How To Load Samples Into Ableton Live (3 Ways) [Tutorial]
Do you want to learn more about how to load Samples Files into Ableton Live?
Maybe you’re an Electronic Music producer and you are searching for how to import audio samples to create your first track in Ableton. Or you’ve purchased a Sample Pack and you want to start playing around with the sounds?
You’ve come to the right place!
After recently going through “How to load MIDI files into Ableton Live“, we have now designed this easy-to-follow guide to help you learn how to import samples into Ableton Live.
This guide starts by outlining what a sample is and how to use samples & audio loops to make music. Then I will show you three ways of importing a sample into Ableton Live.
What is an audio sample and what are they used for?
A sample (usually .wav or .aiff) is a simple file containing audio data. The audio could be anything, from random noise to a percussion/drum, a melody, a sound effect, or a recorded vocal. You may import audio samples onto audio tracks in all DAWs including Ableton.
Sample = digital file containing audio data
In contrast to MIDI files and MIDI tracks, audio samples provide less flexibility and creative possibilities, because the audio is already recorded. Of course, you can still loop it, slice it into smaller parts, time-stretch it, or add effects to it.
Despite the flexibility issue, many music producers use audio samples for specific elements of their tracks. This can range from drums to sound effects, vocals, and more.
How to load samples into Ableton Live
We often receive Emails asking us how to import audio samples into Ableton Live. There are three major ways of importing a sample into Ableton. Please note that all three ways achieve the same result: adding a specific sample to a specific audio track inside your current Ableton project.
Option 1: Drag & drop the sample from a folder on your computer
This is our favorite and fastest way of importing single audio samples while working on a track. If you already have an audio track set up in your Ableton arrangement window, and you want to import a single sample directly into this track, just do the following:
1. Open the folder on your computer containing the audio samples.
2. Drag the audio file from the folder and drop it onto the audio track.
3. You’re done! Ableton has loaded the sample onto the track for you, and you can now see the sample’s waveform.
Option 2: Drag & Drop the sample from the Ableton browser panel
This second way of importing samples into Ableton Live is quite similar to the first one.
The only difference is that instead of dragging & dropping from a folder window on your computer, you’re going to drag & drop from the Ableton browser panel.
First, make sure you have the browser panel opened (click the “View” option in the top menu, then “Show Browser”.
Here’s how it goes:
1. In the Ableton browser, navigate to the folder containing your audio samples (or click “Add Folder” and add the appropriate folder if required).
2. Drag the sample from the browser and drop it onto the audio track.
3. You’re done! Your sample is imported.
Option 3: Use the Create/Import Audio File option
Ableton Live also allows you to import an audio file from the File menu. This is the third way to use audio samples in Ableton Live.
Please note this will insert a sample on the specific track (and at the specific time location) selected with the Insert Marker in the arrangement view.
1. Set your Insert Marker where you’d like to import the sample (on the correct audio track and at the correct time location)
2. Click the “Create” top menu, then “Import Audio File”
3. Browse to your audio samples folder, select the appropriate file, and click “Open”.
4. You’re done!
We hope this post about how to import/add audio samples into Ableton Live has helped you in some way. Did you learn something about how to load samples into Ableton Live? We hope so. Let us know in the comments!
Also, if you don’t know this yet, Myloops offers 4GB+ of FREE sounds (Samples, MIDI Files, presets, and more) for your productions. They are super useful to get started with making your own tracks. We are proud to offer packs with some of the best samples available online. Just click the “FREE SOUNDS” footer menu to check them out!
Alternatively, you can just fill the form below to subscribe to our newsletter and access the FREE sounds section directly!
Finally, if you are looking for samples for Ableton Live (or any other DAW that supports WAV files), you can check our premium Sample Packs section, where we offer hundreds of sample packs usable in Ableton Live and for various genres of music.