Three artists use the Note app on their iPhones. One plays beats in the subway, one arranges a layout of musical elements while he waits at a live music venue, and one sits at her desk and sends sounds from Note to Live.
Three artists use the Note app on their iPhones. One plays beats in the subway, one arranges a layout of musical elements while he waits at a live music venue, and one sits at her desk and sends sounds from Note to Live.


A playable iOS app for forming musical ideas

Make new ideas a habit

Note is a place to start ideas, experiment with sounds and find direction. As part of your regular music-making routine, it can help you hone the skill of starting or ease into a creative headspace at the start of a session.

Play video: Generate ideas, play with sound, and find direction.
Play video: Noxz sketches his ideas as they come.

Get your idea out or play until you find one using Note’s drum kits, melodic instruments and synth sounds. Or create your own sound palette by recording the sounds around you into Note’s sampler instruments.

Una música sentada en la mesa de su estudio, usando Ableton Note con Ableton Live Lite asoleándose en su portátil.

Get Ableton Live 12 Lite for free

Live 12 Lite is free to all Note users via the app. A simple and intuitive way to write, record, and perform your musical ideas, it includes core Live features and introduces some of Live 12’s latest improvements, too.

Learn more about Live 12 Lite

Take it further in Live

Play just for fun, or start song ideas to continue in Live. Using Ableton Cloud, you can send your Note Set to Live without leaving the app. Then keep working with all the same devices as in Note, but with additional parameters available. You can edit all your MIDI notes, and all your samples and sounds from Note are exactly the same.

What is Live?
A music-maker sits at the desk in her studio, using Ableton Live to develop a musical idea she started in Note.

Turn your sketches into songs

Ideas that travel

Connect Note to Ableton Cloud to send your five favorite Note Sets directly to Live’s browser, and pick up where you left off. Ableton Cloud is freely available for every edition of Live 11.2.5, including the free trial.  
Learn how to use Ableton Cloud

Sounds familiar

Note uses instruments and devices from Ableton Live. Play synth lines with melodic presets, finger-drum beats using Drum Sampler kits, and create instrumental melodies with Melodic Sampler instruments. Use Reverb, Delay and Chorus-Ensemble to give your sounds space and depth, or play with color and texture using Saturator, Redux and Phaser-Flanger.

Get started

Not everyone starts a song the same way. Note offers multiple starting points from which to explore new musical ideas. Then develop your ideas by adding to them and creating variations.

Begin with a beat

View of a phone from above as someone uses Note. They play a beat, overdub, add hi-hats using Note Repeat, and record automation.
Turn the beat in your mind into something tangible, or just start finger drumming on the 16-pad grid and see what you come up with. You can quantize your drum pattern to correct loose timing, nudge notes, add in-time repeated beats or play in more layers of percussion. Plus, experiment with parameters and effects to make the sound your own.

Start with a melody

View of a phone from above as someone uses Note. They choose a synth sound, set the key and scale, play a melody, and record automation.
Pick a sound to sketch with, and start playing a melody or chord progression using the 25-pad grid or piano roll. Keep it chromatic to leave your options open, or set a key and scale to get instantly harmonic results. Use the preset sounds as a starting point, then tweak the eight parameters and use two effects to shape the sound to suit your project.

Sample your environment

View of a phone from above as someone uses Note. They record some percussive vocalizations into pads on a Drum Sampler instrument and play a beat. They then sing a note into a Melodic Sampler instrument, play a melody using their new sound and add reverb.
Use your phone’s microphone to record percussive hits into Drum Sampler and create your own kits, or record tonal sounds into Melodic Sampler and make your own playable melodic instruments. Cut, filter and repitch your samples, or add effects to transform them into something new and surprising to build on.

Capture improvisations

View of a phone from above as someone uses Note. They play a beat and press the capture button to record what they just played. They add an overdub, then add two layers of melody using the same process.
When you play something you like, tap the Capture MIDI button to keep it – Note will detect the tempo and length, then automatically loop your idea. You can then quantize it, add to it, or change the sound you’ve used.

Create variations

View of a phone from above as someone uses Note. They double the loop of a beat they have already created and add overdubs. They then bring in a bass and a melody. They copy the clip of the melody and overdub some additional notes to create a variation. They then trigger different combinations of clips to experiment with structure.

Double your loops to create variation within clips. Then duplicate your clips and experiment with different versions of your idea in Note’s Session View layout. Create eight tracks with up to eight clips on eight scenes, and use the Scene Launcher to experiment with building it up, stripping it back, and trying out combinations of layers.

When you like the way your clips are arranged, export your project as an audio file to share with friends and collaborators.

Make beats and melodies

Play your way

Choose between the 25-pad melody grid or piano roll to play melodies, and play beats using the 16-pad percussion grid or single velocity pad, or connect an external MIDI Instrument via USB or Bluetooth.

Capture MIDI

Play at a tempo that feels comfortable to you, and Note will restore what you played and create a loop – no need to press record beforehand. Three different modes allow you to start from scratch, create additional clips, and overdub notes.

Work with loops

Quickly create variations by copying your loop and make small changes to each version. Isolate and loop a segment to hone in on the details, then bring back the whole loop to hear it in context. 

Fix mistakes

Correct any timing issues by quantizing the notes you played or by nudging selected notes. Delete any accidental extra notes, or those you’d like to play in again. Change the velocity of your notes, and correct any tonal issues by transposing your notes by semitones or octaves.

Automation Capture

Animate your sound by automating instrument and effect parameters. Simply tweak a parameter and press “add” to capture your movements.

Note Repeat

Play repeated notes in time, or create rapid trap-style rhythmic patterns. Choose a note subdivision on the strip, then hold the pads or keys for as long as you want the note to repeat. Slide up and down the velocity pad to change the velocity. 

Explore sounds

Sample your environment

Create your own sounds and kits by recording up to 60 seconds of audio into Note’s Percussion Sampler and Melodic Sampler using your phone’s microphone. Cut, filter, repitch or add audio effects to transform your sampled sounds. 

Sound library

Note comes with a collection of presets, samples and kits to play with. Sketch with them as is, or tweak them to your taste by changing parameters, adding effects, and automating changes.

Audio effects

Shape your sound using Live’s Chorus-Ensemble, Delay, Phaser-Flanger, Redux, Reverb, Saturator and Channel EQ effects. Add up to two effects on Melodic Sampler or synth instruments, and one send and one insert on drum kits.

Continue your idea

Session View

Combine, duplicate, and arrange your ideas to try out different structures in Note’s Session View. You can use eight tracks with up to eight clips each, on eight scenes. Then export your audio to share with friends or collaborators. 

Ableton Cloud

Send your Note Set to Live using Ableton Cloud. Open your project in Live’s browser and pick up where you left off with all your sounds, samples and effects in place. 

Ableton Link

Keep Note in time with other devices over a local network using built-in Ableton Link.

Note app icon

Available for iPhone and iPad

Download Note on the App Store

Help & Support

For help setting up Note and Cloud, to learn more about features and functions, or to find troubleshooting tips visit the Knowledge Base or read the Note manual

Is Note available for Android?

No, Note is only available for iPhone and iPad. 

Will new features be added to Note?

Yes, new Note features are planned for the future. Keep an eye on this page, or subscribe to the Ableton newsletter to stay updated. 

Do I need a version of Ableton Live to use Note?

No, you can use Note on its own. If you want to take your Note projects further in Live you'll need an Ableton account and Live 11.2.5 or later. 

If you don't have Live already you can try it for free for 30 days. Learn about Ableton Live.

How can I transfer my projects from Note to Live?

Authorize Ableton Cloud in Note’s settings and in Live’s preferences, and your uploaded projects will automatically appear in Live’s browser. Learn about Ableton Cloud.

What are the system requirements for my phone?

Note works on devices which support iOS 15 and above. 

Will new features be added to Note?

We've already added a number of new features to Note and plan to keep improving the app as we listen to your wishes and feedback. Check out the main updates in this article.