How do I learn Ableton Live?

An industry-standard in the electronic music world, Ableton Live is Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software used in music production. Compared to other DAWs on the market today, Ableton Live is particularly suited for EDM, Hip Hop, and Live DJ’ing. The software is outfitted with everything you’ll need to get started making electronic music.

Used by industry giants like Deadmau5, Skrillex, and Flume, Ableton Live helps artists, composers, and producers alike create the music that gets people on the dance floor. While the tool is jam-packed with options, it’s important to understand how they all work together.

What is Ableton?

Whether you know the basics of music or not, you can start recording music with Ableton. Right out of the box, Ableton Live is outfitted with a superior assortment of audio and MIDI effects, samples, and instruments. The software is easy to use, manipulate, and as portable as your computer.

Ableton is great for live performances as well as studio work. That’s one of the reasons it’s a staple in the market. Just starting out? The software is available in a wide range of packages. An introductory taste of Ableton will come in at less than $100.

Ready to take on the big boys? The superstar version with all the bells and whistles (and other sounds) can come in at over a grand. Maybe that’s why it’s so popular – it offers something for everyone. But you’ll still need to know what you’re doing to take full advantage of what it brings to the table.

How Do I Learn Ableton Live?

With so much power at your fingertips, it helps to know what you’re doing. Sure, it’s fun laying down a beat, adding some drums, and splashing it all with some synth effects. But if you’re planning on making electronic music anything more than a hobby, you’re going to have to buckle down and really learn to harness its capabilities.

To learn how to use Ableton, you’ll first need an introduction to the software. This is especially true for people who have never used a DAW before. The main default screen can be a little overwhelming to beginners – there is so much going on!

That’s why the introductory package is so valuable. Learn what the controls do, what the available files are, and get an overall understanding of what’s going on before spending big bucks on an advanced version. There are plenty of online tutorials to help you get a foothold.

Take your time to learn what the main window is used for, how to access the library, and how to manipulate the midi and audio layers of each set. Ableton has a wealth of sliders, dials, and options – spend the time it takes to understand what they do. You won’t use every tab for every set, but you should know what they do.

Once you’ve mastered one area of the software, move on to the next. As you begin to get more comfortable, consider upgrading your version of Ableton to unlock additional capabilities. Keep pushing forward. And if you’ve reached a roadblock, look for help. Take time learning advanced techniques like how to slice in Ableton.

How to Get Help when Learning Ableton Live?

The problem with tutorials? You can’t ask questions and get answers in real-time right when you need them. Searching online for specific answers to your questions can be tiresome and yield bad advice. We all need some hand-holding at times, and if making music is your dream, you want to make sure you do it right.

Talk to those that are where you want to be. Seek out like-minded individuals on social media and ask your questions. Once you get an answer, put it into practice. Find someone that you can lean on, who’s willing to spend 15 minutes helping you through a problem. But don’t lean too much – you don’t want to become an annoyance.

Have you been working on a track and want to know it if it’s any good? Ask your friends. Go back to social media and get an opinion (social media is full of them). Take the constructive criticism to heart, ignore the drek, and keep learning the software.

Learn From the Best.

It will take time. To become proficient with the software, you’ll need to spend more than an hour or two a week on it. If that’s all the time you’re willing to spend on Ableton, that’s fine. Maybe it’s a stress reliever for you, a way to blow off some steam on the weekend. That’s great. Really!

But if you really want something more, there are several classes you can take, either in person or online. However, Recording Connection is the only national organization to put you in a working studio to learn straight from a professional music producer, audio engineer, or DJ. The Recording Connection for Ableton Electronic Music Production Program or our Artist and Producer Ableton Live Program will pair you with an established pro for real-world, hands-on learning.

Working one-on-one with our mentors, you’ll learn why Ableton Live is one of the premier DAWs in the industry. The program is fully immersive. From core concepts to editing, mixing, and finishing tracks, you’ll learn how the big-name artists use Ableton to its fullest potential.

We also offer an advanced program, preparing our students for a career in the electronic music market. You’ll learn how to create dubstep, techno, trance, and even video game tracks. You’ll also get the side benefit of making connections in the electronic music world.

You’ll even learn how to leverage these relationships as you begin your electronic music career. While learning Ableton Live inside and out is a big part of the program, Recording Connection can also show you how to take that information and take it on the road.

Along with Pro Tools and Logic Pro, Ableton is just one of the DAWs designed to help artists organize, mix, and produce their music. If you want to expand your knowledge base and play to a bigger crowd, you’ll need to get a focused, industry-oriented education. That’s what you’ll get with Recording Connection. Apply today.

Recording Connection graduate Goes on European Tour with Aminé & more!

Recording Connection mentor Bernard Johnson on Learning, Teaching, and Who He Hires

The Top Student Success Stories of 2018

Get your music production certification and build your music production and audio engineering skills by learning with an industry professional near you.