Ableton Live in Worship

If you've landed on my site it's probably due to an interest in Ableton live

Ableton is an incredibly powerful tool for running clicks, tracks, hosting keys sounds and even controlling lights & lyrics

The following is a guide to getting started with using Ableton in Worship, but you'll find plenty of more in-depth videos & tutorials in my blog and on YouTube


Ableton or Playback?

It's worth considering at the start of your journey if you really require Ableton or not. To be honest probably 80% of what I do in Ableton Live can be done in Playback the iOS app from

Playback is incredibly versatile, super stable and powerful

Even now as a pro-user of Ableton I always carry playback as a back up or as a quicker, smaller solution for leading


So you've decided you want to go a little deeper than Playback, host key sounds or automate lyrics or lights, then next you're going to need an Ableton template. Sure you can spend hours making your own, or you can work smarter and start with a pre-made one. There are some legacy templates for beginners in my store but the most recent and most powerful one for advanced users is available at

This is actually two templates for both session and arrangement view and gives you the ability to fully harness the power of Ableton in any given situation



Personally when I lead I love to use the very best quality tracks avaiable to me and therefore I've been a user of for over 8 years. I love that they provide the original master recordings in a variety of keys. Also their collection is huge, over 6000 tracks! 

They offer a number of different ways to get tracks from full stems to custom mix tracks


Next you'll need a way of controlling Ableton. There are loads of different options here and finding the most suitable way is dependant on who is going to be triggering the tracks and from where. There are foot controllers such as the SoftStep for guitar players, drum pads like the Roland SPD-SX and countless options for keys players too! All of these controllers will output midi information that is received by Ableton Live and can be mapped to control various functions

Audio Interfaces

Interfaces allow you to route the audio from the computer to the sound desk. To begin with you may decide just to use the headphone socket but over time you'll probably desire more outputs and better audio quality. Again there are lots of options here for both USB & Firewire. Look for one that offers more output than you think you'll need



The internet is full of tutorials and advice on using Ableton Live. You'll quickly realise there are two main views to Ableton, Session & Arrangement view

The beauty of Ableton Live is that there is no right way to use it. Everyone uses it differently and that's amazing! I believe it all depends on context so spend a little time researching different uses and work out the best way for your setting

That being said, I suggest that keys players learn from Ian McIntosh, the keys player for Jesus Culture

Also check out the tutorials from Will Doggett