How to Use Arrangement View in Ableton Live

You can navigate to the Arrangement View in Ableton Live by pressing the “Tab” key. There are numerous options to use this view to make Ableton Projects, and you can perform all the basic recording, editing, and other tasks here.

I’m Donovan, a seasoned musician and producer with over a decade of experience working with various DAWs. I’ve spent the last several months exclusively using Ableton Live and know how to use Arrangement View through first-hand experience.

This post will highlight how to use Arrangement View in Ableton Live. I’ll show you how to access this view from your Live Set and provide several tips and tricks for using this as your home base for creating audio projects. 

Let’s get rolling. 

A Quick Guide to Using Arrangement View in Ableton Live

There are two main views when using Ableton Live – the Session View and the Arrangement View. These are both capable of handling just about any task in the DAW, although you might find one more convenient to your workflow than the other. 

I prefer to work with Session View most of the time. But in my experience, Arrangement View comes in really helpful when it’s time to edit tracks or when you want to do comping or overdubbing. 

The very first step to using Arrangement View is accessing it, as Ableton will typically open up in Session View. 

Press the Tab key to toggle between Session View and Arrangement View from your Live Set window. 

An empty/new Live Set in the Arrangement View

There isn’t one exact way to use Arrangement View. Instead, it’s more a matter of how you utilize and incorporate the various features and tools within the view to your advantage during the creative or production end of your projects. 

How to Add Clips to Tracks in Ableton Live Arrangement View

You can drag and drop audio clips, samples, and other features directly into the tracks in the Arrangement View. Your audio clips will be displayed in a linear timeline next to one another rather than stacked on top, like in Session View. 

But you can still access all your samples and other files from the Browser/Library as you would with any Live Set. 

Choose any sound/clip/sample groove from the Collections browser and drag it into a track in the Arrangement View. 

How to Record Audio/MIDI Clips in Arrangement View

Recording Audio/MIDI clips in Arrangement View is essentially the same as doing it in Session View. You just access the controls in a different location.

The Arm Record, input selection, monitoring, and other recording features are located on the right of each track in this view. 

Once you have a track armed for recording, you can press the Record buttons on the top of the main project window, just like any other view. 

The record buttons are in the same location in Arrangement View on the top of the Live Set window. 

Other Arrangement View Features

If you are working on a large project, knowing how to fold your audio clips can help with your Arrangement View workflow. This basically expands and shrinks the tracks to make things more manageable. 

Press the fold/unfold button in the track name window to do this

The fold/unfold button

Zooming in and out on audio clips is a feature I use all the time in Arrangement View. This is super helpful when you are making edits or want to make any minor adjustments to the audio clips themselves. 

Press the + or – keys to zoom in and out of your projects. 

Project zoomed-out
Same project zoomed-in

Like in Session View, you can drag effects, plugins, or other tools onto your track by dropping them in the open pain at the bottom of the project window. This will give you easy access to making adjustments to controls or settings. 

You can also still easily access the Piano Roll in the Arrangement View by clicking on the Clip View selector at the bottom of the Live Set window. This is another excellent tool to utilize for editing, especially for MIDI. 

But you can also select any track you want a closer look at with the Clip View selector. It will work for Audio Tracks just the same, but you won’t see the Piano Roll if it’s not a MIDI track. 

The Audio Clip Selector

Final Thoughts

The Arrangement View in Ableton Live gives you another look at your Live Sets. You can do any function within this view, and it’s very easy to record or edit here. I think the Arrangement View is the best view to make audio track edits. 

Remember that you can quickly toggle between the Session and Arrangement views by pressing the Tab key. I switch between each often during a project, depending on what I’m working on. 

What is your favorite thing about the Arrangement View? Let me know in the comments below.

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