How to setup Ableton automation over ethernet

At my church we used to set up midi network over wifi, but sometimes the audio midi setup would glitch a bit and I wanted to make sure we didn’t run into hiccups like that anymore.

My solution is to connecting our Macs using an ethernet cable instead of using wifi. It’s a great way to ensure that the connection between our laptop onstage and the laptop running in the tech booth will always be connected and never run into any latency issues.

Materials you’ll need

  • A couple hundred feet of cat 5 or cat 6 ethernet cable

  • 2 dongles/adaptors to connect the Macs to the ethernet cables


  1. Using the dongles, connect the ethernet cable. It will go all the way from stage to the tech booth into the dongle for the mac running PropPesenter and Lightkey.

Protip: If you need to connect multiple computers, you can use an ethernet hub. I’m not using one yet, but it’s available to you if you want to add more computers to this automation system.

3. On both computers: Turn wifi off

4. Go to System Preferences on your Mac running Ableton > Network Preferences

5. Make sure the LAN option is selected. It will say Self Assigned IP.


6. If it’s not working properly, go to Advanced at the bottom right > Renew DHCP Lease

7. Exit System Preferences

8. Go to Audio Midi Setup App > Midi Studio > Network

9. This is where I keep all of my Midi Network Sessions. I usually have three sessions running:

  • One for Lightkey

  • One for ProPresenter

  • One for Ableton Live Remote Project


10. My Sessions box > Select Ableton Laptop - Lightkey

11. Below, in the Directory box > Select Media Computer - Lightkey

12. Go back to the My Sessions box > Select Ableton Laptop - ProPresenter

13. Below in the Directory box > Select Media Computer - ProPresenter

14. Repeat the process for Ableton Laptop - Remote


Now the computers are talking to each other over the hardwired ethernet connection. It’s super reliable without any glitching. You can watch how seamless the system works here.

As you know, I love using Ableton in all of the worship services I lead. If you want to learn how to use Ableton Live, run click and tracks, automate lyrics and leverage Ableton for your worship services, then check out my free, 7-step masterclass to help you become an Ableton pro.