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How to Quit Ableton Live Via AppleScript

October 12, 2015

I recently designed an Ableton playback rig for a show, which involved two identical computers running in tandem. To facilitate the rig’s shutdown process, I created an Automator workflow that could be triggered by an action in Apple MainStage. The workflow closed all applications and initiated a shutdown command via AppleScript.

While MainStage can be easily closed with an Automator action set to ignore dialog popups, the same can’t be said for Ableton Live. Here’s the code I used to close Ableton Live without saving any changes.

https://gist.github.com/bwhli/83c87dd6f33116e714de

Line 3 brings Ableton Live forward as the active process. Next, Line 4 simulates pressing Cmd+Q on the keyboard. Lines 6–8 simulates two presses of the left arrow key, and Line 10 simulates one press of the return/enter key. Note that this AppleScript works even if a dialog box prompting to save changes doesn’t pop up.


Hi, I’m Brian and I’m an electronic music designer for Broadway shows and other theatrical productions around the world. If you enjoyed this article, click the ? below to let the world know.

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