How to make trance music in Ableton Live

As a subset of electronic dance music, trance music is marked by its hypnotic melody that gradually builds until reaching a drop or a peak. The music then gives way to almost ethereal sound, waiting to be built up once again. There are usually one or two peaks or drops in a single song.

While trance music is mostly instrumental, there are times when vocals are added, although usually without a traditional structure. However, there are other trance genres known as vocal trance music. Vocals play a big role here, obviously, and usually employ those that can reach the upper, almost operatic, octaves.

But you don’t need to be a soprano to make trance music. Like almost all electronic music, you really only need a digital audio workstation like Ableton Live, a computer with enough juice to run the DAW, headphones, and a desire to get people on the dance floor with your music.

Although, knowing how to get those sounds out of your head and through the speakers at the club will take a bit more than simply having all that right gear. The top Live DJs have spent time and energy learning how it all fits together. And that’s what brought you here in the first place, right? To learn how to make trance music and give yourself a shot in the music industry.

Consider Using Ableton Live to Make Trance Music

Ableton Live comes with a wide variety of instruments, samples, and other files to give you everything you’ll need to create beats, hooks, and loops. Which is nice: instead of spending time trying to find the sounds you want, you can work on learning how the DAW works.

There isn’t enough space here to explain every bell and whistle, so it’s up to you to learn what’s what when it comes to the dashboard. If you are a visual learner, the first time you see the main controls may put you on overload. And that’s fine – concentrate on features one at a time to find out what they do.

There are plenty of online tutorials and videos to help with different facets of the software. Filters, synthesizers, reverbs, echoes, and many other effects are at your fingertips with Ableton Live. Take the time to learn how each is used to create, edit, and manipulate the files on your tracks. Like it is with most creative endeavors, you’ll learn by doing.

Have a good foundation? Now it’s time to start listening. Find successful artists – Paul Oakenfold, Dash Berlin, or Paul van Dyk to name a few – and try to replicate their trance tracks. Or even just parts of a song that you can pick out on your own. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all.

Once your foundations have been set, you’ll be able to start making trance music on your own with Ableton Live. Flattery as all well and good, but you want to be your own artist, right? It’ll take some time, but you’ll get there, playing trance songs at a house party or even getting gigs at small local clubs.

A Professional Guide

Sure, you’ve looked up what an arpeggio is, but Google isn’t going to be able to tell you when to ascend or descend when you’re trying to polish your sound. With the Recording Connection Ableton Live Electronic Music Production Program, you’ll work one-on-one with a professional DJ or trance artist to help fill in the gaps of your knowledge.

These mentors will bring you into their studio from the start, put you in their environment, and demystify the process by answering your questions. Ableton Live is a powerful DAW considered to be a staple in the electronic music industry. Working closely with your mentor, you’ll build on the skills you’ve already acquired (if any at all). We also offer an Advanced Ableton Live Electronic Music Production Program.

And you can do it all from where you live right now! The Recording Connection has more than 120 mentors throughout the United States and Canada. Instead of moving to Los Angeles, New York, and Miami, you can stay close to home, keep your job, and work towards a career in creating trance music with Ableton Live. Apply today.

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