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I ask all you Ableton Live experts: is there a way to dynamically change the tempo in the arrange view?

I’m trying a different way of laying out my set and everything hinges on this. (PS: I may throw up in rage if there’s not a way to do it.) Thank you!

Posted on - April 5, 2007 [at] 2:43 pm by Brad
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22 Comments on this post

craig on Ableton Live changing tempo
April 5, 2007 at 4:13 pm

you can midi map the tempo box, and automate it with the song tempo automation in the master track


Brad on Ableton Live changing tempo
April 5, 2007 at 4:27 pm

craig is the best!

Peter Kirn on Ableton Live changing tempo
April 6, 2007 at 7:38 am

You asked about the Arrange view, but FYI in addition to Craig’s two tips, you can add tempo changes to scenes in Session View, as well. And yes, you automate tempo in Arrange just as in any other app.

Brad on Ableton Live changing tempo
April 6, 2007 at 7:45 am

Thanks Peter. I knew about the scene BPM changes, I guess that’s why I assumed changing tempo in the arrange view would be a retarded hack as well.

Matt Hite on Ableton Live changing tempo
April 7, 2007 at 12:31 pm

Another pitch related Ableton tool:

pushandpull, is an extension that adds “pitch bend” feature to Ableton’s Live TEMPO. It also allows you to control/change
Live’s BPM in small steps (1/6 of BPM), all this without using any kind of expensive hardware, you just need 4 keys from your
PC keyboard, or any Midi controller with at least 4 free keys/buttons.

Jamie on Ableton Live changing tempo
January 16, 2009 at 12:11 am

I tried automating the tempo using the master track, but when I add a new point and drag it I can’t seem to get it exact. When I change the tempo up top, I can get the automation line just where I want it, but I can’t add a point and get multiple tempo changes. Am I an idiot? I’m so close but so stuck…

Smiley on Ableton Live changing tempo
May 26, 2009 at 11:11 pm

@jamie i was stuck where you were too. i just figured it out. you have to type in the bpm min and max range you want in the little boxes below where it says ‘song tempo’. then you can drag your envelope to their exact min and max tempos. hope that makes sense.

joey on Ableton Live changing tempo
June 18, 2009 at 5:51 am

thanks everyone — this was all very helpful!

Karthik on Ableton Live changing tempo
August 10, 2009 at 4:00 am

Hi – When I try to change the tempo of recorded instruments, it responds well and adapts to the changed tempo. But, when I try to change the tempo of a recorded voice, it changes, but, it strucks during its playback. Can someone please help me in getting this resolved?

Miguelotron on Ableton Live changing tempo
December 31, 2009 at 11:40 pm

Extremely wise dudes,
This is not a comment, but, in fact, an inquiry. My band uses all midi instruments triggering programs that are hosted in Live. For instance, our drummer plays a midi kit triggering Addictive Drums, in Live. We want the kick drum to drive the tempo of Live. Does anyone know how to set this up?

josh on Ableton Live changing tempo
February 10, 2010 at 2:23 pm

does anyone know how to take the accent off of the tempo? we have a song that has 8 beats in one measure then… 7 beats in the other… then 8 again, then 8 again… and of course to play with the click that accent will always hit on the 8 and when we play that 7 beat measure the accent might throw us off. any way to get rid of that accent?

MuTeckie on Ableton Live changing tempo
March 2, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Miguelotron: I haven’t tried it, but a program called “In Time” frrom Circular Logic claims to do exactly what you want –

thearchitecht on Ableton Live changing tempo
March 3, 2010 at 12:09 am


I saw you mention there is a way to change tempos from one scene to the next in session view. How does one do that?

Thank you!!!

Adam on Ableton Live changing tempo
April 29, 2010 at 3:46 pm


I have the EXACT same question. Im trying to plan my bands set. So i want each scene to have it’s own tempo. LIke Scene one is 138 but our next track is 116 and down on scene 2. I want the clips to all lock into the first scenes individual tempo….Just starting is there a way to do this??

edummer on Ableton Live changing tempo
May 10, 2010 at 8:38 am

@thearchitect & Adam – the simplest way to change tempos between scenes is to put the bpm and the time signature in your scene titles

for example – 78bpm 4/4 Song Title

when the song starts, it’ll change tempo accordingly.

Jonas Dueholm on Ableton Live changing tempo
September 11, 2010 at 7:21 am

I have the same problem as Jamie.

I can’t figure out how to get the my tempo automation on the master track exact.
It seems I have to type in an exact tempo in the Maximum Tempo indicator every time I want a new tempo change, BUT how do I even type in a tempo there? I have tried double clicking, clicking while holding down various keys, but Live doesn’t react. This is really frustrating, but I guess (and hope) I’m just doing something wrong?

Ness on Ableton Live changing tempo
October 30, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Hi everyone, my question is:

I have a scene (100 bpm), in the middle, at the break of the song i have to change “on the go” the bpm, i’m in the session view, Someone can tell me how to do?

Thank you, and escuseme for the bad english :)

gzzzt on Ableton Live changing tempo
January 10, 2011 at 11:27 am

ok this is one of live’s major flaw that’s been driving me mad for years, there’s no simple way to exactly change a tempo at a given time in the arrange view, like in any other soft. There’s a “change signature” at the top, why not a “change tempo?”
anyway here is how I proceed:
-with no record enabled track, press rec play a little before you want your change, quickly manually edit the “tempo” box and press enter at the moment you want your tempo change. It will write an automation point at the tempo you want. The time of the change is not precise but better than than nothing.
Another way is to launch a scene with the desired tempo with rec enabled, but it will erase wathever tracks you have. The advantage here is to have a precise change at a bar.
If there’s any other way I’d be really glad to hear it.
There’s probably a way with max for live and the global settings, but it needs digging, maybe someone already did.

Wojtek on Ableton Live changing tempo
September 24, 2011 at 6:21 pm

My problem is slightly different.
I just would like to change tempo of every Wave or mp3 i put into Audio track in real time as I could do in any traditional DJ-mixing software.
I use Ableton Live to DJ and I love Abletons effects but I can not mix songs without changeing its tempos!
HELP. Is there any way to do this?
I wouldnt mind answers on my email: as I am not very often here.
So far I can not find answer to my question anywhere! So I will be VERY thankfull if someone know what to do!

Wojtek on Ableton Live changing tempo
September 24, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Important thing: I know about WRAPING but I dont want to use that function. WRAPING is OFF. Just want to change tempo traditionally.

Mookie on Ableton Live changing tempo
November 1, 2011 at 3:49 pm

How about multiple tempos in one arrangement? Is it possible to get exact tempos (ie. start at 85, then go to 120, then go to 135)? Thanks in advance!

D Magic on Ableton Live changing tempo
January 16, 2012 at 5:39 pm

@edummer THANK YOU SO MUCH! you just solved all my problems with that little hint. Session view will never be the same

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