Ableton Tip – How to search samples fast using collections

If you add all your samples to a collection, you can search them super-fast.  In the video below, I’m going to show you how add samples to a collection. 

I’m also going to show you how to move collections to a new computer.   This way the work you put into making a collection is never lost.

When you search samples using the Places folder in the bottom left of your Ableton browser, you may still have to open many folders to get to the searched sample.  I am going to show you how to use collections to find samples super-fast.  

0:23 – Example of finding Samples faster through Collections than through Places

1:30 – How to create collections

To add samples to collections, go to the top left of the Ableton Browser and you will see a collections area.  Each color corresponds to a number on the keyboard.  The top color represents one and the bottom will be 7.  If you want to add a file to a collection, make sure it is highlighted and selected in the Ableton browser, then push number 1 -7 depending on which number collection you want to add it to.  For example, select the file and push 3 to add it the 3rd collection. If you don’t see collections in the top of the Ableton browser, make sure they are not hidden by clicking their checkbox in the “Edit” menu to turn them on.  Get to the “edit” mode by pushing “edit”.

2:42 – Collections are Transferable to New Computers, here is how

Good news!  The collection data is stored on a .xmp file inside the Ableton USER Library.  If your samples and Ableton USER library are stored on an external drive, it can be transferred to another computer.  Also, all your work marking items for collections will be saved no matter if there is an Ableton Update or if you move Ableton to another computer.  Just take your hard drive with your samples and Ableton USER library to the new computer.  The collections will be saved but you will have to rename them in the browser.  I tested this and it is true, transferring them works.

Ableton’s tech support said they were not aware of any limits to how many items can be added to a collection.   Which is great, this means if you put a lot of work in to adding all your samples, there will be no threshold of how many you add, and they will always be there. 

3:50 – How to Know What New Samples Need to be Added to a Collection

Here is a tip for adding new samples without having to remember which ones you already added.  In the Ableton’s browser, go to your samples in the folder libraries on the bottom left hand side.  Now sort by “Date Modified” by clicking the arrow in the Ableton browser by “Date Modified”.   Now go to the last sample that you added to a collection.  The sample packs above there need to be added.  This is how you can find ones that you have not added yet. 

I hope this can help you.  Thanks for watching

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Ableton’s Guide on Using Collections

https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000268570-Using-Collections

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How to Make an Ableton Template or Default Set