Level 2 - Advanced Production Techniques in Ableton Live

  • Streamed Lessons - Access 24/7/365
  • Written Notes and Live Projects for every Lesson
  • Free Novation Bass Station Soft Synth
  • 750MB of Free Loopmasters Samples

The Level 2 Advanced Production Techniques in Ableton Live online course continues where the Level 1 course leaves off, providing more experienced Live users with all the knowledge needed to help get the most out of all the advanced features and workflow methods available in the Live environment.

At the end of this course, students will have a thorough understanding of the techniques required to achieve professional-sounding music, in the studio or on stage. The lessons include a detailed look at production and sound design, covering numerous aspects of composing, sampling, synthesising and effects processing.

Throughout the course, techniques are combined and applied to practical situations to show how an improved knowledge of Live can be used to take your music in new and exciting directions. Through learning new skills, students will be able to free themselves from technical restraints and enable a clear path to channel their creativity and artistic vision.

To get a feel for the course, head to the media tab where you can watch a detailed course breakdown and a totally free, no-signup required excerpt.

Live 9 New Features Tutorial - Producing a Garage-Style Track in Live

Modules in this course:

Module 1 - Introduction to the Course and Advanced Mixing

Explains a little about the course pace and expected knowledge, then eases students in with a demonstration of fades and arrangement view automation. The module then takes a more detailed look at using Reverb, followed by some vocal processing techniques, including de-essing, EQ and some tricks for fattening up the sound.

Module 2 - Sidechaining

Shows how to use the sidechaining feature available with Live's compressor, Gate and Auto Filter. An explanation of Gating is also included. As well as common techniques like 'pumping', more creative sidechaining is employed to transform the sound of basslines and drums tracks.

Module 3 - Advanced Audio Clip Editing

Focuses on the Launch and Envelope boxes in clip view. The module begins by showing the different ways that clips can be triggered, including Legato mode and how to set Follow Actions, then moves on to using clip envelopes to automate clip, device and mixer parameters, to produce effects progressions as well as create new melodic and rhythmical parts from existing loops.

Module 4 - Advanced Sampling - Sampler

Shows the array of controls available on Sampler, firstly to create multiple synchronised vocal loops and then to craft a bass patch from a tiny segment of a much larger sample. The bass patch makes use of amplitude, filter, pitch and oscillator (FM) modulation envelopes, as well as all three LFOs. Importing multiple samples and how to map them to Sampler's keyboard zones is also shown.

Module 5 - Advanced Synthesizing I - Analogue

Explains what a device rack is, the different types available and the concept of chains and macro controls. Teaches how to build a multiband compressor using a rack and Live's other devices. Shows some examples of Instrument Racks. Runs through Drum Racks and shows how to edit and build beats with them.

Module 6 - Advanced Synthesizing II - Operator

Introduces the more complex of the Live 8 suite's synthesizers. Teaches the effect of FM modulation on a signal and then shows how the oscillator sections alone can be automated with clip envelopes to create a large sound with layers of evolving frequencies to form the basis of a track.

Module 7 - Advanced Synthesizing III - Operator continued

Continues through the synth sections then moves onto patch programming, beginning with a classic FM bell patch and then moving on to percussion, with an 808 kick and snare.

Module 8 - Advanced Racks

Shows MIDI slicing and how to make your own slicing (drum rack) presets, then moves onto more complex rack construction, showing how to build a large rack which contains multiple instruments and effects. Layers of racks are stacked up and device parameters are custom mapped to the different levels of macros to create an instant performance or production tool.

Module 9 - Advanced FX I - Creating Glitch with Beat Repeat and Frequency Shifter/Using Dummy Clips

Shows the parameters on Beat Repeat, then how to use them to create glitch (a popular effect) as well as isolate specific drums and produce melodic phrases. Frequency shifter is also covered and used to make glitch, where the ring modulator is combined with the LFO in sample and hold mode. Dummy clips are also taught, so students can learn how to build up their own library of effects progressions, as well as selecting chains in racks via clip envelopes and MIDI control.

Module 10 - Advanced FX II - Vocoder and Grain Delay

A detailed look at Live's Vocoder, showing traditional and radical usage, including simulating a speak-and-spell, emulating wind chimes, making retro drum sounds and producing basslines, almost all from a single drum loop! Also looks at Grain Delay and how it can be used to create more subtle effects, or MIDI controlled to process beats.

Bonus Module - New Features in Live 9

Explores some of the new features in Live 9, including the new Glue Compressor and LFO effects, updates to the display of existing effects, session view automation and much more.

Module 11 - Advanced MIDI

Runs through the range of MIDI effects available with Live, beginning with Chord and Scale and moving onto a more detailed look at Arpeggiator. Then, the effects are combined in different ways to produce different musical phrases, after which there is a demonstration of how to make your own arpeggiator using a regular clip on a MIDI track.

Module 12 - Advanced Performance Techniques/Working with Looper

A more practical module that combines many of the skills learned so far in order to perform a track using a MIDI keyboard mapped to various areas of the Live software. After showing how Looper works, the effect is used in a large multi-layered performance rack and combined in a session with an audio track containing an effects rack and dummy clips, which are controlled using a Novation 25 SL MKII so that a track can be performed without touching the mouse!


Rob Jones

Rob is a classically trained musician, with piano as his primary instrument, and obtained a degree in music and sound recording (the prestigious Tonmeister course) from the University of Surrey. Having honed his skills both at University and in the studios in London where he worked in a technical role, he began releasing music on labels like Lot49, Dead Famous and Erase, under the artist name Anarchy Rice. Rob has been at the forefront of music software training since the very beginning, having kicked things off at Focusrite back in 2006. With both classical music and technical sound qualifications, as well as a wealth of presenting experience, he is ideally suited to the role of an online music trainer, and is 100% dedicated to sharing his knowledge and assisting others with what he believes to be one of the most rewarding things in life - making music!