How to fix corrupted Ableton files on Windows 10

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about technology ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. He's a PC enthusiast and he... read more
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  • The Ableton error Unknown compound stream type can appear if the file is corrupted.
  • To fix There was an error when closing the file issue in Ableton, try restoring a temporary copy.
  • Switching to another audio software is a great choice if Ableton keeps getting into errors.
  • As a last resort, you can reach Ableton support to help you with There was an error when closing the file problem.
fix corrupt ableton files

There is nothing worse than getting an error message when trying to open your Ableton Live set.

All the hard work you put in seems lost. Your files got corrupted and you can no longer access them. In this case, you need to find out what the issue is.

To avoid these keep your PC clean and up to date. There might be situations in which files can become corrupted due to unexpected events such as a computer crash, power cut, or software bugs.

It’s also recommended to create back-ups of your files regularly. Using cloud-based backup software allows you to access your files remotely and keeps them safe from any hardware failure.

If your Ableton Live files got corrupted, you will see this error message: The document […] is corrupt.

This message is followed by a more specific reason for the file corruption issue, such as: First automation event has invalid time, Track grouping corrupt or Unknown Compound Stream Type.

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Other reasons you can meet are: Non-unique list IDs, Invalid Pointee ID, Not well-formed (invalid token), Unexpected node Default Color or Member Track Device of Class PreHearTrackDeviceChain is missing.

How do I fix Ableton Live corrupt files?

1. Re-trigger the file recovery process

Ableton waves settings - High CPU usage Ableton
  1. Go to the following location, which is normally a hidden folder – C:Users[Username]AppDataRoamingAbletonLive x.x.xPreferencesCrash
  2. In the Crash folder, the files and folders will have the date and time of the crash in their names:
  • 2018_12_12__16_02_35_BaseFiles (this is a folder)
  • 2018_12_12__16_02_35_Crash.als
  • 2018_12_12__16_02_35_CrashRecoveryInfo.cfg
  • 2018_12_12__16_02_35_Undo (this is a folder)
  1. Remove the dates from the file names. After doing so, they will look like this :
  • Basefiles
  • Undo
  • CrashRecoveryInfo.cfg
  1. Drag the 3 files mentioned above into the source Preferences folder and replace the correspondent files.
  2. Now you can start Ableton Live. The file recovery process should be reactivated.

Note: Crash.als does not need to be renamed and can be left in the same folder

In some cases, it might be possible to restore a temporary copy of the Project file in one of Ableton Live’s crash report folders. The temporary file is usually an older version of your set that was successfully saved.

 If you want to recover your corrupted files, the recovery must be done with the same version of Ableton Live which created the save, and also the same Windows platform.

2. Ask Ableton for support

If the first solution presented in this article doesn’t work, it is recommended that you ask for help from Ableton. The Ableton team will try and fix your Live Set.

You can send the corrupted .als file to Ableton Support. This option doesn’t guarantee a fix but they will try to help you recover your corrupted file as best as possible.

Ableton corrupted files can cause you to lose your precious audio projects, and after working so hard on them, it is a very frustrating problem.

3. Switch to Adobe Audition

If you’ve stuck with Ableton for some time now but the thing keeps crashes and makes you lose your work then, maybe it’s time to consider a switch?

It is a cross-compatible audio editing and recording software, offering a non-destructive mix environment, and other tools for accelerating video production and polishing the audio sounds.

Here are the key features of Adobe Audition:

  • Adaptive Recording inputs
  • Essential sound and categorizing audio in multi-track mode
  • An excellent choice for making podcasts or radio shows
  • Part of the Adobe family means great integration with Premiere Pro and a familiar interface from other programs

In other words, using Audition you have uninterrupted professional audio services that help anyone produce studio soundtracks or effects.

Get Adobe Audition

We hope that the solutions presented in this article solved your issue and that now you can go back to creating amazing music in Ableton Live.

Let us know if this fix worked for you in the comment section below.

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