Simpler Basics - Ableton Live


Ableton Live’s Simpler: The Basics

by Maya Wagner

Ableton Live can do a lot. However, its most reputable aspect may very well be its sampling abilities. Whether you have Live Lite, Standard, or Suite, learning how to use Simpler is something well worth your time. 


So, what is Simpler? Simpler gets its name from its comparison to Live Suite’s Sampler. Think of Simpler as the SIMPLER version of the Ableton Sampler. Simpler is a fab place to start your journey through the world of sampling or a great place to continue your journey. I thought this beginner tutorial would work best in a step-by-step fashion, so let’s hop into step one!



Step One: Open Simpler!

In my opinion, the easiest way to get a sample imported into Simpler is to SIMPLY drag the audio file you want to sample into the device tab of any audio track and Simpler will open with your audio file loaded in!


Step Two: Crop and Warp

Next, we’ve gotta pick which part of our sample we want to… sample. Simpler provides three modes for selecting sections of samples and playing them back. These modes are...




  • Polyphonic by default (allows you to layer the sample into chords)
  • ADSR envelope to shape the sample over time
  • Option to loop a specific part of the sample so that it can be held out for longer if need be. 



1-shot (one-shot)

  • Plays back the length of the sample regardless of how long the corresponding midi note is held
  • Simplified envelope
  • Best for drum hits and “one-shot” samples such as phrases or percussive elements
Training Subject
Ableton Live Sampling
Creative Technology Center Knowledge base
Last modified
Fri, May 20th 2022