Skip to main content
Music Productivity

15 beautiful shortcuts in Ableton

By February 19, 2021No Comments

Mastering keyboard shortcuts is the key to become faster and let the creativity flow without so much resistance. Today, I’d like to share my top 15 shortcuts in Ableton Live 11 to help you speed up your workflow.

This set of shortcuts focuses on the Arrangement View. Though some of them apply to Session View, not all of them are.

Toggle Session/Arrangement View

MAC – Tab | Windows – Tab

Simple but powerful, hit Tab to bounce between Session and Arrangement View. Very useful to look at some of your mixing parameters while still composing.

Toggle Device/Clip View

MAC – Shift-Tab or CTRL-F12 | Windows – Shift-Tab or F12

Once you get the tab shortcut, this one should be easy to remember. This shortcut can help to bounce in between processing audio and doing micro-edits or warping.

Here they come the following four are my favourite ones.

Hide/Show Browser


This one can help while browsing plugins or samples. Once you are done hit the shortcut and you’ll hide the browser and you can focus on making music.

MAC – Shift-Tab or CTRL-F12 | Windows – Shift-Tab or F12

Hide/Show In/Out


This one is useful when you don’t have any recording to do. Hide everything to keep the session clean and tidy.

Hide/Show Sends


I don’t use this one as much but once again can help to consolidate mixing decisions. You want to force yourself to stick to the edits you made and that’s it hides all the sends. Or if you want a clean view you can also hide your Return tracks.


Hide/Show Mixer


This shortcut is another very useful commitment to the mix or a good way to direct the focus on other matters in the composition.

Search in Browser

MAC – CMD-F | Windows – CTRL-F

We went through my favourite ones. Now we go for the most abused shortcut. This feature is one of the reasons to switch to Ableton! For example, you need an EQ, you will then hit CMD – F, type ‘eq’, press the down arrow and enter in your keyboard. It works for samples, VSTs, racks, plugins, etc. I love it!

Group Selected Tracks or Group/Ungroup Devices

MAC – CMD-G | Windows – CTRL-G

Another abused shortcuts! You can make groups of groups and it gets so easy to get lost in it. Furthermore, the same shortcut works for devices. You can group devices, plugins and create your own racks!

Zoom to Clip Selection

MAC – Z | Windows – Z

This feature was implemented in Live 10 and it can boost your workflow easily. If you need a quick edit on a clip simply click on the clip, press Z and you are now focused on the audio.

Zoom Back from Clip Selection

MAC – X | Windows – X

Now you want to go back to where you were, press X. Done!


MAC – CMD-U | Windows – CTRL-U

Narrow Grid

MAC – CMD-1 | Windows – CTRL-1

Widen Grid

MAC – CMD-2 | Windows – CTRL-2

Snap to Grid

MAC – CMD-4 | Windows – CTRL-4

I often use the shortcuts above in conjunction when I edit MIDI. For example, I’m editing a drum beat and I need to adjust the hi-hats. I will then use the shortcut to ‘Narrow Grid’ and press the keystroke to quantize CMD-U. After that, I will move to snare or kick, I will then ‘Widen the grid’ with the shortcut and again quantize. If I’m not happy with the feel of the groove I can always toggle off ‘Snap to grid’ and move the MIDI freely. This workflow can be applied to warping audio as well.

Open the Preferences

MAC – CMD-, | Windows – CTRL-,

It’s a must-know shortcut, whether you need to fix your buffer size or make edits on the way Ableton works, you’ll find yourself using this shortcut frequently!

I love geeking new workflows in Ableton and I hope this blog post can help you in your journey. See you next week! 👋


Leave a Reply