Course 2: Beats

In this course, you’re going to take one of the seven sketches you laid out in week one and use Ableton to start fleshing it out, thereby turning your musical ideas into tight beats. You’ll start by learning some of the core concepts of the Ableton digital audio workstation and programming original beats via realtime or pattern-based sequencing.

This course will cover live sessions and how they work in Ableton, how to create projects, sets, and clips, and the different types of tracks you’ll be working with. You’ll learn how the session view plays an integral part in song creation and other features of the DAW.

You’ll learn how beatboxing (making sounds with your mouth) helps get the ideas out of your head and is used as the basis of your drum or bass beat. You’ll learn to convert these sounds to MIDI and begin building the foundation of your song. Don’t forget to take time for ear rest and meditation.

Your digital field trip for this course will be to learn more about Serum, a synthesizer from Xfer Records, and play around with a demo version. From the listening library, you’ll check out Electric Café from Kraftwerk, a milestone album that has been widely sampled and resampled, as a source for beats, bass, and more.

You’ll finish this course with a review of the different lessons, a blog entry, and a quiz before prepping for the next course.