Reduce Your Track Count In Ableton Live: Step-By-Step Guide (Continued)

We still think your projects could look a little leaner so let’s continue to look at ways to reduce the track count in Ableton Live with our step-by-step guide. Make sure to check out part 1!

7. You’ll probably need to unfold the rack. Click on the Show/Hide Chain List button to, well, do exactly as the name suggests. There’ll only be one entry, one ‘chain’, in there so far.


8. Go to track 7 – Piano Bass, and the Simpler instrument at the bottom. Drag that Simpler across into the rack in the first track, adding to the drop area below the first Simpler.

9. If you play anything in that track now, you’ll hear both sounds playing at the same time, but we’ll fix that in a minute. Make sure the MIDI clips from both tracks are in there now.

10. Repeat the process with Bass 3. You should end up with one track containing all three bass sounds in a rack, and all of the necessary MIDI clips. You can delete those other, empty, tracks.


11. Now we have to make sure they don’t all play at once! Click the Chain box, and set a different zone for each, like in the screen shot. Now go to the clip for Bass part 1.

12. Click the Envelopes button. In the top-left chooser, select Instrument Rack, and below that, choose Chain Selector, and draw an envelope to select the range defined by your chain zone.

13. Repeat this process with the other clips, applying an envelope to select each relevant zone. After this, whenever you launch a clip, it’ll always select and play the correct sound for the part.

14. The great thing about this is it all takes place in one track – and you have many chains in one rack, all with different instruments (and effects, if needed). Goodbye, one-sound-per-track!

15. Most of this is about having the freedom to reorganise clips in Session View, to put similar instruments into one track in a logical way, and not have to worry about whether the right sound plays.

16. That’s very cool, but we can try another way now with that track. Right-click on it and choose Freeze, and the entire track goes blue. Right-click again and choose Flatten.

17. Now every clip in the track has become an audio clip, with any effects or automation embedded, ready to be freely moved around other audio tracks in the set.

18. Similarly, there’s the Resampling option in the In/Out View. Create a sample sub-mixing everything currently playing: a really fast way to save tracks, especially with like-minded parts, like percussion.