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The Ableton Operator

with James Patrick

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  •   01 Course Introduction


Class duration: 2h 45m

See all 13 lessons
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About The Class

Learn how to create your own drums, bass, leads, and pads from the ground up with the Ableton Operator.

This in-depth class unlocks the inner workings of one of the most powerful multi-mode synthesizer tools around: the Ableton Operator. Coined as the "Swiss Army Knife" of synthesizers, the Operator is capable of handling the heaviest sound design tasks - and of keeping the process simple and effective from start to finish. Join master sound designer James Patrick as he details every single element within the Operator instrument. Though he'll start by exploring it as a basic synthesis engine, by the end of the class he'll reveal it to be an instrument capable of creating the most advanced, futuristic sounds of our time. He'll talk about combining Additive, Subractive and FM synthesis elements. He'll also cover the details of creating drums, percussion, leads, brass, pads, and evolving textures.  

Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Course Introduction

  2. 02

    The FM Concept

  3. 03

    Operator Fundamentals

  4. 04

    FM Pro Tips

  5. 05

    Classic Subtractive Techniques

  6. 06

    FM Monophonic Bass

  7. 07

    FM Polyphonic Leads

  8. 08

    Drum and Percussion Overview

  9. 09

    Kicks and Tom Drum Techniques

  10. 10

    Snares and Hardware Techniques

  11. 11

    Advanced Modulations

  12. 12

    Crossfades and Aftertouch

  13. 13

    Live's Filter Models


Meet Your Expert

James Patrick

James Patrick is a 15+ year DJ, producer, curator, and educator. He is a producer and sound artist who thrives on bringing together the creative energy and ideas of his community. Through collaboration and experimentation, he creates immersive environments that explore the evolving definitions of sound art. His record labels (Timefog Recordings) and events are both supported by some of the greatest names in electronic music, and his personal recordings continue to make waves in the international electronic music circuit. Through his professional involvement in both academic and popular electronic realms, James curates and develops internationally recognized festivals and events in the electronic music and arts. James is the owner of a successful art gallery (Gamut Gallery) and electronic music school (Slam Academy) in Minneapolis in Minneapolis, platforms that he uses to foster and showcase new ideas and talents in the field of technology arts. James is also the recipient of many awards, including the American Composer’s Forum MECA award. ... read more

See instructor's Classes

100% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Creativelive Student

    Creativelive Student

    April 2017

    People complain about Abletons "uninspiring" synth presets, and Operators businesslike interface doesn't scream "fun". It is however, an insanely fun and powerful instrument once you get your head around it. This class is perfectly formulated to turn anyone into an FM super-ninja in no time. It starts with the basics - perfectly explained, and delves deeper at a nice pace. I've been using Operator for years but still picked up a few tips in the later lessons. Taking this class will empower you to stop worrying about having the latest, greatest third party VST. Operator is a beastly synth. I rarely use any other synth because of the sheer sonic capability, and tight integration with Live.

  • Creativelive Student

    August 2016

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