PREMIUM COURSE

Beat Making in Ableton Live

Master the processes and techniques for programming professional-grade electronic drum beats in Ableton Live.

Want to make huge-sounding beats that people can't help but dance to? Making great beats is about so much more than just writing in notes on a piano roll or jamming out on a drum pad. From Dilla to Diplo, Quincy Jones to Com Truise, or Fly-Lo to Flume, electronic beats have come a long way — and these days are funkier and deeper than ever.

In this six-week course, Ableton Certified Trainer Dan Freeman takes you on a comprehensive tour of Ableton Live's drum programming capabilities. Each week, Dan will guide you with in-depth videos, illustrations, and activities. You'll practice laying out simple beats, manipulating them with effects, creating break beats, humanizing and randomizing them, and other pro tips for creating bigger, better beats.  

*Note: While not required, a basic familiarity with Live will help with this course. This course is all about making beats, rather than a comprehensive overview of the software.  


Dan Freeman

Ableton Certified Trainer

Dan, also known as CØm1x, is an Ableton Certified Trainer, artist/producer/bassist, and music technologist based in Brooklyn, New York. One of the world's leading experts on the integration of live instruments with laptops using Ableton Live, he does live electronic acid house and electro­ funk sets that integrate live musicianship with improvised sound creation and visuals. He has performed and presented at venues, festivals and universities globally including SXSW, Harvard University, Berklee, Sonar (Barcelona), Berghain (Berlin), Centro Cultural Español (Mexico City), IATEC (Rio de Janeiro), AIMEC (Curitiba, Brazil), The Strøm Festival (Copenhagen), La Universidad de Santiago (Chile), DJLAB (San Jose, Costa Rica) and the Festival Internacional de la Imagen (Manizales, Colombia).

Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Dan comes from a bi-cultural background: his mother is Nicaraguan and his father American, so he grew up exposed to a rich variety of music. He graduated Harvard University, and came to NYC to be a session bass player and performed throughout North America, South America, and Europe in venues ranging from underground Brooklyn loft parties to Broadway pits and Carnegie Hall. He also played keyboards for the RCA Records’ rock group Stellastarr*. In 2008, he formed the electro funk digital music and art collective Comandante Zero (CØ). CØ developed techniques for fusing live acoustic instruments with laptops running Ableton Live and created their own unique hybrid set as well as serving as a backing band for various artists including Polina Goudieva and Virgin Records’ artist Xavier.

Currently, Dan has a production studio in Gowanus, Brooklyn where he mixes, remixes electronic music and writes for film as well as performs with his electro funk digital art and music collective Comandante Zero (CØ). Dan has designed curriculum centered around Ableton Live for several institutions. Previously he served as a senior instructor at New York City's Dubspot where he taught electronic music production and headed Dubspot International. He is currently on the faculty of New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music where teaches producing music with software and MIDI. He also curates the Digital + Acoustic Sessions, a monthly event in Brooklyn, New York at ShapeShifter Lab that features artists using Ableton and live instruments in cutting ­edge new ways.

In 2015, he founded the Brooklyn Digital Conservatory, a platform that brings top digital music producers/performers and educators to emerging markets in Latin America and Asia for courses and performances. Since its foundation, the Brooklyn Digital Conservatory has run workshops and courses in Chile, Costa Rica, Italy and Colombia with workshops scheduled in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico for 2017.

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beats
beat building
ableton
ableton live
dan freeman
production
producing
808
drum machines
drums
beat making

Work with an Expert Mentor for Six Weeks

Sign up for this course with six weeks of personal mentorship from an expert, and get unlimited access to the content, forever.

Price $649

Payment plans available. to find out more.

Subscribe for Access to All Our Courses

Get access to all our premium courses without mentorship for a low monthly price.

Price $39/month

Program professional-grade electronic drum beats

By the end of this course, you’ll have everything you need to be able to make more dynamic, interesting, well-designed beats in Ableton Live.

Master Multiple Beat Making Approaches

We explore a few different ways to create interesting beats with the Drum Rack instrument and other Live tools.

Give Your Beats a More Human Feel

We go through how to use velocity, randomization, and other tricks to make your electronic beats sound more human.

Get Creative with Sample-Based Beats

We show you the classic art of creating breakbeats, and how to use samples to create more unique music.

Shape Your Drums with Sound Design

We explore how to use EQ, compression, and other effects to let you get more creative with your sounds.
Are you an educator? If so, you can access educator discounts. !

ENROLL WITH A MENTOR FOR PERSONAL SUPPORT & FEEDBACK

Our expert mentors do whatever it takes to ensure that you achieve your musical goals for the course and leap forward in your learning.

Martin Fowler

Producer & Composer
  • Produced & composed works for TV, film, & podcasts
  • International touring & recording artist with over 15 years experience
  • Studied bass & music technology at Berklee College of Music

Sam Friedman

Producer & Songwriter
  • Original music featured in The Fader and Bullett Magazine
  • Music featured in ads for Taco Bell, Converse, Coke, etc.
  • Producer for Mophonics agency making music for ads and major clients

Jamie Billings

Engineer & Sound Designer
  • Audio designer at MIT Audio Labs
  • Pro Tools Certified Instructor
  • Graduate in electronic production and design from Berklee
  • Leads production workshops at NYU

WHAT STUDENTS SAY

Course Outline

  1. Start
    Section 1

    Welcome!

  2. Start
    Section 2

    Working with Presets

  3. Start
    Section 3

    Building Your Own Kit

  4. Start
    Section 4

    The Pencil Tool

  5. Start
    Section 5

    Velocity & Variation

  6. Start
    Section 6

    Sound Design

  7. Start
    Section 7

    Slice to MIDI

  8. Start
    Section 8

    Advanced Techniques

  9. Start
    Section 9

    Final Project

MORE INFORMATION

What will I learn in this course?

You'll learn how to program drums, create your own unique Drum Rack instruments, get creative with sound design, sample breakbeats, randomize drum fills, humanize your grooves, synthesize huge sub kicks, and more!

Are there any pre-reqs?

There aren't any course prerequisites, but you'll need a copy of Ableton Live. While beginners to Live are welcome, it's important to know that this is not an introduction to Ableton Live course, but rather focused very specifically on beat making, so you might need to reference Live's documentation occasionally or ask for help. If you don't have a license you can follow along with the free demo.

How does a Soundfly course work?

We offer two ways to experience our courses: with mentorship or with a subscription. Enrolling with mentorship involves in-depth weekly personalized support and feedback from an expert for the six week duration of the course.

Enrolling with a subscription does not include mentorship but gives you access to all of the courses on Soundfly.com to go through at your own pace for as long as you're subscribed (and tons of extra perks — see below).

What do I get if I enroll as a subscriber?

As a subscriber, you'll get unlimited access to all the course content on Soundfly.com, including this course and all our other premium courses, to go through at your own pace. This includes all the videos, tutorials, demos, quizzes, activities, downloads, and other materials within our courses. You're also entitled to discounts of up to 33% on our mentorship programs, you will be invited to join our exclusive community Slack group, and you'll have access to exclusive discount perks courtesy of our partner brands. You can cancel anytime.

You can find out more about subscribing here.

What do I get if I enroll with mentorship?

Our mentorship program is our science-backed learning model designed to help you learn more efficiently and effectively. When you sign up, we'll pair you with an expert who will tailor the course to your experience level, offer detailed weekly feedback on your work, answer any questions you have, help you blow past obstacles, and keep you on track to accomplish your musical goals.

You can find out more about mentorship and our expert mentors here.

You'll also get unlimited, lifetime access to all the course content and lifetime access to our tight-knit musician community group on Slack, where you'll find peer-to-peer feedback and support, lots of inspiration, and fun, musical conversations with fellow Soundfly students, mentors, and staff.

How does the pricing work?

A subscription costs $39/month or $390/year if you enroll annually.

Enrolling with mentorship costs $649 for six weeks of intensive support from an expert, plus lifetime access to the specific course you're purchasing. Payment plans are available — reach out to [email protected] to find out more.

Is there a money-back guarantee?

Yes, if you enroll with mentorship. If you enroll with mentorship and the course isn't what you expected, we will give you a full refund as long as you tell us before the start of the second week, in order to honor the valuable time of our mentors.

We're also happy to move you to a subsequent session, if you end up not having as much time as you expected. Once again, let us know as soon as possible!

How long does this course last?

Our courses were designed to be taken in six weeks. If you enroll with a mentor, you will go through that six week curriculum. If you enroll with a subscription on the other hand, you can choose to use the six week structure, or you can ignore it and jump around as much as you want.

Will there be future sessions of the course?

Yes! Check back shortly for firm dates, or sign up for a Soundfly account to receive email updates about course dates and new course launches.