Ableton Live is the most popular DAW for electronic music producers worldwide. Whether it’s trap or tech house, Ableton has the functionality to facilitate seamless and easy production of any genre. For all its bells and whistles, synths and plug ins though, there’s one area that could be slightly improved.
Some people say that Ableton’s interface is clunky and clinical looking, but luckily you don’t have to be stuck with it! Thanks to the folks over at abletonthemes.com, you can choose from a wide range of skins to give your favourite DAW a make over. Whether you want to create your own or download one of the many user created skins, there’s a look for everyone here!
So, today with Top Music Arts, we will pick 5 of our favourite skins from abletonthemes.com.
Before we dive into our favourites, here's how you install a theme on Ableton Live.
Find the Ableton 10 application in your Applications folder, right click on it and select Show Package Contents. Then inside the app, head into Content > App Resources > Themes and drop the theme in there.
Drop the theme into C:\ProgramData\Ableton\Live 10 Suite\Resources\Themes.
When you've done the above, open Ableton and open the Preferences window, if it's open already close and reopen. The theme will then be under the Look/Feel tab.
So, let's have a look at our favourites in descending order!
5. PORNHUB by Gábor Gerencsér
Don’t get too excited! Despite its name, there are no nudes here, folks.
PORNHUB is a great theme for Ableton because it’s simple and minimal. If you’re like me, you love a dark theme. Whether it’s my phone, or Google chrome, or Ableton, if a Dark theme is an option, you can bet I’ll be using it.
With the classic combo of black and orange, PORNHUB theme looks sleek, elegant and beautiful. There are tons of dark themes with all sorts of colours for all different controls, but PORNHUB's all orange look is perfect for keeping your eye on the ball: the music.
Get it here: https://www.abletonthemes.com/themes/pornhub/2757
4. DARK CYBERPUNK by younggold
While the previous skin was minimal, DARK CYBERPUNK is anything but.
Combining the black backdrop with sharp greens, pinks and purples, DARK CYBERPUNK will let you feel like you're making music in the future. Or in space. Or maybe both.
It's a bold theme for a bold producer, maybe you're sound tracking a game, or another Bladerunner spin off?
3. IRON MAN MK1 by João Biolchini
What, you didn't think Tony Stark needed an Ableton skin too?
This skin is packed full of the red, gold and orange of Iron Man, but still no word on whether it can make your laptop fly.
It might be a bit gimmicky for some, but if you're as big a fan or Iron Man as you are of Ableton, then why not combine the two?
2. Pastel by morgan
Maybe you're exclusively producing nursery rhymes? Or maybe you're just looking for something that isn't a dark mode but also isn't Ableton's default greyish tones.
PASTEL is the skin for you. It's light and airy, and is a refreshing change from the usually dull interface that greets you when you're making music.
Soft colours allow a clear layout, so this is a winner.
Get it here: https://www.abletonthemes.com/themes/pastel/3362
1. MASSIVE X RED by KAROSHI
This one takes the cake for me. It's based off of the pleasing interface of Massive X (duh) but it adds in that little touch of black and red for the buttons and the highlighting.
It's a really stripped back look, and definitely not for everyone, but there's just something so visually appealing about the plain background with those pops of red and black!
I've chosen Massive X Red as my favourite skin, because it's so simple and such a change from the overwhelming amount of Dark skins available.
PORNHUB is one example, but there are loads of other black and colour combos, one such being called Spotify UI and featuring the signature green in place of PORNHUB's orange.
There are thousands of skins available on https://www.abletonthemes.com/ so make sure you dive in and find the best one for you!
Thanks for checking in with us here at Top Music Arts, and as always, check out the rest of our site for all your music production resources!