Ableton Live 10 - Create Melodies using Arpeggiator and a MIDI bus! | Matthew Ceron | Skillshare

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Ableton Live 10 - Create Melodies using Arpeggiator and a MIDI bus!

teacher avatar Matthew Ceron, Music Producer / Teacher / Nerd

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. What is a MIDI bus?

    • 3. Why use a MIDI bus?

    • 4. Routing our chords

    • 5. Recording our chords

    • 6. Adding a melody track

    • 7. Recording our melody

    • 8. Adjusting the melody PT. 1

    • 9. Adjusting the melody PT. 2

    • 10. The Finishing touch - Adding glide

    • 11. Outro

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About This Class

What will you learn?

Finding inspiration to create melodies can be hard sometimes! In this video you will learn a technique that will kickstart your creative process and get you in the right mindset in NO time. This technique is based upon the arpeggiator and a midi bus. It's a key part of my personal workflow, maybe it can be good addition your workflow aswell?

Who's this class for?

This class is aimed at beginners. I'd still advise you to have around 5 to 10 hours of experience in the program, so that you don't struggle with the basis lay out of the program. Advanced and intermediate users might still find this technique interesting though! 

What do you need?

  • A copy of Ableton Live 10 (or 9) Lite, Intro, Standard OR Suite will do fine!  
  • That's it.

Meet Your Teacher

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Matthew Ceron

Music Producer / Teacher / Nerd




Welcome to the profile of a 27-year old Belgian producer, teacher and NERD! Let me tell you something about myself...



I've been making music for around 10 years, 3 of which i've spend getting a bachelors degree in electronic music production. Over the years i've made music for video games, collaborated with several artists and played in a few bands. 


Teaching has always been a passion of mine. I love to help people express themselves! Over the years (about 7) i've gathered experience in working with kids, teenagers and adults and have done dozens of artistic projects with refugees and inmates. I have coached lot's of young artists and take pride in seeing them succeed!


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1. Introduction: Hi there, my name is Matthew and I've been teaching able to in real-life classrooms for around seven years now. I've got a bachelor's degree in music production. And today I'd like to share one of my favorite techniques to create melodies of the arpeggiator effects and immediate bus. All you need to follow along in this course is a copy of Ableton Live. I still advise you to have around five to ten hours of experience in the program or the rise at some times and might be going a bit too fast for you. Nonetheless, I hope to see you there and let's get started. 2. What is a MIDI bus?: Before we jump into Ableton, I'd like to answer the question, what is immediate plus minibus is just like any other midi track in Ableton. Only the big difference is that it doesn't hold any sound. It only holds information. So it's not supposed to be an active part of your sum. It's only supposed to receive information from other threats. Let's dive into Ableton and start making melodies. 3. Why use a MIDI bus?: Here we are in Ableton Live Session view. As you can see, I already prepared a few tracks, being a beat, a piano track, and obviously our midi plus. Now the piano track is holding two media effects right now, being a CT device and a scale device. You can find these effects in the browser under midi effects, the court device is generating a major seventh chord at the moment. This means that even though I only pressing one note on my keyboard, I can still hear an entire chord being generated. The scale device is making sure that whoever is being generated by the core device, the nodes are automatically put into the right scale, being an a minor scale. Another thing to note is to always check the order of your devices. In this case, I've put the course revise first and the skill device seconds. If these were to be turned around, then we wouldn't get the same result. Now, let's check out our clip and I double-click it. You can see that I'm only seeing the root node of each court. These are denotes I pressed when I was recording. If I play this clip, you can still hear the entire court, but I can't see every note individually. To achieve this, I'll have to send this clip through our minibus. 4. Routing our chords: Our minibus is actually just an ordinary midi track. To be able to route our piano through our bus. I'll have to activate the ins and outs. I do this by going to the bottom right corner of your screen. You can see my mouse moving. It's right here. I0. I'll press this. Now you can see you've got your routing options enabled. The important step here is to under midi from select our piano. And I click on this icon, select piano. Okay. Now when I play our piano clip and I arm are minibus, you can see these yellow circles right here. This means our bus is getting input. And you can see that it basically matches the piano. Now, all I have to do is press record on our minibus. You immediately see what happens next. 5. Recording our chords : Okay, I've recorded four bars, the length of our piano, as you can see on our piano row. Now, I can see every individual nodes, the core displaying. This, of course, is a lot easier to adjust everything you want, like pull them apart a little. Maybe true notes lower or higher. You can do all these things right now. There's one more thing to do. We will have to drag our clip from our bus to our piano track. Okay, let's have a listen. That sounds awful. Because when we look at our piano track, the core device is still enabled, which means a major seventh chord is being generated for every notes in our clip, which is ridiculous, of course. So we'll have to deactivate our core device. And we might as well deactivate our scale device because its already record it right into the clip. Now, let's get started adding a melody to these courts and our beat. 6. Adding a melody track: The first thing to do is to create a new midi track which will hold our melody. I'm just gonna click, right click right here. Insert midi track. Okay. Now as shoes, a sound to put on it. I'm going to go for a CMP lead. Obviously, you can choose whatever you want. But I'm going to pick one of the leads, one of the presets. You're gonna go for this one. Just drag it over to your track or double-click. Okay, we've put our sons on our trek. Now it's time to add the arpeggiator. We will find it under midi effects and to write at the top arpeggiator. Okay, now we're gonna create a clip. Create the clip by just double-clicking on an empty slots. And I'm going to resize my Bn are rule a little. And I'm going to start right about here. And I'm going to program every note in an, a minor scale. That is quite easy because a minor are older white notes. It doesn't hold any black nodes. So I'm just going to I'm going to disable monitor for now. Just going to drag this out to the end. And now I'm going to hold Alt and just drag it over to the next note in the scale. Okay? Now I've programmed an entire octave of a minor scale. Let's have a listen to this. I'm gonna solo it. This is not a really interesting melody at the moment, because our arpeggiator is in this style being the AP style. This means that every note from the bottom to the top is being played in the order that they were building. So it starts at the lowest note and it goes on gradually to the highest note. This is pretty boring, really going to change it to random. When you put it on random. And we have Alyson. Each note is being played randomly. I can already hear some interesting melodies being generated. 7. Recording our melody: Now it's time to record our melody onto our media post. We do it is in the exact same way as we did with the piano, by changing the midi from two melody. Now let's arm or minibus and press record. Okay, I've recorded about four bars of melody. Now it's time to drag our clip, which we recorded on the bus over to the melody track. And to give it another name, melody one. Now we can disable our radiator. We don't need it anymore. Now, you can see I've just left it on a rate of 18. This is actually the speed at which an arpeggiator breaks up the nodes in a clip. So I'd advise you to all also record on one aids, but you could changes to 1 16th or 1 fourth. That is up to you. Okay, I'm just gonna get rid of it altogether. Now, let's take a look. 8. Adjusting the melody PT. 1: Let's solo our trek. That's ever listened. Ok, first thing I'm gonna do is to change the, change the length of the clip to two bars by dragging these markers over to the tree, which means two bars. Now, when I listen to this, it still sounds very random and it still doesn't sound like a melody. Now, these techniques I'm showing you is actually a subtractive way of working. Because actually It's much easier I find and my students often say the same, that it's much easier to remove things you don't like. Then to add teams you do like. So it's easier to start from something then from nothing. That's actually the idea behind it. So I have a lot of information. I'm just going to take a closer listen. And I'm going to start to just randomly remove a few notes. Like so. Now I'm going to press the Gatto over here to, to actually lengthen All the notes like this. Or write, this already sounds more like a melody. Now, I'm going to start playing with the rhythm and adjusting a few morphemes. 9. Adjusting the melody PT. 2: Let's see. I liked this first part. This is already hazing that melody vibe for me. The, the second bar right here, I don't like debt as much, sir. I'm going to focus on that one for the moment. Let's see. It starts with a root node. I'm going to enable monitoring. Just gonna play around with the order of these nodes and at some random rate into it. Now, listen. Oh, gay. And it's looking more like it's addressing unchanged and you're in it right here. This may be, I can change these around by selecting them and just choosing invert right here. Okay, these two bars are sounding okay to me. Now I'm gonna head over to the next two bars. And you've wanted to switch really quick from the first two bars to the second and the, sorry, the third and the fourth. And you're just going to click right here, hold shift and arrow up. That's it. Easy and fast way to go to get over there. Now, that's heavily so that this part, same thing. Let's start by randomly removing a few notes. Now, if you're not sure about your removal of notes, you can always dxdt and deactivate unnoticeable, which basically has the same effects. Only it's not permanent. So sorry if I press this one, I can hold Shift and 0 are rife Glick deactivates. Where is it's right here. Deactivate. And that's grays out to notes, which basically means you want to hear it anymore. Ok. Let's have a listen to this. Let's do the same thing and press the Gatto. Now you can see the blacked out notes are basically getting in the way of lengthening a few notes. Is every going to do this manually? This actually doesn't sound that bed. But I'm seeing here, these notes are gonna follow up too fast. So I'm gonna select these kinda play around with it a little bit. Maybe adding a few. Select this one and I will shift and arrow down. Let's have a listen to the entire melody as a whole. It still has some over here and thinking, This isn't going low enough. So I'm gonna play around with them some more. This is starting to look like something decent. Not let's have a listen. If I get my beat involved and my piano courts. First of all, maybe I'm going to add some reverb through this kid, his presets, K. That doesn't sound too bad. And now we're gonna do some final adjustments just to make sure that everything chosen to get a row. The thing I like most about this technique is that it just gets my juices flowing. I always find it easier to decide what I don't like then what I do like. That's why starting from the notes they are Becky to generate it is a much easier way of working of finding your groove of or you are vital in a melody. 10. The Finishing touch - Adding glide: Okay, this is actually the type of melody that would benefit from adding some glide between denotes. Glide is actually when the note literally glides from one node to the other. You can see I already lengthened my notes a little bit more so that they overlap. As you can see, just clicking on the magnifying glass up here. Now to lengthen all your notes at the same time, you can just press command a, deselect everything. And then you can select either nodes and drag it out like this. And zoom in a bit more. Okay? Now, if you want to adjust the glide, we go to our track and we go right over here on our presets. Ready can activate the device by pressing this button over here. And then we go over to the pitch section. You can see there are whole lot of parameters because this is the FM since of Ableton cried quite complicated sometimes. But now we're just gonna go over to glide and activate the glide and maybe put it up. And like 150 milliseconds, let's have a listen. It's a bit, a bit much still. Yet, I'm quite liking this. Now, let's have one final listen to our entire song. By the way, does Glide is something that I just wanted to show that it's only available in Ableton Live suite. So you have if you have intro or light standards, I'm not sure if it has its it has the operator. I think not. But for light or intro, don't worry if you can't adjust it and this isn't the biggest thing in the world. Let's have one final listen. 11. Outro: This concludes my course. I'll hope you'll trade this technique out for herself because I'm very interested in hearing about your version.