I've been trying to archive my samples for later use.

Assume I have a sample cropped perfectly in drum rack and I've verified that the sample is how I want it. I've then stored the .wav for the sample along with the .asd in my archive. When I later import the sample into a new Ableton project, I'm finding there will be some extra wave form from the original track on either side of the sample that was cropped out before.

What this means is that my snare hit may have a tinge of the hi-hat that followed, which makes a slight pop at the end of the sample.

This requires me to re-crop every single time I import the sample into Ableton.

I thought maybe I would need to not only import the .wav sample, but also copy the .wav.asd file from the original sample into the new project, but that doesn't seem to do anything.

As an aside, I'd ultimately like to be able to store the sample along with it's exact settings as I made it originally. For example, preserving release and attack settings.

To import the sample, I'm just adding it from the browser window. Perhaps there is a different way to do this so cropping and other settings are preserved?

EDIT: So, I found out that I can save my drum rack and that will save all the settings and such. However, this doesn't include with it the actual wav files it seems for the samples. Also, it saves it as a an ableton live specific format. I wish I could just save the wav files off somewhere cropped properly. Is this even possible?

EDIT: Would it be better if I reformulated my question? This seems like an issue of simple sample management. How can I even store raw samples of the correct length? Forget about all the extra settings and such.

  • Your question seems clear, but I'm not sure that we can answer a question about why Ableton made a design decision. You might try asking the same question on Ableton's forum. Sep 20, 2012 at 22:25
  • I guess the issue is that I had no way of knowing that this was a design decision. I thought was I was asking about was possible. The answer below is a good one, I think.
    – Carter
    Sep 24, 2012 at 5:27

1 Answer 1


In short: when you "crop your samples in a Drum Rack," you aren't editing the samples - you're editing the Drum Rack (or the devices inside it). Yes, this can be confusing at first.

Live doesn't copy audio files, it references them

In general there are two ways to load an audio file into Live and mess with it. Let's assume you're working with a .wav file:

  • You can load it as a Live Clip by dragging the .wav file from the browser into Session or Arrangement view. You can load the same .wav into lots of separate clips.
  • You can load it into a device such as a Sampler, Simpler, or into a Drum Rack cell (which actually just loads it into a Simpler, but puts the simpler in the drum rack cell automatically) by dragging it onto such a device. You can load the same .wav into lots of different devices

Here's the confusing part: Live does not make a copy of the .wav file every time it's loaded. For example, if you put the same .wav file into 5 different Simpler devices, each with their own settings, the .wav file does not change. It's the Simplers that are all different. The .asd file does not save these settings - It wouldn't even make sense if it did, as there are five Simplers but only one .asd file. If you want to save your device settings, you need to save a preset for that device, or save that device inside a Live set. To import the sample into a new project, load the device preset.

This is why you lose your device settings when you do your cropping in a Drum Rack, but you only save the .wav and .asd - you're losing all the settings for the Drum Rack.

You can save presets for any device in Live, but you'll need to keep the sample .wav as well as the device preset files. One way to do this is to put all of your sample .wavs in some folder that won't change, and then save the device presets on their own somewhere else. This will work so long as the .wav files are still there every time you load up a preset that is looking for one of them. The downside to this is that you have to make sure you don't ever lose this folder or edit the files directly, since the presets depend on them. The upside is that you can get really creative about messing up your samples with device presets and you won't ever destroy any sample data.

This sounds complicated, I just want to output .wav files!

If you want to save what you've done as simple audio, then you need to, you know, save them as audio. In Live, because everything is done by reference, the only easy save-as-audio feature is the Export Audio function, which renders whatever is on the timeline to audio. There is no batch "save all my drum rack sounds as audio" format, since there are cases where it wouldn't work - such as any clever macro knob assignments you've made.

You can use the export feature by creating a MIDI clip on the timeline, and triggering each of your samples in turn with it. You can then export this region as a single long audio file, and cut it up into individual .wav files with any audio editor like Audacity.

Yes, this method is a bit hacky, but it's because Live is a multitrack sequencer, recorder and looper - it's not a wave editor per se, so you have to get audio out of Live to do any serious wave editing tasks.

  • 2
    You can also crop a sample inside the clip editor. That creates a new audio file that is the length of the selected section rather than the whole file. Sep 21, 2012 at 17:48
  • ObscureRobot, I haven't found that to be exactly true. This is essentially my problem. You can crop the sample, but the wav that gets created is always slightly less cropped on either end of the wave form, which is what I was trying to describe in my question. I appreciate your answer Warrior Bob. It may be about the best one I'll get. This just seems odd to me, I can get a wave that's almost the exact sample I cropped, but not quite?
    – Carter
    Sep 24, 2012 at 5:33
  • 1
    @Carter You didn't mention Live Clips in your question which is why I didn't go into them in detail, but if you use the "Consolidate" feature on a Live Clip in Arrangement View (specifically a Clip, not a Simpler instance) it should create a new .wav file with your clip settings.
    – Warrior Bob
    Sep 24, 2012 at 14:28
  • this answer seems pretty spot on to me
    – Travis Dtfsu Crum
    Sep 27, 2012 at 13:09

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