Intro to Music Production in Ableton Live

Learn how to make music with one of the industry's most versatile DAWs, and explore features of the latest release, Live 11.

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There's only one DAW that's truly flexible enough to let you experiment with loops and ideas on the fly, arrange and produce full-blown tracks, mix with industry-standard tools, and take your songs to the stage: Ableton Live. In this course, we'll take you through the basics of Ableton Live's incredible breadth of functionality, and challenge you to put those lessons into action by making music right away. We'll even explore some of the most exciting updates of the brand new version, Live 11 (although you don't need the new version to take the course). 

This cutting-edge course, taught by Ableton Certified Trainer and music technologist Claire Marie Lim, contains all the tools you need to get started making amazing music with Ableton Live. Over the course of six weeks, we'll look at strategies for recording and editing MIDI and audio, concepts related to arranging and composition to help you start creating solid musical ideas, and look at the basics of taking a track from the studio to a live performance environment. (They don't call it "Live" for nothing!)

Claire Marie Lim

Born in Singapore and based in the US, Claire Marie Lim is a music technologist and multi-disciplinary artist who works with music and movement, both under her own name and the artist moniker dolltr!ck. She specializes in instruction for live electronic performance, production and programming, and is an advocate of womxn and Asian representation in music technology. As an educator, Claire is certified with Bitwig, Ableton, and Apple, instructing at 343 Labs and Beat Drop, and teaching at the City University of New York's Brooklyn College and Berklee College of Music.

Classically-trained as a pianist, flautist, and composer, Claire slipped headfirst into the abyss of electronic music in college, emerging as a DJ, remixer, and live performance designer for numerous award-winning artists, including two-time Grammy nominees Alphabet Rockers, acclaimed keyboardist Rachel Z, My Brightest Diamond, and Nona Hendryx of Labelle. As dolltr!ck, Claire presents dynamic live sets of originals and remixes that meld electronica, pop, and dance music. Her performance content has been featured by Genelec, iZotope, Serato, and Aodyo Instruments. She was involved in the launch of Berklee College of Music's groundbreaking Electronic Digital Instrument program, and has played at events by TEDx, Toyota, iHeartRadio, PayPal and KCON.

In music education and arts activism, Claire also helps develop curricula for various institutions such as the International Center of Photography, Queens College, Coursera, and the Berklee network.

More About Claire Marie
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music production
intro to music production in ableton live
claire marie lim
audio effects
software instruments
drum rack
live performance
ableton live

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Watch the Trailer Video

Our goal is to get you comfortably and confidently making music using Ableton Live. Check out our trailer video to learn more about what's involved and how our course works.

Start making great music in Ableton Live today. 

Learn the basics of production with Ableton Live

By the end of this course, you'll know how to make great music in Live, from recording and editing audio to manipulating FX and MIDI to performing it live on stage.

Record, Edit, and Compose

Learn the basics of recording, editing, and creating music with audio and MIDI.

Bring Tracks to Life

Learn the basics of effects like EQ, compression, reverb, and delay.

See How the Pros Use It

Watch interviews with professional producers who pull back the curtain on how they use Live.

Production to Performance

Learn the basics of how to start with an idea, flesh it out, and the basics of preparing to perform with Live.


Add a custom mentorship session on top of your course subscription to work through the material one-on-one with an expert mentor. Get a more personalized experience featuring weekly calls, feedback, additional resources, and more. Tell us about your goals below to learn more.

Sam Friedman

Producer & Sound Designer
  • Electronic artist (artist names, Past Palms and Nerve Leak)
  • Composer for major national ad campaigns, like Taco Bell
  • Experienced educator in electronic music & sound design

Brandon Miranda

Producer, Engineer, Composer
  • Electronic musician (artist name, ALX B)
  • Mixing / mastering engineer
  • Teacher in electronic music production for KSHMR's "The Lessons of Dharma" series

Ian Barnett

Drummer & producer
  • Hip-hop and footwork producer (artist name Mallow)
  • Performed with major artists Betty Who and Marlon Craft
  • TV Credits include performances on Today Show, The View, James Corden, MTV, & more


Course Outline

  1. Preview
    Section 1


  2. Section 2

    Starting Out

  3. Section 3

    Live Packs & The Browser

  4. Section 4

    Software Instruments

  5. Section 5

    Drum Rack & Advanced MIDI

  6. Section 6

    Audio Recording & Editing

  7. Section 7

    Advanced Editing

  8. Section 8

    Effects and Mixing

  9. Section 9

    Performing with Ableton Live


Who is this course for?

This course is for instrumentalists, beat makers, songwriters, aspiring producers, or people with no prior musical knowledge whatsoever who want to learn how to make creative music using Ableton Live. Whether you're new to the software or to making music in general, or if you're a seasoned producer looking to switch DAWs, this course will make sure you get comfortable navigating every step of the creative process in this powerful digital audio workstation.

What will I learn?

Ableton Live is one of the most versatile, innovative, and widely used DAWs for any musical and sonic application. We're going to start at the very beginning and help you navigate all of the incredible tools available to you. You'll learn how to record, process, and mix audio, how to input and manipulate MIDI information, how to synthesize sounds and shape them in colorful ways, and some basic compositional concepts and tricks. You'll work with tons of Ableton Live's built-in features, synthesizers, samplers, and processing devices, and engage in deep critical listening and analysis activities to help professionalize your production and workflow.

In this course, we'll look at some of the latest features available in Ableton's newest release, Live 11. But students can take this course using any version of Ableton Live.

Are there any pre-reqs?

You'll need to own or purchase the Ableton Live software. However, Ableton offers a free trial for up to 90 days, which is more than enough time to learn using our course. Some additional gear is recommended to get the most out of the course, but if all you have is a laptop and Ableton Live, you'll still be able to follow along. Recommended additional gear: headphones, speakers, MIDI controller, audio interface, and microphone.

How long does this course take?

This course was designed to be completed in roughly six weeks, assuming students would have a few hours a week to spend on it. Each "week" includes a certain section and challenge activity for you to take on. That said, that timeline is just a casual recommendation — you can choose to blow through it all in one sitting or take a year with it, if you'd like.

Is there a specific start date?

You can start the course anytime. If you'd like more accountability and guided feedback from a professional, you can request to work through the course and your own goals with a Soundfly Mentor for four or six weeks, and get a more personalized experience for a specific period of time.  

Learn more about custom mentorship here.

How many lessons are there?

This course includes 91 lessons, including videos, graphics, text, activities, demos, interviews with outside experts, and much more. 

What do I get if I enroll as a subscriber?

As a subscriber, you'll get unlimited access to all courses on, including this 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 full suite of courses.

You're also entitled to a 25% discount on our custom mentorship program, you will be invited to join our exclusive community Discord group, you'll be able join subscriber-only Study Groups, artist Q&As and workshops, annual contests and giveaways, and you'll have access to a growing list of exclusive discount perks courtesy of our partner brands. Cancel anytime.

You can find out more about subscribing here.

What is your refund policy?

Our mission is to support musicians, not to rip anyone off. If you realize after subscribing that it's not what you wanted, email us as soon as you can with your reason for cancelling. Our policy is to issue refunds within two weeks of a purchase, for either a monthly or annual subscription, if the courses didn't meet your expectations.

Note that we cannot offer refunds on monthly subscription payments beyond a single month of payment because of the residuals we pay out to our instructors and artists.

Can I take this course with a mentor?

Yes, absolutely. If you would like to go through the course with support, accountability, feedback, and guidance from an expert, you can request a mentor by filling out this form. A Soundfly staffperson will reach out within 48 hours to learn more about your goals, your music, and your skills level, and pair you with a mentor who can help you achieve your next musical milestone. Our mentorship program is our science-backed learning model designed to help you learn more efficiently and effectively. Your mentor will tailor the course to your experience and interests, 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 goals.

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