Music Production in Ableton Live 9: Part 1 - Getting Started and Setting Up | Tomas George | Skillshare

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Music Production in Ableton Live 9: Part 1 - Getting Started and Setting Up

teacher avatar Tomas George, Music + Audio Production Instructor

Watch this class and thousands more

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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.

      Welcome to this Class


    • 2.

      Getting Started


    • 3.

      Arrangement vs Session View


    • 4.

      Quick Help


    • 5.

      Session View


    • 6.

      Arrangment View


    • 7.

      Info and Help View


    • 8.

      Session and Arrangement Navigation


    • 9.

      Key Commands


    • 10.



    • 11.



    • 12.

      Ins, Outs and Sends


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About This Class

In this class I will show you on screen with me how to get started in Ableton Live 9. This is Part 1 of my 10 Part series all about Ableton Live.

For this class you will need a copy of Ableton Live 9 (preferably Ableton Live 9 Suite) 

A working PC or Mac that is powerful enough to run Ableton Live 9

Basic Music Production Knowledge


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Tomas George

Music + Audio Production Instructor


Hi, Tomas here. I'm a UK Music Producer, Audio Engineer, and Composer. I've been producing and writing music for over fifteen years.

I have an MMus Masters Degree in Music Production and a BA(Hons) in Music Composition.

I really enjoy creating and editing all types of music, but I especially love teaching it online.

See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Welcome to this Class: Hi there. It's Thomas George, and welcome to this music production and able to live nine part one class in this part long class. We're going to look at getting started and setting up, so I'm going to show you the interface, are able to life. So I'm going to show you things like this. Session view, arrangement, view info and help view. Also, key commands preferences, browser on much more So this classes for anyone that's brand new to able to live nine. And you want to know what the basic things do inside this digital audio workstation. So if you're brand new to able to life and wanted to show you the basics of getting started and setting up and join me in this class. 2. Getting Started : Hi and welcome to this lecture. This lecture is about getting started in able to life Able turn is a D A W or digital audio workstation for Mac and PC. I recommend having a system that has at least eight gigabytes of RAM. That way, you're able to, um, projects will run of its mover. I also recommend using an external hard drive. This way. This will make your projects run smoother on your system also. So they're free. Different types of Mableton. I'm just on the ableto website. Now scroll down to the bottom. You can see that intro standard and sweets, So I'm actually going to be using sweets on the lessons. I'm going to teaching this course, going to be for a built in Sweden. You can do some of it on standard on intro, but I definitely recommend getting able to sweet if you come. If you want to write music as well, I'd recommend getting a media controller. You can just use a standard MIDI controller, but I do recommend using a MIDI controller that's been designed specially for ableto that way. Be a lot easier to use and there's a lot more stuff you can do and ableto I'm just on this website here called Dawson's and just a quick review here about able to control us. So the 1st 1 is the push to This is the control that that I actually use are highly recommend. This you can buy this after able to incite is well, if you don't already have it. There's a section appear about Bush push. It is basically a tall for a bilton. It's a really highly advanced MIDI controller. Allows you to write music composed music use. It's a drum step sequencer, melodic step sequencer, and you can automate the effects and controls, unable to to It's really fantastic thing. If you can afford it. I would definitely recommend getting a push to for our of MIDI controllers as well available for ableto. There is the launch pad, which is a kind of a cheaper version. It basically just launches the clips from your able to project. So if you want to use able to him for life performance this condemn finitely help. There's a PC mark two. I have this one also, I actually use this with the able to push so actually trigger the samples from the A P. C on my map, these knobs to certain effects and able turn. And then I use the push to to actually create beats and melodies and chords on the fly so you can use these controllers with each other, which is really useful as well. There's also the launch key, which is similar to the launch pad you can launched eclipse, and you can use it as a keyboard. So if you're more traditional keyboard plan, you don't want to get away from the keyboard. Maybe consider the launch key. But like I said, you can just use a normal MIDI controller. Maybe for now, start off with a regular MIDI controller and then work your way up to maybe the push to or a launchpad or perhaps a PC. Okay, if you want to record audio, you definitely need a audio interface. So this is if you want to record a microphone, a guitar on external synthesizer, that kind of thing, a standard one to get. If you're starting out in D AWS. Digital audio workstation is a scarlet, too. I, too, there are obviously wants better pre amps that have more inputs, but if you're just starting out and just want to run puts. This allows you to plug a microphone or two microphones or to jack inputs so you could record in stereo synthesizer. You also need to have a pair of headphones or a pair of speakers. Ideally, you want monitor speakers, which they add any color, so not hi fi speakers. So if you can get some monitor speakers or mother to headphones, this will really help you mix as well. So, yeah, these are the things you need for getting starting and able to. And first of all, you actually need a copy of ableto. Second of all is if you want to compose an able to and you can do it all in the box. But a MIDI controller, or even better, especially designed able to midi controller can really help. If you want to record audio, you need a kind of audio interface. You don't have to use the scarlet this plenty of other ones available, But the scarlet is just kind of a standard one that love bedroom producers or new producers actually use. And then, of course, you'll need a pair of headphones or a pair of monitors to listen back to your mix. So thank you for watching this lecture. I hope you found it useful. Andi, remember, have a look on the ableto Web site. There's loads more information here. There is a shop section here as well. I'd recommend creating your own accounts and just go through the whole ableto Web site. There's loads of great, useful information here as well, and thank you for watching, and I'll see you in the next lecture. 3. Arrangement vs Session View: this lecture is all about the arrangement view on the session view. So ableto alive has two different views. We have the session view on the arrangement view at the moment we're looking at the session view. So this is where we actually can insert different clips and play these clips individually, or play a block of the clips by hitting these buttons here. So, for example, if I have a loop here, I could just insert loops him, and we can actually make arrangements from these clips. So if I hit this button here, it will play this role of flips up here, hit the second button, play these clips and stop all the clips with this button here. So this is really useful just for quickly phone and lows of ideas. And making those a quick, unique arrangement is absolutely fantastic for life on defusing Able from for life. I definitely recommend using the session view. The arrangement view is something he might be more used to. If you've used of a D. A. W's or digital audio Workstation is like pro tools or logic in the past, so this is basically a way we can go in a make more of an arrangement. Obviously, in the arrangement view, we can swap between the two views by hitting the top button like so or going over to these buttons here. So this is obviously the session view. This is the arrangement view on the arrangement view. We can actually automate stuff as well, and you can actually just go in and make final tweaks and just move stuff around. I know a lot of producers who only used the arrangement view ableto life, but I definitely recommend getting good on both of them because it can really help your workflow on making music in the session view can give you a complete different outlook of songwriting and composition. I can give you really different unique ideas that you might not necessarily be able to do if you kept it all in the arrangement view. So if we look at able to logo, we can see these lines here got the vertical lines on the horizontal lines. This is based on the arrangement and the session view. Obviously the vertical lines is the session view on the horizontal lines is the arrangement view So, yeah, if you're brand new to able to in this session view might look quite confusing, but once you get your head around it, you realise the possibility is able to and can actually bring you. So thank you for this lecture. I hope you found it useful, and I'll see you in the next one. 4. Quick Help: Hi. This next lecture is about the quick help feature in ableto If we look down to the bottom left, we actually have helped view here we can hide this or show this by hitting this button here . Basically, whatever we hover over it would tell us what that actually means. So, for example, if you go over to the play button here, it will say play button and it give small description about what we're actually hovering over. So if you go over to the tempo says tempo, tempo, tap tempo. So if you're new to ableto, I'd recommend just leaving this up all the time and then just briefly looking at it. If you don't know what something means, it's really useful. It works in both for the views. It tells us exactly all the stuff really does. Thank you for this lecture. Hope you found it useful, and I'll see you in the next one 5. Session View: Hi. This lecture is about able to in session view. So I've just grabbed a few loops and throwing them on here. And so in the session view, we've got our different instruments here. I have just thrown on a few different clips. So this is the audio instrument or the investment Midi midi. We can easily rename stuff by just hitting instrument of him command. And are This is some drum loops. I'm just going to rename this drum leaps. And here is some effects, So I'm gonna hit Kamanda effects if we just click on the clips weaken, see below here. Some of the audio information we can play a clip him this button here, stop in the square, but in here. And if we press the clip, we see a small circle here and it tells us where we are in the clip. You can see it around here. Just stop this so we can go through individually, launched the clips. But if you press more than one clip in these columns, it stop the current clip and go to the next one. When we have the clips going across these air called scenes, we can launch the scenes over here under the master. If we Lawrence seen one, it will launch thes two clips here. So let's just launch this theme. Go to the next one. Coma can stop clips with this person here. We can also color the separate clips We hit control and click. We can go down to a color. You can copy and paste the clips. Hidden Command See on a command V. If we right click the clip, there's loads more options for us to choose here as well, so you can even go through individually. Or we can actually launched the scenes. The session view. It's really about adding in clips into these separate instruments. There's a lot more we can do in the session view, but this is just a basic overview of the session view and how we can actually use it. So thank you for watch this lecture. You found it useful on the next lecture. We're going to have a look at the arrangement view 6. Arrangment View: Hi. Welcome to this lecture. In this lecture, we're going to talk about the arrangement view. We're currently in the session view, but I'm just going to copy a few these clips into the arrangement view. So to do this, we just hit, command and see hit the top button to go over to the arrangement view. Or alternatively, we can hit this button here that I'm just going to pace the in here and here. We have a clip below here. We have information about a clip. Also, come back to this session view. I'm going to copy on these effects as well. Hit tab on basis on the effect. Now we have to press this button here. This will play whatever is in the arrangement view. So rather than playing the clips on a loop in the session view now, actually in the arrangement view so you can actually arrange our clips like this. So if you're used to have a d a W's at pro tools or logic, this arrangement view will feel more familiar to you. We have sex and stuff as well. Look, over here, we have certain automation zones. We can go down, can choose, for example, the truck volume. We can just drag move the volume automation around like so. And when we go back, whatever has a red dot it means it has automation. Here we have the truck activator. It basically means if the track is yellow, you can hear it. And if it's not, it's muted and we have a solo on. We have record arm here we have the Panoz Well, weaken. Just simply drag up or down to pan. And if we select it and hit backspace or delete, it goes back to the center. Also have the volume here in this orange bar. If we click this and hit backspace, it will go back to zero db. Also have the zoom bar up here. You can just click and drag down to zoom in or drag up to zoom out. So if we scroll right, it will go left office Girl left. It will go rights. So with the soon Barbican basically just soon in all right, without actually having to lift a finger off the mouse. Looking back at the session view instead of the instruments being in a vertical formats there now in horizontal formats So this effects here is this instrument here in the session view. It's this instrument going down here. So this is a basic overview off the arrangement view and able to life. We're going to go a lot deeper about how we can actually use the arrangement, view and session views to create our own music. Thank you for watching this lecture. 7. Info and Help View: Hi. This lecture is all about the info on help view in able to live. So the info, view and help view can really help you out if you're struggling to remember what certain things do, or if you want extra tutorials while still actually on able to live the way we access the info and help you is by going to view. And here we have info and help view. That's first shoes info, and we can actually total this on or off by his in question mark. And we can see this box down here on the bottom left, and this is the info view. So basically, if we scroll over anything unable to tell us what it does, for example, if we go ahead, it's has seen and it gives us a bit of information about what we're hovering over with our nice Yes, there's loads of stuff. I sends truck pan track activator, loads of stuff. So if you don't know what something is, maybe just toggle on the interview of the question Mark and it quickly tell you what to actually does. Riverview is the help you we actually have to go to view help view to turn this on a rough , and it's this big box that comes up on the side here. If you want to hide it as well go to view, help you on this will hide it. This actually has loads of different tutorials on. We can actually scroll down here with this bar. I could go to home by hitting this home button and it go back to the home for this help you ? So, for example, we can click on what's new in life. Nine. This includes lows, different links, says stuff like new features and live 9.5. Good idea just to go through some of this, if you're new to able to life, give you loads of information on actually tutorial videos and even a few demo projects you actually go through. So let's go on creating Bates. And here's a bit of information about creating beats is different pages as well. We could go back to the home of the help viewed by hitting this home button here. So you a good idea ready is just to go through some of this and just read some of this information that might help you just get your head around able to life. There's also a section that says a tour of life, and this just gives us a basic review as well of stuff enables in life. So, yeah, the help you can really help if you're brand new to able to live and just want a quick tutorials while Sean actually ableto I hope you do continue watching videos. They But I do believe. And the mawr information and knowledge you get on the products, the quick you can get open running and actually making music to the best of your ability. So yet in this lecture, we've gone over the interview on the help view in ableto live. I'll see you in the next lecture. 8. Session and Arrangement Navigation: hi. In this lecture, we're going to have a look at navigating ourself around the session on the arrangement view . So right now we're in the session view. After all these clips here, we can simply just click and drag these clips around. We also copy slips with command, see, and then command V two based like other apple applications. If you're using Windows or PC, it's control and see and control and V. We can also adjust size of these instruments here. Same with the sense make them smaller or larger on the same of these boxes down here. We can even get rid of this altogether and the same of the side. Maybe if you're doing a live performance set, for example, and they're using a controller to control your set, you might not want these sidebars here, so you can always maybe it's a lot smaller and same down here. We can also close this help view as well by gang on view, then checking healthy. You can also toggle off the info view by just hitting the question mark. Let's go to the arrangement view now by hitting Tab. Let's select this audio here. Let's just click this button. So it's now the arrangement information that will play. So let's just zoom in now. The Suman by hair on weaken to select a section. This clip, I say we could just move this around. This will take out of the main clip. This is really useful if you're doing remixes and you just want to go in and take out a certain part, Do you want to select the whole clip? You have to hit this top bar here. This will move the whole clip. Twin do. It's like that of application for Mac. It's just command and said or PC controlling said that we get to read a his shift, Command said, So we can just copy and paste wherever we select it. Let's say now we can undo Command said. It's the same here. We can drag the sizes of this so we can really customize Iran to face Get back to session. Of course, it's just the tablets. This lecture has been about navigating ourself around the session on the arrangement view. Thank you for watching 9. Key Commands: Hi. This next lecture is all about key commands in able to life. So key commands allow us to actually perform tasks with just a few hits off a keyboard on even our Mac or a PC on a Mac. They do generally revolve around the command bottom on the PC. They do generally revolve around the control bottom, but they do work on both Mac and PC. Just remember, generally, Mac is command on PC is control. So if we actually go up to the menu here, it tells us a lot of the key commands just say here as well. So, for example, draw mode. If we hit the button Bay draw mode to actually appear, you can see this pencil tool here. This allows us to actually draw have you so full screen second window. So a good thing to do is just try and remember a few of these at a time. Obviously, there's quite a few to remember, but, like of ah Mac applications, if you on the Mac, it's the same stuff like command. See, to copy command V to paste bolt and dragged to copy, or if you're on PC control and drag command shift s for save lives set as can see this if we go on file and save lives, set is command s so over stuff like the question mark opens and closes in for help down here. Commanding actually remains Unser. It's the start button here. So this actually allows us to have a clip. It goes over to scenes or even more. If we click on of one commander, it's a free scenes. So if we hear this bongo parts still going, I'm here to stop. That's quite a useful one. Really commanded to remove the stop button or to actually put the start button back Space bar is to play. Tab is a very important one for us to switch between arrangement, view and session views. So just make sure you remember Tab to start with, because that's probably the most important. Once we command t as well, which is to add new tracks Kamanzi to one day shift command Z to read a and commands at was e again toe under of ones like command or are which hide the sense. So if you've got quite a busy project, there's lows, different tracks and want to save a bit space. You can actually just hide the sends like this. So that was command shift. Our don't get too worried about this for now. Just try and remember one or two on every time you go to window. Just see if you can remember a few of these and after a while, these key command to just be second nature. And you can spend less time off the mouse. And you can just quickly bashing a few key commands to actually start making music in ableto life. So thank you for watch this lecture. I hope you found it useful, and I'll see you in the next one. 10. Preferences: Hi. This lecture is all about the preferences in able to live. So there's actually two ways we can get to the preferences in ableto. The first way is to go alive up here and just go to preferences. We can see here we can use the key command, which is actually command on comma. So if you're using a Mac to man and comma in that here the preferences Okay, so we've got a few different things we've got. Look, feel audio link, Media file folder, library record warp, launch CPU and license maintenance. Let's go and look feel first. So it's the language soon. Display follow behavior, which is basically well able to and follow along. We have the track as it's playing fruits. I like to leave this on scroll. We get skin as well. There's all different types of skin having a default eights. Those the ones as well. I personally, that was quite cool. Actually, I personages, she's a default. Just what music rightness. This might be useful if you're doing life performance and you don't want your screen to be too bright. You can always delete this back again by hitting back space and expect her 100% 40. So here you can choose your driver. Type your audio input device. I've actually got an interface plugged in so I can record this. This screen recording the same of the output sample rate. Layton, see the buffer size? We have a test own here as well. Waken change before you move the test own in the frequency. Things kind of annoying, but it's useful if you change your buffer size. If it lags or makes new strange sounds, you'll know the able to struggles at this prophesized. I'm gonna pull it back on 512 because I know this works really well. Okay, great link committee. So this is basically if you have any MIDI controllers, pluck them. I haven't gotten plugged in that, but I use a PC 40 mark, too, on the push to So we have these plugged in. It would come up here saying input output. We also have track, sink and remote, so track will link it up. Sink basically affects the tempo. So, for example, on the A P. C. And the push to you can actually change the tempo of ableto so I normally have Sync turned on for that so can actually, for example, on the posh change the tempo and we'll link up to the tempo here on remote basically means you can control able turn with your MIDI device. Then we have file folder, the main one here. It's actually for your audio units. So if you use any audio units or V s two units that aren't ableto wands, you wanna have this really switched on the able to Lincoln used these Also, you can choose the location for these audio units as well. So if using stuff like Massive or Silom or any different and third party plug ins, you really want to have this switch down, and then we've got record. What launch? So it basically has our file type and our walk murders. Well, I use this quite a lot when I'm using the push to the different walk modes just for chopping up the beats. Then we have CPU. We've got license maintenance. So this is just the basics of the preferences. I won't go into too much detail because it can be a bit dull, but the best thing to do is just to come back whenever you have a problem. But the main things is really setting up your mini device you're all doing to face having your plug ins actually set up a swell. So this lectures being an overview off the preferences in ableto Thank you for watching, and I'll see you in the next lecture. 11. Browser: Hi. In this lecture, we're going to have a look at the browser. So the browser is this section over here. We've got loads of stuff like sounds, drums, instruments, audio effects. Billy effects Max for live plug ins. Clip samples. The move also got this thing down here called Places. So it's really split into two categories on places on places is basically where we can customize our own sounds and sit our own samples. First of all, let's have a look at categories, so they got scientists. And here we have a load of different sounds and instruments. If you don't have able to the sweet though you might not have as many is this So you've got stuff like all these default preset sounds Geneva. Click on them with a nice or we can go down arrows here, this little headphone here this will preview the sound. So if the headphone isn't on, it won't preview the sounds so you can here enter to load the sound or weaken DoubleClick, or we can actually drag it to our session views. Let's go to assess from view just to write this on, and here we create a new instrument. If you've got the MIDI controller plugged in, you can actually play this in. We've also got drums going down here. A drum rack is basically similar to a drum. Kit will talk about this later. On on below. Here we've got preset drum kits as well. Comme preview days Choose this one double click, and it creates a new instruments. I'm just playing the same of my MIDI controller, and you can see the different instruments link up. This links up to a C snap. State of clip sound is closed. High hat is enough shop, then we've got instruments. This is similar to sounds, but it's provoked the preset sounds. So, for example, of electric and bass the book Click on this, his instrument. We should go in. Just change some of these says lows, a different stuff here or do effects. So of all the effects, we have to put it after the Midi Instruments because the media date has got to go into an instrument first on after this instrument, we can add on audio effects. Let's choose one. Tell him on off here will be going go over some of these effects. More details later. But a good thing to do if you're new to D A W's or digital audio workstations is to just go through these individually just to hear what they do. Got many effects. This is stuff like arpeggio haters and changing the pitch, so this actually affects the way the MIDI information is played. Let's just choose not pejeta going to the arpeggio later. We can change certain stuff here. Like the rate this could well be automated as well. So this just one called being held? Of course. The stuff like pitch as well, just holding two notes here. Of course, this could be automated. Also, Max for live. This is really detailed. We're gonna be talking about this in the section or by itself. It's basically where we can design our own slams on instruments, plug ins. This is if you have any plug ins that aren't specifically able to plug in to their be over here. This computer is more of a secondary computer for me, so I haven't actually got your plug ins here at the moment. The clips, This brings up clips in our library and then we've got samples. A lot of these are one shot drum hits and a few other things as well, going down to places. This is Mawr, where we can customize our sound. For example, I've got scary samples here. Thing is actually from Halloween, where I made a spooky live set, and if you have a stuff like different effects, we can add them in here as well. So this is basically the bride's feature and tables and life a good thing to do. Like I said before, if you're new to digital audio workstations or ableto is to go through some of these individually, especially the categories, just so you know what a certain things do like, for example, the different instruments, the different audio effects. I will be going into more detail about this later on. So thank you for watching this lecture. I hope you found it useful, and I'll see you in the next one. 12. Ins, Outs and Sends: Hi. This lecture is all about the ends and outs on the sends in able to live. So we're going to be having a look at this section down here. So we've got a few different various things. We've got the order from the monitor audio too. In the sense and also below this, we've got the volume level truck activator so low on the record bottom. So looking at this audio track here, audio from this allows us to choose certain things here. So I've got a or B, this is actually or send channels here. And then we've got our effects down here extendable in. If we look here, one is actually the microphone is speaking for a night. So if you change it to one can see whenever I make a noise or click, it picks up like so. Got the monitor here. This will actually monitor. We're doing We can see here down here. My voice That was speaking all toe, actually tender offer now several off and audio, too. So this will actually send the audio somewhere else. At the moment, it's on, Master. So whatever we put in here will actually go to the Master channel so we can actually create all different kind of loops and able to soak in some one channel to another and then to another. We could also send it to the Seine Channel, which is down here with these dials, so it sends the track to even send a or send be sends. Basically, send Track two thes the turn tracks here. This is great for time based effects like reverb or delay. That way we can have more than one instrument actually sharing the same effect. This way, all the effects will be in time. And also it's great for the CPU or the processing power of a Bilton. So you haven't got too many effects units. We actually have the instruments sharing the same effect, so I definitely recommend using sends. We'll return channels for time based effects like reverb or delay. Looking at their media channel here, it's quite similar. We've got Midian. I've actually got a MIDI controller here, So if you want to actually have the media come from this controller, we can select this that come from this midi controller, which I'm just hitting that going down. We've got mandatory also so we can see. Give me the information here the same of all day We hit off. We won't see the MIDI signal there. We've also got audio too possess we'll send the audio from the many information. So this will send the midi information to these many effects. Here they arpeggio data on the pitch and then it will go into an instrument which is this here and then it will go into the effects. And after it's gone through the effects will then go to the master the same again with the sense we can send the MIDI information to our return tracks, which we can actually edit the effect on So you can edit the amount of reverb or delay on send A or B of my investments down here. Below this, we've got the pan, the volume level track activator, solo on arm record. So that's basically the ins and outs and the returns able to life. If you can't see this section here, make sure you've actually got this button selected. This will hide out in tonight's the same of the sends and returns. These buttons here on this button here is for our levels down here. So thank you for watching this lecture. I hope you found it useful, and I'll see you in the next one.