Ableton Tutorials & Articles

September 10th

Ableton Tutorial – Designing evolving pad sounds

This video is a sample from the Quantize Courses “Pads & Chords” Ableton video course. Click here for the course details.

In this Ableton tutorial we look at utilizing formant filters to add movement and a rich vocal tone to our pad sound.

As the sound develops we use Ableton Live’s Analog synth to drive the filter input and add a ping pong delay for more movement and stereo spread.

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Ableton online sound design course testimonial

June 20th

Ableton Tutorial – Workflow Quickly Capturing Ideas

In this Ableton Live Tutorial, we take a look at how to capture ideas when they occur to you ready to action later in the production process.

We use blank midi clips and the text edit function in Ableton to store easily organised notes that can be action-ed as a to-do list, ticking each one when it is complete. This saves tons of paper notes and unorganised scribbles from slowing down the creative process.

If you are interested in learning more about Ableton Live be sure to check out our Online Ableton Courses.

We will be adding new quick tips regularly to our Youtube, Facebook & Twitter accounts.

The next Ableton Live tutorial will be posted shortly.

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Ableton Creativity Course

April 19th

Ableton Tutorial – Stereo Widening Tricks

In this Ableton Live 9 Tutorial, we take a look at how to stereo widen sounds using Ableton Live’s built in devices.

We use a variety of techniques including Chorus, Frequency Shifting and the Hass technique with simple Delay in order to stereo widen a selection of sounds from tops to atmospheric beds.

If you are interested in learning more about Ableton Live be sure to check out our Online Ableton Courses.

We will be adding new quick tips regularly to our Youtube, Facebook & Twitter accounts. The next Ableton Live tutorial will be posted shortly.

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Ableton Creativity Course

March 17th

Ableton Tutorial – Programming Melodies In Key

In this Ableton Live 9 Tutorial, we take a look at a quick method for working out musical scales and programming melodies using MIDI clips. During the tutorial we look at methods for easily drawing in MIDI notes that correspond to all Major and Minor scales as well as the various modes in diatonic scales. With our desired scale in place we can then begin programming melodies safe in the knowledge that all notes will be in the correct key.

If you are interested in learning more about Ableton Live be sure to check out our Online Ableton Courses. We will be adding new quick tips regularly to our Youtube, Facebook & Twitter accounts. The next Ableton Live tutorial will be posted shortly.

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Ableton Creativity Course

February 26th

Ableton Tutorial – Creating Complex Arpeggios

In this Ableton Live 9 Tutorial, we take a look at how to record MIDI from the Ableton Live Arpeggiator.

During the tutorial we look at creating new MIDI tracks and recording the data directly from the Arpeggiator. This allows us to drag the MIDI back to our synth and edit it further for more complex and interesting results.

If you are interested in learning more about Ableton Live be sure to check out our Online Ableton Courses.

We will be adding new quick tips regularly to our Youtube, Facebook & Twitter accounts.

The next Ableton Live tutorial will be posted shortly.

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Ableton Online Course

January 30th

How to pick the best Ableton Course for you.

Best Ableton Course

 

There are a huge selection of Ableton Courses now available for producers and as a result it can be difficult to pick the one that fits your goals and favoured methods for learning. Choosing the right course undoubtedly saves you a lot of time and money and can propel you further and quicker towards your music goals than hours spent trawling through online tutorials, magazines and Youtube videos. On the flip side, picking the wrong course will cost you your hard earned cash, hours of your life and possibly even demotivate you from making the music you love.

So what should you look out for when enrolling in an Ableton Course, or any music production course for that matter? What is the best Ableton Course for you specifically? Here are a few questions to consider:

 

Is the course run by an Ableton Certified Trainer or Training Center?
Becoming an Ableton certified trainer is no walk in the park and candidates have to prove they are head and shoulders above the crowd before even getting selected for a certification event, where they then have to prove themselves to Ableton’s own technical specialists and product demonstrators. This is the closest thing to a guarantee of quality you will get from a 3rd party company (Ableton themselves!) and should be a serious consideration when researching your ideal course.

Ableton Certified Trainer Course

 

Does the course display positive and relevant student testimonials?
Testimonials should be displayed in a manner that lets you see real people discussing the specific course you intend to take/ tutor that runs the course. Quantize Courses ask students to post their thoughts and experiences directly on our Facebook page so it’s very clear they are real people! Some other schools use video testimonials or student profiles for example. All of these are far better than simple written quotes that are the easiest thing to fabricate by the marketing team…. Always check the testimonials and if the comments say things that matter to you about the specific course you intend to take (not just the school in general) you can take another piece of confidence that you are investing wisely in your future.

For bonus points do a little background research on forums. Simply searching the name of the school may bring up other reviews and discussions (even better as schools can’t cherry pick these for their website!) to build your confidence or wipe it out completely…….

Below is an example testimonial from our Facebook page, we also have a selection copied directly into the Quantize website. Also follow this link to see a search for “Quantize Courses” on the Ableton forum to get an idea of the type of info a quick search will generate.

Ableton Live 9 Online Course Testimonial

 

Can you hear examples of Students music?
Perhaps not as important as our first two questions, listening to student’s music can still give you an idea of the quality they output during or after taking a course. If you like the music and it matches up to where you want to be with your productions then this can only be a positive sign. Quantize Courses regularly post music from our students on our Soundcloud page to give potential students an idea of what to expect.

Below is short playlist selection of the many tracks now posted on our Soundcloud page.

Who is the course designer and tutor for your course?
This can be a tricky area as many schools hire in freelance tutors and you might sign up expecting a certain teacher (perhaps you have seen some of their Youtube videos and like their style or have had them recommended by a friend) and instead end up with someone entirely different. It’s always a good idea to check in advance of enrolling so you can make sure the tutor you will be working with has good testimonials and importantly specialises in the areas you want to learn.

There has been a trend in recent years for schools to hire in recognised artists to teach because their name alone makes the course more attractive (a great marketing ploy!). Some artists are fantastic teachers but it’s worth hunting down those testimonials just to be sure – they nearly always mention the tutor if they were good.

At Quantize we don’t boast any famous names (yet!) but all of our courses are designed and taught by certified trainers who are currently working as music producers, so you can have great confidence in the quality of tuition you will receive.

Will the course be tailored to your music goals?
It may be that you are a beginner or an advanced user, maybe with specific topics you would like to focus on such as mix down and arrangement, or perhaps you have specific creative blocks you would like help overcoming. What ever your goals are does the course cater for this? Will the tutor spend time with you at the start of the course to find out about your goals so you can focus on them  together and drive you towards achieving them?

The more personalised the course, the greater the value it will be to you and the quicker you will reach your targets. At Quantize Courses our tutors discuss student goals, production experience and any specific topics you want to focus on at the start of the course. This is the only way to ensure you will learn the things you want to learn – the very reason you have enrolled!

 

Best Ableton Live 9 Course

 

Does the course teach the genre you are interested in?
Whilst many production techniques are relevant to multiple genres it’s great to receive specific tips on the genre you love. It’s always worth checking if the course tutor has experience of teaching your genre so they can share valuable techniques that will help you to develop your style in the direction of your choice. Not all courses will cover the music you like, for example we cover most genres in Electronic Music such as: Techno, Tech House, House, EDM, Ambient and so on but if we are asked to teach Rock, R&B, Pop etc. we always recommend a more suitable school.

Does the course include practical projects?
It is well known that we only fully learn by practicing and to gain the most from this practice it should be designed by an expert, be well structured and involve feedback so we can learn how to improve. If a course is just based on videos you are likely to pick up a few techniques and completely forget the rest! Our courses focus on producing full tracks, so that’s exactly what we ask our students to do. All students write a track from start to finish covering all key areas of production along the way. We believe that creating the habit of finishing is one of the most difficult things to do and yet it’s the most essential. The best way to form a habit is to repeatedly do it and if you have the support of a mentor as well, that’s all the better!

 

Ableton Lessons

 

How long do you have access to video tutorials?
As above, learning material takes practice, often repeating the same techniques many times for them to become second nature. Ideally you will have the option to download the tutorials or stream them online for a good length of time. Some schools offer the download option which is great (especially if you only have time to learn away from your internet connection!), currently we offer online streaming for 1 year with an extension of further years for a small fee (all feedback videos are the students to download and keep). Again it’s important to think about what works for your circumstances.

Does the course include tutor feedback on your progress?
If this is important to you then make sure it’s in the course! Most students find video feedback to be invaluable and it will undoubtedly improve your skills. Watching a tutor dissect your tracks and offer up new tips and tricks can really inspire those light bulb moments, “ah that’s where I was going wrong” or “that’s how you make that sound!”. Even if a course does offer feedback videos it’s worth hitting the testimonials. Not all feedback videos are equal and watching a tutor saying “this is good”, “I like this”, “I can see what you have done here” just like a pointless comment on soundcloud can be particularly uninspiring!!

 

Ableton Course Feedback

Are 1-2-1 online chat sessions in included in the course and are they really 1-2-1?
These should be exactly that, an opportunity for you to ask your questions and get personalised and relevant answers. If this is important to you in a course then make sure you check it’s not a group chat. If there are a bunch of students all with tons of questions what chance do you have of getting yours answered?

The other downside of group chats is of course your fellow students choice of genres and level of experience. There is a good chance that they will be asking questions that are of absolutely no interest to you. If you make Tech-House do you really want to know how to EQ a Drum & Bass snare? This could be an hour or more of your life you’ll never get back….

Does the course offer Fast Email Support/ Regular 1-2-1′s
If you get stuck will you be left stranded and then forced to abandon a creative idea because no answers are coming back in time? Double check the 1-2-1 sessions occur for every module and are not just a token gesture! Make sure the tutor is available to pick up your queries daily….. well alright we’ll give him Sunday off ;-)

If you have other commitments what flexibility does the course offer?
If a course is billed as 4 weeks but you are pushed for time, can the school offer you an 8 Week program instead? Is it possible to take a holiday in the middle of the course? It’s only fair on the tutors that you stick to a schedule (and also very good for your creativity to work to a deadline) but it needs to be a schedule that works for you! If you think time might be an issue contact the school and ask them how many hours you are expected to put in and make sure you have more than that available so you can give the course your best efforts.

 

Best Ableton Tech House Course

 

How much are the fees?
We had to get there eventually! There is a huge disparity in fees across the schools and hopefully this article will help you to decide which course offers the best value for you. Write down a list of your goals and favourite learning methods and then research your options. If you find the course for you but it’s currently out of your budget, be strong, resist temptation to go for a cheaper option and save up. If you go for an inferior option now you will place yourself further away from the course you really want to do and ultimately those big steps towards your goals!

Now…….. as you have probably guessed, the courses at Quantize tick most of the boxes from the questions above (it would be a little silly writing this article if they didn’t!!) and it is something we are very proud of. A huge amount of time and effort has gone into designing our courses to make sure we genuinely help students to reach their goals and provide them with the techniques, support and practice they need to start regularly finishing their music to a standard they are happy with. That being said we understand we can’t be all things to all people and one thing we guarantee is honesty. If we know there is a better alternative for you out there we will tell you!

Good luck, be patient, do the research and if we can help you in any way drop us a message.

November 19th

Ableton Tutorial – Autobeat Step Sequencer

In this Ableton Live Tutorial, we take a look at how to use K-Devices and Abletons partner instrument Autobeat.

This Max 4 Live device acts as a MIDI effect step sequencer and along with traditional features offers users an array of randomisation controls. The device can be used to create full beats using, for example, an Ableton Live drum rack or to embellish existing beats, create interesting glitch tracks and even inspire melodic ideas.

If you own a copy of Ableton Live 9 you will already have access to Max 4 Live and will be able to purchase and download Autobeat with easy installation.

We will be adding new quick tips regularly to our Youtube, Facebook & Twitter accounts.

The next Ableton Live tutorial will be posted shortly.

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Ableton Courses Testimonial

September 25th

Ableton Tutorial – Creative Sidechaining

In this Ableton Live Tutorial, we take a look how to create interesting side chain rhythms for Compressors and Filters.

The video focuses on sending elements of our drum loop into a return buss and then using this to feed a Compressor that rhythmically ducks a pad.

This Ableton Live tutorial is suitable for both production and performance.

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Ableton 9 Online Course Testimonial

May 3rd

Ableton Live 9 Push In Action

A quick demo of the Ableton Push controller in action with Ableton Live 9. This video was created using the beta version of Ableton Live 9 so there may be some slight alterations by the full release.

This video was created using Ableton Drum Racks and audio effects as well as a 3rd party VST for the stab sounds. Ableton Push is a highly intuitive piece of hardware for controlling Ableton Live 9 and this is only going to get better.

There will be more Ableton Push videos released shortly.

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Ableton Online Techno Course Testimonial

January 18th

Ableton Live 9 Preview – Drum Synths

This is a quick video showing some of the new features of Ableton Live 9. This video is made using the beta version and some features and workflows may change by the time of the official release date.

In the video we look at some new Drum Synths released with the new Max 4 Live that is bundled with Ableton Live 9 Suite. There is also a brief overview of the new EQ8, Gate, Compressor and Glue Compressor.

If you have any Questions about Ableton Live 9 please feel free to comment on our facebook page and we will answer them for you.

The next Ableton Live tutorial will be posted shortly.

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Ableton Music Production Course Testimonial