Using the Band-in-a-Box® Plugin with Ableton Live for Mac

Last updated:  Monday, 27 September 2021


Plugin Type

AU (64-bit)

Default Plugin Folders


Band-in-a-Box Plugin in Ableton
Video: Using the VST DAW plugin in Ableton Live (Quickstart)

Quickstart Guide

Ableton Live supports the VST3 or AU version of the Band-in-a-Box® Plugin so you can use either. The plugin should be found when you start Ableton Live after installing Band-in-a-Box® for Mac. You can open the plugin in Ableton Live via Browser pane. Just go to Plug-Ins > Audio Units > PG Music Inc > Band-ina-Box DAW AU Plugin and drag it to a MIDI track. You can generate tracks from the plugin and drag them to Ableton Live.


  1. Run the Band-in-a-Box® program installer
  2. Click on Plugins in the Browser pane on the left side of the screen
  3. Navigate to Audio units > PG Music Inc. > Band-in-a-Box DAW AU Plugin
  4. Drag the Band-in-a-Box® Plugin to an empty MIDI track

Tips & Tricks

Dragging to Multiple Tracks in Ableton Live

If you drag multiple tracks (blue rectangle) from the Band-in-a-Box® Plugin to Ableton Live, you may find that they are all placed sequencially on one track. In order to avoid this, hold down CMD before dropping your tracks into Ableton Live. You will see a preview of the multiple wave forms while holding CTRL.

Using the Session View in Ableton Live

The session view in Ableton Live is great for live performance but takes some time to master. Reading the Ableton Live manual is suggested. However, here are some quick tips to get you started. First, you should Disable the leadin feature in the Band-in-a-Box® Plugin so that audio does not have a gap before playback. when dragging audio from the plugin to the Session View, you should drag the different instruments to separate tracks (side-by-side) instead of stacking them on the same track. This will allow you to play them all at once. Finally, it is suggested that you make small songs that act as loops, such as 4 bars of a C chord, or 2 bars of an A minor chord. This way you can stack your different chords vertically (with all instruments side-by-side) and select them at will for a dynamic live arrangement. Remember that there is a play button for each row under Master on the far right of the Session View.


My Tracks Aren't Lining Up or Are At Different Tempos

This is likely an issue with the Auto-warp feature in Ableton Live, which automatically adjusts the timing of audio. You can disable this from Options > Preferences > Record/Warp/Launch by turning off Auto-warp Long Samples.

I Can't Find My RealTracks, RealDrums, or RealStyles

From the Band-in-a-Box® plugin, go to File > Preferences and select the correct directories for your Band-in-a-Box® installation, your RealTracks folder, and your RealDrums folder. The default locations are listed for your convenience. You can either type them in or browse to them with the Select buttons.

I Can't Use The Band-in-a-Box® Plugin on an Audio Track

The Band-in-a-Box® Plugin is listed as an AUi (instrument) plugin in Ableton Live. Instrument plugins can only be loaded to MIDI tracks in Ableton Live. The easiest way to load the plugin is to drag it to the empty space below the tracks in the Arrangement View.

External Resources

Ableton Knowledge Base

This is a great place to start if you are having any issues with Ableton Live. You can find tutorials, FAQs, and a search function here.

Official Ableton Forum

Head over to the official Ableton forum to get involved with the Ableton community or ask a question.

Ableton Beginner's Resource Thread on Reddit

Before you ask an expert about your problem, check out this comprehensive beginner's resource. Chances are the answer to your question is here.

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