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

Post by ethios4 » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:47 pm

Eh, it's the most fun freaking software ever! Use it a lot!
I figured a whole lot on my own, then I read the manual and had my mind blown. Do lots of different things....session view jamming, arrange view composing, live performance, live looping, crazy effects routing, experiment. Use it a lot!

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

Post by heavensdaw » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:27 am

just 'get in there' son.. You'll soon get used to it..

A b s o r b yourself in it as much as you possibly can... Become obsessed and create a monster!

It's all there for you, like everyone has pointed out.. The real question is.. are YOU there for it?

If yes, then you'll fly!

Apart from OS's the biggest variable is us..

You done the right thing in asking here.. This forum is a beautiful, all knowing dimension!


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

Post by digitallush » Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:36 am

Been using Ableton for about a year and a half now... pretty new to it. Came from a design background.. was learning new software like mad since I was about 14.. photoshop, after effects, lightroom, illustrator... etc.. really got into it on one of my internships.. felt the best way for me to learn any program is to focus and master one aspect.. soon enough it starts to all make sense. First step was to grasp the overall concept of the program, then I focused on clips, simple delays, reverb, midi looping.. just bought the suite and my brain is overloaded with new controls to explore. :twisted:

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

Post by mikemc » Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:29 am

Here is my story.

Once upon a time I was in various bands for year after year and learned some stuff about music production using multitrack tape recorders and mixing boards.

[edit] forgot this part-- the people in the band I was in that actually was the best band went different ways, and I was band-less for many years more than I had ever been.

I went to a bar to watch some TV and have some beer. Suddenly, there was a band playing there. They were having fun, although not really my style, and I realized I needed to be doing music again.

So I bought some software that was crap for about $30, but I wanted to at least record into my computer and mix/edit what I recorded, so I bought an M-Audio MobilePre (didn't want to spend too much so I could cut my losses).

The last band that I had been in prior to my 'hiatus' had used an SR-16 drum machine in lieu of a drummer, and I programmed it. There was one of those on sale so I got one of those too.

I hated the software that I had bought, but the interface came with Live 2.12 delta so I started to use it. It was very intuitive, I could hardly believe that it was a multitrack studio running in a computer. I loved it.

There was no MIDI in that version, or later when I upgraded to Live 3. So I was using it like a small multitrack demo studio for the many months. At that point I played guitar, sang, did some simple keyboard stuff and programmed drum beats-- pretty much what I had been doing in the last band I was in, minus the keyboard. [edit] so, I had more or less reconstituted the instrumentation that was in the previous 'best band', but without any of the 'creative collaborative negotitation' and practice with others of varying taste and ability to get it right.

If you know how to play an instrument, that is what I would suggest: start out using it only as an audio recorder, don't worry about the MIDI stuff-- but not for many months, maybe a few weeks. Then start working in some of the MIDI stuff.

If you do not play an instrument, same thing, except audio clips/samples take the place of instruments. Use the built-in grooves and clips for a while, or get some inexpensive sound/groove sample libs licensed for production if those don't float your boat. I suggest this because you don't have to worry about royalties/copyright if you happen to come up with some stuff you like.

Get used to bouncing around audio from track to track, and using resample to build up layers. Read the manual about the built in audio effect plugins, mess around, find the ones you like.

Visit the forum and read interesting threads, ask some dumb questions.

Then start looking at the MIDI stuff, and the sound design stuff. And referring to other people's videos for tips, because you will at that point have some basis.

That is my advice which can and will be shat upon liberally no doubt.

[edit] 8O i just realized that i've been using Live for 7 versions, and there is always new stuff to learn.

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

Post by MrShine » Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:23 am

1. Ableton Tutorials

2. Tom Cosm

3. go back to 2


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

Post by knj19 » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:13 am

tom cosm here too
my music is crap!!

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

Post by innerstatejt » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:35 pm

When I decided to learn Ableton, I was already training people and producing on the likes of Acid, Fruity loops,Cubase, etc.
I think this worked to my disadvantage actually. It was a real pain for me to "get" the program because I had to unlearn what I already had learned with other programs.
I spent months poking around and asking questions to anyone I knew who already knew the program. I RTFM which actually is quite good and finally things started to "click". These forums helped as well.

At the time there weren't many video tutorials available like there is today so I decided I would make my own tutorials to help people have a much easier time learning than I had. Since then I've had the pleasure of sharing knowledge with Nick Maxwell, Mark Mosher, Tom Cosm and several others. We all have a number of Free videos as well as some complete collections for a fee.

You can check out my free videos at or my free blog at

If you've got a specific question, I'd be happy to help if I'm able

good luck to you all!


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

Post by cmreal04 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:57 pm

Live's built in lessons

Live power book

Online course through Berklee

Next on the agenda: Zombie's turtorials, and the advanced Live online course at Berklee. There's always something new to learn.
Ableton 9, Feeltune Rhizome, Focusrite Pro, Mpk249....

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

Post by BassTooth » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:14 pm

more importanly than RTFM,

learn the keyboard shortcuts, find an excuse to learn and apply every single one of them.

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

Post by 1nfinitezer0 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:24 pm

it hasn't been mentioned, but i took a course with the Phat Conductor (aka ill.gates) in addition to the forum, manual, youtube, devouring the internet, etc.

having someone go through stuff with me irl was way more valuable than the more indirect ways of accessing the same information. i think i learned more in that day than months in the studio. man's got some serious workflow optimization hints

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

Post by lapieuvre » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:08 am

Had to learn it for my job, so they bought me ASK video tutorial. Great video.

Did the tutorials inside Live, but learned the most here, on this forum.
MBP 2015, 16 GB Ram, OSX 10.14.6
Live 9.7.6 Suite
Live 10.1.14 Suite
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Re: How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Post by leedsquietman » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:23 am

Came from Cubase on Atari ST and windows, Logic on PC and then through my job, Logic, Cubase, Reason and PTHD on Mac.

I saw the Ableton videos, thought it looked really interesting (if a bit minimal, yes the GUI is a bit of a culture shock at first when you've been using cubase for 14 years). Tried the demo at Live 5 (late into that release) and bought it right away at Live 6. Read the manual and just messed around with it mostly. Saw a few videoclips on Youtube/Vimeo by Ableton, Covert Operators, and others to build on my knowledge. This forum has been very helpful to building my knowledge too, both tips and tricks and the general forum.

I still use Cubase 5 though. I love Live and Cubase equally and find their strengths are both in different areas, so they are complimentary. I've never been a 'one DAW man', I've had a wandering eye and tried many over the years, but at home I am mostly settled on Live (electronic music arrangement and mix, other genres of music arrangement), Cubase (mix, advanced editing/MIDI, better dual monitor support for mixing), Renoise 2.5 beta (just getting into this, easy build up with a tracker design and now has a pattern matrix) and Reaper (use for mobile recording occasionally and installed on my older PC as a backup with it's small 10MB footprint). Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

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

Post by swishniak » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:34 pm

get involved in some work or projects where you HAVE TO learn it.

then there is tons of info here on the internet to answer answer any question you might have.

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

Post by SubFunk » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:49 pm

i come from a more 'traditional' background, studio and live sound, band productions, editing, etc...

and i learned mainly on Logic and PT, when everything switched slowly to a computer based recording system...

i started to hear about ableton all around, got curios, organised a Live5 version (which was the current version at this time) and started to play around with it... love it ever since, but would not ever drop Logic totally, i love them both and in the meantime NEED both, well for anything job / audio work related Logic is still more important to me.

basically i started pretty late hearing about it, it was around the late state of version4

my own electronic music i started to make with hardware only, MPC 2000, etc... then bought a mac for myself...

and i am still learning, a lot...!!! it will never end, though...

EDIT: one of the most amazing things for me was, that once you come from an already experienced DAW background, like logic, Cubase, PT, DP or whatever... how extremely easy and simple it is to learn live and understand the program.

i think the move from another DAW to ableton live is much easier then moving from ableton live to another DAW.
Last edited by SubFunk on Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: How did you learn ableton live?please share your story.

Post by davepermen » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:54 pm

a friend told me about it, telling me it's the best new thing ever. i was myself a dj in those days, very interested in expanding my knowledge. so i tried it out a bit, didn't understood anything but was inspired. soon later, i bought it :) and i'm still learning, as all of this is now about 1.5 years back? my tiny webpage, including link to bandcamp.

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