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About This Course

A new version of this course, Ultimate Ableton Live 10, is also available on SkillSuccess.

For years I’ve been teaching Ableton Live in the college classroom. As a University Professor, my classes are sought after, and, frankly, expensive. I believe Ableton Live can be learned by anyone, and cost shouldn’t be a barrier. This class uses the same outline and syllabus I’ve used in my college classes for years, at a fraction of the cost.

This is Part 4: Synths & Samplers

This is a really deep class – tons of content, tricks, and tips. I’ll go through all of the Ableton Live Instruments in this class, with considerable detail on each one. We will also talk about synthesis tricks and tips, getting most out of your samplers, and tons of production tips. Topics include:

  • Synthesis Basics
  • Types of Synthesis
  • Physical Modeling Synthesis
  • Elements of Synthesis
  • Live’s Analog Instrument
  • Live’s Collision Instrument
  • Live’s Electric Instrument
  • Live’s Impulse Instrument
  • Live’s Tension Instrument
  • Live’s Operator Instrument
  • Live’s Simpler Instrument
  • Live’s Sampler Instrument
  • Multisamples and Zones
  • Sampler Orchestras
  • Racks!!!!
  • Instrument Racks
  • Chain Selector
  • Macros in Racks
  • Drum Racks
  • Choke Settings
  • The External Instrument
  • …and much more!

I will be making 6 (six!) complete classes in order to bring you the most comprehensive manual on Ableton Live production techniques ever created. Each class has Sets, sessions, and experiments for you to try on your own and follow along with.

You will not have another opportunity to learn Ableton Live in a more comprehensive way than this.

J. Anthony Allen is an Ableton Certified Trainer and a Ph.D. in Music Composition and Master of Electronic Sounds. His music has been heard internationally in film, radio, video games, and industrial sound, as well as the concert hall and theater.

He is currently an adjunct professor of composition at the University of St. Thomas, Macphail Academy of Music, and the CEO of Slam Academy in Minneapolis.

Praise for other classes by J. Anthony Allen:

“I’ve had Live Lite for a while but never quite understood how to use it because of the different options in how to arrange audio. This course explains exactly how to do that and get the most out of Live.”

“Great overview – I would start here for sure if you are just getting your feet wet with live. clear and to the point. session walkthroughs are great. looking forward to more”

“I have never had any formal training in music at all. Trying to learn all the notes and how everything translated was a serious challenge. After going through this class, Dr. J has totally brought down the barriers. The content was very useful and was easy to grasp for me.”

What are the requirements?

  • Taking Ultimate Ableton Live: Part 1 – The Interface & The Basics is a great place to start, but not required to get the most out of this course.
  • Taking Ultimate Ableton Live: Part 2 – Recording & Warping is also great, but not required to get the most out of this course.
  • Taking Ultimate Ableton Live: Part 3 – Producing & Editing is also great, but not required to get the most out of this course.
  • Access to Ableton Live will be required. Using the trial version (free for 30 days) would be a great way to start.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Produce music using Ableton Live
  • Use drum samples to edit, arrange, and create unique drum beats on your own.
  • Work with Ableton’s powerful Racks interface
  • Create sounds from scratching using all of the Ableton Live Instruments

Who is the target audience?

  • Students who want a comprehensive understanding of Ableton Live
  • Anyone interested in producing tracks, beats, synths, or any other music on their own
  • Students looking to understand the deeper levels of Ableton Live

Our Promise to You
By the end of this course, you will have learned about Synths and Samplers using Ableton Live.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee. If you are unsatisfied for any reason, simply contact us and we’ll give you a full refund. No questions asked.

Get started today and learn more about Ableton Live!

Course Curriculum

4h 42m

Section 1 - Welcome And Overview
Introduction 00:00:00
Section 2 - Working With Live's Instruments
The Live Instruments 00:00:00
A Quick MIDI Refresher 00:00:00
MIDI Clips 00:00:00
Important Key Commands 00:00:00
Section 3 - Synthesis Basics
Synthesis Basics 00:00:00
Synthesis Types 00:00:00
Synthesis Elements 00:00:00
Section 4 - Live's Analog Instrument
Live’s Analog Synth 00:00:00
The Basic Outline Of Analog 00:00:00
Programming Analog 00:00:00
LFO And Other Parameters 00:00:00
DOWNLOAD: The Analog Patch I Built In This Section 00:00:00
Section 5 - The Ableton Live Instruments
All The Ableton Live Instruments 00:00:00
Live’s Collision Instrument 00:00:00
Programming Collision 00:00:00
DOWNLOAD: Collision Patch From The Previous Lesson 00:00:00
Live’s Electric Instrument 00:00:00
Electric Basic Outline 00:00:00
Electric Preset Study 00:00:00
Live’s Impulse Instrument 00:00:00
Building Grooves With Impulse 00:00:00
Live’s Tension Instrument 00:00:00
Tension Preset Study 00:00:00
Live’s Operator Instrument 00:00:00
Programming Live’s Operator 00:00:00
Section 6 - The Ableton Live Samplers
The Simpler And The Sampler 00:00:00
Using Simpler 00:00:00
Using Sampler 00:00:00
Multisamples And Zones 00:00:00
An Orchestra Library Example 00:00:00
Section 7 - UPDATE: The Live 9.5 Simpler
What’s New? 00:00:00
Live 9.5 Simpler – Classic Mode 00:00:00
Live 9.5 Simpler – 1-shot Mode 00:00:00
Live 9.5 Simpler – Slice Mode 00:00:00
Section 8 - Racks
Instrument Racks 00:00:00
Chains And The Chain Selector 00:00:00
Macros 00:00:00
Some Rack Presets 00:00:00
Drum Racks (A Little Review) 00:00:00
The Choke Setting 00:00:00
Sends And Returns In Drum Racks 00:00:00
Section 9 - The External Instrument
The External Instrument 00:00:00
Section 10 - Closing Thoughts
Parting Thoughts 00:00:00

Course Reviews


5 ratings
  1. Comprehensive


    I’m not gonna lie, I was not very interested in synths going into the course, but I have enjoyed making electronic music in the past. So in the interest of learning more about making synths from scratch and tweaking presets with precision, rather than being stuck with defaults or flipping knobs randomly—and because I bought the full course and compulsively wish to watch every video, I embarked on this very long course.

    At first, I was distracted, I fell asleep at times, spaced out at others (this being more a reflection of my attention span, than of the course) & I had to rewind and rewatch more times than I’d like to admit, but towards the end of the session, when my girlfriend came into the studio & I decided to compose a loop for her on the fly, I found myself composing a song and editing LFOs and all sorts of shenanigans I wouldn’t have dreamed of back when I loaded up this program for the first time and was unable to even move the play head to the beginning. Despite chronic fidgeting and the best efforts of my wandering mind, you taught me how to use and comprehend synths and Ableton. Thank you for this.

  2. raimondas


    Learned new thing thank you

  3. Michael

    Another Great Set of Lessons!


    Love the in depth overview of this section as well! So much information in every single class, no stone left unturned!!

  4. Michael

    Another Great Set of Lessons!


    Love the in depth overview of this sextion as well! So much information in every single class, no stone left unturned!!

  5. Justin

    Great intro to Ableton Live


    enjoyed this course. Was easy to follow and the instructor was clear and logical connected all the parts of this course. Even though I have been using Ableton Live 9 for some time I learned a few things and was reminded of lots of things. Recommend 🙂

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