How to Export Stems in Ableton Live

You can export stems in Ableton Live by selecting the arrangement of your Live Set and choosing “Export Audio/Video” from the “File Menu”. From there, you can choose if you want to export all individual tracks or selected ones.

I’m Donovan, and I’ve been using Ableton Live as my primary DAW for the last few months. I’ve created dozens of projects over that time and know how to export stems through first-hand experience. 

This post will show you a detailed guide about exporting stems in Ableton Live. I’ll walk you through the simple steps of making this happen, highlight some export settings you should consider, and provide you with related information. 

Let’s jump in. 

A Quick Guide to Exporting Stems in Ableton Live

Exporting stems is an important skill to know how to do if you are sending any of your tracks to other musicians, producers, or engineers. And it’s super easy to do in Ableton, although there are a few different settings to consider when doing so. 

Note: the screenshots in the tutorial below are taken based on the Mac version of Ableton. The Windows version might look different.

Step 1: Once you have your Live Set ready for export, all you need to do is select Export Audio/Video from the File menu to view all the Export settings. You can also press Shift-Command-R for a shortcut to access the same settings. 

Be sure to select your entire arrangement before opening the settings menu if you want to export all of the stems in your Set. You can also choose just a single track for export if you don’t want to export the entire project. 

Step 2: In the Export Audio/Video settings menu, you’ll see a box for Rendered Track. This is where you’ll decide which portion of your project you want to export.

Step 3: To get a stem of each track in your Set, you need to bounce each track individually. Select the All Individual Tracks option in the drop-down for this.  

This is the most common option you’ll use to export stems from a Live Set. But if you want to export only selected tracks or a specific track, just choose the option you want from the same drop-down. 

Step 4: Now, you’ll want to ensure that the Render Start and Render Length are set to cover the entire length of your Set. These are the two boxes with numbers directly under the Rendered Track option. 

Start at 1.1.1 and end wherever your track ends. If you only export a track from the middle of the project, you need to adjust these timing parameters to match up. 

Step 5: Now look at the Rendering Options portion of the menu and make sure that the following settings are all turned off: Render as Loop, Convert to Mono, and Normalize

In the image above, notice that I have the Create Analysis File box turned On. This is because I’m sending my stems to another producer who is also using Ableton. If you are sending it to someone who uses a different DAW, you don’t need this turned on. 

Step 6: Choose your Sample Rate from this box as well. Whoever receives your stems will need to use the same sample rate to access them. 

Step 7: Now, make sure that the Encode PCM option is turned on. 

Step 8: Then select the file type you want to export your stems as. AIFF is pretty standard and, in my experience, has solid audio quality. But you can also choose WAV or FLAC from here, depending on your preferences.

Step 9: And finally, select Export from the bottom of the menu. 

Step 10: A Save dialogue box will appear. Choose the name of your stem files and their destination folder from here. Remember where you saved them so you can access them to send them wherever they need to go. 

Repeat all the steps here for any other stems you want to bounce or for any other Ableton Projects. 

Pro Tip: You will likely need to use a file-sharing service to send your exported stems around. If you exported them in a high-quality format, they will be too large to send as email attachments.  

I usually use Dropbox for sending stems because it’s an easy and affordable option that gives me enough storage to work with. But there are other similar services available if you want to use something else.

Final Thoughts

Exporting stems in Ableton Live is straightforward. Remember to get your export settings right so you have the stems you want and need. If you are sending to another producer using Ableton, turn on the Create Analysis File option. 

Learning how to export stems is crucial if you plan on having professional-level tracks. You’ll want to share them with others who are working on your projects, and stems allow people to have the same audio files that are in your set. 

How many tracks did you have in your last Ableton Set? Let me know in the comments below.

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  • Sean B

    If I may add a shortcut I discovered: a quick way to get your start and end points for the export is to take the loop braces in arrangement view and place them at the beginning and end of the track (after the last sound has faded out, etc), then click on the loop region so that it’s highlighted. Now go to the export dialog and your start and end points will already be set up!

    • Donovan

      Thanks for sharing the shortcut! Much appreciated, and I’ll try that next time I’m exporting with endpoints.