How To Delete Bars In Ableton (Four Quick Methods)

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No matter how great your music is, there will likely come a time in any project when you might need to delete bars and certain sections of your content.

Maybe you are taking your song in a new direction, and some of that original work no longer fits. Perhaps you need to correct some things in the recording and need to redo the content. Or you are zooming in and deleting some audio issues as you clean up your final mix.

Regardless of why you might need to delete some content, Ableton makes the process easy and efficient. The ease of use and intuitive features of Ableton, including the ability to quickly delete bars in your projects, is one of the main reasons why Ableton is my go-to DAW for all of my music projects.

So, how do you delete bars in Ableton?

There are four easy ways to delete bars in Ableton. The first method is finding the delete option on the edit tab. You can bypass this by simply pressing the delete key after highlighting the content. You can also use the delete time feature and the split track feature to delete bars in Ableton.

Let’s take a closer look at these four ways you can delete bars in Ableton.

How To Delete Bars In Ableton

Deleting bars in Ableton is straightforward and efficient and, depending on the method can save you lots of time when editing your mix.

Different methods of deleting content in your music project might be warranted depending on what needs to be deleted. For example, in some situations, you might only need to delete one section on a single track.

In other situations, you might want to delete a section from every track in your project. Sometimes you want to leave the blank space you just deleted, and other times you might want the audio to the right of your deletion to automatically move over and sync with the content on the left.

Below, you will find at least one method that solves all of these deletion needs.

Method #1: Using The Delete Feature In The Edit Menu

The first method is the most inefficient on this list, but it still gets the job done and allows you to delete one track or multiple tracks simultaneously.

To use this method, you first need to highlight the section of bars that you wish to delete. After that, you will need to navigate to the edit menu, then scroll down and click the delete option. This will then delete whatever you have highlighted within your project.

Image of where to locate the delete function under the edit tab dropdown menu.

This method is a bit tedious as you need to scroll over to the edit tab, scroll down and click delete after you have highlighted the section you wish to delete. Also, if you scroll over and accidentally click something else, you will have to undo whatever you just did and start over the whole process.

So, while this method works, it is a method I never use. Instead, I use method number two most frequently, as it is essentially a shortcut of method one.

Method #2: Using The Delete Or Backspace Keys

Method two is exactly the same as method one but with fewer steps. Instead of heading to the edit tab and scrolling down to delete after highlighting whatever sections you are trying to delete, you simply press the delete button (on both Mac and pc) or the backspace button on pc as well.

This is my preferred method of deleting bars within Ableton as it gives me precision and control of what and where I am deleting sections and saves time in my editing process. Having to always scroll over to the edit tab to delete sections is inefficient and can get me out of the flow of my editing process.

Typically, I don’t want tracks automatically adjusted when I delete something either, and by using the delete or backspace keys, I know that whatever I delete just leaves a blank space instead of moving the content to the right side of the deletion.

However, sometimes automatic moving of the content is desired, which is where method three can be beneficial.

Method #3: Use The Delete Time Feature

As I alluded to above, in some cases, you might want whatever audio is on the right side of your deleted bars to slide over and essentially replace the section that you have just deleted. In This case, method three is beneficial.

If you use method one or two, you would have to manually move all of the audio to the right of where you deleted it by highlighting all the content and moving it over.

This is usually not an issue, but if you have multiple takes and the track is consolidated, you might risk moving some content while accidentally leaving other content behind. Further, if you have multiple tracks that you need to do this to, you increase the risk of messing up the timing of the rest of the tracks.

Thus, method three works really well to ensure everything moves together. However, it should be noted that if you use this method, every section of every track will be deleted and shifted over, even if you have only highlighted one track.

To perform this method, simply highlight a section you want to be deleted and press Ctrl (CMD on a Mac)+Shift+Delete. Note that you can also scroll over to the edit tab and find this option there as well.

I don’t use a Mac, so I am not very familiar with the other key commands, so if you do use a Mac, check out this helpful video below.

Method #4: Using The Split Track Feature

The last method of deleting bars in Ableton is not technically designed to delete, but it can function this way. Splitting a track allows you to be very precise about which section of audio you are trying to highlight, remove, or whatever else you are trying to accomplish.

To Split a track, you can double-click on a given audio section, which will bring up the given selection in clip view at the bottom of your screen. From there, you can highlight a portion of the track you want to split, press Ctrl (CMD on a Mac)+E, then move your cursor above all of the tracks in arrangement view until you see a magnifying glass, click, and then you can go back down and delete, or move that specific clip. The split-track feature can also be found under the edit tab.


There you have it! Four quick ways to delete bars within Ableton.

I hope you have found this article useful, and best of luck with editing your projects in Ableton! Until next time, stay creative and keep on playing!