Can I Record From Computer To Ableton? (Solved)

Ableton Live is a powerful and versatile Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) and offers a host of features and tools for recording, producing, and mixing.

But what if you’re looking to directly record audio from your computer into Ableton?

In this article, we’ll run through some different ideas on how to achieve this, as it’s a process that can be a little sticky at times.

Here’s How to Record From Your Computer to Ableton Live:

A third-party plugin is needed, such as Soundflower or Acethinker. Once is installed, in system preferences, set your audio output to the plugin, and then in Ableton Live, set your audio input to the plugin as well. Now you’ll be able to record any sound from your computer into your Ableton track.

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

Before we get into answering the question, we must give you a heads-up that Ableton Live does not offer a way to record audio from online or your computer directly onto the DAW. This means that third-party plugins are needed.

We must caution you to always ensure that you are well within the safe lane of copyright legalities regarding the sounds you are trying to record.

Now that we’ve settled that… let’s dive in!

Can I Record From the Web to Ableton?

Here’s where third-party plugins come into action. Multiple options will do the trick, but for recording audio from the web, we’ll be looking at Acethinker Audio Recorder.

Acethinker Audio Recorder is a free online tool that allows you to record any audio directly from your browser, without any time limitation.

Let’s look at how to set up Acethinker Audio Recorder:

  • Step 1 – Download and install the Acethinker Audio Recorder ‘Launcher’
  • Step 2 – Open up Acethinker and select the source of your audio, whether that’s the system, a microphone, or both.
  • Step 3 – Once your settings are complete, hit the Record button to begin recording.
  • Step 4 – Once you’re done, simply click the Stop button to end the recording process and save it as an MP3.
  • Step 5 – Finally, open the MP3 file on Ableton Live.

It’s as simple as that! Acethinker Audio Recorder is free and requires just a single click to start recording. No complicated steps are involved.

You can also record music, news, podcasts, and audio calls effortlessly with Acethinker.

Capture sounds from online sources such as VEVO, Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, BBC, iTunes, AOL, Skype, WeChat, and also any audio played on your computer, including system sounds and the microphone input.

Can I Record From the Computer to Ableton?

Recording directly from your computer to Ableton Live can also be a tedious and overly complicated process, as there’s no way to directly record the audio.

Where some options, like an audio interface with an audio loopback, can be expensive and tricky to set up, we’ll take you through how to use third-party applications to record audio directly into Live, straight from your computer.

Mac and Windows have different applications and processes, so we’ll go over how to record on each operating system.

Recording Audio from Mac to Ableton:

The app we’ll be looking at for Mac is called Soundflower, a program that essentially acts as a virtual pipeline for audio routing on your computer.

Here’s how to set up Soundflower on your machine:

Step 1: Download Soundflower
The first step is to redirect audio playing in one app (e.g., a web browser) to a capturing app. Soundflower by Cycling ’74 is your best bet!

It’s a free system extension that allows you to redirect audio from one app to another. For instance, you can transfer audio from a movie playing in your web browser to Ableton Live for recording.

Step 2: Configure Soundflower
Once you’ve installed Soundflower, open the Sound System Preferences, and you’ll see it listed in both the Output and Input tabs.

Go to the Output tab and select ‘Soundflower (2ch)’. This will redirect all sound from your Mac’s speakers through Soundflower, not just the audio you want to capture, but also system sounds like e-mail and Twitter alerts.

Step 3: Configure Ableton Live

  1. To set up Ableton Live, head to Preferences, and select the Audio tab.
  2. From the Audio Output and Audio Input pop-up menus, choose Soundflower (2ch) as your input.
  3. Once you’ve armed your audio track, when your Mac makes a sound, it should be displayed in the track’s meters.
  4. Finally, click Record to capture the audio.

Step 4: Monitor the Mac’s sound
When you choose Soundflower as your Mac’s audio output, audio can no longer be heard through attached speakers or headphones.

To monitor the audio, launch the Soundflowerbed application (which is found in /Applications/Soundflower) and choose your speakers or headphones from the Soundflowerbed menu bar item.

However, remember that all the sounds that your Mac makes will be routed through Soundflower, so make sure to disable any alert sounds or quit the applications that produce them.

Also, remember that any changes made to Mac’s volume will be captured by the recording application.

Recording Audio from Windows to Ableton:

Fortunately, Ableton and Windows are fully compatible.

Recording audio from your computer to Ableton is slightly more complicated on Windows, as you’ll need a few third-party programs to get the job done.

For Windows, we’ll be looking at using the Virtual Audio Cable by VB-Audio.

Follow these steps to record audio from Windows to Ableton:

Step 1: Download Virtual Audio Cable
The first step is to download and install a program called Virtual Audio Cable by VB-Audio. Once the app is downloaded, open the folder and extract the .zip file.

Once the file is extracted, run the 64-bit application. Make sure to run it as administrator, or else the installer won’t work. Once the installer is complete, reboot your system.

Step 2: Download ASIO4ALL
The next step is to download and install ASIO4ALL, a program that allows you to use more than one sound device at a time. We need this to be able to hear the computer’s audio as well as any signal from the Virtual Audio Cable.

Step 3: Configure Output Device
Once ASIO4ALL is set up, open up ‘Playback Devices’ on Windows and make sure that VB-Audio Virtual Cable is the default device. This ensures that the output of the computer is routed through the Virtual Audio Cable.

Step 4: Configure Ableton
Once your Playback Devices are set up, it’s time to move on to Ableton Live.

  1. Open up Preferences, and in the ‘Audio’ tab, change the Driver Type to ASIO and the Input Device to ASIO4ALL.
  2. From here, we need to configure the device, which you can get to by clicking ‘Hardware Setup’, which will open up the ASIO4ALL setup.
  3. Click the Wrench icon, which will expand the inputs and outputs.
  4. Check ‘IN’ from the Virtual Audio Cable and take it to the ‘OUT’ of your computer’s audio.
  5. Finally, on your Ableton Live audio track, change the ‘External In’ to stereo, set the monitoring to ‘Auto’, and arm the track.
  6. Now when you hit record, your computer audio will be routed into your Ableton live track.

Can I Record from Spotify to Ableton?

Spotify is one of the world’s leading music streaming platforms and hosts a huge catalog of music. This makes us ask the question, can we record that music onto Ableton Live?

There isn’t a way to directly record music from Spotify to Ableton Live, but using third-party programs like Audio Hijack by Rogue Amoeba, we can find an indirect route.

With Audio Hijack, recording audio on your Mac is effortless. It captures any audio that you can hear on your computer, from web streams to voice chat conversations.

The audio effects can also help enhance microphone inputs and apply equalizers to movies, allowing you to even pause and rewind live audio.

Audio Hijack is a versatile and powerful audio recorder that provides everything you need to capture, broadcast, and enhance audio.

Here’s how to use Audio Hijack to record from Spotify:

Step 1: Download Audio Hijack
The first step is to download and install Audio Hijack. Once opened, you’ll see a range of templates that you can choose from.

Step 2: Set Up a Session
From the templates window, choose ‘Application Audio’ which will allow you to record audio from any application on your computer.

Step 3: Record Audio from Spotify
The next step is to play your audio from Spotify, and hit record on Audio Hijack. It’s as simple as that. Audio Hijack will record your Spotify audio into the format of your choice, whether that be an MP3 or even a WAV file.

Step 4: Open in Ableton Live
Once you have your Spotify recording, open the file in Ableton Live, where you can manipulate and process it to your heart’s content.

Please also take a look at our article about how to route Ableton audio to Video chat.

Can I record from Apple Music to Ableton?

Apple Music is up there with the best music streaming platforms in the world; with its high audio quality and huge catalog, it’s no wonder.

Unfortunately, Ableton Live doesn’t allow for direct recording from music streaming platforms. But we’ll show you how to record audio from Apple Music to Ableton, using a third-party program called Audio Hijack.

Here’s how to use Audio Hijack to record from Apple Music:

  1. Download Audio Hijack.
  2. Choose the ‘Application Audio’ template in the templates window.
  3. Play Apple Music audio and hit record in Audio Hijack to save in the desired format (e.g. MP3 or WAV).
  4. Open recording in Ableton Live.

Can I Record from Tidal to Ableton?

Tidal is a fast-growing, up-and-coming music streaming platform, known for its premium audio quality and extensive library. It’s also the music streaming platform that pays its artists the most, so it’s a strong contender.

Unfortunately, recording directly from Tidal Music to Ableton Live is not possible. But don’t worry, you can still record Tidal audio in Ableton using Audio Hijack.

Here’s how:

  1. Download Audio Hijack.
  2. Select the ‘Application Audio’ template in the templates window.
  3. Play Tidal audio and press record in Audio Hijack. You can save the audio in whatever format you want, WAV for better quality or MP3 to save space.
  4. Once you’ve recorded your audio, open the recording in Ableton Live, and voila!

Can I Record from Another Program to Ableton?

If you’re wanting to route audio between Ableton and other applications, you’ve come to the right place.
Here we’ll show you how to use third-party programs on Windows and Mac to record audio on Ableton from another program.


Step 1: Download Soundflower

Step 2: Configure Soundflower
In Sound System Preferences, select ‘Soundflower (2ch)’ as the Output to redirect all sound from the Mac through Soundflower.

Step 3: Configure Ableton Live
In Ableton Live Preferences, choose Soundflower (2ch) as the Audio Input. Arm the audio track and hit Record to capture the audio.


Step 1: Download Virtual Audio Cable
Install Virtual Audio Cable by VB-Audio, run the installer as administrator, and reboot the system.

Step 2: Download ASIO4ALL
Install ASIO4ALL to use more than one sound device.

Step 3: Configure Output Device
Make VB-Audio Virtual Cable the default device in Playback Devices.

Step 4: Configure Ableton Live
In Ableton Live Preferences, change the Driver Type to ASIO and Input Device to ASIO4ALL.


Audio Hijack

Acethinker Audio Recorder