An Ableton Live Workshop: Techniques and Strategies for Composition, Production and Live Performance

Taught by Steve Nalepa

Saturday, February 6, 2010

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Members – $50

Non-Members – $65

Ableton Live is a dynamic and empowering tool for every stage of the musical process, from composition to production to live performance. Whether you are a producer or dj, sound designer or composer, the versatility of Ableton Live makes it the ideal tool for both beginners and experts alike. This workshop is an opportunity to learn from a veteran Ableton Live expert who has been teaching this software to the biggest artists in electronic music for years.

The workshop begins with a brief overview of the capabilities of Ableton Live, followed by a series of composition and production techniques. There will be Live demonstrations and practice exercises with step by step instructions that cover the entire songwriting process, exploring a variety of different approaches. Topics covered include crafting beats, getting the fattest drum sounds, writing melodies, creating basslines, using EQ and effects, experimenting with sound design, sidechain compression, arranging, mixing and mastering.

The workshop also addresses a variety of ways to utilize Ableton Live for Live Performance, providing you with an overview of the various strategies while delivering a plethora of tips and tricks culled from the instructor’s many years of working with and performing alongside the most innovative performers in the world. Learn how artists like Nosaj Thing, Adam Freeland, Flying Lotus, [a]pendics.shuffle, Bassnectar and The Glitch Mob set up their live performance documents. Some artists use Live to DJ complete songs while adding real time dub and glitch effects, others prefer to break their songs out into stems, building up their compositions on the fly so their performances have more room for improvisation. Live is great for loop recording, and it even features video now so you can rock audiovisual sets.

There are an almost endless amount of possibilities with Ableton Live, even more so now that it integrates seamlessly with Serato and MAX/MSP. This workshop will fill your head with ideas and leave you truly inspired. This is a complete overview course aimed at bringing new users and experts alike to a new level of understanding of this incredibly powerful piece of music software.


Bring your laptop with Ableton Live installed and a pair of headphones. (Free demo version of Live available at


Steve Nalepa (Chapman University Conservatory of Music, 1320 Records)

LA-based electronic musician, multimedia artist and mad scientist collector Steve Nalepa is one of the world’s foremost experts on Ableton Live. Working for years with M-Audio/Ableton, Nalepa provided VIP support and software training for a multitude of high-profile artists and producers. Nalepa has produced tracks with such legends as Bill Laswell and Pharoah Sanders, performed with the LA Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and shared the stage with some of the most revered electronic musicians and video artists in the world. 1320 Records released his triple album Flatlands in May, the original compositions accompanied by a collection of music videos and remixes by an all-star cast of luminaries including The Glitch Mob, Deru and Nosaj Thing. Nalepa is one of 100 artists featured in Visionaire 53: Sound, his song Flatlands joining original pieces from David Byrne, U2, Lalo Schifrin, Danger Mouse, Yoko Ono and more on five 12” vinyl record picture discs packaged with a portable record player inside a specially produced domed case. When he’s not in the lab, rocking international dancefloors or hosting Ableton Live workshops, Nalepa can be found teaching Ableton Live, Logic, ProTools and Reason to the students in his Principles of Music Technology classes at Chapman University Conservatory of Music.

Refund policy:
Please note, all class fees include a non-refundable enrollment deposit of $25 that will be deducted from your refund if you sign up for, then drop, a class. So, for example, if you sign up for Machine Sewing 101 and pay the $155 class fee, but then remember that you have trapeze school final exams that conflict with the Sewing class and shouldn’t have signed up after all, we will refund you $130 of your tuition payment.

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