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We’ve all heard of Ableton, but Heavyweight Bass Producer Group member N.E.R has dug a little deeper into the program to explore some of the programs hidden options. Here’s what lays under the hood, hidden from sight!!!

Take it away N.E.R

The Hidden Options.txt Guide

Ableton is a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) packed with great features, but some amazing features are hidden, and the way to access these is through the Options.txt – This applies to PC and MAC – Live version 7 and higher.

Installation instructions:

First you have to create the Options.txt file in the corresponding folder for your PC or MAC– (**everything in the Options.txt file and the filename itself MUST be case sensitive to work**) 

Download Options.txt here

Windows 7, 8 and Vista:
C:Users*User Name*AppdataRoamingAbleton*Live x.x.x Current Version*Preferences Example: C:UsersNERAppdataRoamingAbletonLive 9.1.8Preferences

Windows XP, 2000: (***Hidden files and folders must be enabled- only applies for XP and 2000***) C:Documents and Settings*User Name*Application DataAbleton*Live x.x.x *Preferences Example: C:Documents and SettingsNERApplication DataAbletonLive 9.1.8Preferences

Mac OSX: (***“Make with Plain Text” must be chosen when creating this file on Mac***) /User/Library/Preferences/Ableton/*Live x.x.x*/
Example: NER/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live 9.1.8/

The following commands have been collected from numerous sources and from the Binary Hex. There are many more commands I have found, but most were not useful or just did not work anymore. All of these have been tested by myself and are currently in use and working. Each command must be entered on its own line in the .txt file, Example at bottom:

*Note Options.txt loads with Ableton, changing values won’t take effect until Ableton restarts*


Enables Device view to see what devices you have on each track without having to click on the track (like Pro Tools for example) in Session View and Show/Hide button which will appear next to the Show/hide In/Out, Sends/Returns, Mixer, Track Delays and Crossfade Section buttons on the Session View


0=Off, 1=On – Enables Map to All Siblings and Copy Value to All Siblings Options in right click menu. Example: You want to map Velocity of every sound of the same type of instrument (sampler or simpler) in your Drum Rack to one knob, just map one of them… right click and then click map to all siblings. Copy Value to all siblings is for copying any value to all of the other instruments of same type. Both of these save lots of time.


0=Off – min=1 – max=128 (value of -1 is the same as 128) Default is 32 – This automatically maps available functions in the VST you are loading into the “Unfolded Device parameters” of the Device Chain. Some VSTs like Massive for example have more than 128 available functions to map, so only the first 128 will be mapped. This can be a pain to go through on larger VST but is very useful for smaller less feature VSTs.


0.0 – 1 – Lower values allow for more breakpoints created when recording automations. Higher values decrease the amount of breakpoints in the automations. 0.0 being the lowest- 1 being the highest – amounts include 0.1 – 0.9


This makes the mapping range minimum value of the setting being mapped to the value you mapped it at instead of mapping it to the lowest setting possible. Example: Say we want to map our good friend Velocity again and it is currently at 77% – the minimum range value is set 77% and max is 100% automatically instead of the value being set to min 0.0% max 100%


This Disables the VST SCAN on startup of Ableton. Depending on how you have your VSTs installed (for example everything installed to C:Program Files… which I do not recommend (in my opinion all VSTs and Plugins should e installed to a separate VST folder and even a separate Hard Drive if available, not only for easy backup purposes but for time saving when running VST scans), this may save a lot of time when loading Ableton. This only applies to the startup of Ableton and is still available in the options menu if needed.


*Windows ONLY* – This ensures that key messages are sent to VSTs and has no big function in current versions of Ableton because issues like that have been fixed for most devices, but may fix issues a small percent of people may have Including NI Reaktor issues.


This disables Ableton from being the Rewire Master. Useful for when you use Ableton as a Slave most of the time or in rare troubleshooting cases.


Max value = 64 – This sets the number of available Rewire Channels. The default of Ableton is 16 and when the max value is enabled you will have 32 mono 32 stereo Rewire Channels.

When using multiple APCs this forces each APC to be independent from each other including not allowing align and sync of session rings.


This prevents Alternative Input Devices (Tablets or anything besides mouse/touchpad including remote connections) from resetting mouse position when using mouse and alternative devices. Ableton Note : “Note: When enabling Absolute Mouse Mode, some actions that require relative mouse movements may experience problems, eg, fine-tuning a parameter while holding CTRL / CMD. Therefore we would recommend to only enable this option if other steps do not resolve this problem.” 


Since Live 8.2.7 this option is no longer needed but still useful for earlier versions. This is from Ableton 8.2.7 release notes : “There is a new entry in the Options menu: “Reduced Latency When Monitoring”, which toggles latency compensation on and off for tracks which have input monitoring on. When enabled, input-monitored tracks will have the lowest possible latency but may be out of sync with some other tracks in your Set. When disabled, all tracks will be in sync, but input-monitored tracks may have higher latency. Before, the option was only available via the ‘StrictDelayCompensation’ options.txt, and was ON per default. It now defaults to OFF.”


This is useful for when you want to replace missing files automatically but have multiple sources or minute variations of the same file for whatever reason. When this is enabled Ableton bypasses the checksum comparison of Missing Candidate Replacement.


This will Auto Arm any track when selected. Although useful, it can be a pain to deal with all the time.


This disables Auto Arming on new tracks when they are created. Very nice for adding tracks while recording at the same time and much more. However like some of the other options, its not great all the time in my opinon.


Do you like the old style Waveforms from Pre Live 9.5 version of Ableton .. Well now you can have them back! This Option Disables Live 9.5 new waveform display and uses the oldschool display. (ONLY WORKS IN LIVE 9.5 and higher*)


***Note that all of the above options can be added to the Options.txt and be disabled at any time by adding a “/” to the beginning of the entry. This way you don’t have to completely remove it and add it again when you want to use them***

In this Example, NoAutoArming is allowed, but EnablArmOnSelection and StrictDelayCompensation are not allowed at startup:




      ***BONUS for Heavyweight Bass Facebook Producer Group Members***

We’ve posted up a download link to Osker Charli Recon’s Ableton and Serato Quick Reference High Quality Desktop Wallpaper “The Periodic Table” in the Heavyweight Bass Facebook Producer Group. Showcasing Keyboard Shortcuts for Ableton and Serato, while visually illustrating some of the Options included in this guide. Also included is N.E.R’s Options.txt with brief descriptions. Not a member yet? Well follow the link above and ask to join…Please remember to read the group rules!!!

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