Ableton Live get it’s rep as one of the most widely used production interfaces for producer and DJs for its gamut of technological capabilities and accessibility. Many artists that are just starting out in electronic music look to the software just as weathered vets from deadmau5 to Richie Hawtin continue to look to Ableton Live for the basic structure of their tunes. We’ve taken a moment to highlight some of the better online tutorials for the platform below for anybody looking to learn a few pointers or polish their pre-existing knowledge.
1. Tom Cosm: Ableton Live 9: Basic Features & Creative Ways To Use Them
Tom Cosm has become a well respected authority on Ableton features and has been releasing a string of tutorials about the platform for over eight years. This tutorial not only goes through the basic capabilities of Live 9, but it gives producers creative ways to use each at the simplest level. It’s pretty eye opening, showing ways to use the platform that many might not have realized were an option.
2. Ableton’s Own Learn Live Tutorial
Of course, it’s always best to go right to the source when learning a new system and Ableton provides an expansive catalog of knowledge for producers. Their “Learn Live” webpage has multiple videos that explain how to optimize your audio interface setup, how to create basic MIDI beats, export audio, and more. Each video comes with links to connect you to more advanced topics, but starting at the beginning and working your way forward is the recommended direction. Check it out here.
3. Ableton Tutorial: Chord & Scale
This tutorial was made originally in 2010, but the techniques and processes can be used just the same across Ableton updates. It focuses on chord and scale, essential components for every musician, so it is a great tutorial for any artist that has not been classically trained or knows very little about music theory.
4. Ableton Live: Freeze Functions with Rory PQ
Dubspot’s tutorial covers everything an artist will need for the intricacies of sound design with the platform’s Freeze Functions. Not only are the explanations clearly laid out, but the site allows anyone to download the Deep Freeze package for free in order to follow along more closely with the tutorial. It’s a bit of a long read, but worth it in the long run. Check out the full tutorial here.
5. Creating a Drum Beat
Sonic Academy offers a wide range of tutorial videos, but this video is best for beginners just learning how to craft their own basic rhythms.
6. Learn Everything In Under 9-minutes
We visit Tom Cosm again for this video which gives an overview of all of Live 9’s capabilities in 9-minutes. So if you’re trying to learn on the fly, this tutorial is for you.
7. Ableton Launchpad Tutorial: How To Play
This is for any producer that is looking to integrate a Novation Launchpad (refer to Madeon as a good example) into their musical repertoire. It’s not an easy system to master, as its greatest users will attest, but it offers unparalleled access to multiple samples at a time. The Novation Launchpad is also one of the prizes offered in TuneRise’s Electronic Music Contest, which you can find more information about here.
8. How To Make Trap On Ableton
Dubspot instructor and producer Atropolis teaches users how to create a custom instrument rack for production as well as getting into some more advanced setup techniques. He gets into tedious details for a magnified look into trap production, which can be used for other genres as well.
9. Claude VonStroke On Ableton Live
Though slightly long for a tutorial, clocking in at just under an hour, this tutorial from Dirtybird mainstay Claude VonStroke is as detailed as they come. It’s especially helpful for producers that are looking for that richer house sound like VonStroke, plus he explains everything in understandable terms.
10. Hichie Hawtin: Performance Masterclass 2015
For the more advanced DJ/producer, or for someone that simply wants to dream big, check out the masterclass Richie Hawtin held in 2015 which shows his fluid movement using Ableton Live, Traktor, and a bevy of plugins. His explanations go beyond the technical usage of software and hardware to expand on his own creative process with these systems.
If you can find the time, we also recommend that you purchase Ableton’s recently published and highly insightful book Making Music: Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers. Check it out here.