How to Install Plug-ins in Ableton Live

Ableton comes with an impressive, diverse and extremely usable set of instruments, effects and samples. However, at some point you will almost certainly want to install 3rd party plug ins to get that sound you need.

Luckily for you, the process of adding 3rd party plug-ins on a Mac is extremely straight forward. It is literally a case of copying the plug in files into the Mac plug in directory. Once this is done Ableton will automatically find your plug-ins ready to use.

Where is the Ableton Plug ins folder?

The truth is there isn’t one specifically for Ableton, it’s a shared plug ins folder in you Mac Library. By default the folders used to contain plug-ins, and where you need to copy them to, are:

(for AU) Library > Audio > Plug ins > Component 
(for VST) Library > Audio -> Plug ins > VST

Setting a custom plug in folder

In Ableton there is also the ability to set a custom location for your plug ins folder. This is handy if you have multiple DAWs installed on the same Mac, or if you just want to use a different hard disc, perhaps a solid state to run them from.

In the Ableton top menu go to:

Preferences > File Folder > VST Plug-In Custom Folder


Make sure to enable the feature, and you can now copy plug ins to any location you like.

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