So Ableton live crashes and you think you’ve lost everything

Got this from Jerome Hill – too good not to share and might get you out of a tight spot.

Basically if ableton live crashes it creates a temporary project file in your library.
The issue with OSX is your library is now hidden.

So here’s the tip & hope it helps you if you’re in a sticky situation.

Right.. its all down to flakey ableton crashing, and luckily it crashed on me yesterday… everytime it crashes (i think) a file is saved, and was able to(n) restore from that…Thanks again The Irish !!!!
Here were my instructions:

first open “terminal” in utilities and type this in

chflags nohidden ~/Library

That will unhide your hidden library…

THEN, go to macintosh HD, then users, then “your username”, then to “library” (which would’ve been hidden if you didn’t do step one), then preferences, then ableton, then “live 8.0.whatever”, then a folder called crash…

Each of the files in there will be a sort of ghost version of your crashed ableton projects. Find the one that matches the time and date you think yours crashed. They may be missing samples but once you get one open you can usually recover your work and click “find missing samples”

19 thoughts on “So Ableton live crashes and you think you’ve lost everything

  1. having a ton of problems in ableton 8. suite. mac. not sure what to do. takes a long time to open, projects longer, wont play anything back, freezes, crashes. i have a home studio. i recently got a edirol ua-1000 seems to be part of my problem. was using an eie and it was fine. switched and nothing but problems.
    also i dont know where ableton is storing my projects to move them. i want to back them up and i also thought of a re instal but cannot till i find and move my projects.
    please HELP!!


  2. Oh man…I love you. I stupidly over wrote a completed track after clearing all of my MIDI channels out to start on a new track. I had lost a tens of hours of MIDI clip work where I couldn’t even re-produce half of the weird experimental effects I put on. I thought there might have been a crash file for the project but I had no clue how to find it. I was able to find a crash file for the project and I have recovered all of my MIDI work. I lost some heavily processed audio clips but the MIDI tracks were back as I left them. Wow…thanks a ton.

  3. Hi
    Anybody experienced spontaneously disappearing clips? First the launch buttons vanished, though the tracks still carried the instrument names and weirdly, the whole thing still played when I pressed the main play button. I could even press the solo button on individual tracks and hear each clip play. I closed and reopened the live set hoping this would make a difference but it didn’t. They were still invisible yet still played – but I could not arrange them, they were just as they were. I closed and reopened again (and no, I did not “save changes”) only this time, I heard only silence. Everything looked exactly as before – correctly labeled instrument tracks but apparently no clips. I am using an Alesis QX25 keyboard as my midi controller. I am starting to think I have a glitched copy of Ableton and/or a glitched computer. Bought the whole set up used but from a good friend who swore he set it up right. Am pretty annoyed as I spent several hours creating this track tonight and now, it is all gone, for no apparent reason. iu am wondering if any of your crash-save tips will work for me. I am on a PC. Ideas most appreciated.

    • never heard of that happening .
      Are you using a legit copy of live?
      If you are then hit up ableton support .
      One option is to freeze all your midi racks and drag the frozen track into audio track and that will render the sound in place or render your track as separate tracks – at least you will have your stems
      hope that helps and you sort out your problems with live

      • Hi, my copy is legit, in the sense that it was bought and paid for, but it’s not registered in my name – I inherited the laptop from a friend who had put Ableton on it. I am trying to communicate with Ableton via this friend, but he’s in Australia and I’m in Europe and there is a big lag time in our attempts to straighten this out. An even bigger problem than the disappearing clips issue though is the random pitch change factor!!!! This is driving me completely fucking suicidal because it makes music totally absurd and surreal when the notes on the keyboard mean nothing. One may as well just throw things at it and see what happens or let the cat run up and down the keys. I find tons of other people having this problem online but so far none of the solutions completely solve the situation because they focus on fixing stuff in the clips which means you already recorded it and are having trouble in the playback. But this is happening in the initial playing in. It is not a conflict between tracks because it can happen on the very first thing played in a new track. It can happen halfway through playing a part. I cannot understand what the point of pitch automation even is and would dearly love to know how to delete this possibility but I can’t find such instructions. I think Ableton is being very coy and quiet about this but it is clearly not a unique problem to me. I am using 8.0 at the moment and it has occurred to me that it’s a glitch fixed in 9 but I don’t know for sure because like I said, I feel that Ableton is being dishonest. They MUST know this is a serious problem!!! Do you have any ideas? Thanks and I apologize for ranting. I just really hate sitting down to write and record a song and instead spending 4 hours reading Tech forums and screaming at the computer.

  4. Hello, um am I supposed to double click on the crash reports? It says that it’s a crash report so you can’t really open a crash report.

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