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January 22, 2011


Ableton Operator – A Handy Reference Sheet

Ableton Operator - A Handy Reference Sheet

If you’ve ever used the Operator instrument before, then you might be familiar with the mass of knobs and buttons it’s made from. Having so many options and controls means that it is an extremely powerful instrument, if you know how to use it – the only downside being that having so many options makes it hard to use.

Thanks to one of Ableton’s many twitter users, this problem has now been solved. A reference sheet explaining what each button and knob does is about to make your life a whole lot easier!


Whether you’ve never used the operator instrument before or it’s old hat to you, this reference sheet is bound to come in handy. Big ups to Jason Anderson for creating it!

Ableton Operator Reference Sheet

(Click image for full size)

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. jasonswe
    Jan 22 2011

    Hi Keith! I hope this comes in handy for you and your readers. I initially posted it for immediate followers (I follow quite a few Ableton-heads ;)), but I am very glad to know that a wider group will get use out of it. I used this as a desktop background on my laptop PC (hence 800×1280 resolution). I was trying to dream up a convenient quick-reference for the synth and ended up with this. Combined with a couple Windows key shortcuts such as Windows+M keys to minimise all windows and then Alt+Tab again to bring Ableton back into focus, this was just what the Dr ordered for my situation. I fully intend to do this for some Suite instruments as well, such as Collision and Tension, during the Summer.

    I do not know how obvious this is to others (as this was initially intended only for me ;P), but the coloured blocks preceding the parameter names do hold significance. They represent which shell displays feature that particular parameter. One will notice that each shell display heading, such as “Oscillator Display”, has a colour associated with it.

    Also, the descriptions are the product of blending my own wording with the wording of the Ableton info window and actual text from the manual. I tried to make things simple and sweet to understand for a tired brain like mine lol.


  2. Jul 18 2012

    Thanks again for the excellent information! I posted a link to here from my website, which includes a introductory tutorial for Operator. For those who are interested in the introductory tutorial, see it here:

  3. Oct 7 2013

    Thanks for this handy reference. Operator is one of my favourite synths. An unsung hero.


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