a little bit later but basically what it does is it gives you a quick shortcut to any kind of ableton device or file folder you know anything and all you have to do is kind of click on it and assign a color to it and it will pop up in the corresponding color that you can rename so we’re gonna get to some little tips on that in a moment uh the next section is categories and this is where ableton pretty much keeps its uh factory library and it’s downloaded most of its downloaded content organized so for example you have uh you know it’s instruments audio effects midi effects max for live uh stuff ends up here as well which um you know there’s a lot of great free stuff on the uh ableton site um and uh the max for live website as well you can download all that and ends up here uh your third-party plugins end up here midi clips and you know audio you know samples uh you know loops whatever whatever what have you but it’s mostly factory stuff and other than being able to assign a color dot to something so in this case i’ve got my auto filter assigned to red so i can get to it quickly you know other than that there really isn’t much customization you can do in this section um the next section places i’ll scroll this so you can kind of see how you would see it with a fresh ableton um install of ableton uh you have a category for pax which is similar to the max for live section here where you get all of your downloaded you know ableton packs from the website they all kind of pop up in here by pac name which i don’t really like that organizational method but i’m going to have a solution for that in a moment the next part here is user library this kind of gives you like a template sound library sort of setup with its own folder system um i don’t really like it so much um because it’s a little bit you know if you look here presets amp like i’m not really going to make a preset for just the amp you know it’s going to be a rack with amp plus you know like two three other things and i want to save it differently so i’m not really a big fan of this i’m probably going to delete some of these folders to be honest i made my own folders here because luckily you can just kind of make your own folder bang new folder you got a new folder and you can you know i went ahead and made my own uh folder systems organized the way i like them to be i don’t you know i can’t find things this way this is just too difficult i’m going to come back to this as well the next section here uh current project this basically shows you every track and audio file and whatnot that you’re using inside your project you know one thing to point out here is that a pretty important thing when you’re working on a project it’s entirely possible you end up with using audio files or samples from elsewhere in your computer right so a sound library somewhere else you know what have you this is this is it’s always a good time to go up and collect all and save right to make sure that everything that you’re actually using in your project ends up here otherwise it’s very easy to in the future open your project and not have the audio files that you thought you had saved in your project so that’s where all this stuff really ends up living basically um there’s a couple little things i’ll show you about this as well in the future the next thing you’ll have i have some custom folders here i’m going to get to in a moment next thing i’ll have here is an add folder because what’s cool about places is that you can add your own folders and you can add some really interesting things and do some things this is very customizable um the add folder button it does what you think it would it brings you to your browser and you can go select anything you want in your browser and you know the whole folder so i can just pick it put it in and then have access to whatever is in that so the way i use that is um i organize my sound library here so if you remember you know two videos ago or so i did a video about uh organizing your sound library i organized one for ableton set up the way i like it in this case i’ve got some drum sounds uh drum loop library some midi stuff wave you know just samples of waves so maybe like synth samples and stuff um of my own that i’ve collected so i like to put them here you could make one folder for your sound library i prefer to uh have it organized like this even quicker access because i don’t like to click through a lot of folders to get to things so this is my preferred way and here you can see i’ve got all my like vinyl drum loops that i talked about in the other video organized by bpm you know percussion what have you um you know few as few folder clicks as possible to find what i’m looking for i also have my impulse response library here that i mentioned uh all organized this is a real folder that exists in my computer showing finder boom there it actually is the other thing i can do which is really handy is i can actually drag and drop folders right in instead of whoa get out of here whoa go away all right instead of instead of using the add folder button um held it there a little too on i almost had two of them for a minute but uh you can put anything you want here so there’s so there’s some things you can get creative with it and kind of come up with your own ways of of of storing things and whatnot so i could put my sound library in my user library but i prefer to have it much more out in the open than that so i prefer to have the folders down here less clicks find it faster i tend to use my user library more for my custom made tracks which i did a video on recently my instruments and audio effects things like that like not really my like audio samples you know that stuff i just kind of want here um so you know because i can make any folder i want to put it have easier access to it so as far as what can be dragged in and out of the this area let’s talk about that for a minute it’s pretty it gets pretty interesting you can save midi clips you can save audio clips you can save whole tracks you can save group tracks you can save drum kits you can save effects racks i mean pretty like mostly everything like presets all sorts of stuff can you know be dragged right in and out of here um you know you can see again you can see example of my my custom made tracks in that video you just drag it in drag it out um some other uses i’ve found for this maybe a little bit less obvious so recently i was working in ableton and i was writing and i was you know i’m just like banging tracks out left and right and some of them you know i’m getting an excess of tracks because what happens is i sometimes i like to disable tracks and keep like the original version before i kind of take it a step further so i can go back you know because sometimes the first take is best and what not so um i want to have that track and i kind of throw them at the top or at the bottom or something and i was thinking to myself one day i’m like well wouldn’t it be cool to have a show and hide tracks uh just like pro tools because i’m collecting all these tracks and i thought about it for a little bit and i was like oh wait i can totally do that so this is how that would be done if you go to your current project i can go in here and i can add a folder right current project is everything that’s stored within your projects this is a good place to put this make a folder called hide and then what i can do is i can take my example drums here drop them in and then i can delete this track and so i’ve effectively hid the thing because this is still here it’s the whole track i can bring the entire thing back if i want to so i just drag it right back out boom there’s my example drum track the original one all right i’ll just reactivate everything and you know we’re off i have my original uh concept back so uh that’s a really cool feature you know um something that like i haven’t been using until very recently but i’ve kind of figured it out stumbled upon it uh yes that’s one hot tip another thing that’s really useful is let’s say i’m working with i tend to work with a variety of artists and you know they come back from time to time um maybe i have somebody come in that’s like hey remember the track we did a while back i had this vocal sound on it it was like perfect can we just do the same thing ah yeah okay i didn’t say that as a preset although i you know i could have but i didn’t at the time let’s just say so what i can do is i can go load another song’s project folder and then access a sound that way right so i would go to add folder go find it in my file system which i already did here and just click add and then it pops up and i go in here and i can go down to the actual ableton file expand it run down here oh there’s the vocal this is a group track by the way and this is an audio track so i can grab the audio track drag it in it pops up i have my audio effects whatever i put on it right here obviously you wanted to delete the audio because i wouldn’t work with a different song and then there we go bang i have the exact same setting and at this point i should probably say to myself you know what i should save this preset because this is now the second time or more that i’ve pulled it up and basically save it go to my user library my for example folder and drag my preset in there name it something so now i have it always so you know i don’t have to go do that again although that’s a super handy shortcut to go pull things from other tracks that could be a bass sound you created you know what i’ve got this perfect synth sound and some other song would be great for this let me just load that up and see what’s up i don’t i don’t save everything i’ve ever made as a preset because it would be incredibly time consuming so this is a good way to to get around that so another thing i’d like to talk about is this collection section uh as i mentioned before it’s relatively new and i’ve been experimenting with different ways of organizing with it so um you know right off the bat the most obvious thing would be well you know i can i can tag things uh you know red uh that are things i want to get to quick things i just use all the time i’m constantly throwing them around when i’m creating i always stick a limiter on the master fader etc etc i just want to get to a quick reverb to sweeten something up while i’m writing you know what i mean or or to organize max for live right because you get an awful lot when you go down here you get all these things when you download some of these packs from from ableton’s site you just end up with a ton of stuff so this is a good place to trim down that list a bit and be like okay well these are my favorites again same concept with plugins i’ve also linked my folders that are in my user library right so i can have even faster access to those to all the custom instruments and effects and things like that um but uh something i’ve been experimenting with recently that i might take even further is using these color dots to organize the downloaded packs that you get from ableton as well because there’s a lot of really useful stuff in here but i mean check this out like i can’t you know i’m looking for a bass sound what about like you know drive and glow or you know where am i going to find i could use the search bar and then i just get a million different results and you know how do i deal with this so what i did here is is i kind of organized drum loops uh in a few different categories so drum loops whole drum loops audio only uh stuff that they call you know top loops you know things like you know everything but the kick basically might be interesting to blend into something sometimes i use this stuff you know um especially i was kind of moving real quick i was kind of trying to generate an idea you know the midi drum loops you know um those are good to have i can preview stuff really quickly one of the cool things about ableton’s browser is it will preview stuff um in time if you want to or not so if if i’m not playing right and i click on this loop it’ll preview at 105 bpm in this case if i’m playing all this stuff and a whole mess of stuff it’ll play in time with the transport so you know you’ve got two different ways so these are really useful to to have available like that um so i kind of want to think about you know think about recently maybe expanding upon this idea and trying to organize the um you know some of the other sounds that way as well and you know that could be really that could be really useful because this to me all these packs like this i just i can’t i can’t wrap my head around that but uh yeah well i mean that’s pretty much it i mean that’s ableton’s browser um those are some of the most useful things i’ve figured out to do with this thing if you have any other suggestions let me know if you’ve figured out a better system for using the collections area with the color dots let me know i’m very interested in all the best ways to go about using that and uh yeah i will see you next time have a good one you