How to Slice Audio in Ableton?

Learn to slice in Ableton | Recording ConnectionThe advent of digital audio workstations (DAWs) has given rise to more do-it-yourself audio engineers and music producers than ever before. The ability to create music from scratch, produce beats, import instruments, and work with samples with relative ease has given rise to an array of new genres and subgenres of music.

Used primarily in EDM and hip hop at the start, DAWs have found a home in almost every type of music today. Logic Pro, Pro Tools, and Ableton Live are a few of the most used DAWs, although there are plenty of others to choose from. Digital recording using tools like Ableton Live has long since passed analog recording in terms of popularity.

How to Slice Audio in Ableton?

A “slice” is just a segment of audio. If you want to cut a piece of audio in Ableton Live from a longer segment, all you have to do is hit Command + E (PC) or control + E (Mac) to split it, then you can paste it (via command + X (PC) or Control + X (Mac) to wherever you like in the session. If you want to slice a segment of a number of tracks you have stacked at let’s say 0:11 until 0:33, all you have to do is slice the segment, then hit Command + Shift + C or Control + Shift + C to copy the full stack, then place that sliced audio wherever you like in your arrangement.

How to Use Ableton Simpler Slice Mode?

  1. Launch a Simpler in Classic Mode
  2. Add in Sample of Your Choice
  3. Drage and Drop Sample
  4. Play the Sample

If you want to slice the audio you’ve created in Simpler, all you have to do is launch a Simpler in Classic Mode. Next add in a sample of your choice (you can choose from packs/samples, then select Synth, Piano, or whatever you like). Drag and drop your selected sample into Simpler. From there you can play the sample with your QWERTY keyboard. It will automatically pitch in accord with the key you press.

From there, you can change from Classic to Transient Mode in Simpler. Ableton’s Simpler will automatically detect the transients in the audio sample and will create corresponding slices that you can then play with your MIDI keyboard or trigger via the MIDI controller. To reduce the size of each slice, look for Sensitivity just below the waveform, and increase the amount. To get bigger sizes, reduce the amount of sensitivity.

You can play whatever slices you like, in any order you fancy, and thereby create cool new rhythms, loops, and various elements you can add to your songs. You can also change the order of the slices, either via a MIDI keyboard or by using your computer. You can also choose warp markers, transient spikes, bars, or notes.

How to Slice to New MIDI Track Ableton?

Slicing to a new MIDI track in Ableton gives you a whole heap of possibilities, enabling you to turn any sample into an instrument.

  1. From the arrangement view, highlight the bit of audio you want to slice.
  2. Right-click and choose “Slice to New Midi Track.”
  3. After you right-click, a dialogue box will appear that allows you to select the note length (quarter note, half note, whole note) of each of the slices you’ll be creating.
  4. From there, the audio will be sliced, according to the note length you’ve selected) and mapped onto your MIDI controller. There are other slicing presets in this window–take the time to play around with each one to see if any grab your attention.

Now that your selected bit of audio has been mapped into MIDI, you can play those slices in any order you like via your MIDI controller, Ableton Push, Akai’s APC40 MKII, Novation Launchpad Pro, etc.

Have Fun with Slicing & Practice, Practice, Practice!

No matter which DAW you use for effects processing, the ability to slice, rearrange, and manipulate MIDI clips and tracks, drum hits, and other audio clips give you a lot of control over the music you’re producing. With newer versions coming out year after year, learning all you need to know and not getting lost in the brambles or “effects land” can be hard to do.

If you want to learn the right stuff in the right way, delving into Ableton or any DAW without any input or instruction can make making music a daunting endeavor when it should be fun and fulfilling.

If it’s your dream to become an audio engineer, beatmaker, Live DJ, or another kind of music producer, mastering Ableton or the DAW of your choice is mandatory. Recording Connection is here to give you the foundational knowledge you need to expand your skillset in record time and without the unnecessary time sucks.

To Be a Pro, Learn from a Pro

While there are several message boards, YouTube videos, and online tutorials, it’s hard to get answers to specific questions or know if the information you’re getting is even correct. If you’re really interested in learning Ableton Live to propel your career in the music industry, we feel the best way to do this is to learn from those already in the industry.

Our Ableton Electronic Music Production Program puts you in a working recording studio with a professional audio engineer or music producer. Your mentor will show you how Ableton is used to make music today, give immediate feedback on your progress, and give you much-needed experience in live situations. We also offer one on one remote Ableton instruction. No, we’re not taking pre-recorded lessons, we’re talking direct one-on-one instruction. Your mentor can even control your keyboard and show you step by step how to do things, making for seamless communication. Get your questions answered via conversation, not online searches.

Our 20-24 programs allow you to get into the job market in less than a year and we offer job placement services for up to one year after completion of the program. Why sit in a university classroom for four years when you can start earning experience today?

Recording Connection tuition is a fraction of what those “name” universities cost and with more than 300 locations across the U.S., you’re sure to find one of our mentors near you. We’ve also been offering remote learning opportunities for decades. Our goal is to give as many students access to our programs as possible.

Including you. If you’re truly interested in learning Ableton as part of a career in audio engineering, music producing, or to further your career as an artist, consider Recording Connection. Now is the time to Amplify your Life–Apply today.

Get your music production certification and build your music production and audio engineering skills by learning with an industry professional near you.