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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Internet Broadcasting from Ableton Live 8 / Ableton Live 9 (Windows)


The following post explains how broadcast from Ableton, in Windows, with no noise or digital artifacts, and virtually no audible latency; the delay between Ableton playing and you hearing it in your headset.  Oh, and did I mention, it's all free !!


  1. Supports 4 output channels making it possible to support CUEing.
  2. Works with ASIO, which has low latency.
  3. Supports Shoutcast.
  4. Supports Icecast 2.x.
  5. Supports microphone input so you can do a real-time voice-over outside of Ableton Live.

Required Software

  1. Ableton Live 9 [Ableton Live 8]
  2. [Free] JACK Audio (link)
  3. [Free] Edcast v4 ASIO (link)
    1. Remember to create a short-cut.  The install doesn't do it for you.
  4. [Free] Lame MP3 Encoder (link) (installed in Edcast v4 ASIO directory)


Please follow carefully.
  1. Close down every other program that might be using audio.  This prevents unnecessary locking of audio files.
  2. Select the device you want to hear the music from Ableton in. I personally use a headset, but anything that is your DEFAULT audio port will work.
  3. Start Jack AudioPort
    1. You need to do this for Ableton can see the port and use JackAudio Control.
  4. Start Ableton Live 8 or 9.
    1. Open the Preferences, and go into "Audio".
    2. Select Driver Type "ASIO"
    3. Audio Device "JackRouter".
  5. Start JackControl
    1.  It should start with the connections window open, but if it doesn't click "Connect".
  6. Don't start EdCastAsio just yet, we'll do that later on.

Jack Control

This view is the default Jack with just Ableton Live running:

You will notice the there are two inputs for the microphone (lower left) running to the two inputs to Ableton in the upper right.  This corresponds to the input and output settings in Ableton's preferences:

Here we see the ASIO Device Driver and JackRouter set.  Note: You only can see JackRouter if you first start an audio port.  Inputs and outputs can be see by click the Input Config and Output Config buttons.  Here is the output:

If I turn on 3/4 stereo as shown below:

Then in Jack Control, you'll see two new outputs appear.

We can use these two extra ports to take advantage of the CUE feature in Ableton.  This is the ability to listen to audio on a separate headset than the main audio that will be broadcast.

Start EdCastASIO

This is Edcast running for the first time.  I have AutoConnect turned off.  You'll notice that in this picture, the L/R channels have sound.  This is caused because JACK connected the mincrophone to EdCast ASIO:

 What we want to do is route OUT3 and OUT4 from Ableton into edcastAsio. 

How we do this is very simple.  We select OUT3 and edcastAsio in1, and click "Connect", then OUT4 and edcastAsio in2 and click "Connect".

Now if we don't want our microphone going into edcast, we can select capture_1 and edcastAsio in1 and capture_2 and edcastAsio out2 ... one at a time and click disconnect:

So what this picture shows is Ableton 1/2 going to your system's selected headset, and Ableton 3/4 going to edcastAsio.  The system microphone is routed to Ableton's in 1/2.

With Ableton not playing, the Edcast panel looks like this:

You'll notice the peak meters are off to indicate no sound is present.

Setting Ableton's MASTER and CUE outputs

Here you can see CUE OUT is set to Channel 1/2 which means when channels 1/2 are playing we'll hear them in our headset, and the master is sent to 3/4 which is what is being sent on edcastAsio; and eventually to the internet beyond. 

Hitting Play, you'll notice sound going to 3/4, and nothing is being set to 1/2.  Looking at edcastAsio, you'll see it's peak meter moving, but you won't hear anything on your headset.  This is because nothing is being cued.

To use the CUE feature, click the button shown by the RED arrow below.  When you do the "S" buttons marked by the yellow arrows will turn to headsets.

Clicked ...

Click this button to hear the track you select it on.  If you click a different track, you hear that instead, which is a bit inconvenient.  If you want to hear multiple tracks, hold down the CONTROL key when clicking the button.

Between the track numbers and the cue buttons, you will see one of these four sound graphs.

  1. YELLOW on this track is being transmitted to the MASTER.
  2. ORANGE on this track means the track is on the MASTER channel, but in this case the midi for the track comes from someplace else, but it's still on the master.  The blue peak meter indicates the track can be heard on the CUE track.
  3. GRAY on this track means the track is not on the MASTER channel, but the blue peak meter means you are listening to on the CUE channel.
  4. GRAY on this track means the track is not on the MASTER channel, and the grey peak meter means the track is playing but it's not going to either the MASTER or CUE.

You don't have to use the CUE feature of Ableton 

I decided to describe the CUE feature first, so that you knew you didn't have to use it.  To not use CUE and to hear everything that comes out of Ableton that is being broadcast:
  1. in Ableton: Turn off the second part of outs for JackRouter.  You don't have to do this, but it does save CPU, so I recommend it.
  2. in Jack Control, reassign the outputs:

Your done.  Now whatever is coming out of Ableton, you will broadcast via EdcastAsio and hear on your headset.

Broadcasting with Edcast ASIO

By default, Edcast will have no settings, so you will need to add an encoder.  Simply click the encoder, and edcast will use this as a default:

You'll right click the encoder, and select configure.  Later on when you want to broadcast to this channel, you right-click again and select "Connect".

I won't go into all the settings, if you are familar with Shoutcast or Icecast.  Edcast handles both. Note: You will only see the MP3 encoder if you downloaded it from here (link) and installed it in the same directory as EdcastASIO.