What is the course about?
If you already know the basics of Ableton Live take your skills to the next level, learning production techniques and more advanced features of Live.
Tutor Martin Delaney is an educator, musician, and writer. He’s been using Live since version 1.2, and was among the UK’s first Ableton Certified Trainers. Martin’s played many live sets himself, and specialises in helping artists prepare for their own shows, but has taught many different types of student, including: musicians, DJs, composers, producers, schoolkids, students, prisoners, and psychiatric patients. He’s previously written three books about Live, as well as many tutorials and reviews for Music Tech magazine. As part of his interest in hardware controllers, Martin designed the Kenton Killamix Mini USB MIDI controller.
What will we cover?
- randomised / experimental composition
- field recordings
- working with beats
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Synthesis: use Live 10’s instrument devices, including Operator and Wavetable, create your own presets and learn how to control them.
- automation: use track and clip envelopes to create dynamic and evolving sounds and mixes.
- randomised composition: use Live’s follow actions to create constantly evolving and unpredictable combinations
of sounds and musical elements, and capturing them to use in real-world projects.
- manipulating field recordings: use audio captured on a phone or other device to create completely new
instruments, textures and rhythms.
- working with beats: create and customise drum kits, adding effects, and interacting with them from hardware
- mixing/mastering: develop skills to quickly optimise your projects for live performance and release.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an advanced course. You should have a good working knowledge of Live, and perhaps have completed one of our Live introduction courses.
We will not take time to cover the very basics of using Live.
We are using Macs in the classroom, but Live is cross-platform. If you are not familiar with Macs, City Lit offers introductory courses on this platform that you may wish to take.
You will need to be able to follow written and verbal instructions in English, engage in class discussions and take notes in English.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Classes will generally begin with a demonstration and discussion followed by practical work.
You will work on an individual Mac workstation to practise set themes, techniques and skills, applying these to your developing ideas and material.
You will present your work in progress regularly to the group and receive feedback, support and encouragement from your tutor throughout the course.
You will make best progress if you can work and practice between sessions - you’ll be given some homework to complete.
You will need to have a fully functioning copy of Live 9 or Live 10 that you can use between classes.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Notepad, pen, own memory stick/storage device for saving work.
As this is an advanced course, please bring any extra devices such as controllers and interfaces, that you prefer to use. In the classroom we have MIDI controller keyboards and 2-in, 2-out, interfaces.
It is essential to have access to a computer (Mac or PC) with Ableton Live software outside class to work on your project between sessions. There’s a 30 day fully functioning demo version of Live available, try to have this installed at the very least.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Music production with Logic, Logic: advanced techniques; Audio production and mixing workshop, Sonic arts: creativity with sound, Hidden sounds: exploring contact microphones.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details