How To ReWire Ableton Live Into Logic Pro

Logic Pro and Ableton Live are heavy-hitters in the elite circle of Digital Audio Workstations.  Both programs have come a long way and both are very well rounded.  I’m primarily a Logic Pro user, but I will say that Ableton Live is the most complete DAW I’ve used.  If you own both of these programs then you have access to some very powerful production tools, and to an extent, Rewire allows you to incorporate the best of both worlds.

Ableton shines in areas that Logic Pro does not. For starters, its extensive catalog of effects processors and ways for manipulating sound are unmatched.  With that being said, this is a great tutorial for producers who are most comfortable working in Logic Pro, but still want an efficient way to make use of Ableton’s sounds and tools in their productions.

Here’s a hypothetical example of how rewiring Ableton into Logic Pro can be useful:

Lets say that I made an electronic beat in Logic and I’m struggling to find a nice lead synth for it, but I know of a sound in Ableton that would be perfect.  I basically have two options for getting that sound into Logic:

I can bounce down a quick sample of the beat as-is, import it into Ableton, Load that lead synth sound up, lay down the melody, bounce it to a wav file, close Ableton, load up Logic, and import the loop into my arrangement.

Or, the much easier way would be to create an External MIDI and Auxiliary track in Logic and rewire Ableton.

Here’s how it’s done:

Step 1 – Open a Logic session and then open the Ableton session you wish to rewire.

Step 2 – Revert back to your Logic session and create an External MIDI track by clicking on the plus box in the upper right hand corner of your arrangement.

Step 3 – Select External MIDI from the New Track menu options and hit the create button.

Step 4 – Scroll over to your Library browser and select the folder Ableton Live.

Ableton Live folder in Logic Pro

 

Step 5 – Choose the instrument track you’d like to rewire.  In this case, I chose the first track 2-Lead-Trancer, which is the lead synth I needed from Ableton.

Step 6 – Open your Mixer window by clicking on the Mixer tab in the lower left-hand corner of your arrangement

Choose Mixer Tab

Mixer Tab

 

Step 7 – Create an Auxiliary Track by clicking the plus box on the left hand side of the Mixer window.

Create Auxiliary Track

 

Step 8 – Click on the Input drop-down menu, scroll down to Ableton Live and select RW: Mix L/R.  Hit Create.

Auxiliary Channel Strip Menu

Step 9 – Record enable your External MIDI track.  You should now be able to play your MIDI keyboard and hear the sound source from Ableton being played in your Logic Pro session.

Step 10 – Bounce to an audio file and import it into Logic

After you’ve recorded your melodic sequence using your Rewire track, bounce the file to a .wav file and import it into Logic.

Note:  This is an important part of the process!  If you don’t bounce your MIDI file to an audio file (WAV), then you will have to reload Ableton as a rewire slave every time you reopen this Logic session.  Otherwise, the External MIDI file you recorded through Rewire won’t play back.

Summary

There are more complex ways to linking Ableton and Logic for other reasons, but this is a good introduction to getting familiar with the process.  Using Rewire allows you to get the most out Logic Pro because it gives you the freedom to incorporate processors, effects, and sounds from other DAWs into your Logic sessions.

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One Response to “How To ReWire Ableton Live Into Logic Pro”

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