Tutorial: Converting MIDI to Audio in Ableton Live

When you’ve created a nice MIDI-clip you sometimes wish to convert this in to an audio clip. This can be useful for applying some effects/ pitching or chopping sounds. However, simply dragging your MIDI clip to an audio track won’t do the trick.

In this short tutorial we’ll describe what you can do!





1. SIMPLY EXPORTING A TRACK

Of course there’s always an easy way. In Ableton you can simply EXPORT a single track.

In the top menu, follow::
File –> Export Audio/ Video

This screen will pop-up:
ableton_freeze_01

Where it says “Rendered Track”, instead of “Master” select the MIDI-track you wish to export, in this case it’s track 13. After exporting, you will end up having a “flat” WAV file.



2. FREEZING A TRACK

If you wish to keep more data of the MIDI file (which includes parts you have recored that are outside a cropped clip), freezing and converting it to audio is a much better option. It’s very easy to do, but takes a few clicks.

Step 1: Start by selecting your MIDI-track
Simply click on the MIDI-track.
FYI: In this tutorial I’m working from the Arrangement View instead of the Session View (simply hit TAB to switch between the two views).

Step 2: Freeze MIDI-track
Follow:
Edit –> Freeze Track

ableton_freeze_track_02

There she goes (this can sometimes take a while):
ableton_freeze_track_03

Once finished, it will look like this:
ableton_freeze_track_04





3. CONVERTING IT TO AUDIO

Now, as in the image above, you can see I selected a part of the (frozen) MIDI-track that I want to convert to audio.
To do so, start by inserting a new Audio track:

CMD + T (on Mac) or CTRL + T (on Windows).
FYI: To become a true Ableton nerd, make sure to study all these shortcuts over here.

Simply DRAG (or copy) the selection of your MIDI-track to your Audio track.

It will end up looking something like this:
ableton_freeze_track_05

As you can see by double clicking on one of the clips, all data (outside the cropped clip) is still there:
ableton_freeze_track_06

Of course you should only do this once you’re sure your MIDI arrangement is how you want it to be.
Converting audio back to MIDI isn’t the best idea.

Have fun!