How To Stop Ableton From Making ASD Files (Explained)

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Ensuring your files are protected is paramount for any musician. After spending hours recording and working on all the fine-tuning and EQ adjustments to get your songs just right, the last thing you would ever want is to have your files lost or destroyed.

To make sure my projects are protected, I not only save the final WAV files in multiple locations, but I also save the entire Ableton project files in multiple locations. According to Joe Keeley at MOU, Keeping files only on your computer’s hard drive is risky; if anything happens to it, it is a good idea to keep copies of your files elsewhere.

If you use Ableton as your DAW, you may have noticed that when you export your project as either a WAV or MP3 file, another file appears called ASD.

You might have asked yourself what this ASD file is, if it is important, and if the settings can be changed in Ableton so that it isn’t made any longer.

So what’s the deal with the ASD file?

ASD files are essentially just audio analysis files that contain various bits of information on the associated audio files. ASD files can contain valuable information, but your WAV and MP3 files will still work if this file is removed. With a quick settings adjustment within Ableton, you can stop the creation of ASD files.  

Below I will take a more detailed look at ASD files, how to prevent them from being created, and what happens if you delete them.

What Is An ASD File?

According to the help section on the Ableton website, ASD files are described as the following: “Ableton sample analysis file (contains analyzed audio data).

In other words, they are files that essentially analyze the audio data for all sorts of things, like the song’s tempo, pitch, and other information. ASD files also contain whatever Ableton settings are associated with a given audio file.

Anytime you export your work as a WAV or MP3, an associated ASD will be created by Ableton (unless you change the settings within Ableton- more on this later on). Any time a new audio file is created or brought into Ableton, there will be an ASD file that is created to go along with it.

What Happens If You Delete An ASD File?

The bottom line is that nothing serious will happen if you delete ASD files. Your projects, WAV, and MP3 files will still function normally, so you don’t have to worry about messing up your projects if you decide to delete these files.

However, removing the associated ASD file from a given project can cause Ableton to take a bit more time in being able to play the audio from whatever file you have selected. This is because, as we have discussed above, ASD files essentially analyze the audio settings as the audio file is opening up.

So, if you delete the ASD file, it can potentially cause some lag as Ableton will have to analyze the audio file when you open it up (something the ASD file was doing). However, this shouldn’t be a huge issue and likely only be noticed if you have a large audio file.

The bottom line is that if you find the ASD files annoying or if they are taking up too much space, deleting them won’t cause any serious issues. However, they aren’t a big deal for me, so I have never deleted any ASD files, but again this is largely a personal preference.

How Do You Stop Ableton From Making ASD Files?

If you create a lot of music within Ableton, the amount of ASD files that are being produced can quickly add up. I have read in a few forums that these ASD files can become a bit of a pain to sift through when trying to find the actual WAV or MP3 audio files to use.

This hasn’t been an issue for me. Not because I don’t produce a lot of music files, but more so of how I organize and structure my music folders.

Any project I am working on gets its own designated folder for all of the associated files. This dramatically reduces the overall volume of files in any given place, making ASD files not a big deal for me.

As you can see in the picture below, which was a project for another article I wrote for Range of Sounds, I only have a few files, so sifting through the ASD files isn’t much of an issue. One of the ASD files is highlighted in gray.

Your computer might be different in how it saves Ableton ASD files, but on mine, you can see the icon is a page with a tiny checkmark, whereas the actual WAV and MP3 files have a “play” button in the center.

The WAV and MP3 versions both have an associated ASD file. This is where these files can sometimes get confusing, as the ASD files have a .mp3 and .wav, respectively. At first, if I didn’t know these were ASD files, I might have been confused and accidentally delete the actual audio file.

It isn’t until I open up the file’s properties that it shows me it is an ASD file (shown below). It lists the actual file type as “Ableton Live Clip Settings (.asd).” Of course, since I know these are ASD files by the icons, it isn’t a big deal, but this is something to pay attention to. The last thing you want to do is accidentally delete the actual audio file of your project.

Getting Ableton to stop making ASD files is very easy. The first step is to go to options and then preferences.

Once you have clicked on preferences, scroll down to the file folder (about halfway down on the options), click on the file folder, and then at the top, there is an option that reads “Create Analysis Files.” As you can see in the picture below, on mine, it is currently “on.” Simply click that option to “off,” and that is all there is to it.

Once you do this, Ableton will no longer make an associated ASD file. If you ever want to have Ableton create ASD files again, simply repeat the process above and turn the create analysis files option back to “on.”


You now better understand what ASD files are in Ableton, what happens if you delete them, and how you can stop them from showing up in the first place.

I hope you have found this article helpful, and until next time, stay creative and keep on playing!