Produce A Daft Punk Track In Under An Hour | Josh Ableton Buddy | Skillshare

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Produce A Daft Punk Track In Under An Hour

teacher avatar Josh Ableton Buddy, Music Producer

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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

19 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. Welcome! Intro & Setup

    • 2. The Two Views of Ableton

    • 3. Load MIDI

    • 4. Record Tracks To Arrangement View

    • 5. Load Piano

    • 6. Load Drums

    • 7. Adjust the Buffer & Add Limiter

    • 8. Load Synth 1 (Plucky Synth)

      Settings - Synth 1 - Saw10 Thin Reso
    • 9. Load Synth 2 (Guitar)

      Settings - Synth 2 - Guitar-Muted
    • 10. Load Synth 3 (Bass)

      Settings - Synth 3 -
    • 11. Load Synth 4 (Vocoder Synth)

      Settings - Synth 4 - Bright Saw
    • 12. Import Recorded Vocals

    • 13. Line Up Vocals

    • 14. Looping Vocals

    • 15. Vocoding Vocals

    • 16. Adding The Auto Filter Intro

    • 17. Tweaking The Bass Line MIDI

    • 18. Adding A Final Synth Line

    • 19. Review

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About This Class


You should take this if you've ever wondered how groups like Daft Punk get their sound.  Or, if you just want a crash course in music production, so you can tell people you produce dance music, this would be the course to take.

In an hour, you'll learn how to go from having little to no musical experience to mixing and producing a dance track with vocals (using a vocoder, that alien-like voice synth) AND you'll be able to take these tools to create your own music.


You don't even need instruments--just three things:

  • A computer keyboard
  • A built in mic on your smartphone or computer
  • A free copy of Ableton Live (DL it free at

I'll show you a trick for getting right to producing without playing a single note.  You don't need to be a beat programmer or a good dancer -it's all there for you.

NOTE: The trial of Ableton lasts only 30 days, so make sure you finish this course quick so you can get started on new songs!

After this crash course, it should be easy enough for you to move beyond the song I teach you into new songs, including doing your own remixes and covers of popular music.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Josh Ableton Buddy

Music Producer


I work as a video editor for an agency in Minneapolis, and often do mixing, sound design and music for projects at work using Ableton Live.

I've been using Ableton for 8 years now for sound design, music and DJ'ing.

I started a project last year where I am creating my own softsynths in Ableton.

My music has been released on a few labels including Star Creature Records out of Chicago, City Baby Records out of Tokyo, Born to Shine, Royal Athlete, Kinjo and Shaddock Records.

I have a passion for teaching my skills to people in an efficient, relatable way. I know how hard it can be to learn a new skill, and my job is to remove any obstacles that keep you from reaching proficiency.

See full profile

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1. Welcome! Intro & Setup: - Hi, - Thanks for deciding to try out this course. - Unable to live, - we're going to do our own version of data punks around the world, - using a MIDI file at a few effects to make stuff sound good. - And we'll even record a simple vocal and Advo Corder Teoh, - which is something you will recognize once you hear it as being uniquely daft punk. - Ask again. - You don't need any skills or vocal or instrumental abilities to do this. - All you need is your computer and a copy of Able to Live. - You can download a free 30 day trial of it at a bolton dot com, - and even after that trial expires, - you can still play around with it with the saving and exporting features disabled. - Now, - if you have able to in live eight, - don't sweat it. - All of these things I'm showing you are possible in that version. - Two. - Next time you get a chance, - search any song you want to do a cover version of and stick midi in the Google search. - After the song title, - you can download these typically tiny files and drag them into a built in and start messing - around with him 2. The Two Views of Ableton: - session view is vertical and best for recording, - looping and playing songs. - Live arrangement View is horizontal and is best for laying out pieces of a song and moving - them around for this lesson were mostly going to be working in arrangement view. 3. Load MIDI: - grab the around the world dot mid file and drag it onto able to an in session view. - You should see it ghosting and lining up like this. - Then let go of your mouth, - go to the master track and hit the first triangle play button next to the number one. - You will see all the tracks playing with yellow play triangles inside of black squares next - to each track. - You won't hear anything because we don't have any instruments loaded yet Hit space bar to - stop everything. - The triangles in each of the tracks will stay lit up because they're now armed. - If you go back to the master track, - we hit play on a second ago and go down to the square Stop button and click it. - It will disarm all the tracks. - This means nothing will get recorded once again. - Hit the triangle in the master track next to the number one toe arm the tracks again and - hit space bar to stop playing 4. Record Tracks To Arrangement View: - now go over to the middle top and hit the square stop button to reset to the beginning of - the arrangement. - Hit the circle record button. - Toggle to arrangement, - view by hitting tab or the little circle with the horizontal lines in it on the top, - Right, - Whichever is easier for you. - You will see the tracks you just armed are now being recorded into the arrangement. - You can hit the square stop button any time and just select all the tracks and just drag - them out to the right, - where the track eventually will end. 5. Load Piano: - sometimes midi files air labeled the tracks will often be named according to Instrument. - Here we see only synth one synth to since three etcetera and percussion, - so we will have to figure out what each part is. - There's an easy way to do this. - Grab a piano by searching in the instruments panel on the left for the word piano. - Multiple options pop up. - Anything is fine, - but let's grab a sampled grand piano. - Drag it onto each of the tracks except for the one labeled percussion hit Space bar to play - the song. - Now, - if you aren't familiar with Able Tins Instruments, - now is a great time to dive into the Instruments folder. - Click around and see what sounds you like. - There's no right or wrong way to go about choosing sounds or making a track. - I often right on piano first and then replace it with other instruments. - When I get the notes down here, - we have a song laid out for us already. - That's what these marks are their notes. - So all you have to do is give it instruments to play. - I really recommend messing around here and finding out what, - since you like 6. Load Drums: - we'll start by grabbing a drum kit to lay down on Deaf Punks Homework album. - They used a lot of 909 drums. - They even have a song called Revolution 909 On There we can assume the drum kit goes on the - percussion track hit Space Bar to play the song. - Now it still sounds a little different than the original, - so I'm going to tweak thes, - starting with a kick. - I think the kick should be shorter in the decay and pitched up a bit. - Then I like to grab drum presets from able to Nate because it makes any kick or snare sound - great. - Just search for kick, - grab kick processing and drag it over here with the kick selected. - The snare is almost non existent in the original because it has a really big clap. - It's not a 909 clap, - but we could get close to it. - Just mess around with getting I'm going to pitch the high hands up 7. Adjust the Buffer & Add Limiter: - By now, - you may be getting one of two things happening. - Either the sound is getting distorted because it's too loud or because your computer is too - slow. - Either way, - let's double check to things. - Go to your preferences under live preferences and click the audio tab. - Go to the Layton See section and click the bar next to buffer size, - click and drag upwards. - To increase this. - It should be at 2048 samples. - They should make things run smoother, - especially on older computers. - Closed the preferences window and then click on the master track in session view. - This is on the right, - and in arrangement this is on the bottom. - Make sure the bottom right tab labeled Master is selected. - Go to the menu on the left and select audio effects. - Scroll down until you see the limiter. - Click and drag that out down to the master effects area. - Now when you hit space part of play, - you'll hopefully notice. - Nothing is sounding bad 8. Load Synth 1 (Plucky Synth): - no way to track is labeled as synth one. - Hit the box with the sn it to solo the track hit Space bar to play the song. - Now, - since this song is mostly synthesizers, - it's just a matter of trying out different ones that able to offers to see what works and - has a plucky sound to it. - So I'm going to select it, - hit Command are and rename it plucky synth, - using the original song as a reference. - I'm going to look for something kind of similar. - Chances are you won't find exact matches to the sound you want, - but that's the fun of tweaking stuff in a Bolton. - You could maybe just make a sound quicker from scratch than digging around for one. - But since this is a beginner tutorial, - we'll just grab a pre made since and tweak it a bit. - Type saw. - 10 into the search box. - Look for the saw 10 thin reso lead in the Instruments Analog Synths Lead folder enable 28 - Look for the bleep poi poi synth dragon onto the synth one track. - Then I'll drop a filter delay on it, - which is a great effect, - and I'll set these parameters which tell it went to Echo like every 16th be there every six - beats. - And I'm just going to tweak a few parts here, - and you can check the settings in the document for the exact settings. 9. Load Synth 2 (Guitar): - thing is clearly the guitar sounding part. - Eso I'll select it and hit command are again to rename this guitar. - Then just type guitar into the search bar and look for the guitar muted Strat instrument. - See the settings in the document. 10. Load Synth 3 (Bass): - select the sent three track and hit command are to rename it base. - There are a few based sounds you could use for this track. - If you have able to eight, - you can use the W thumb base. - If you are unable to nine, - you can use the Boffin airbase. - The settings for those are in the accompanying course document. - I don't know. - You might notice that the baseline is a bit different in this MIDI version than the - original. - We will come back and tweak this later. 11. Load Synth 4 (Vocoder Synth): - now is one of the most fun parts of this song theme alien like vocal or avoids that sings - the lyrics. - Select Synth four and Hit Command are to rename it Vote Quarter. - Since make sure you're in arrangement view, - Click where you see the little notes. - Start on this track on Bar 13 Hit space, - part of play. - You'll hear the melody for the vocals. - Go back to the analog synths lead folder we were in before and grab bright saw lead. - Drag it over the piano to replace it. - This really doesn't need much tweaking as you'll see in a moment when we put it through the - vocals Theme. - You may have noticed that this sounds very high pitched now this is easy to fix. - Go to Midi effects and open the pitch folder, - grabbing minus 12 onto the track before the instrument. - This will pitch it down one active or 12 semi tones. - Same thing 12. Import Recorded Vocals: - So now let's just record the simple voice part. - If you have a mic and know how to hook it up, - go ahead. - See the document below for links to simple videos on how to hook up a mike. - If you have a mic, - your phone might also have a built in mic to record on. - If you have trouble getting it right, - or you can't seem to import your vocal recording to your computer, - just grab the wave file I recorded and use that hit command T to make a new audio track, - select the top of it and rename it Vocal. - Now click this area and drag it next to the track with synth for the vote quarter. - Since we just set up, - we want these two next to each other. - Drag your voice sample into the top row of this vocal track. - Instead of arming the track and hitting record will just copy and paste it into the - arrangement. - Select the file you just dragged in and copy it, - then hit tab to switch to arrangement view and paste it in the blank vocal track. - Now comes the tricky part. - If you're experienced with deejaying or sampling or track mixing. - This might not be so hard. - A simple rule of thumb is to visually compare your vocal wave form with the MIDI notes from - the synthesizer. - Here's a trick for lining it up. - Grab the bracket at the top. - It should turn black, - and you can drag it. - Drag it to the bar where the vote quarter synth comes in on Bar 13. - Now grab the right side of the bar wherever it is and drag left to bring it in all the way - to bar 15. - Now click the yellow Loop box and hit space. - Part of play. - It should loop what is in the box. - It's not quite right, - though, - so hit space bar to stop it, - grab the top of the loop bracket and drag it over to the right. - One notch. - If you zoom in, - you'll notice it's on 13.2 on the left and 15.2 on the right hit space bar again to play it 13. Line Up Vocals: - now to line up the vocal just so we can hear everything For now, - you can switch to session view and hit this square in the master track. - This disarms all the tracks and you won't hear anything If you hit space bar, - switch to arrangement view and hit the arm button on the vocal track. - Now scroll up to tracks and arm the base. - This will be a good guide for where we are in this phrase. - Now scroll down and armed. - The 909 drums hit space bar round, - round, - round. - Now you can hear all three. - Select your vocal sample. - If the war button is on, - turn it off. - Hit play to see whether it's lined up or not around the world. - If it sounds pretty good, - great, - leave it that way. - Otherwise, - if it's off, - try sliding it to the left or right well, - while listening to the beat to see if you're on rhythm realm were realm. - If you aren't quite on rhythm, - just look at the beginning of where your voice comes in. - Where the wave form starts. - Compare that with the MIDI bars above it in the synth track are they at the same place. - Try this amazing feature a Bolton has called Quan ties. - Select your audio sample and hit the war button. - You might see a yellow square pop up above your way for him. - Now click in the sample area and select all Command A and go to the file menu. - Scroll down to Qantas settings. - Select 1/8 in the quantities to menu and make sure the amount is set to 100%. - If not, - click and drag up to increase it to 100. - Now you'll notice a bunch of yellow pencil shapes pop up above your wave for him. - Hopefully, - it will sound more rhythmically accurate. - Round, - round. - You can actually move these pencil shaped markers around, - and it'll mess with the speed and phrasing of your vocals Round you can double click on - them to make them disappear, - which essentially returns that part of the vocal sample to the way originally Waas around. - You can now hit the red rectangle with the play button inside it here on the upper right or - middle right in session view. - This will rearm all the tracks and play them along with your vocal 14. Looping Vocals: - so there are two ways to do this. - You can select the sample from the left to the right of the loop bracket and copy it. - Click on the right side of the bracket and paste it over and over again until the end of - the track. - Or the less time consuming way would be to split this piece off from the original sample - and loop it. - To do this, - make sure to select exactly within the bracket and hit Command E. - This will split are part off now will consolidate it by hitting Command J. - All that does is make a new audio file with just this piece in it. - The old file will be replaced by this new one, - which you can now loop by hitting the loop button next to the sample. - Zoom out by clicking the top of arrangement view and dragging up. - Then move the cursor back to our loop until it turns into a right bracket shape, - then click and drag out to the right. - You should see the audio file repeated over and over again throughout the track before you - hit play, - turn off the loop bracket by hitting the yellow loop square and play it. - Your vocal should be repeated throughout the song to the BTO 15. Vocoding Vocals: - thistles where it finally gets fun, - make sure the effects tab on the bottom right is selected. - Go to the menu on the left to audio effects, - multi band dynamics or just type the word speech into your search box. - Grab the speech dynamics effect and drag it over the vocals audio effects area. - This will make your voice much clearer. - Rehl worl realm Go to the menu on the left and select audio effects. - Now scroll down to a vote quarter click and drag it after the speech enhancer. - Starting from the top left of the vocoder settings, - make sure the carrier is on enhance from the drop down menu below that will choose the - source for the vote quarter. - Select the audio from Menu and choose the synthesizer that plays the melody we want. - In this case, - it should be the vocoder synth track we just set up with the bright saw leads since on it - choose post FX. - Below that turn the unveil waste knob all the way down to minus infinity decibels and turn - the sensitivity up to 100%. - And finally make sure fast is selected. - Turn the vocoder type two retro from here it depends on your voice to nail it. - If you have a high voice than it might be different mess with the settings the depth knob - will control how much of the synth noise you can hear versus your voice set, - attack and release to the same settings as mine And, - of course, - make sure the effect is 100% wet. - Now you will start to hear your voice sounding just like the voice in the original song in - session view. - Go to the track with the bright saw lead since on it and turn it all the way down. - You'll still hear the vote quarter, - but now the Synthes quiet and your voice should come out even clearer. 16. Adding The Auto Filter Intro: - Now we're going to use one more cool and often used effect. - That is pretty simple. - If you notice the way the original track comes in, - it sounds like it's underwater are behind a thick door, - and slowly the high end starts to come out thistles known as cut off or frequency filtering - . - We'll figure out how to do the same thing with this song with the master tracks. - Effect areas selected. - Go to audio effects and select the auto filter and drag it over to the master tracks - effects area on the right side. - Click and drag the master arrangement. - View window upwards so we can see it easily. - Click on the on off switch on auto filter. - We will see a dashed horizontal line. - When you click the on and off switch, - it will go up and down, - scroll over it and it turns solid. - Click on it and a node pops up. - Click on the note again and it's gone. - Hit the letter B on your keyboard and see your cursor change between an arrow and a pencil - . - You can use the pencil to draw things in here with the pencil, - go to the fifth bar and click pulling up and down. - You'll see a box with on and off in it. - Move to the left or right, - and the line changes with you. - With the auto filters set to on, - we'll draw at the fifth bar and pulled down to off, - then hit Be to switch to the arrow. - You should see the same nodes there. - Click on the note to the right. - The whole bar from there on should drop to the off position to the left of the fifth bar. - It should be up set to on. - This will control when the auto filter is on or off hit play and you won't notice much - difference. - But if you grab the circle inside the auto filter box and mess with it, - you'll notice a difference. - You hear the high frequencies getting cut off. - This is the effect we want. - We want to drag from the left to the right, - so it starts on. - Lee playing low frequencies and eventually brings higher ones. - In a way to do this is just to enter our values in these two boxes. - So enter 200 hertz and type 2.0 in the Cuba now hit inside the 200 Hertz box again in - beating. - Sure, - sir is an arrow and not a pencil. - Go to the dotted line and click once on it at the very front. - You'll get a node there, - then go roughly to where the fifth bar is and click again on the line and drag it up to the - top. - Now, - when you hit play, - the filter will go from low to high and gradually loathe auto filter box and usually - struggle. - Moving along with blue line from left. - Right. - Nice work. - If you ever see something not working even after making changes, - make sure this arrow isn't red. 17. Tweaking The Bass Line MIDI: we're gonna tweak the baseline a bit because it doesn't quite sound is smooth. Is the original, actually sounds a bit robotic and not natural. Part of that is because the note at the top of each measure is supposed to come in just before the kick, which makes it have more of a groove to it. I'll show you what I mean. In a second, let's grab the loop bracket and squeeze it around the four measures that make up the baseline with top of that bracket. This will trim off this section of the baseline hit command J, and it will cut out all the notes on either side and zoom in. So we only have this one part to work with. Make sure you select the yellow loop box and hit play. It should loop like mine. Let's work on it. Edit Baseline Midi notes. I'm just going to deactivate thes two notes for a second. You don't have to do this. Just listen to these two as I move them and see if you can tell the difference. This is on the top of the beat thing, and this is just before the top of the beat way, the way you feel the difference. Five your head to be. You'll feel how the base coming in just a hair early pushes the track forward a bit. I'm going to undo it and then pull the front of these notes out to that position instead so that they don't sound too short. But play to the same spot as before. I'm just going to activate them so we can hear them again. Sounds just is good. Finally, I'm going to slide these notes on the upbeat from A to a sharp and from C to D. Thats adds to the stair step up sound of the baseline. Let's tweak the last measure of this baseline, the part that looks like a staircase, the notes scaling down all play for a little too long. I'll exaggerate this just to illustrate what I mean here. I'll extend the notes all the way out and listen to how the notes kind of together. Now, compare that to when I pull them back in, so that there is space between each note. E don't know why, but the addition of this little bit of space makes the track more danceable. Somehow Finally, since we're being finicky, let's extend the second to last note the a sharp out of it. We wanted to sit on that note for a second before the A comes in and again, like before. I want to add a groove to this so I'll slide a over to the right. A. Is the top of the first measure, and like we just did with the C and E notes we wanted to come in Early Way noticed that this loop is identical in the control booth. Blue bracket. Back out to the top of the baseline and hit played a double check. Gone are adjusted. Baseline. Bring it up again and let's hit. This means we can have this improved baseline. Repeat throughout the whole track. Zoom out and see the full track again. Now click on the top bar of our baseline loop again and move the cursor to the right until it's a right bracket. Click and drag out to the right. You'll see the old baseline being replaced by our new and improved one. Click the yellow loop box off to disengage our loop bracket hit space bar and listen to your handiwork 18. Adding A Final Synth Line: I noticed in the breakdown that there's one more thing going on than in this midi. So let's just play it. Just arm this keyboard button by clicking it so it's yellow. You should see these tiny indicators. Blink when you touch a key and hopefully you hear a sound. If not, make sure you have the volume turned up. It sounds a lot like the original melody used for the vote quarter. How does that go? Use your computer keyboard to find out. I think it goes like this. I e. I think I've got it figured out. Now I'll do one more. That's a bit more syncopated and funky. E There we go. That's good. Okay, now I lay that into the track at the end, and we're done. 19. Review: Review one load MIDI file. Dragon Drop to record tracks or paste in and drag toe arrangement. View three. Load piano into all tracks. Figure out what is what. Four. Add and tweak drums. Five. Replace piano with since six. Record vocal and lay into track. Seven. Add vocoder Effect eight. Add New SINCE and melodies