How to set up a soundcard for Multitrack Recording in Ableton

Simply connecting an audio interface and selecting it in Ableton preferences is often not enough. There are lots of options and as such lots of questions to ask about getting it right.

Setting the inputs

If you have an audio interface with more than a couple of inputs, you’re going to want those accessible in your projects. When you set up an audio track and click on the input settings, you might notice that not all inputs are showing in the menu (Tip: click the i/o button on the right of the screen to see input/output configurations). In Ableton you can activate the inputs you want available in your project in pairs.

You want to only select the number of inputs you’re actually going to use and having audio inputs active uses CPU.

Go to Live -> Preferences -> Audio -> input config.

ableton soundcard input setup

In the Input Config menu you now can specify which inputs are active. Depending on what you selected, the inputs will be available as either mono single ins or stero pairs.

Setting the outputs

You may also have multiple outputs on your soundcard, and want to set up with a mixer, outboard FX, or have multiple speakers set up. The output config window works in exactly the same way. Activate the outputs you want to use, and assign them in the i/o section of each track.

We’ll cover more on this, so check out our other tutorials.

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