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Fast Songwriting In Ableton Live

Lesson 18 of 18

Production Stages Review and Q & A

Isaac Cotec

Fast Songwriting In Ableton Live

Isaac Cotec

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Lesson Info

18. Production Stages Review and Q & A

Lesson Info

Production Stages Review and Q & A

Now we're going back to where we started, right? We've gone over a lot of information tons on the creative process, the steps that we can do to create the music we started with concepts, building imagery, using videos and things in our production to help us stay creative getting the mood down, having the intention all this stuff is to help you really speed up and make the music you want to create, be unique with it, create the ideas that you want and form them into music that you can release quickly. I would love to hear about you guys coming out with seventy tracks and in a few years because it you can do it it's totally possible especially taking the information that we've gone through this class then we go into stage one we talked about pre production creating tools and effects I'm giving you tons of resource is if you get the pat if you get this course, there will be the production template lots of other tools there for pre production. We've gone over sketches how we developed thes...

e ideas into into like rhythmic ideas, melodic ideas moving that into composition the massive world of composition that we were through with thie different parts of a composition moving those compositions and round, breaking down other people's music and seeing what their composition is, as well as melodic devices and tools that can help you and then mixing is, we haven't gone into this part and again, I've done. We did a huge six hour long course on mixing that's the next step. If you want to watch something to follow this up, check out that course here on creative life because it goes over the massive world of mixing to polish the track and then mastering, which talks about creating a final mix and polishing that for for other systems and stuff like that. Great. Yeah, and we also, um, went over the other thing that we went over wass generative music, which we just went through and writer's block a lot of creative ideas, staying in your creative mastery, staying in your creative mode, which might seem a little abstract right now but will really help you in the long run. Uh, before I go into the last part of it talking about any included files in this, do we have any questions like feel free asked me some questions on, like a wider sense, like waters, some of the wider use around production that you've had, and you've had thoughts around you either of you guys, as producers feel like there's something it nags me or what holds you back, um, in your music, just going back to the first part of bead. Thinking I have a good sketch and then building it out and then realising it sucks not having many sketches to go back to and say let's try this one out so kind of going through the process to a point and then taken three steps forward and taking ten steps backwards and then having to go back to that point again set makes sense yeah so not good not going as wide as possible in the beginning rather starting very narrow and then getting into a track and then saying well this actually socks and then going having to go back again yeah just issue totally yeah I first came to realize this when I was a painter of when I when I was a painter and I would set up like one easel and that's my painting my life was attached to that painting if that painting wasn't any good I was a terrible artist because that's the only thing I'm working on then when I set up multiple easels with multiple painting and I created like a siri's of paintings I wasn't so attached to one but also this painting influenced that painting that painting influenced that one so that there was creation happening amongst the different pieces as compared to a single folk I guess so yeah if you can widen your scope and and um at the very beginning I showed that image of which probably makes a lot more sense now of how in my writing process I was constantly creating new ideas while working on other older ideas and the way that they they opened up to create the final mix was was really important so just overview the gold part is sketches the oranges composition and this is, uh finished songs or mixed downs and the idea is you can see like as I am even writing new finishing up these compositions I'm still writing new sketches or finishing sketches and writing new ones and so on there's kind of like a constant circuit that's happening that you should be working on these things all at the same time because it's going to speed up the overall it's like an engine that gets going that once you started a lot easier than a single burst every time no questions online way have some from so sometimes the sketches I create sound really good but they never end up being part of a full song I get stuck and forget about them. What can I do to make sure they become a song the next time I opened them up or open the project? Yeah, this actually reminds me of a cool idea that someone brought up that I personally want to start experimenting with which might be helpful for you and what it is is he would write sketches and then he would bounce it down to audio and then just keep it in a folder and then whenever he was working on another sketch or another track he would drag it in to just even see if there was some cool ideas there and if there was, he would go back to the original sketch dragon those aspects remember the whole like merging tracks thing uh live sense that's why it's powerful because you can have these sketches and I've totally done this where I've worked on a sketch and never went anywhere it's still good I work on another song and I realized that beat from that sketch would be really cool my bridge I dragged it in I create my bridge based around a sketch so maybe that's what this person could do is in your composition realize that you can grab things you've already created and move them into new parts too because you don't want just a very flat track if the track moves to some unexpected place and comes back it's way more engaging awesome master twenty wants to know says I want to ask about melody method let's have written up apart or written a bass part and a lead part how can you fit more melodies in that to support them using arpeggio gators, for example, plane up and down or what else on example of melody creation inside a track? Yeah, it would take me quite awhile to open up a set and create an example of this but just quickly, some ideas when we talked about melodic devices, counterpoint instantly comes into view, so counterpoint would be like let's say, you have your lead line, which is going up writing a scale, right, has some melody, a counterpoint would be like, well, what would what would the fifth of that note be to make a cord and create a little melody on that? And then the next part of the lead line comes in and, oh, what would that? What would the first or fifth of that bee? And you're kind of like playing with the harmony by writing new parts that are referencing the lead that way, the lead is still in the forefront, but you're also in increasing the harmonics of it that makes sense and that's a lot of what counterpoint is, or even just little frills go a long way like there's, a lot of tracks it's a very simple line, and then they just had, like, a blue like with chimes, obviously not my voice, and having a little accent like that, or just a little instrument that kind of has a little a little flute solo that just placed two notes that are kind of supporting the lead will will create a fuller sounding melody, both of those will help a lot with that awesome um michael wants to know what about listeningto where your idea wants to go experimentation is gold but at the same time how to here where the idea wants to go. Yeah, that a lot of times that is where that imagery and video stuff comes in because if you put on some video and listen to the track you will become so immersed in the mood of the track instead the actual track itself that it will help you know where it might want to move towards. So stepping back and looking at images looking at videos and looking at things that inspired the mood will help you know and um yeah, I mean, listening listening skill is something that's very hard to to share to teach but I would say with almost with yeah, I would say with everyone here, most people on the planet maybe not paris hilton but your tastes are important. What you think is good is totally awesome, valid, amazing that's what makes you unique follow your tastes? If your taste through the listening tells you this wants to go to a more like central, sultry place, then go for it on dh just have have trust in that part of yourself because uh really, when it comes down to it as a musician, that is the only thing that you have of importance is your tastes really it doesn't matter if you can write a melody doesn't matter how good you are able to and it means nothing to someone else someone else cares what it sounds like um hey isaac, sorry if this has already been mentioned but have you discussed your strategies or thoughts on committing parts toe audio from that point and from that point not using the original midi part so committing to the part or the voice as a way to limit yourself it's sort of like this is what I'm gonna lock in with yeah that's a great question I didn't go over that, but that brings up totally valid points uh different people produce in different ways. Mr bill is a great example if you've ever looked at mr bill, he instantly prince the audio that is just what he does, he writes prince the audio and continues on and he does that to speed up his work flow. Now I got to hang out with him a bit in seattle when he came here for the seattle live user group and I saw the way he did that I went home and I did it and I found it to be awesome very fast and also it lead towards glitch hop music it was just the nature of that writing led to that so I don't use that my own writing because I'm doing usually much more harmonically complex music, where if I change the harmonies or some melodies that do some new counterpoints, I kind of want the midi to be able to to change if I ever needed to so most the time I will keep things and melody if I can but you also this awesome thing of right click within live and freeze track so freezing track freezes it it's basically printing it toe audio, but it allows you to save the cpu and all that stuff, but you can also on freeze it and then edit it again that being said, I would say that throughout my music process towards the end I get more and more into audio and by the time I'm close to finish with my composition it will begin to be like eighty percent audio. So it's kind of like as I go, the more midi I write, right? I have a lot of midian, the middle section of the track and as I'm kind of on like down slope will have less and less midian mohr mohr audio that I am editing, but this all just depends on your workflow if you're not so inte having like the same melody line throughout the music, just print it just printing call it good, there is something that's helpful there, so I didn't particularly tell you a yes or no, but because there is no yes and no. But I gave you my my thoughts on it. Cool.

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.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Caribbean Drum Beats

Concept Music Guide

Creating Stem

Drum Loops

Fast Songwriting Example Files

Future Step MIDI Patterns

Hip Hop Beats 60-100 bpm


Production Template v3

Scale MIDI Presets

Scale Refrences

Sharing Live Sets

Fast Songwriting in Ableton Live - Syllabus

Isaac Cotec - Scale Refrences.alp

Isaac Cotec - Scale Refrences.alp

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


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!