Kickstart your music production career with this Ableton Live crash course

Noelle Ike, CNN Underscored
Updated Fri February 22, 2019

Story highlights

  • Ableton Live is one of the most versatile software programs for creating compositions
  • Ableton Live Mastery Bundle is a 22-hour crash course to help you master the interface

If you're interested in doing your own music production, you'll need to learn the in and outs of a digital audio workstation. A DAW allows you to compose and arrange your own songs as well as DJ or perform live on stage. And while there are many to choose from, Ableton Live is one of the most popular options on the market for a reason. It's considered one of the most versatile software programs for creating compositions from electronic music to film or rock music, and it gives you the power to create the music you envision from start to end. The Ableton Live suite covers everything from complete devices and sounds to production capabilities like mixing and mastering. Basically, the possibilities are endless.

Unfortunately, like any software program, it's not always the easiest to learn. And even if you understand the basics of the program, you're only cheating yourself if you don't take full advantage of all it has to offer.

The Ableton Live Mastery Bundle by Noiselab ($29.99, valued at $700; stacksocial.com) is a 22-hour crash course that covers everything from basic tools to more advanced techniques within Ableton LIve. (The bundle does not include the Ableton Live software.) The courses are curated by Noiselab, a group dedicated to electronic music. All the instructors are either Ableton Certified or producers in the music industry with credentials that speak for themselves. Noiselab has a track record of success, with over 30,000 satisfied students, so you can be sure the course material is tried and true.

The bundle includes 10 courses with over 100 lessons on everything Ableton Live. The first five courses focus on mastering the software and all its capabilities to get the basics down. You'll cover everything from mastering the interface and understanding how it works, to focusing on tricks and techniques for performing live -- including an exploration of some of the most popular effects used by today's DJs. Then you'll delve into subtractive synthesis, which involves creating your own sounds to give your music a unique spin, and learn about ways to streamline your workflow and automate repetitive tasks -- game-changers when you're looking for ways to be more efficient with your time and energy.

The next two courses walk you through specific production techniques by breaking down popular songs. You'll deconstruct Diplo's "Get it Right" to learn about stereo imaging and to familiarize yourself with tools like Live's utility effect. Then you'll focus on vocal chopping by breaking down DJ Snake's "Magenta Riddim," with an emphasis on the best tools for audio manipulation.

The two final courses focus on specific Ableton Live features -- replicating the TR-808 kick and Ableton Live's built-in synthesizer, Operator. The TR-808 is a popular drum machine used in everything from hip-hop to trap music, and the course will teach you how to replicate kick drums for that exact effect. Operator is a tool used by DJs like Skrillex and Mura Masa, and can be used to create a whole range of sounds, from keys and mallets to growls and even more.

So whether music production is your passion or you just want to learn to DJ, you'll want Ableton Live. And the Ableton Live Mastery Bundle by Noiselab ($29.99, valued at $700; stacksocial.com) is one of the most inexpensive ways to jumpstart that dream. Plus, you'll have unlimited access to the course material, so you can binge-learn or tackle the material gradually and on your own time.