I Want to Learn Ableton

Joey Paranoia
Recording Connection mentor and Ableton instructor Joey Paranoia

If you’re an aspiring hip hop, EDM or live DJ artist the best way to get where you want to go is to learn how to use a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) to create and record your music. For the aforementioned music genres, we highly recommend Ableton Live, especially if you are a live DJ. It’s very intuitive to learn your way around the DAW and it allows you to sketch out your musical ideas quickly. It’s also available for both PC and MAC. Ableton Live is often compared with Logic Pro. This article gives you the pros and cons of both. While either will certainly fit the bill for creating and recording your music, Ableton Live is our choice for your first DAW. This article is not an Ableton Live tutorial, there are plenty of options out there for learning how to use this DAW, but rather a reality check on what it takes to get the music from your head to the DAW and ready for release.

If you want to become a famous music artist, you’ve got to want to create music to the point of obsession. This is the single, most important, character trait that has to be bursting inside of you. You don’t need formal musical training to succeed—there are numerous examples of famous music artists who can’t read a note of music. What you do need is originality—in other words your desire is not to be the next (insert name of your favorite musical artist here) but to be the first (insert your stage name here).

Of course, while formal musical training is not necessary, you have to have native musical ability, talent, and a good sense of rhythm to create music people will want to listen to. You need to be creative and have the courage to be original, even visionary. But most of all you will need drive. Drive comes from passion, at least in the beginning. Later on, success may also create drive—it’s a lot easier to spend countless hours on a song if you know there’s a guaranteed pay day coming from it, but in the beginning you will need to be self-motivated. Passion will help you tremendously.

Passion and proliferation often go hand in hand. Generally speaking, the more passionate you are, the more you will create. The more you create, the greater your odds of success. Additionally, if you do hit it big with a song, the last thing you want to become is a one hit wonder. The easiest way to avoid this career trap is to be ready to drop your next song immediately so you can take advantage of your newfound fame. If not, that fame could fizzle out by the time you’re releasing your follow up song.

As you start your musical journey, the last thing you need are obstacles. Probably the most frequent obstacle that comes up early-on is on the technical side of things. How do you create and capture beats, hooks, harmonies, melodies, etc.? That gets us back to the beginning of this article and why we recommend Ableton Live—it’s got a shorter learning curve than most DAWs yet has plenty of overhead in terms of features for you to take advantage of as you grow as an artist. Once you master the basics of Ableton Live, you’ll appreciate how quickly you can sketch out your musical ideas—we all know how fleeting creative ideas can be—and the fewer technical obstacles you have to deal with, the better.

If the above describes you, then what are you waiting for? Ableton Live 10 comes in a variety of packages, including this free online demo available at all the way up to Ableton Live 10 Suite at around $800.

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