My ticket with Ableton Support is still pending open...
But meanwhile, since I'm pretty sure this was achieved using a custom skin ( theme file ) within Live 10,
I started to dive a bit more into it and came out with some results, but that's gonna give you some reading
as well as some home work man !
Please bear in mind that even if I'm willing to help as much as I can, I won't be able to provide you paracetamol or any medicine to cure the headache that the following reading could cause !!
So let's get started, right !?
I'm gonna stick to Live 10 here, just because the layout has changed a bit in this version & obviously, previous Custom Skins made for prior version up to 9.7.6 won't perfectly match Live 10 edition. Next to that, the general idea & principle is the same.
- What's a Live "Custom Skin" ?
It's a MODIFIED LIVE THEME file that defines the look & feel of Live, mainly the Colors & Opacity settings ( to keep it simple ). Live Theme Files are referred as Name.ask files ( meaning ableton skin I suppose ).
- Where to find Ableton .ask Theme Files ?
Live comes with some default themes files and assuming you've done a default install :
on Windows you'll find those under : C:\ProgramData\Ableton\Live 10 Suite\Resources\Themes
on MacOS you'll have to right click on Live icon from your Applications folder, choose "Show Package Contents" and from there the path will be Contents/App-Ressources/Themes
So once you're in that Themes Folder, you will see a bunch of .ask files like 00Light.ask , 01Mid Light.ask ...etc. Those are the default themes files.
Since we are going to make a custom one the first thing you want to do is to COPY and RENAME one of these theme files. In this example I will use the default 01Mid Light.ask file, copy it and rename it Test.ask (the number is just to arrange them, it's not mandatory but you could as well name it 05Test.ask if you want ).
- How a hell can I edit those .ask Files ?
You will need a Plain Text Editor to edit those files, though the default Notepad or Wordpad on Windows should be working, if you use a standard text file editor on Mac it might happen that once you've modified & saved your .ask file and try to load it via Live's Preferences it won't work saying that the file is corrupted. I'll be using "Brackets" under Mac here, it's free but here is a link to some Plain Text Editors. ( Mac only sorry )
So now you've got that Plain Text Editor just go to your new Test.ask file and right click/select "open with" & point it to your editor or open your editor first and choose file/open from there and browse to your Themes folder & Test.ask file.
So the file should open ( grab a glass of fresh water & your first paracetamol ) and here you go , welcome inside Ableton Live's Theme File...
The screenshot stops at line 90, there's 920 lines of those...
But OK, even if this could be intimidating & confusing, the overall principle of this file is quite simple.
Let's take the following example : ( removing spaces and the > and / signs since the text editor here takes it as code )
So in this example, Meter Background is the customized element that could be tweaked.
R, G, B values are 3 values that together defines only ONE COLOR
Alpha Value refers to the Opacity/intensity of this color. 0 being week & 255 being strong. ( Not sure if 0 implies transparency or no color )
So basically, the all Test.ask file contains just the same information, but there's a all bunch of elements divided into similar sections that refers to all customized elements within Live's end user interface.
Well, grab your second pill because no ones is gonna tell you... Some elements description are somehow self explanatory but some others will imply your best guess or a much more weird naming... Unfortunately I couldn't find a reference sheet for those, in fact you'll have to tweak the color and see the result in Live's interface at some point, so it's a kind of trial & error work, more or less tedious depending of how much you want to customize Live.
- How to change colors & find the RGB Values ?
2 Options for that one :
1- just Google rgb color picker and you'll end up with this online color picker tool
2- Or work the other way around and use this link https://imagecolorpicker.com/ where you can upload a picture ( let's say a Live 10 screenshot ) click on one color within that picture and it will return you a RGB code with your 3 values.
Both methods could be handy at certain point.
Once you found the color that you wish to apply to one element, it's just a matter of replacing the default RGB values with the new ones matching your desire color, you could play around with the "Alpha" value to make this color more or less strong and then you save your Test.ask file with your Plain Text Editor.
Open Live and go to Preferences/Look Feel and select your Test.ask file from the Theme List.
Result is immediate, you don't need to restart Live each time, however you'll need to Open/close the Preferences or switch from one theme to another in order to see the changes each time.
So now it's a matter of finding the element matching the Audio Waveform, I'll break this into a new post where there will be some candies to make you forget the bad taste of paracetamol, but hey if you got this so far, your now almost a Live 10 Custom Skin Guru !! ...and that is a cool feeling
'till next post then !!