Ultimate Ableton Live: Part 5 - MIDI & Audio Effects
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Ultimate Ableton Live: Part 5 - MIDI & Audio Effects

Learning Ableton Live the right way: From the basics to the advanced, from Ableton Certified Trainer J. Anthony Allen.
4.7 (158 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,623 students enrolled
Created by Jason Allen
Last updated 9/2017
Current price: $12 Original price: $35 Discount: 66% off
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  • 4.5 hours on-demand video
  • 3 Articles
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion

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What Will I Learn?
  • Produce music using Ableton Live
  • Master using all of the Ableton Live Effects
  • DJ and perform music using Ableton Live
  • Work with Ableton's powerful Racks interface
View Curriculum
  • Taking Ultimate Ableton Live: Part 1 - The Interface & The Basics is a great place to start, but not required to get the most out of this course.
  • Taking Ultimate Ableton Live: Part 2 - Recording & Warping is also great, but not required to get the most out of this course.
  • Taking Ultimate Ableton Live: Part 3 - Producing & Editing is also great, but not required to get the most out of this course.
  • Taking Ultimate Ableton Live: Part 4 - Synths & Samplers is also great, but not required to get the most out of this course.
  • Access to Ableton Live will be required. Using the trail version (free for 30 days) would be a great way to start.

For years I've been teaching Ableton Live in the college classroom. As a University Professor, my classes are sought after, and, frankly, expensive. I believe Ableton Live can be learned by anyone, and cost shouldn't be a barrier. This class uses the same outline and syllabus I've used in my college classes for years, at a fraction of the cost.

This is Part 5: MIDI & Audio Effects

This is a really deep class - tons of content, tricks, and tips. I'll go through all of the Ableton Live Instruments in this class, with considerable detail on each one. We will also talk about synthesis tricks and tips, getting most out of your samplers, and tons of production tips. Topics include:

  • MIDI Effects
  • Arpeggiator
  • Chord MIDI Effect
  • MIDI Effect Racks
  • Note Length MIDI Effect
  • Pitch MIDI Effect
  • Random MIDI Effect
  • Scale MIDI Effect
  • Velocity MIDI Effect
  • Audio Effects
  • The three types of Audio Effects
  • ALL Ableton Audio Effects (and how to use them!)
    • Simple Delay
    • Ping Pong Delay
    • Filter Delay
    • Grain Delay
    • Chorus
    • Flanger
    • Reverb
    • Beat Repeat
    • Looper
    • EQ Three
    • EQ Eight
    • Auto Filter
    • Amp
    • Cabinet
    • Corpus
    • Dynamic Tube
    • Erosion
    • Frequency Shifter
    • Overdrive
    • Phaser
    • Redux
    • Resonator
    • Saturator
    • Vocoder
    • Compressor
    • Glue Compressor
    • Limiter
    • Multiband Dynamics
    • Gate
    • Auto Pan
    • External Audio Effect
    • Vinyl Distortion
    • Spectrum
    • Tuner
    • Utility

I will be making 6 (six!) complete classes in order to bring you the most comprehensive manual on Ableton Live production techniques ever created. Each class has Sets, sessions, and experiments for you to try on your own and follow along with.

And of course, once you sign up any part, you automatically get huge discounts to all the upcoming parts of this class. You will not have another opportunity to learn Ableton Live in a more comprehensive way that this.

J. Anthony Allen is an Ableton Certified Trainer, and a PhD in Music Composition and master of Electronic Sounds. His music has been heard internationally in film, radio, video games, and industrial sound, as well as the concert hall and theater.

He currently as an adjunct professor of composition at the University of St. Thomas, Macphail Academy of Music, and the CEO of Slam Academy in Minneapolis.

Praise for other classes by J. Anthony Allen:

  • "I've had Live Lite for a while but never quite understood how to use it because of the different options in how to arrange audio. This course explains exactly how to do that and get the most out of Live."
  • "Great overview - I would start here for sure if you are just getting your feet wet with live. clear and to the point. session walkthroughs are great. looking forward to more"
  • "I have never had any formal training in music at all. Trying to learn all the notes and how everything translated was a serious challenge. After going thru this class, Dr. J has totally brought down the barriers. The content was very useful and was easy to grasp for me."
  • Who is the target audience?
    • Students who want a comprehensive understanding of Ableton Lve
    • Anyone interested in producing tracks, beats, synths, or any other music on their own
    • Students looking to understand the deeper levels of Ableton Live
    • Anyone interested in DJing and performing
    Compare to Other Ableton Courses
    Curriculum For This Course
    55 Lectures
    Welcome & Overview
    1 Lecture 03:09

    Welcome to the class! This video is just a quick overview of what we will be talking about in this class.

    Preview 03:09
    MIDI Effects
    10 Lectures 46:48

    First things first: We need to understand the difference between MIDI Effects and Audio Effects.

    Preview 04:36

    Our first MIDI effect is the arpeggiator - it was probably the most widely used MIDI effect we have, so pay attention!

    Preview 08:24

    Next up is Chord - a way to generate harmonies automatically.

    Preview 05:45

    We've seen a few different kinds of Racks in other classes, this is the same basic concept, just with MIDI Effects.

    Preview 06:07

    In this video we look at the Note Length effect - a quick tool to adjust the duration of all our MIDI notes in a clip.

    Preview 03:09

    Pitch! Transpose your MIDI notes in this quick effect.


    One of my favorites - give some life to your MIDI clip by adding some random elements.


    One of the most powerful MIDI effects, and most complicated. With this we can change the sound of an entire passage with a single effect.


    Altering our velocities is great, but check out some of the random functions in here to make your MIDI clips sound a little more human.

    Audio Effects
    1 Lecture 04:06

    There are three main types of Audio Effects - In this video I'll explain the difference, and why they fit into these three groups.

    Preview 04:06
    Time-Based Audio Effects
    10 Lectures 01:16:04

    Time-based effects are mostly delays and similar effects, but there are a few surprises.

    Overview of Time-Based Effects

    First in our list: Simple Delay. Pretty much just what it sounds like!

    Preview 08:46

    The Ping Pong Delay is a little more complicated delay.

    Ping Pong Delay

    More complicated still, this one is sort of three delays in one.

    Filter Delay

    This is your first granular effect - these are a little more complicated, but with a little practice it will be clear.

    Grain Delay

    A classic chorus effect! Nothing too fancy here!


    The Flanger effect is a favorite for builds, and guitar players in the early 90s.


    Ok - this one is important. You are probably familiar with Reverb, but let me explain to you the details of what Reverb is, and how to use it.


    One of the oddities here - this is a sort of a glitch plugin. It is fantastic for making beats and dense textures.

    Beat Repeat

    This is primarily for live performance, but can have some uses in production as well.

    Frequency-Based Audio Effects
    16 Lectures 01:32:39

    Frequency-based effects are primarily EQ, and filter type effects. Again, there are a few surprises in here.

    Frequency-based Effects Overview

    A very simple EQ! Nothing too fancy here - but this little effect is super useful.

    Preview 03:59

    A little more complicated EQ - this one is much more useful for production.

    Preview 04:36

    Time to get a visit from our old friend the LFO.

    Auto Filter

    Simulate classic instrument (guitar) amplifiers with this list of amps.


    Nothing goes better with the Amp simulator than a cabinet simulator!


    Things are starting to get a little more complicated now!


    A tube amp emulator, for that warm distortion sound.

    Dynamic Tube

    Now we get serious with distortion.


    A transposer, with a little more under the hood.

    Frequency Shifter

    Even more distortions!


    A Phaser is a way of playing with the phase of our signal. I'll show you how this works (and what that means) in this video.


    Emulate the sounds of classic video games with this effect.

    Preview 06:40

    Another complicated one - but really powerful on percussion sounds (my personal favorite!)


    A little more warmth.


    A classic vocoder (not an autotune!)

    Dynamic-Based Audio Effects
    7 Lectures 32:22

    Dynamic Effects (effects that alter our volume in various ways) are some of the most abstract effects, and therefore they tend to be harder to understand. Stick with me in this section and we will get them all sorted out.

    Preview 02:49

    Compressor is the most fundamental dynamic effect. Most of the other dynamic effects are variations on the compressor.

    Preview 11:32

    The Glue Compressor is new in Live 9, and is a subtle (sounding) effect that helps tie things together.

    Glue Compressor

    This effect keeps our signal from going to high - we set a "ceiling," and we don't let anything go above it.


    Take a 3-band EQ, add a compressor to each band, and you have a Multiband Compressor.

    Multiband Dynamics

    Kind of an upside-down Limiter - when the signal is loud enough, the gate opens. If it isn't loud enough, the gate is closed.


    A bit of an oddity here, but panning is a way of adjusting the volume for each speaker.

    Auto Pan
    The Other Audio Effects
    5 Lectures 11:43

    If you want to take the signal out of your computer and into another effect (like a guitar pedal) this is the way to do it.

    External Audio Effect

    Want that classic vinyl crackle? Slap this bad boy on a track.

    Vinyl Distortion

    This is a visualizer: It shows us (with our eyes) what we are hearing (with our ears).


    I love this plugin for programming samplers. I'll show you the trick in this video.

    Preview 01:51

    This plugin is exactly what it sounds like: A utility to help us with some common audio clip problems.

    Wrap Up
    5 Lectures 06:03

    Thanks for hanging out with me in this class! Just a few quick final thoughts before we end.

    Wrap Up

    You've come this far... maybe you are willing to go a little further...

    Up Next

    In Ableton 6 we are going to start talking about putting all of these together in some audio effect racks. These are super powerful, especially for DJing and performing. Here is a preview from Ableton 6 on how these work. 

    Bonus Content: Ableton 6 Preview

    There is so much more to learn!

    Bonus Lecture: Discount Offers & Mailing List

    Bonus: All Ableton Effects in 1 Handout
    About the Instructor
    Jason Allen
    4.6 Average rating
    6,786 Reviews
    39,063 Students
    65 Courses
    Ph.D / Ableton Certified Trainer

    J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen performs on a set of “glove” controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he’s not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers.

    J. Anthony Allen teaches at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN., and is an Ableton Live Certified Trainer. He is a co-founder and owner of Slam Academy, a multimedia educational space in downtown Minneapolis. Recently, Allen founded Hackademica – an innovative net-label for new music.

    J. has a PhD in music composition, 2 Master’s degrees in music composition and electronic music, and a bachelors degree in guitar performance. Through his academic travels, Dr. Allen has received numerous awards along the way.

    If you run into him on the street, he prefers to be addressed as J. (as in, Jay.)