Ableton Metronome Not Working? (Fixed)

When you’re writing or producing music in Ableton Live, there’s not much more important than staying on time. That’s where Ableton’s Metronome comes in.

A metronome is a tool that helps you keep a steady tempo while working on your tunes, basically like having a little drummer in your computer, tapping out a consistent beat for you to follow.

Unfortunately, the metronome can be a little confusing at times, but don’t worry – if yours isn’t working, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’ll jump into some possible reasons your Ableton metronome isn’t working, and get you back on beat!

Laptop open with screen light illuminating keyboard. Headphone rest on keyboard.

Let’s Get Back to Metronome Basics

First things first, if your Ableton metronome isn’t working, you might need to check that it’s not something simple that is causing the issue.

Let’s go through a simple checklist to ensure you’re not missing anything:

  1. Make Sure It’s On! (Duh):
    • Turn on the metronome by clicking the metronome button (the two-dot button at the top left of your Ableton window).
    • The metronome button will turn yellow when activated.
  2. Check Your Output Settings:
    • Just like Ableton has audio output settings, it also has an output for your metronome.
    • This is called “Cue Out”, and can be located at the bottom right of your screen in the Arrangement View.
    • Make sure to configure to “1/2”, or whichever output is required.
  3. Check Your Metronome Settings:
    • If your metronome isn’t performing in the way you’re looking for, you might need to adjust its settings.
    • You can do this by selecting the metronome drop-down menu (the little down arrow attached to the metronome button) and adjusting accordingly.
  4. Turn It Off and On Again: 
    • As we all know, nothing quite works wonders like a good old restart. Try rebooting Ableton Live to see if your metronome issues resolve themselves.

Your Metronome Count-In Isn’t Working

In Ableton Live, a count-in is a feature that provides a “countdown” before the recording starts. When the count-in is activated, you’ll hear a short metronome click track that counts down to the start of your recording.

But what if your metronome count-in isn’t working in the way you want it to?

Here are some tips to try:

Make Sure the Count-in is Enabled: 

  • From the metronome drop-down menu (the little down arrow attached to the metronome button), you can enable the count-in for 1 bar, 2 bars, or even 4 bars.

Adjust the Count-In in the Preferences menu:

  • If your count-in is working in Session View but not in Arrangement View, you’ll need to adjust the count-in in the Preferences menu.
  • Navigate to Preferences, then select Record/Warp/Launch and set the count in there.

Your Cursor is in the Wrong Place: 

  • If your count-in is coming in at the wrong place, or is out of time, make sure to adjust your cursor placement accordingly.
  • Simply click on the correct placement in your Ableton lane to ensure the count-in works properly.

Your Metronome Volume Needs Adjustment

If you’re recording on Ableton Live, using the metronome is imperative to help you keep in time. If you can’t hear the metronome properly, you might need to adjust the metronome volume.

Don’t worry, it’s a simple fix.

Here’s how to adjust your metronome volume:

In Ableton’s Session View: 

  1. The Preview/Cue (or metronome) volume can be located on the bottom right of your Ableton Live window.
  2. Drag the dark blue knob up or down to adjust the metronome volume.

In Ableton’s Arrangement View:

  1. Again, the Preview/Cue volume can be located on the bottom right.
  2. Instead of a knob, the metronome can be located in the form of a dark blue window.
  3. Drag up or down to adjust the metronome volume accordingly.

You Can’t Hear Your Metronome During Playback

If your metronome is working while you’re recording, but not when you’re playing back your track, it can a frustrating problem. Fortunately, it’s a simple fix, and we’ll help you get your metronome on!

The first thing to do is to navigate to your metronome drop-down menu.

  1. You can do this by selecting the little arrow attached to the metronome button at the top left of your Ableton window.
  2. In this menu, make sure that “Enable only while recording” is not checked. If it is, the metronome will only play when you are actively recording.

Another thing to remember is that the metronome will only be audible when something is playing or recording in Ableton Live. So if you’re not hearing the metronome, try starting a recording or playback to see if that activates it.

General Pros and Cons of Ableton’s Metronome

Here are some general Pros and Cons for the Ableton Live metronome:


The Ableton metronome is a great tool to help you keep a consistent tempo throughout your track, allowing for precision and accuracy when playing or recording live instruments. This is especially important in genres like electronic and dance music, where the beat is crucial.

The Ableton Live metronome is also highly customizable, allowing you to adjust the volume, tempo, and even the sound of the clicks to suit your preferences and style.

Ableton Live includes a count-in feature that gives you a few bars of lead-in before recording starts. This can be super helpful for getting ready and finding your starting point.


  • The metronome count-in sometimes does not work.
  • The metronome volume needs adjusting.
  • You sometimes can’t hear the metronome during playback.

Final thoughts

Ableton Live’s metronome is a simple and effective tool to help you keep in time when producing and recording music. Although it can sometimes be tricky to get an understanding of how it works, the metronome is worth getting used to, as it can really elevate your tracks.

This is especially true for recording and live musicians, as playing with a click-track (or metronome) ensures you can be the tightest musician you can be!


Recording New Clips in Ableton Live – Metronome Settings