Ableton Certified Training: Getting Started with Live 12 | J. Anthony Allen | Skillshare

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Ableton Certified Training: Getting Started with Live 12

teacher avatar J. Anthony Allen, Music Producer, Composer, PhD, Professor

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Ableton Live Versions


    • 3.

      Where to Buy


    • 4.



    • 5.

      The 2 Views of Ableton Live


    • 6.

      Arrangement View


    • 7.

      Session View


    • 8.

      Producing in Session and Arrangement View


    • 9.

      Info View


    • 10.

      Help View


    • 11.

      Zooming and Scrolling


    • 12.

      Clip View/Window


    • 13.

      Let's Make Some Music


    • 14.

      Using Drum Rack


    • 15.

      Using MIDI Tracks


    • 16.

      Adding Bass


    • 17.

      Adding Pads


    • 18.



    • 19.

      Saving and Exporting


    • 20.

      Listen: A Work in Progress


    • 21.

      Track Deconstruction


    • 22.

      What Comes Next?


    • 23.

      Bonus Lecture


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About This Class

Welcome to the Getting Started with Live 12!

Hi – I’m Jason, Ableton Certified Trainer and tenured university professor with a Ph.D. in Music. I have over 75 courses with a rating of 4.5 and higher. Tens of thousands of students have taken my Ableton Live 9, 10, 11 and 12 classes, and they average over 4.7 in student ratings.

I'm here to introduce you Ableton Live. Whether you're a beginning music maker, aspiring producer, or a seasoned professional looking to up your game, this course is the perfect starting point.

This is a 90-minute getting started guide to Ableton Live 12. While it's a great introduction to my additional lessons, it's a stand-alone free course. 

You'll quickly learn to:

  1. Access and install the software.

  2. Understand the Interface.

  3. Acquaint yourself with Live's unique form of navigation.

  4. Make a simple beat.

  5. Analyze a more complicated song.

Why choose this course?

  • Top Seller: Thousands of 4+ reviews and tens of thousands of students can't be wrong!

  • 5-Star Certified: Independently reviewed and certified by IAOMEI, ensuring the highest quality education.

  • Ableton Certified Trainer with a Ph.D. in music. I bring a unique blend of expertise to both production and education.

  • Responsive Instructor: Enjoy a 100% Answer Rate! Every question posted in the class is personally answered by me within 24 hours.

My Promise to You: As a full-time Music Producer and Educator, I am committed to your success. Post your questions in the class, and I will respond within 24 hours. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

J. Anthony Allen

Music Producer, Composer, PhD, Professor


Dr. J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen performs on a set of "glove" controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he's not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers.

In 2014, Allen was a semi-finalist for the Grammy Foundation's Music Educator of the Year.

J. Anthony Allen tea... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hey, everyone. Welcome to my getting started with Ableton 12 class. Now, you may have seen I have 1 million Ableton 12 classes out, and The reason for that is I wanted to make it completely comprehensive Ableton Live curriculum, the same curriculum that I use in my university classes. Now, with this class, what I really wanted to do was just make a simple short class for people who are just getting started and just want a quick little like tell me how to make some music with live. They don't want to know what every button does or every dial does. Or they want to try this first before they invest the time to really learn what every button and dial does. So that's what this class is. I'm going to walk you through some of the main concepts about live, some of the things that makes it different and then talk about how to make music with live. Then we're going to make a little silly track together, and then I'll walk through some of my tracks and show you how they work, how I came up with different ideas. I'll give you a couple of things to download and play with along the way. And we'll just have a nice light fun time. Let's dive in and start learning Ableton Live 12. So we'll come back to one or two of my tracks in a bit. But first, let's go to a clean slate and make something from scratch. So four. And let's put our high hats on one and two. And here's the track I'm working on. This is a work in progress. So, you know, don't judge me. But, you know, I 2. Ableton Live Versions: All right. This can be our first little confusing thing that happens with Ableton Live. And that is the different versions. So there are three different versions of Ableton Live 12. This has been true all the way back to 111098, I think, even. So the three are intro standard and sweet. Now, you may also see a fourth one that comes a little bit before intro called basic or something like that. I can't remember. They give away that one with some hardware units and stuff like that. It's basically intro. So intro standard and set. The differences are that if you look at my version of live, which is set, What you'll see here, if I go into audio effects, you see this long list of audio effects, right? In standard and intro, this list is going to be shorter, shorter and standard and shorter yet in intro. Another place that comes up is these instruments. These are all the instruments in Live suite. But if you have standard, you're going to see a shorter list and intro, a shorter list yet. Those are the main two differences. So it really just limits your effects and instruments. There are some other differences, but those are the big ones. So if you go to this page, slash shop slash Live, you can see the different licenses, and you can kind of compare the features here. So you can see software instruments, intro has eight, standard has 13 and Sue has 20, audio effects 207-40-2508. Those are the main differences. What I always tell people is you can upgrade. I money is not an option for you and you just want to dive in and make the best music possible, get. Sue is the professional tool that you want to have. But if money is an option as it is for most people, Uh, start with standard, start with intro. They're far cheaper. Use it until you've exhausted that program until you're like banging your head because you need more features. Then it's time to upgrade, right? There are upgrade paths for all of these, so you don't need to buy Site to get started. You can buy intro or standard, and then go from there. Cool. Cool. So do what you can. Now, there is also kind of a secret way to get live a little bit cheaper. Let's talk about buying live in the next video. Okay. 3. Where to Buy: Okay, the best place to buy live is just on You can buy it through some of the big retailers, and that's fine, too, but the cheapest price is always going to be on So that's where I am now, and you can go to shop. It's not going to let me click on these because it says I already have Sue, and there's nothing more I can really buy. But I want to point you to a super secret little thing here. See this up here, educational offers. Let's click on that. Okay, save 60%. That's a lot, right? That takes sit down to 300 bucks from 7409. That's a huge discount, right? Standard 4309 goes down to 1705. Now, you might see different prices. Prices change based on they might adjust it in the future, or if you're in a different region and different currencies, whatever. But the educational price is a huge thing. So here's how you get it. If you are a student anywhere, you can get You can get an authorization for live. So what you would do is you would buy the version here and you would pay the student price. But then you're going to basically be running a demo of the software until you get it authorized. So in order to get it authorized, a little window will come up in your version of live, and it'll say, You need to authorize your version, and it's going to ask you to submit some proof that you're a student, either like a student ID or something like that. Now, your next question is probably, well, you're in a class right now. You're watching a class here. Does that count? The answer is, maybe it might. Depending on where you're watching this and how you're watching it, that may or may not be true. So here's what you can do. Send me a direct message on this platform and just say, Hey, I want to get the educational price. Can you see if I'm eligible? And then I'll walk you through the route to do it. You know, you can always try, right? It never hurts to try. Send me a DM and I'll walk you through how we deal with that. But if you don't want to go through that rigmarole, you can just buy it by going to up here on the Ableton website and click one of these buttons to buy it. 4. Installation: Okay, if you're on a Mac, you're going to download a disc image, and you're going to open it, and it's going to look something like this. It's probably not going to be orange and it's not going to say Beta. I'm on the Beta version right now. It's just about to be released, so everything is the same as what you have. All you need to do is take this file and drag it over to the applications folder. And that's it, nothing fancy to install. Now, when you launch it for the first time, it's going to take an extra few minutes because it's going to tuck some folders around your system, but you don't really need to know what's happening. After it does that, it'll open up and you'll You'll see the program interface just like I have. If you're on a PC, it works very similar. You just have to drag the file to the right spot or double click on it, and that will launch the installation process. But it's a very quick and very easy installation. So easy, in fact, that's all I have to say about it. Let's move on. 5. The 2 Views of Ableton Live: Okay. So you've opened up live, and you see something that looks like this. Now you might have a whole track in here. You might have something that is playing and is cool, or it might be totally empty. It depends on how they're shipping it now. But if you see a bunch of stuff in this little grid here, hit this play button. Listen to it. It's probably pretty cool. Sometimes there's a little demo that comes up. I'll show you how to pull up a demo in just a minute. To get started, I want to point out the just trickiest thing about live right away. This is the thing that stumps people that are new to live, and also, especially stumps people that have learned another dw. Like if you know pro tools or logic or anything like that, and then you come to live, this is where people are like, what is going on with this crazy program? Okay, let's just tackle this thing right away. Okay. So this is what we see, right? We're like, Okay. How do I Where's the timeline? Where do I put sound and stuff like that? Here's the trick. There are two main views to live. Okay? Okay. You can think of it like a front and back to the program. That's the way I like to think about it. You've got a front side and a backside. Now, what you decide is the front and which one you decide is the back is up to you. But here's how we're going to toggle between the two. It's the tab key. Press tab, and we're going to go back and forth. Let me open just a new clean slate so that you see what I see. Okay. So now I have a clean fresh program. If you just hit Command N or go to file, this is what you're going to see. This is called session view. Session view. Looks like this. Tab, This is called arrangement view. Looks like this. We can go back and forth with the tab key. We can also go back and forth with these little things up here. Now, what are these doing? The arrangement view has a timeline. We can put stuff in it. Here's a sound, I can drag it in there, and then I can play it. That's great. We have a timeline. Things progress. You can see the playhead when I start it, Ts move each track is vertically arranged this way. If you've used any other D before, this will be very familiar. By D I mean, audio editing program like this. We have a timeline. We have things. This is analogous to a musical score, if you're familiar with using musical scores. But if we hit tab in the session view, this is more designed for performance. Now, every time I say that, somebody calls me out on it in the Ableton community. You can do a lot more than just performance with this, right? This is for composition for arranging for doing everything. You can do that here. But its main advantage. The thing that separates it from arrangement view is your ability to perform stuff. If I take that same sample I just used, I can put it in one of these little rectangles. These are called a clip slot right? And I get a little play button. I can click it and play it. Cool. So what this view has is no timeline, right? This is just a whole bunch of files that will launch when I tell them to launch. Now, Ableton has some magic to make sure that they launch all at the right time and sound good together. We'll go into that more in a few minutes. Okay. Some people like session view. Some people like arrangement view. Some people go back and forth. I personally am kind of an arrangement view person because I come from a more music score focused world, that's where I learned music, and I like my timeline and things moving across it. So those are the two different views. You can go your whole life and never go into session view if that's what you want to do. All right, so let's dig a little bit deeper into both arrangement view and session view in the next few videos. 6. Arrangement View: Okay. So let's look a little bit at arrangement view in a little bit more detail. So I just pulled up this track that I'm working on. This is work in progress. I think I will go into this fully and we'll play it and pick it apart and talk about how I made it in a few sections from now. But here's just kind of a taste of what's happening. You get the idea. Okay. So arrangement view. We have all of our tracks on our right side. We have sort of our mixer over here, although we can bring up another mixer, and I'll show you that in a second. So with our mixer area, we can turn on or off this track with this button with a little number. We can slow the track. That means all the rest of the tracks are going to turn off, and we're only going to hear this track. We can adjust our volume that's here. Then these are our sens, which send a copy of the signal down here to one of these two places. Sens and returns are a little bit more advanced andan we'll get into in this class, but we do spend a lot of time on them in my big Ableton sequence. Here is your panning, so this will move the sound from left to right. A cool little tip that I just did there is if you adjust something in live in nearly everything, if you want to take it back to its default, just press the delete key on your keyboard, and that'll take it back to where it started. This section is our ins and outs. We don't need to worry about this too much unless we're recording something. Now, we have two different kinds of tracks here, and it's hard to tell which is which just by looking at the name of the track. We have met tracks and audio tracks. Mid tracks can handle midi notes and meti clips. Each one of these little nuggets of sound is called a clip. Whether it's audio or My, it's a clip. Mid tracks can take me clips, audio tracks can take audio clips. From over here, you can't really tell the difference. The easiest way to tell the difference in this situation is to look at the clips. When you see all these dots and stuff, let's zoom in on that. See all these dots, that's My stuff. That's midi information. If you see little wave forms like this, that's audio. We'll talk about the difference between audio and My in a few minutes, and we'll go through how you would work with each one differently. But what you need to know is that if you're working with an audio file, down here, I have some wave files. If I try to drag that onto a midi clip, strange things are going to happen. It'll sort of work, but it's going to be strange. If I just want to hear it as is, I need to drag it onto an audio track. Cool. If you want more tracks, you can go down, and then you can go to create insert audio track, which you can also just get with Command T, insert Mi track, which you can get with Shift Command T. If you're on a PC, command, I think is option, option T and Shift Option T. To make more tracks. We can rename tracks if we want. See, this says FM. That's just the name of the instrument that's on it. So that's not very useful. But most things, you can click on it and then press command or option R, and that's going to let you rename it. Let's say this track is called lead synth because that's what it is. I can solo it. Great. You can rename everything if you want and our tracks go from left to right. One other thing I'll point out about arrangement view is that down here at the bottom, we have our main output. So for anything, you can move your mouse right there right in between the two tracks and just click and drag up. The thing about our main track is that all of our audio from all of our tracks is going to end up here. So this volume is your master volume or your main volume. So we can see. It's awfully hot right now. I haven't mixed this or anything yet. It's just in the sketching phase. So yeah, it's too loud, but I'm not going to worry about that for now. All right, and then, like I mentioned before, if you want to pull up a more traditional looking mixer, you're going to go down here and hit this little button right there, and now you get a mixer. So here's our lead synth, which is this track. Now it's down here, and here's our volume. We can adjust it that way. Eat. All right. Let's talk about how Session view works. 7. Session View: Okay, now let's go over to Session view, still looking big picture. So I'm going to press the tab key. Now, if you don't want to press the tab key, if you have some issue against the tab key. You can switch actually with this little thing over here, which I'll point out while we're here. If you look at the Ableton logo, you'll notice that it's three vertical lines and three horizontal lines, right? Just like we have here. Arrangement view. Session view arrangement view, Session view. So the Ableton logo is actually the arrangement view in session view buttons. That's how important this concept is to the program. Okay. So now we're in session view. So no timeline here. But what we have is these little clip launchers, okay? So we can we can put little nuggets of sound in there, otherwise known as clips, can put them all over the place. Okay. That's cool one, and we can launch things as we want to, we can move around freely. We can click on things and get them in the clip view, and we have access to the same kind of mixer here, right? Here's the ins and outs. We saw that over here in session view, but now it's down here and we have our volume in a bit more of a traditional looking mixer than we just saw a minute ago. However, like I said, we can pull up the mixer in both views now. So I I launch a clip here, We get just this clip, right? And you might think when I switch over what happened to all this stuff? What happened to my whole big track that was happening here? It's not here, right? It's gone. But it's not completely gone. The track names are the same. They come over into session Vew and the mixer settings come over into Session view. So, What you need to remember is that session view and arrangement view are two different canvases of material. They have separate clips. They have separate audio content and midi content. You can build things separately in them. However, importantly, they share a mixer. If you keep that in your head, then you'll never get tripped up on what's happening. Watch. If I click this. I could say, cool. Let's make that. Super loud. I'm going to crank that up and move the panning all the way over to the left. Sure. Panning is like the left and right side. Now, if I go over to arrangement view and I look at the third track, Go all the way up to the top? Here's the third track. Panning is all the way left. That's what 50 L means, and the volume, which is this, is cranked all the way up, right? And it's called three new Disco four. That's what it's called. Go back here, three new Disco four, and there's my stuff. But I have completely different clips on it. But the mixer settings are the same. Now, another thing you might have noticed is that when I went over to arrangement view, this is all grade out, right? A. Hold, let me turn that down. That's pretty nasty. If I hit play. What am I hearing right now? I'm just hearing session view. I go over here. I'm hearing this click. I'm hearing session view. So what's happening is over here in arrangement view, everything's grayed out, and I have this little orange button now. This orange button says, Hey, you've got stuff happening in both session view and arrangement view. Which do you want me to use? So the orange button is saying, I'm going to use session view because I think that's what you want. If I'm wrong, click me. So I click you, and now I'm back to arrangement view. Right? So Session view and arrangement view, two different content areas, but they share a mixer and you can only play one or the other at a time. Okay? Cool. 8. Producing in Session and Arrangement View: Okay, so I touched on this a little bit in the previous video, but I just want to be very explicit about this because I would like to save you a whole bunch of headaches. And here's how I'm going to save you a whole bunch of headaches. When you're working, when you're creating music in live, I strongly advise that you stick to session view or arrangement view for whatever track you're working on. Go back and forth or using both at once can be done, and some people work that way. But it can also lead to all kinds of weird problems. It can just be confusing and you can lose track of different sounds and where they are. So you don't have to use both, and I recommend that you don't. I almost exclusively use arrangement view when I'm writing, and then I might go over to session view for getting something ready for a performance or something like that. Sometimes, I'll start to track in session view just to explore and improvise on it because once you get good at Session view, there are some cool things you can do that help you just kind of find some new ideas and new sounds. Those are great. But as I develop the idea, I'll move over to Session view and then sorry, arrangement view and then stay there. I know people. I have friends, very close friends, colleagues who are producers who work exclusively in Session view. They write arrange, record and perform in Session view. That's great. Everybody takes their own route on this stuff, and nobody is wrong. There is no wrong way to use Ableton. I will put that on my tombstone. So you are new to Ableton, presumably. And so I would just strongly recommend get good at one or the other. And then once you really develop your skills, then maybe move over and try, you know, mixing it up and doing some of both. But stick to one or the other for now. You'll thank me later. Okay. 9. Info View: Okay, I want to do something with me here. Go to the menu at the top of the screen. We're going to go to view. And then we're going to go to Info view. Okay? So when I click this, I'm going to get this little box down here. If you already have this box, do that same thing again to get it back because you probably just turned it off. Make sure that you see this box. This is called Info view. So view Info. You can also just press question mark. So this is such a handy little box. Watch. If you look at Info view and then move your mouse over literally anything, it's going to tell you exactly what it is and how to use it. Okay? So let's say this monitor auto button. I didn't know what this was. I didn't know what this is, so I'm going to put my mouse over it. Look at Info view, and it says, monitoring. When monitoring is active, attracts input is played through its device and heard at its output. Great. This can literally be anything, you know, anything that is part of live is going to show up there. Okay? So, I strongly encourage you leave Info view open for, like, a while. To be like, perfectly honest, I almost always have info view open, but when I'm teaching, I turn it off to make it look like I know everything. But in between videos, I turn it on. No, I don't really. But kind of. It's just a super handy little tool. And whenever you don't know how to use something, you can just put your mouse over it and look down there and say, Oh, that's the metronome. Now I know what that is. So keep that open. And whenever you're stuck, glance down at it, and it's going to tell you exactly what something is. Even especially for these classes of mine. If I show you something and you don't catch what it's called or you want to get a little more detail on it, put your mouse over that thing and look over at info view, and it will really help you out. So keep that open and glance down at it whenever you're getting stuck. Super Duper helpful. All right, now let's go on to help view. 10. Help View: Okay. The next thing I want to show you is something called help view. And that is what I have open over here. Now, if you don't see this over here, go to view and then help view. You can also press Command Option seven or command, Command Option seven or Alt Option seven, I think, on a PC. That's going to open up this. Now, this is really helpful because this has a bunch of little lessons in it. Okay? So you can click on a Tour of Live. And if I click on it, there's some text, and then it says, click here to load the set. Sure. I'm going to say don't save what I was just working on. And it's going to load a little set, and then it's going to walk me through it. Look at that. Okay. And then once I'm done reading it, I click next page at the bottom. And it says, Here's this thing, and you can walk through all these little lessons. And it loads you up with kind of a cool little track. Yeah, it's cool. So it's really going to walk you through each thing. There's session view stuff. There's arrangement view stuff. And then we can hit this little home button up here to go back and walk through each of these lessons. Now, you have me here helping you learn live and walk through it. But multiple perspectives is a great thing. So what I'm really going to ask you to do is take a minute and go through each of these. Don't worry about mastering everything because I'm going to walk you through just about everything over the course of all of these classes. But this will give you a good idea of a lot of different things happening in live and show you some cool sets. So take some time and do that. When you're done, you can close this view because this is really the only purpose of this view is to show you these lessons. Once you don't want it anymore, you can just go to view and then reclick on Help Vew to hide it, or you can just click a little x right here, and now it's gone. So I'm going to leave that closed for the rest of this class cause I've watched those lessons. They're delightful, but I don't need them. And it frees up a little bit more screen real estate, we like to say, to hide them. So I'm going to keep that closed for now and move on. So check those out, highly recommended. Okay. 11. Zooming and Scrolling: Okay, so let's get to know navigating in live a little bit. And the main way that we do that is we have a couple kind of weird gestures to learn. So if you want to zoom in or scroll, so scrubbing is this way, we can zoom in this way, zoom in and zoom out, and scrub left and right. Now, you can do all of that with a single click. It's kind of crazy. And it takes a minute to learn it. What you're going to do is click up here, right above the numbers where you get the magnifying glass. You're going to click and hold down. Now, while you're holding down, if you pull down, you're going to zoom in, if you pull up, you're going to zoom out. If you move right, you're going to scrub and if you move left, you're going to scrub, left, right down. The idea here is that you can navigate from the beginning of a track to the end of the track with one quick gesture. It takes some practice, but you can do it. Now, alternatively, if you have a track pad, if you're on a laptop or you're on a desktop and use like one of these, you can do two finger stuff. Okay? So two finger kind of pinch in and out. And two finger swipe side to side, does that. That's what I've gotten the habit of doing. But it's just much easier for me because I have this track pad thing. So anywhere that you can zoom in and out, that gesture is going to work or the two finger thing. That's true on a midi grade as well. If we go down here, We can do it up here. We can also do it over here on our notes section if we want to zoom into the notes. Let's click and drag, click and drag or two fingers. That's how we zoom in, and you're going to be doing a lot of that. A lot of zooming in and zooming out. It's just the kind of nature of live. You're constantly zooming in and zooming out. So get used to those motions, either with a track pad or with a mouse by using the up down left right thing up here. Cool. Go ahead and practice it. I'll. Okay. 12. Clip View/Window: Okay, so, whether or not you're in session view or arrangement view, the clip view works the same. So I'm going to take any clip. Let's take this one. I'm going to double click on it, and now the clip view pops open. Okay? Now, I can drag the little gray line right here, click and drag to make it nice and big if I want. So in clip view, it's kind of like putting a clip under a microscope, right? We're now like zooming in, focusing on that clip. So we have some controls for this clip. We have a bunch of things we can do to it. Just looking at some of the more simple ones, we can boost the volume or cut the volume. This isn't a great way to do that, but it's here. We can change the pitch. If I want this to go higher, we can do that and do all kind of funny things with the pitch. We can reverse it so that it goes backwards. I can hit reverse again to make it go back forwards. And we can change is it looping, the time signature of it, the length of it, the position. Do some quantizing more on that later. Now, if you want to hide this, we have this little arrow down here. We can click on that and it goes away, and we can bring it back right there. Now, this area is shared by the device view. Which again, we can get to with Shift tab, and there's no devices on this track, so let's go to one that does have devices like this one. Here's a MD clip. I just double clicked on a MIDI clip and made one. I can shift tab to go over to my device view, or I can click down here. Here's my clip view, here's my device view, two of them. And if I want to see them both at the same time, I can just click this little arrow here and it's going to go Up. Now I have clip view and device view all open at the same time. Okay, let's talk about creating clips. 13. Let's Make Some Music: Okay. Let's make some music already. So we'll come back to one or two of my tracks in a bit. But first, let's go to a clean slate and make something from scratch. So I'm going to do Command N and just say, you don't need to save this. And now we're at a new track blank slate. So I just made a new session. You could also just go to file new and new session that way. Okay, so when I made a new session, it took me to Session view. That's great. I'm going to go to arrangement view because that's my happy place. You can do whatever you want. So by default, I have two mini tracks and two audio tracks. So what I thought we would do here is let's make a fairly just like a really simple beat. And let's do it two ways. First, I want to do it with audio, and the second time I want to do it with M. So we're going to make the drums part of it with audio, and then we'll make the other elements, and then we'll make the drums part of it with Midi using a drum rack. Don't worry. I'll explain it as we go. So let's start with drums. So here's what we're going to do. I'm going to go over here. I'm going to go to samples, and I don't know why that came out like my Minnesotan is coming through samples. Anyway. So let's click on samples, and let's find something like, I don't know. How about a kick? Okay, so now, this is called our browser, and it shows us all kinds of fun stuff. So I'm going to click on one of these, and then I can just use the down arrow. And find sounds that I want. If you don't hear sounds as you scroll through here, make sure this little blue headphone thing is turned on. That's your audition button. A little less pitchy, maybe. Okay. That's cool. Let's use that. Now, you probably don't have as many things in your list as I do. I have tons of samples here that I've collected over the years that Live knows about. You're going to have a shorter list. But as you do this more and more, you'll acquire a fairly big list. Okay, I just drug that right into here. It's super tiny. So let's zoom in on it. We know how to do that now. Boom. All right. There's my kick. Now you'll notice I didn't start it at the very beginning. I could. It doesn't really matter. I just have a habit of starting stuff somewhere out here so that I can go backwards and forwards, or whatever. All right. Let's find a sneer. Sure. We'll use this one. Now, I'm going to put that on a different track. When you're making something, you don't have to use different tracks for different sounds. I could put this up here. That would be fine. But I like to keep them separate. It just makes it easier to mix once we're all done with this. Okay. What else do I need? Let's do a h h. Let's do a high hat. That's pretty good. All right. Now, I need one more audio track. Because I'm out of audio track. I don't want to use these midi tracks up here because we're going to pull in an audio file. So one really quick way I can make another audio track is just grab this audio file, pull it over here, and put it down here where there is no track in this empty space. If I drop an audio file right there, it's going to make me an audio track. Cool. Okay. Now, let's just arrange these. I'm going to zoom in quite a bit and let's maybe set up a loop for 1 bar. So here's five and here's six. That's always going to be 1 bar bar five bar six. I'm just going to select on any track, it doesn't matter what. Then I'm going to press Command L. What that's going to do is turn on looping and loop that section I just highlighted of all tracks. Even though I did it by selecting this track, it's going to loop all tracks. If I just start playing it, Okay. So we're looping 1 bar. We can also see our beats 5.2 means bar five beat two, 5.3 means bar five beat three, 5.4 means bar five beat four. So let's put our kick on beats one and three. Let's put our sneer drum on beats two and four And let's put our high hats on one and two, and three. Oh, I should tell you the trick I'm doing here. I'm holding down option while I click and drag that's going to leave a clip where it was, but also pull a new copy of it. It's kind of like a quick copy paste, which you can do also. You can do all of your copy paste cut your microsoft word key commands. I'll work. Alright, let's hear this now. Okay. Pretty cool. Super boring. But I didn't promise this would be exciting. I could put another kick over here, maybe. Maybe sneak in a little snare right there. Sure. That's fine. Okay. Now, maybe I kind of by I kind of have a habit of putting the high hats at the top, and then the snare and then the kick. So this is upside down from how I like to do it. The only reason I'm going to change the order here is really to show you how to change the order of your tracks, but also just because I like it this way. So I've got this track. I'm going to click and drag in this area and just move this one up to the top. And then same thing with this one. All right. Now I've got high hats, snares, kicks. Let's rename those tracks. It's a good habit to get into. High hat sneer kick. Cool. That's how you can make a very simple drumbeat just by dragging in audio files from your finder into your session. Now let's do the same thing but using a drum rack. 14. Using Drum Rack: Okay. Next, let's do the same thing using a drum rack. Now, what this basically means is that we're going to use Mi to make the same thing we just made. Why? Why are we making these two different ways? Well, I think this is a really nice way to show you how My works, how drum racks work, how My tracks work, and just kind of how MI is arranged. So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to go to instruments. Clear out what I'm looking at, and I'm going to go to drum rack. Let's put one of those. I guess I could put it on this midi track. Sure. This is a drum rack. If you've ever done anything with controllers and pad controllers and stuff like that, this might be familiar looking to you. Each one of these little things is like a little pad and we can hit them and trigger a sound. But this is an empty drum rack. We need to get some sounds on it. So we could drag sounds right from our browser here or we could drag them right from our session. So I'm going to drag this down here, put that right on where it says C one. Okay. Cool. Now, if I hit this little play button. We hear it. Cool. Let's take this snare drum, put that on D, I suppose, and this high hat, put that on F. Sure. So now I have all three of my sounds in one instrument. These are called an instrument. Now, I need to make a met clip. You can make a met clip easily by just double clicking somewhere. On a met track by just double clicking on a meti track. Okay? I want this to be a little longer. Let's make it one full bar. Okay. So now I can just drag that out, and now we have a mi clip, that's one full bar. Let's pull this up so we can see. Now, if we had a piano or something on this MD clip, we would see all our possible notes. We'll do that in a minute. But we've only put three samples into our drum rack, so they show up here. If I want to hear them, I can turn this on. This is the same thing as up here, audition. Okay. That's it. So if I want to recreate this same thing, I'm going to put a kick on beats one and three, and then the end of four. So one, three, and then I think here. That's where we have it on four. So you'll notice that this is just a hit. I could make this longer, but it's not really going to matter because this My node is going to say, trigger that sound. Now, let's put our snare on two and four and the last 16th note. That's right there. That's that one. Come back to my My clip, and our high hats on all the eighth notes. It's there and there. I just double click in the grid to make a note. There we go. Now, these two things will sound the same. Here's my My drum rack. Here is these three tracks. You'll notice that they didn't sound exactly the same. One was louder than the other one. This one was louder. Let's go to our Mi track. Now, if I want to get back to the drum rack out of the Mid grid, I could use Shift Tab, or I could go down here and just click T and that'll get us there. Let's turn this one up. Why is that? Here is the three tracks, and here is our track. Pretty much the same. So that's how a MIDI track works for drums. Now, if you're wondering, in which case would I do one or the other. 99% of the time when I'm working, I'm going to do it this way just because that's how I think. But sometimes this way, it can be a lot easier. So if you're trying to get into healthy habits, this is kind of a good way to do it. It's just easier to manipulate this down the road, Like, for one thing, if I wanted to duplicate this, I could do Control click Duplicate, and then there it is, right? Easy. This one, I got to go like this. And then duplicate. I got to make sure it starts at the right spot. With this one, I'm going to have to select this dead space, do that, then duplicate. Then it doesn't look right. Oh, it is right. And then I got to do this. So it's just a lot harder. Okay. Okay. So let's add some base and pads to this little thing and maybe start to make sort of an arrangement. Okay. 15. Using MIDI Tracks: Okay, we're going to add some mid tracks with some base and then some pads. Before we do that, there's one thing I have to tell you. For my regular university classes. The question I get more than anything else is why can't I hear these MT tracks. Every time I teach this, I get half the class sending me e mails or texting or whatever, asking why they can't hear their met tracks. And it's always the same answer. So I really need you to understand this. It's a weird principle. Okay, here's a blank Mira. I'm going to put some notes on it. I'm going to double click. I'm going to make a My clip. I'm going to drag it out. Nice, big My clip. Okay? I have a full keyboard here. Let's say let's do some C major stuff. I'm just making a bunch of 16th notes by double clicking. Okay, cool. There's a bunch of notes. I'm going to solo that track, and then we're going to hear it. But we're not. Why can't we hear this? This is the principle that I need you to understand. So Mi tracks Midi itself, MIDI is only a series of on and off messages. All of these notes here. These are just saying, play this note, play that note, play this note, play that note. That's all this is saying. It's not saying what sounds to use, what to play it with. We have to assign an instrument to this track, or else we're never going to hear it. So let's go to instruments. And let's pick one of the melodic instruments like analog. Sure. So I can open this up and I can see all kinds of presets. And I can audition them the same way I did with audio files. Let's find something that sounds like a lead or something. Sure. Let's use that. Okay. We'll say that's what I want. I'm going to drag this onto my track. Only one instrument can be on a track at a time unless you're doing something with something called an instrument. We'll talk about that in the big class. But if you're not doing that, only one instrument on a track at a time. So any My stuff that happens on this track is going to play through this instrument, okay? Also, in the big class, we'll spend a lot of time talking about what all this stuff means and how to actually dial in a sound that you want. But for now, let's use this defaults. And I'm soloed on this track. So now let's hear it. Whoa. That's a lot. Let's slow that down. Here's our global tempo up here. Let's get that. A little cleaner. Okay. Again, I'll explain how to use all of this synthesizer programming stuff in the sound design part of the big Ableton Live 12 class. But now we have a nice clean sound. Okay. Let's add in our drums. Okay. Happy. That principle that you can make mini notes all you want, but you have to assign an instrument or you won't hear it. There's another little trick we can do. I'm going to get rid of this instrument for a second. Look right here, right there. That tells me that we just have data coming through this track. Down here, we have audio signals, right? That's data. That's audio. You want that to show audio. Right now it's showing data because it's like, Okay, all I have here are note on and note off messages. Let me If we put an instrument on there, the second we do, that turns to audio. Cool. So you want audio there. Okay. We've added a little lead here. That's cool. Let's make a bass line. 16. Adding Bass: Okay. Let's add a new track. I'm going to do Command Shift T. Or again, you can just go to the create menu in the top left corner and then drop that down to add new My track. So here's our new Mitt track. Let's see. We do this in C major. So let's I just double click to make a new My track. I'm going to make this be a full bar Lngpslet's add some notes. Let's do C Let's do maybe short notes or long notes. Let's do long notes. C, C G C. Okay. Now, I can already tell that these are going to be really high. The number, if you're not familiar with notation where it says C three, C is the name of the pitch that we're on. Three is the octave that we're in, and that's high. I'm going to go Command A to select all. I'm going to go Shift and down arrow. That's going to take it down an octave. Maybe I'll go one more. Now, we're in the C one range. That's where this is going to start to sound like a base. But is it going to sound like a base? No, it's not going to sound like anything. Because I haven't put an instrument on it yet. So let's go to instruments over here. Let's find let's go to the new meld synth. There's a cool base. Let's drop that on there. All right. Let's solo that and hear it. Cool. Let's hear everything. Great. Super simple. Let's add a little bit of pads, and then maybe we'll do a little bit of arranging. 17. Adding Pads: Okay, so if you're not familiar with the term pad, that usually means like a synthesizer. It's kind of the opposite of this top one. It's going to be kind of a warm sound, slow, evolving sound. A lot of times, strings get used as a pad. So just kind of a background texture of a sound. So here's a quick cool trick for this. I'm going to take this baseline. I'm going to go over here. I'm going to control click or right click and it's going to duplicate this whole track. Okay? Now, I can go into this midi track, and I already have the baseline laid out, so I can kind of see what I'm doing. So let's say I want. Let's do a major chord. But let's make it a little bit ner. We'll do a seventh. Okay. Maybe a ninth. What the heck. If you're not familiar with music theory, that's kind of what I'm using to determine these chords right now. I have a whole bunch of classes on music theory, like a lot of them. Even some that are focused on music theory for people who don't read music. I've even literally wrote the book on that. You can look it up. All right. G, let's say G is going to be B D two and F. And then we'll go to another seven chord. Sure. That's fine. Okay. Now, this is way too low. This is going to sound like a whole bunch of bases. So command A, up. All right. Now we need a sound that's a little more pad like. Let's see here. Let's go to our sounds button. And let's use our search function up here. Okay? So let's say we want a preset that is a pad. Okay. And what kind of character do we want LP. That sounds kind of cool. Let's see this VHS one. I'm just going to drag that right onto that track. This one's taken a second to load. All right? Let's solo and hear what we got. Okay. Cool. Let's hear the whole thing altogether. Cool. That's kind of fun. Alright, let's do a little bit of arranging. And then I'm going to give you the session to play around with. 18. Arranging: Okay, so we've got, you know, the beginnings of a silly little thing. Let's see if we can make an arrangement. So the arrangement means like the song. Can we turn this into a song? Well, let's take all of this. I'm going to hit Command C to copy it. And let's go here paste. Okay. So now the whole thing happens twice. Let's turn our loop off. Okay, now, maybe a third time. This goes away. Okay. We'll keep that. Maybe our pad goes away. So we go down to basically just drums and base here. Let's take this. Maybe a little bit more couple more bars of drums and base. Then maybe Maybe two more of that. Zoom out. And then we'll go back to our main f. Okay. The very beginnings of a very simple arrangement. There's so much more you can do. But here's a big secret. A lot of the time when I'm working on a track, what I do is I start by making something just like this. But it'll be a little denser. There's going to be a lot more to it. Then when I make the arrangement, it's just about what to turn off at different spots, like how we turned off this synth for this section. You make the thickest part first, and then you spread it all out over an arrangement. That's how you make a song. That's how I make a song. Let's hear our little arrangement that we've made. Cool. We're on to something. It's it's not my favorite track I've ever made, but, you know, it's designed to be a little demo. Okay. Next, there are some things that I want you to know about saving and sessions. So let's talk about that and then I'll give you the session. 19. Saving and Exporting: Okay, to save live sessions, I want you to go to file and look at our options here. We can save live set. Yes, we should do that. Let's start with that. Okay? So I'm going to put that in this folder and call it intro class session. Sure. Now, that's fine. That's fine. You can save sessions that way. However, That is if I just send you that file that I just saved, you're not going to get these audio files probably because that didn't save everything that I use for my hard drive. What we really need to do is tell live to find all of the extraneous stuff that I used in this session, gather it all up and save that into the folder that is the session. The way we do that is very simple. We just go to file, and then we go to collect all and save. If you are saving a session just for yourself, you can do what I just did. But if you're going to save a session and you're going to move it between computers, you're going to send it to someone, you have to do this. Collect all and save. In fact, it's just a good habit to do it all the time. Collect all and save is the best way to save your files. Here it's going to say, what do you want me to save say yes to the first three. That's what you really need. You don't really need the fourth one on. If I go to this session, In my browser, it made a folder called IntroClass Session Project. Here is all the stuff, backup IntroClass session. All right. And Sometimes you'll see more stuff in here if you've done some more complicated things, but this is the main thing. What I'm going to do is I'm going to compress this. Now we have a zip file, and this is what I'm going to upload in the next thing. In the next thing, it'll say something like here's that track, and you can download this, and then you'll just double click on it and you can open this session. Cool. You're welcome to do whatever you want with this. Play with it, make some noise. I don't care. Finish out the song and publish it, go nuts. Okay, so I'm going to give you that. And then, let me just talk through show you what one of my tracks looks like, and we'll go through the whole session. Here we go. Okay. 20. Listen: A Work in Progress: Okay. All right. Let's look at how this works in real life. Here's a track I'm working on. This is a work in progress. So you don't judge me. But, you know, I am kind of happy with it so far. It needs a lot of mixing work. It needs a lot of fine tuning. There's some stuff that needs to be kind of trimmed and tightened up. Okay. And then I think this track is designed for a vocal collaborator that I've been working with. So once I get it to a nearly finished state, I'll send it to her, and then we'll add her vocal and do a little bit more work on it to make that sit right in the mix. But I can't give you this whole session because this is something I'm still working on, but I will say that I do like to give you full sessions, and in my other classes in the series, there's a whole bunch of full tracks that I've given that. If you really want more sessions, go check out my big Ableton series. But let's take a look at what this is. So as you may have guessed from some of the music I played earlier, including this. I'm on a big synthwave kick right now. I love it. There's something about it. I just love it. I've been making a whole bunch of synth waves music and collaborating with this artist. Adding some vocals to it. It's been really fun. So let me I guess I'll just play you this track. And then after I play it, we'll go to a new video, and I'll just walk through kind of what I did, what I was thinking, and we'll just kind of casually talk through how the track works. So right now, this is fairly simple. We have an intro, a long verse, kind of a chorus, another long verse, and then kind of a double chorus. The arrangement is still in progress. But I'll play the whole thing, and then we'll end right at the end of this. So if you are tired of hearing this track, you're not in the sense wave, whatever. That's cool. You can just get forward to the next video. So here we go. 21. Track Deconstruction: All right. Let's go through here and let me show you how I did it. So first track, for this one, I'm using a plugin called FM eight, which looks like this. This is not an Ableton thing. Whoops. This is an FM synthesizer emulator, specifically DX seven emulator. It's made by native instruments. So this isn't inside Ableton. This is its own little program that runs in Ableton, but I could have used something that is already in Ableton, one of Ableton's instruments. But for this, I really wanted that classic FM sound to get this R that goes throughout this whole thing. Stuff. Especially it's lower. It's just that classic sound. So I'm using a plug in called FM there. These little shimmery things. These I'm using the new meld instrument in live. That's what this is down here. I've also got a little echo on it and a little chorus ensemble. That makes these really bright things like this. Those are This track is actually just muted. So whatever it was, I didn't like it. So I muted it. I'll go through and delete that later. This is that opening sound effect. This thing. It sounds like bowl spinning, sort of. This is just a sample I found. I liked it till I used it. It was a royalty free sample, so it was all good. Same thing with these drums. A lot of times I'll use just really standard loops, even like Ableton loops for drums while I'm working on it, and then I might go back and replace them with some more purposefully crafted drums. But sometimes I'll just leave a drum loop in. Okay. Just a secret, you and I secret. But yeah, they're just a pretty boring loop. I've got this filter. So you can see I've got two filters on here. The reason is these turn on at different points. That filter opened up. Then during this bridge, this filter turns back on. A little automation there. You can see automation here. Automation means we're going to change a parameter over time. You press command A, command A, and then you can get to automation stuff and you can see here this is turning on and off this Q as it crosses over it. And then it'll turn off over there. Automation is a huge topic that we don't really have time for in this short introduction. But again, you spent a lot of time on it in my big series of classes. So let's get out of automation mode, and let's go down and see what this one is. I think this is the base line. This I'm just using a Built in Ableton synth. Again, real, like FM. That's what makes that really kind of like synth wave sound like 80s kind of synth sound. So this is just a I think this was a preset in live that I've adjusted and done a bunch of changes to, but started off as a preset in live. This synth is another one. That is all just a live instrument. Okay. This one is using another plugin, This is using a plugin called Well, technically, this is using a plugin called contact. Contact is basically a sample player. So it's using a sample library that I bought. One that I really love. It's called Rev. It's basically a whole bunch of backwards piano sounds. It's very niche. It's very niche. But I end up using it a lot. I really like this backwards piano sound thing. And that plug in, I just opened is called contact spelled with a K. What else do we have? Then we got a little guitar riff here. Which, again, this is just a sample. Once we get closer to the finishing on this track, I'll replace that with me playing. This was just kind of in the sketch to get some ideas, and I left it in. But I will definitely play that myself. And that's kind of it. It's really simple track so far. But I think this will be really cool once we get vocals on it. It'll be really fun. So it'll get released at some point, and you'll be able to say you saw it. I am planning on going back and putting whole sessions for some of these tracks, including this one into my big series. So if you want to download this track, go there, it might be there by now. Once it's all finished, I'll probably put it in there for downloading. But yeah, there you go. Full track deconstruction. 22. What Comes Next?: All right. We've reached the end of this tiny little intro class. Now, this topic of Ableton Live 12 is huge. And that's why I have a sequence of seven other classes just devoted to this very topic. In those seven classes, you're going to go from totally beginner to super expert by the end of it. Those classes can also be used as kind of an encyclopedia because there are sections where I go through every single effect in live. And while I think that's worthwhile watching from beginning to end, it's also something that you can save, keep in your account, come back to it whenever you want, so that you can look up how to use those different things. So the series is called Ultimate Ableton Live 12. There are seven parts. They go like this. Part one is called production principles. That's the introductory. That's going to go a lot farther than this goes. Part two is recording music in MD. Part three is producing music with Live. Part four is sound design and synthesis. Part f is producing with effects. Part six is mixing, mastering, and DJ and Part seven is Max for Live. So I strongly encourage you to check those out. Go a little bit deeper. And learn to really master live so that you can start making great music. There you go. We'll see you in the next one. But stick around. I've got a few more things for you now. Okay. 23. Bonus Lecture: Hey, everyone. I want to learn more about what I'm up to. You can sign up for my e mail list here. And if you do that, I'll let you know about when new courses are released and when I make additions or changes to courses you're already enrolled in. Also, check out on this site. I post a lot of stuff there and I check into it every day. So please come hang out with me in one of those two places or both, and we'll see you there.