Ultimate Ableton Live 9: Part 3 – Producing & Editing
For years I’ve been teaching Ableton Live in the college classroom. As a University Professor, my classes are sought after, and, frankly, expensive. I believe Ableton Live can be learned by anyone, and cost shouldn’t be a barrier. This class uses the same outline and syllabus I’ve used in my college classes for years, at a fraction of the cost.
This is Part 3: Producing & Editing
This is a really deep class – tons of content, tricks, and tips. I’m giving you SIX sessions to play around with. One of them (the first one) is even a finished, published complete track of mine. We are going to be covering how to produce using Ableton Live, starting from working with clips and going all the way up to some advanced production techniques. Topics include:
- Key Mapping
- Reversing Clips
- Time Signatures Changes (session and arrangement)
- Meter Changes (session and arrangement)
- Adding harmony
- Working with vocal samples
- Creating beats
- Working with one-shots
- Slice to MIDI for beat production
- Drum racks (!)
- Recording/Writing Drum grooves
- Layering Synths
- Freezing & Flattening
- Audio Effects
- Automating Effects
- Routing & Bussing
- …and much more!
I will be making 6 (six!) complete classes in order to bring you the most comprehensive manual on Ableton Live production techniques ever created. Each class has Sets, sessions, and experiments for you to try on your own and follow along with.
And of course, once you sign up any part, you automatically get huge discounts to all the upcoming parts (the next 5!) of this class.
You will not have another opportunity to learn Ableton Live in a more comprehensive way that this. Start here.
J. Anthony Allen is an Ableton Certified Trainer, and a PhD in Music Composition and master of Electronic Sounds. His music has been heard internationally in film, radio, video games, and industrial sound, as well as the concert hall and theater.
He currently as an adjunct professor of composition at the University of St. Thomas, Macphail Academy of Music, and the CEO of Slam Academy in Minneapolis.
Praise for other classes by J. Anthony Allen:
- “Dr Allen does it again with his music theory for electronic musicians series. This course really opened up everything I learned from the 1st section and now I understand more about the composition side of things for music. I highly highly recommend this course to anyone!!! Really opened my eyes to many things I wasn’t aware of.”
- “The Best Teacher ever, who makes you understand the ins & outs of Music Theory by all mean without giving what you don’t want to know.”
- “I have never had any formal training in music at all. Trying to learn all the notes and how everything translated was a serious challenge. After going thru this class, Dr. J has totally brought down the barriers. The content was very useful and was easy to grasp for me.”
Introduction & Welcome
A quick overview of what we will cover in this class.
Arrangement View Editing
A few notes about this section before we get started.
In this video we will walk through some quick access tricks for looping, adding locators, and key commands. I'll also introduce key mapping in this video.
Reversing clips can be an awesome effect - in this video I'll walk you through one of my tracks (you can download the whole session in Lecture 7), and I'll point out how I used reverse crash cymbals for a quick sound design trick.
Tempo and Time signature changes can be hard to find in Ableton Live - so watch this video and you will be all up to speed on where to find them and how to use them.
In this course I'm going to give you a bunch of sessions for you to play with. This video walks you through how I'm preparing them to send to you - some important file info that you need to know.
Your first session from me! This is a complete track from my latest album, available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, etc. Feel free to mess with it and have some fun!
Session View Editing
The advantages of working in Session View - a few tips and some info on what we are going to cover in this section.
First things first: Getting everything all setup.
Do not be fooled! All loops are not the same length, nor are they 1 bar. Sometimes a loop of 1 beat, 2 beats, or more is all we need. One of the most important concepts in Session View!
Automating a tempo change in Session View works very differently, but it can still be done. You need to know one super hidden trick to make it work, though.
We do not have a timeline in Session View, so how can we change the meter? The Arrangement view way will not work because it needs the timeline. But there is a way!
In this video we will experiment with adding harmony and basslines. I'll show you a really slick way to find notes that will work with your melody.
The mysterious and often troublesome "back to arrangement" button! Many have tried to understand it, and many have failed. But have no fear - it is often misunderstood, but not too complicated if you follow some simple rules of thumb.
Once we have a good set going, we can "print" it by recording the performance to the Arrangement View. Lets do it in this video.
Another session for you! This is the track I made throughout this section. Download it, explore it, steal it, have some fun with it.
A few notes about this section before we dive into making beats.
There are a few more tricks to working with loops, especially as it relates to making beats that we haven't covered yet. So lets get all up to speed with those here.
A great way to make your own beats is to start with a loop, and chop it up into its individual sounds. Re-arranging them is a great way to make your own beats.
After you start dealing with lots of little samples (like we just did in the previous lesson) you will want to get comfortable with Consolidating. Without consolidating, expect headaches!
Wouldn't it be great if Live could just chop up a loop for us and put it into a MIDI sampler so we could play the individual sounds with MIDI? We can!
Racks are the monster sleeping within Live. It is a huge topic that we will work with more in later classes. In this video I'll introduce Drum Racks.
Now that we know what Drum Racks are, lets make our own.
Creating with Drum Racks can be as easy as working with any MIDI instrument, if you know the ropes.
Another session for you to work with!
Producing With Synths
A few notes about what we are going to cover in this section.
Layering synths is a great trick for creating rich sounds without too much synth programming.
You've seen me do this earlier - but it can be especially important when we are working with synths.
This time 2 sessions for you to download and play with!
Working with Effects
Some notes about this section - basic audio effect overview.
In this video I'll work with a delay, EQ, and compressor to add some color and motion to our synth line.
Automating your effects will add a huge amount of motion and variety to your track. Lets walk through how to set it up, and find the right parameters to automate.
Advanced Production Techniques
A few notes about this section: This is just the tip of the iceberg!
One of the most popular techniques right now is Side-Chaining. You've heard it in a million tracks. It gives us that deep driving pulse. Let me show you how to do it in this video.
Sometimes we don't want our output to go only to the main out. Sometimes we want to send it over to another track as well. In this video, I'll explain why we might want to do that, and how to do it.
Resampling is a handy track, especially for transitions and builds. Ableton Live makes it easy to do if you find the right settings.
One more session for you to play with! Have fun!
Thanks for hanging out! I hope you have as much fun with these classes as I do making them.
Ready for more?
Two videos from a friend of mine on his secrets for making dance music. Super detailed stuff here!
Lets start talking about the Live Instruments! This is a video taken from the next class, Ableton Live 4: Synths and Samplers. Just to wet your appetite for the next class, lets dive in!
There is so much more to learn!