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Fast Songwriting In Ableton Live

Lesson 14 of 18

Expanding the Sketch

Isaac Cotec

Fast Songwriting In Ableton Live

Isaac Cotec

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Lesson Info

14. Expanding the Sketch


Lesson Info

Expanding the Sketch

We've talked a little bit about the sketches themselves and how it can be how we can have these new ideas in our composition to start building out so we could drag in those composition cells and I was talking about as examples move around our parts to build out a composition and things like that so let me just, um talk a little bit about building out thes thesis sounds themselves so if I come in here I'm gonna open up this sketch that we heard earlier once it opens and I'm gonna ask you guys basically to hear it and see if you guys hear anything that we can do any cool new techniques we can use it build out this composition way I actually think this would be a better example a little simpler oh yeah every day I'm loaded yeah, the thing can be super based on the genre how do you not let that constrain your song writing if you want to use a rhythm but not necessarily write a song in that style so rhythms one of the elements that really can constrain right and be under specific totally I ...

would say generally rhythm in a jeon ra is based on what it falls on so if it falls like usually to snare the kit of stare so if the snare falls on the three right then you having a lot of like hip hop dub step type sounds at certain vp ends but if you're having it fall on like the two and the four then you're having four for music a lot of times boom clap clap boom clap clap so those air like very very basic structures of a rhythm within a genre and then you have all this room for percussion like having a dub style roll drumroll can happen in any genre att least bpm type idea or adding kool uh like ethno person percussion can happen teo hip hop it can happen to anything so I think keeping the based structure is what keeps your genre so that is your kick and your snare maybe your high hats but then there's tons of possibilities within rhythm on top of that also those rhythmic devices can be used outside of the melon I mean outside of the rhythm the drums they confused in the melody you can add syncopation and weirder concepts within melodies but still keep the drums similar. So it's not just percussion but I would say in general, look at your percussion more than your your bass drum. All right. So listening to this just seeing if you guys hear anything that was obviously lycan a part right? Well, do you guys have any ideas of what we could do to make a bee part from here? So I'm not I can't I don't know exactly which melodic devices fit into but adding more voices so basically an additional instrument playing the same kind of melody that we're hearing I think switching up the actives would be cool on especially on that kind of like screeching sound if you switched it higher lower with the same kind of pattern s o uh no e was gonna flatness right now because I can still do with transposition so I can go this whole thing you love and screeching sound uh can go down like let's say twelve and then that whole thing could go down twelve or twelve whenever hee hee actually think not twelve and almost more like down a fifth or something like that yeah the thing about fifths are the structure of the notes how they move up and down if you go down just a fifth some of those notes won't be in key so if I had it in the melody I would totally do that I mean in the middie but since I froze it I sometimes don't like to use if it it still might work really well in certain part it's so light yeah because it gives it almost more melodic feel to it yeah so one thing is we can go I'm just going to go up a fifth well not up his butt down twelve one two three four five okay and you can see how that's kind of developing latif so if I were to do this like before when I was talking about our motif might be way would take this section and bring it in much later in the track right? So it's it's adding more interest by now being changed in that in those sections um cool so any other ideas of how we can kind of develop the idea I think if we would expand on that a little bit we almost are developing a column response yeah and then maybe that goes up that seems we're trying okay not that I did that wrong the dogs can hear it though let's go down so now when we looked this it does very much sound like a call and response so call me response s o that last part should go down down they're burnt the very end before it goes but when it was coming back in, it wasn't chris to back very well yeah like that totally so that that is an idea right that we have now developed it was simple it got more complicated you could even take the same idea and take those melodies that we're the response and put him in a different voice were double the voice let's just real quick see if this even works but I'm going teo consolidate and then convert to melody and it might be able to grab the actual notes it does a fairly good job this seems pretty simple all right well did a terrible job but this can sometimes be magic wait there was one thing interesting here you when you convert to melody doesn't show up as a new track yes and automatically where does that show up? I just went right under it. Okay, so it's this collider did one part correctly but I would add maybe a lot of river just adding extra voicing to it right and I don't want to go in here and rewrite that whole other section but the cool thing about it maybe like at a little riser before that down b e in a different instrument wait todo so uh now the question is me I don't actually know the notes right off man the later part was good something like that you can play with syncopation by having he's a little off e I want to make it come twinkly sounding too you know but it's a good start so where you can see naturally that we're using these ideas to come up with new things rising sequences call in response and so on and as soon as we get that going then we can then work on like the next section which would probably be just like getting rid of that whole thing and maybe whatever that stati thiss whole thing just get rid of all that ah a break here where is that kid? Okay dario so I'm just developing the idea more more I'm gonna add more percussion and then the other thing I would probably do with this other section as I was, make the base very obvious. Okay, we just insert a new audio track hopes, not audio, new mini trach and how it probably had something like razor or something just really freaking big. And then it would come in and be, like, totally weird. That would be my b section, and then I probably in this part do a ground base where the base is very much the center of the track. So it's, the idea that's going to hold the melody, so let me see reactor okay, takes a second it's a pretty big instrument, so let's, see what the general notes are looks like f on really quickly, go to a base that's. How I start developing the next idea. Cool. We could get lost in that forever, but you're seeing already how you can start using these concepts and it naturally begins to make it a lot faster and building up.

Class Description

When you are working on a song it’s easy to get lost in the details of production and lose sight of what you are really trying to do: make better music. Ableton Live can help – Ableton’s flexible workflow lets you focus on what really matters.

Isaac Cotec is an Ableton Certified Trainer and in Fast Songwriting In Ableton Live he’ll teach you how to setup Live so the technical side of your songwriting process is simple and straightforward.

You’ll get tips on organizing your sample library, presets, and other assets so you can stay in the flow once the creative process starts. Then you’ll work through every step of songwriting process. To start off, Isaac will share tips on:

  • Picking a concept, genre, and bpm
  • Building out the melodic and rhythmic seeds
  • Quickly writing the foundation of the track

He’ll also help develop your work after you’ve laid a foundation. You’ll get insights on using:

  • Core elements: intro, verse, chorus, bridge, break, pre-chorus
  • Melodic devices: call and response, passing notes, ground bass
  • Rhythmic devices: syncopation, polyrhythm, etc

For those times when inspiration isn’t coming, Isaac will share the strategies he uses to overcome writer’s block and help you know when a song is done. You’ll know exactly what it takes to set up an optimal workspace in Ableton and how to write a song while taking full advantage of it’s functions and features.


a Creativelive Student

I started sequencing in the mid-80s using Dr T's Keyboard-controlled sequencer... it had two modes like LIVE, a loop mode and an arrangement mode... you can see the progression of design today.. of course, there were no internal sounds, just MIDI, so you used modules and keyboards for sound generation, synced to tape for recording, added vocals, then took your tape to a bigger studio to mix, then sent off your master to those mysterious magicians to make it sound like a record. Amazing to see such a young kid like Isaac, able to do all the above work out of a little laptop! This young man is such an inspiration. He's not only got the music and technical side down, he's got got a good head on his shoulders. Great job, Isaac! Thanks so much for your willingness to teach and share what you have, and you have a lot! You're a great help.

Victor van Dijk

In awe with this super kind and highly knowledgeable teacher! Wow, he really pours his musician's heart out in this outstanding course on everything that relates to being a musician, sketching, writing songs, composing, and so on. Also it's a course chock a block full of highly helpful Ableton Live project files, PDFs, and many many useful tips and tricks. I highly recommend this course, it should have cost WAY more, and in all honesty, it's a steal! And did I mention, that you learn a lot about and within the Ableton Live environment?! LOVE this course!


Isaac is one of the best guy who can teach anything on Ableton! He got so many tips! His courses are so amazing! I really improved my skills thanks to him! And I do rewatch his courses with pleasure!