How to Load WAV Sounds in Ableton

by Seamus Islwyn ; Updated September 22, 2017

The Ableton Live digital audio workstation also functions as a WAV audio editor. Most audio samples in, for example, drum sample packs, use the WAV format. Load the samples into Ableton to start using them in your own productions. Once you've loaded a WAV file into the program, you can crop it, split it, reverse it, transpose it and even slice it into a MIDI track.

Double-click the Ableton Live desktop icon to open the digital audio workstation.

Click on one of the folder icons on the far-left side of the program window to open the Ableton browser panel. Navigate to the directory in which the WAV file you want to load is saved.

Click, drag and drop the WAV file from the browser panel onto the mixer track labeled "1 Audio" to load it into Ableton.

Repeat the process for any other WAV sounds you want to use. If you want to put each WAV on its own track, press "Ctrl" and "T" together to add a new audio track, then drop the second WAV onto this new track. If you want to put all the WAVs on the same track, drop the second WAV into the slot directly beneath the first WAV.

Tip

  • Click the "RAM" button in the WAV's "Sample" section to load it into RAM. You can also drag and drop WAVs from Windows Explorer directly into Ableton audio tracks.

Tip

  • Only use royalty-free or appropriately-licensed samples in your productions.

About the Author

Seamus Islwyn has been writing for radio, print and online publications since 2003, covering subjects from independent Canadian music to automobile smuggling in the Balkans. His work has appeared in the "Tirana Times" in Albania, and he also composes and produces electronic music. Islwyn holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from McGill University and a certificate in radio broadcasting from Humber College.

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