20 Time-Saving Ableton Live Keyboard Shortcuts

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Keyboard shortcuts are one of the most effective ways to improve workflow in your DAW. In this post, we'll show you 20 Ableton keyboard shortcuts and how to use them. You should already recognize a few of these, but it never hurts to brush up on your DAW skills. Fire up a new session and try out these time-saving Ableton keyboard shortcuts. 

Common Use

handy keyboard shortcuts that can be used at just about any stage of the production process

1. consolidate: cmd + j (ctrl + j)
group multiple MIDI or audio clips into a single clip

2. duplicate clips: cmd + d (ctrl + d)
replaces the standard copy-paste

Duplicate Clips

3. copy notes or clips: alt + click and drag (ctrl + click and drag)
quickly drag and copy notes or full clips

4. open preferences: cmd + , (ctrl + ,)
will open up the preferences window to change audio ins/out, MIDI connections etc. 

5. quantize: cmd + shift + u (ctrl + shift + u)
choose your quantize settings, then hit enter. Once set, you can use cmd (ctrl) + u to skip the first step

6. toggle draw mode: b (b)
switch from the mouse click to pencil inside a clip

Creative Stage

keyboard shortcuts best used during the brainstorming, loop-building and writing stages of production 

7. add audio track: cmd + t (ctrl + t)
add in a new audio track

8. add midi track: cmd + shift + t (ctrl + shift + t)
add in a new MIDI track

9. search: cmd + f (ctrl + f)
search and find Ableton instruments, samples or plug-ins by name

Search Ableton

10. transpose notes up or down 12 semitones: shift + up arrow (shift + up arrow)
select notes and use this shortcut to move them up or down an octave at a time. can also be used on a simpler, sampler or instrument. easily my favourite of the bunch

11. loop selection cmd + l (ctrl + l)
loop anything you have highlighted

Editing and Arranging: 

shortcuts that will speed up editing and arranging in your DAW

12. insert fades: cmd + option + f (ctrl + alt + f)
smoothly transition into a new section of your track, or remove pops and clicks from recordings

13. insert time: cmd + i (ctrl + i)
very helpful when you need to move your project just a few bars but don't want to highlight a bunch of clips. Highlight the amount of time you need and perform shortcut. cmd (ctrl) + shift + delete will delete time

14. duplicate time: cmd + shift + d (ctrl + shift + d)
create linear copies of loops or song sections without having to move clips

15. paste time: cmd + shift + v (ctrl + shift + v)
copy clips and paste them wherever you want in your track

16. group devices: cmd + g (ctrl +g)
group a set of effects together in a chain 


17. mute tracks: fn + f1, f2, f3, f4... (f1, f2, f3...)
quickly mute tracks to get a reference of the rest of your track

18. record: fn + f9 (f9)
starts the 'main' recording at the top of the DAW

19. toggle I/O section: cmd + option + i (ctrl + option + i)
'open' and hide your ins/outs preferences

20. arm/solo multiple tracks: cmd + click (ctrl + click) while recording
pressing track record will only allow you to record one clip at a time. hold down cmd (or ctrl) while arming tracks to record multiple instruments at the same time 


These 20 Ableton keyboard shortcuts have improved the way I produce and use studio time. Learning to work more effectively in your DAW can inspire creativity and reduce the hassle of cumbersome editing and arranging. 

What are your favourite Ableton shortcuts? Let us know below! 

Daniel Dixon

Daniel is a music producer with a love for breakbeats and basslines. Content writer at Outro.