When the overly medium tone grey default UI begins to chip away your willingness to look at it anymore, you begin to experiment with what your other options are.
Most of the skins that come with Ableton Live 9 are absolutely terrible. As a fan of darker UI, I automatically gravitated towards the skin called ‘Disco’. I happen to have some problems with it. Some of the tones are too close to each other (yes, I’ve color calibrated my monitor.) and the choice of orange being the highlight color was a mistake.
So what does one do? look into a new DAW? more on that in a future post but when you start doing some simple researching, you start to find tools other people have made to create your own skin. That’s exactly what I did.
Weird thing about Live 9’s skins you can’t really edit them with a text editor. Luckily someone made a free Live for Max plug-in called ‘Skin Editor‘. The plug-in’s UI is simple but unfortunately it’s too simple. There’s not much documentation of which numbers go where on the Live GUI, the small description that is there isn’t enough. Due to this fact, there’s a ton of trial and error. I’ll tell you this, it’s a time killer.
I know Ableton Live 10 is out now and I haven’t upgraded to it. I did get to test it during the beta though. I didn’t feel like there was enough new brought to the table to warrant the price. But thats another topic for another post. Live 9 skins do work in 10 but they are not complete. 10 changed the way things work a bit but now it’s MUCH easier to edit as it’s an .XML file now. So if you are feeling up to it and want to convert my skin to fully work with 10, contact me and I’ll update this post with the skin for Live 10.
How do you install skins or get to them? I’ll give you directory path. It’s as simple as placing the file in the folder.
PC – Live 9, navigate to C:\ ProgramData\ Ableton\ Live x Version\ Resources\ Skins
PC – Live 10, skins are now called themes. Navigate to C:\ ProgramData\ Ableton\ Live x Version\ Resources\ Themes
Mac – Live 9, navigate to Ableton Live in your Applications folder, right-click (or ctrl-click) it and select ‘Show Package Contents’, then go to Contents/ App-Resources/ Skins
Mac – Live 10, navigate to Ableton Live in your Applications folder, right-click (or ctrl-click) it and select ‘Show Package Contents’, then go to Contents/ App-Resources/ Themes
Hope this UI skin makes things easier on the eyes and you can continue to focus and get your projects done. If you like it, enjoy it, let me know. Happy producing.