How Long to Learn Ableton

Recording Connection mentor Bernard Johnson & student Efrain Matias at Noize Factory Studios (San Diego, CA)
Recording Connection mentor Bernard Johnson & student Efrain Matias at Noize Factory Studios (San Diego, CA)

As they say, practice makes perfect. But just how much practice do you need to become proficient with Ableton? As with any digital audio workstation (DAW), musical instrument, or every other tool in the recording studio, how long to learn Ableton depends on how much time and effort you’re willing to put forth.

Why are you learning Ableton in the first place? Is becoming an audio engineer, music producer, Live DJ, or other music creator something you’d like to do for a living? Or are you creating loops, samples, and basslines for fun during the weekend? Learning Ableton for a career or as a hobby will have many different answers.

If you’re willing to spend at least a few hours a day learning the software, you’ll become familiar with the menus, views, knobs, and other features much faster than if you work on it “when you can.” Think of it as a job or going to the gym and carve out time every day to master the basics.

Making music is a very creative endeavor, but there are technical aspects to consider as well. Ableton has an enormous collection of sounds, drums, and instruments to choose from. But if you don’t know how to use the different audio and MIDI effects, you’ll continually run into dead ends.

The general consensus believes you’ll need anywhere from six months to a year to truly understand Ableton on your own and take advantage of everything it has to offer. When learning Ableton, you’ll want to make sure you have the basics down–you need to learn to walk before you can run.

Because the building blocks of making music will be roughly the same for any version of Ableton, we recommend that you start with Ableton Lite, a free version of the software. It will be stripped down of course, with fewer sounds, instruments, and plugins to play with.

But it will have session and arrangement views, multitrack recording capabilities, Capture MIDI, and audio input and output channels, and more. Almost seems like too much stuff for the beginner, right? That’s why, if you really want to learn the software, you need to dedicate the time.

Maybe you’ll find out that learning how to make beats, loops, and other audio tracks isn’t really your thing after all. And that’s fine! That’s what makes Ableton Lite such a great starting point–you don’t have to pay a bunch of money to learn that lesson.

If Ableton Lite piqued your interest even more, solidifying your desire to turn your love of music into a career, consider turning your education all the way up. Recording Connection offers six and nine-month courses designed to show students how music is made today by industry insiders.

Learn Ableton in a Real World Studio

If you want to learn Ableton Live, Pro Tools, FL Studio, or any other DAW as part of a career in music, the fact is you will never stop learning how to use the music production software. The combination of sounds, effects, rhythms, melodies, and more gives you a never-ending canvas of sound to experiment with.

Think about the explosion of electronic dance music sub-genres that were created when home computers, DAWs, and other gear became more accessible. Artists in other genres of music have also incorporated Ableton’s powerful capabilities to produce their music.

Recording Connection mentors have worked with some of the biggest names, including Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Jay-Z, and more, as well as production studios, video game producers, entertainment channels, and other media outlets. If it involves music, our mentors have years of experience with it.

These are the people you’ll be working with during the Ableton Electronic Music Production Program. We’ll place you with a mentor in their studio or production company, where you’ll learn everything you need to know about Ableton to start a career. Prove yourself, and you may even run a session or two on your own.

When it’s time to learn Ableton, do you want to chase down YouTube videos, message boards, and online tutorials for answers to specific questions? Or does it make more sense to get immediate feedback from an experienced producer that’s in the studio with you?

The 30-course program will cover core concepts, composition and instrumentation, harmonies and melodies, and advanced techniques that will separate you from others looking for work in the industry. You’ll also have opportunities to build relationships with others in the business, creating a network of contacts once you’re ready to start your career.

Are you ready to amplify your life? Apply today.


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