Ableton Live has evolved so much since its introduction that its numerous exotic and useful amenities are often overlooked in favor of newer, more dazzling features. One such option is the .ams waveform format. Originally introduced more than a decade ago in Operator, the .ams format is an incredibly powerful tool—even if you’ve already mastered the synthesis options in Live Suite. Here’s how it works.
Each of Operator’s additive oscillators includes an option called Export AMS. This allows you to save a .ams file of your custom additive waveform to the User Library, where it can be loaded into either Simpler or Sampler by dragging the file onto the sample window. From there, you can use Simpler’s synthesis tools to sculpt it in ways that are not always possible within Operator. For example, you can combine multiple instances of AMS-based Simplers—each with its own filter settings, modulation routings, and effects chains—within Instrument Racks to create complex, layered sounds.