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Ableton (Link and Live File Export)

Ableton is a music software company that developed Ableton Live (a DAW for macOS and Windows), software instruments, sample libraries and hardware controllers.

However there are several connections with IOS music making:

  • Many IOS apps offer synchronization using the Ableton Link standard.
  • Some IOS apps offer the possibility to export into the Ableton Live format

From the Ableton Link Documentation:

Ableton Link is a technology that synchronizes musical beat, tempo, phase, and start/stop commands across multiple applications running on one or more devices.

Applications on devices connected to a local network discover each other automatically and form a musical session in which each participant can perform independently: anyone can start or stop while still staying in time. Anyone can change the tempo, the others will follow. Anyone can join or leave without disrupting the session.


There more than 150 IOS apps supporting the link sync standard.

You can find a Link-enabled Products List at Abletons website. The app types range from audio mixers, recorders, sequencers, drum maschines, loopers to synthesizers.

The Ableton Link Apps List on the Synthyfrog website lists about 180 apps with link support.

The ALS file format is an XML file format packed with zip compression that can contain

  • midi notes
  • automation data
  • sample triggers
  • sample data (wav or aiff)
  • plugin chain information
  • tempo information

for multiple instrument tracks and the master track


App with ALS Export Midi Samples Filetype Info
BeatHawk .zip with project.als and project-Lite.als
BlocksWave .zip with project.als
Gadget .als (gzip-packed !) with project als-file without extension
Groovebox ?
Patterning 1 .zip with project.als and project-Lite.als Midi only for track #1
Patterning 2 .zip with project.als and project-Lite.als

The Ableton Live website contains a list with some more IOS apps capable of exporting ALS.

Using the Pythonista IOS python interpreter and a python script it is possible to convert the exported ALS file into a MIDI file containing the exported tracks directly on the IOS device.

  • ableton.1575878798.txt.gz
  • Last modified: 2019/12/09 19:06
  • by _ki