The Best Trick for Keeping Your Ableton Live Sessions Neatly Organized

Are you struggling with keeping your Ableton sessions tidy and readable? In this tutorial, we’ll show you a simple way to get your sessions cleaner and more readable so that you can better optimize your workflow and focus on what’s really important: music.

If you’re an Ableton Live user, you probably already noticed that some plugins display a lot of parameters when you load them in your session. Sometimes, that can be a really good thing if you need to access a lot of different controls. But depending on your needs, this feature might also clutter your screen unnecessarily, making it less readable by overloading it with options you don’t need.

Let’s look at an example of this using the Yum Audio plugin LoFi Flux Machine and loading it into an Ableton Live session.

To declutter your session, you might want to limit this parameter set and only display the ones part of the plugin controls you’re actively automating.

To do this, you’ll have to make use of Ableton Live’s options.txt file feature.

Creating an options.txt file opens up extra features in Ableton Live you might’ve not been aware of.

Here are the steps to create your own:

  1. Create a new plain text file using a text editor and name it options.txt
  2. Add the following Line to your options.txt file: -_PluginAutoPopulateThreshold=12
  3. Save the file.
  4. Place this file in Ableton Live's Preferences folder, which you should find under these file paths, depending on your operating system:

Windows: \Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live x.x.x\Preferences\

MacOS: /Users/[username]/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x/

*** [username] refers to your own username on your machine.

Doing this will auto-populate the plugin’s parameter list if a plugin has less or an equal amount of parameters than a number X, in this case, 12 parameters (since the line we copied in our options.txt file says 12).

You can change this value to anything you like, even 0. In this case, the plugins will never auto-populate until you explicitly chose to do so. To have the changes take effect, simply restart Ableton Live, and you’re done!

Now, if we load Flux Machine again in a session, we won’t see any auto-populated parameters.

We can then click on the CONFIGURE button and select only the parameters we want to display.

Another advantage of doing this is that, if you automate a control directly via the Plugins Interface while recording, it’ll also be displayed in your session automatically.

This is a cool trick to help you keep your sessions neatly organized so that you can take full advantage of your creative flow when working on your tracks.

And if you haven’t tried LoFi Flux Machine yet, don’t forget to grab your free trial version before leaving! You get full access to our plugin for free for 14 days.