How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Post by djatma » Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:50 am

Im starting this post to see how other producers learned ableton live. I bought ableton approximately 24 days ago and did all the help menu's to the side, i learned a lot.....but i dont feel i know the system fluently at all...I also feel if i learn the rest of it through trail and error i might form bad habits and limit my capabilities of being creative on ableton live. So i decided to ask more experienced producers as yourselfs to share your input and help guide me and other new ableton users a good way to start off, without spending 1000$ on a class.

Any good workshops?
or is trail and error not a bad way to go?

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Re: How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Post by chelemasty » Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:11 am

The thing that helped me undestand Ableton Live is because of this forum also. Like when someone asks questions that intrigues me also, I'll open it and learn the stuff from there. Like using Macros, and dummy clips. Also there's a lot of tips and tricks videos for Ableton Live on youtube and vimeo, you should check that out also.

And to be honest, when I was starting out, I really hate Ableton Live because it looks so cartoony, coming from a Cubase guy that has a lot of real looking VST. But one day, I was just curious on how come a lot of people always say, it's easy and it maximizes your creativity, so I tried it again, and from there, I learned, that it is the program for me. And that, made me skip upgrading to Cubase 5. ^_^
Equipments: Softwares, hardwares, plastics and metal controllers, computers, headphones, a pair monitor speaker, and electricity to power them up.

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Re: How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Post by Alextronica » Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:43 am


I always wanted to make a RTFM post, finally. Thank you!

Anyway yeah I read it a bunch actually maybe three times now front to back. and I constantly reference it.

I tried a lot of different stuff like offering the Dj's I like money to show what they do, but all of them turned me down. I had people tell me what programs to get but never anyone to tell me how to use them or how they use them. I did buy an Ill Gates template and reverse engineer it. He offered to take my calls but by then I was well on my way of figuring out questions and finding the answer myself without taking his time. I read Tarekiths stuff. Its all very good

You-tubed a lot and I did finally find one kid who I had two sessions with. We were basically at the same place. It was awesome cause there are so many little things that you can trade knowledge about. I feel we both benefited from those sessions.

I have to say it feels really good to have gotten to where I am without having taken formal lessons. I always felt it was worth more to do the homework myself that way its ingrained in me.

My inspiration is an artist I posted bout earlier named Android Jones. He did a self portrait almost every day for years. and now he's an awesome artist.

Oh I almost forgot, Make a lot of mistakes. I'd and every time it sucked but it helped. Its only been two years and I didnt have any recording experience or music experience other than playing guitar. I have yet to make my master piece but at least I can see the road ahead now. I'm working toward it and I'm having a blast doing it.

Black Mac Book 2.16 4gigs of Ram > Ableton 7 Suite > Komplete 5 > APC40 > Novation Remote SL25 > Allen and Heath Xone 92 > Korg Kaoscillator

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Re: How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Post by naujpablo » Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:57 am

ive also RTFM.

but, one day i decided to try demos of FL studio, reason and Live. Live was the easiest to learn IMO, the right side menu helps a lot also.

after that, ive only used sonar producer on PC, and traktor, but hey, thats not a sequencer.

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Re: How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Post by Pasha » Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:15 am

My learning was sustained by intuition at first and then came a time when I had to RFTM.
After that, since 2005 I know that the manual covers most of things I need while for a more
How-To approach browsing this forum is the best source of info. People here are very
happy to help on new topics and share experiences. Manual alone is not enough.
Today is easier because Abletonic produces videos on you tube and some Live Clinic Video are
very explanatory.

- Best
- Pasha
Apple iMac 2013 / Macbook Late 2012
Live 10 Suite,Zebra ,Guitar, Bass, VG99, JV1010 and some controllers
Music :

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Re: How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Post by Atomikat » Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:19 am

I bought my Oxygen 8 long time ago which came with a Lite Live version (2.1) and started messing around with it at that time. I remember there was no midi and the warping thing was a nightmare but I used my creativity to make music.I got the full version (not the suite) and upgraded every year. I also RTFM, bought books,found this forum and the "other",spent thousands of hours reading,playing,inventing,enjoying,playing,being creative,having sex,playing... :mrgreen:
I lived ten years in the USA...One day I moved back to my country (Colombia) and started teaching Live here and playing at some clubs and venues. After almost 8 years using Live, this program has become the center of my set up...either playing with my rock band or doing a "Live act" of electronica. :)

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Re: How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Post by synnack » Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:32 am

I read both the manual and the first revision of Ableton Live Power. ... 080&sr=1-3

For new users I also recommend sitting through all the videos on

At the end of the day though, experience is the best teacher. I'm not sure what you're worried about with trial and error.
MBP | Live 9 Suite | Max for Live | Push | MOTU Ultralite | iPad | Analog Modular Synths | Moog Voyager
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Re: How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Post by rosti » Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:05 am

I did the tutorials and watched some videos on youtube. Allso just playing around helped alot. The info box is creat for learning things like keyboard shortcuts.

I'm kind of new with Live (and music producin music in general) and i think i had just scratched the surface of what i can really do with it. These forums help a lot for discovering deeper features of Live.

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Re: How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Post by littlepig » Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:34 am

I did the following:

1. the lessons that came with live
2. read this forum
3. went to a course at City Lit (in London)

The course was very good but at the end of the day I could have managed with 1 and 2

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Re: How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Post by swishniak » Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:18 am

i learned about half from messing around / reading the manual, and half from this forum and other online resources.

BUT if you know any users, the fastest way to get answers or learn tricks would be to do a quick session with them in exchange for beer / dinner / childcare -- one-on-one information exchange can be really helpful.

i would advise against classes for Live. it isnt such a multi-leveled program like Final Cut or photoshop that you cant learn it on your own.

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Re: How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Post by SubFunk » Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:39 am

i came from many years of using logic...

and i just messed around with it... and found it dead easy to wrap my head around...
i never if possible read manuals, i totally hate manuals, i always mess around until i either break something or understand the program or piece of gear.

something that absolutely requires a manual to start to understand it, i personally consider a piece of crap.
a program or piece of gear should be always to a main part self explanatory... otherwise it's a fail in design in my eyes.
(the manual should be only a 'backup' in the worst case of darkness)

and live to me is the most and best self explanatory piece of software i know of.
*** Image GAFM ***

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Re: How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Post by Emissary » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:15 am

Started writing music on cubase on the atari st when i was 11, then moved to cubase on the pc for even more years, i heard of this thing called LIVE for triggering clips and beat warping, bought version 3, By version 4 i had thrown cubase out the window and never looked back. Every time i open Live up its like F*CK, this is awesome what shall i do today. Its the gift that keeps on giving. I learn new things everyday, sometimes by mistake, sometimes from the forumites, but never from reading the f*cking manual. :lol:

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Re: How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Post by davepermen » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:19 am

RTFM, youtube, lots of time.

and this forum, obviously (reading trough some of the "things i'd like to have known since ages" style threads are always eye openers).

the internet is a great teacher for ableton, tons of awesome sources and inspirations. my tiny webpage, including link to bandcamp.

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Re: How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Post by Gab » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:54 am

- Ableton tutorials
- RTHM (paper manual > .pdf)
- youtube
- Tom Cosm's website! Holy Knob, I can't believe it's not been already stated. A handful of information, 10 one-hour long episodes of "An Introduction to Digital Audio Production with Ableton Live" (in HD), and much more. I don't know if you can see all that's available if you're not a pro member, but you can get an idea with this shot:


Incredible advice (from a noob's point of view) from an incredible guy. You must even be able to see most of his tutorials (on some streaming website) if you're not a pro member ($10 a month with no download limit, really cheap). This guy really loves sharing.

Oh, and this forum remains a great source of information too, provided you"re not afraid to dig a bit — the search function is quite handy, by the way.
'If they act too hip, you know they can’t play shit.'

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Re: How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Post by ashtonron » Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:23 am

ableton tutorials

in that order
Ableton Suite 8, Komplete 6, Macbook + IMac, Nuforce Icon HDP, Art tubefire 8, Korg MicroKontrol + wacKMK, Oxygen 8 +++

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