Electronic Music Live Performance: Ableton and MIDI
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Electronic Music Live Performance: Ableton and MIDI

A guide to the perfect electronic music performance rig, integrating MIDI control, Ableton, iOS/iPad, hardware and more!
0.0 (0 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.
0 students enrolled
Created by Will Edwards
Last updated 9/2017
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $15 Original price: $60 Discount: 75% off
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 6 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Integrate and understand the newest MIDI options (iPad, MIDI controllers and DAW)
  • Make an impression live when you "play" rather than simply "trigger" electronic music.
  • Use any DAW, but Ableton users will gain advanced insight into optimization and customization techniques
  • Stay inspired and perform expressively on stage with realtime MIDI CC control
View Curriculum
  • Students should be familiar with what MIDI is and how to use it in basic situations.
  • Be using MIDI and playing electronic music

When you're on stage and performing electronic music it is a thrill!  But, it can be undercut if your MIDI rig is unreliable, confusing or hard to use.

Great electronic music needs to be "playable" and not rely entirely on triggered loops.  Modern MIDI equipment can make live performance incredibly flexible and powerful - if you know how to do it.  Configuring it all and getting your MIDI routing correct can be an insurmountable challenge for many artists.

  • Learn how to reliably use an iPad as performance "dashboard"
  • Work faster and better with tested apps and tools that the pros use
  • Get creative with instruments, loops and sampling
  • Customize your own tweakable parameters and get expressive on stage!

Don't waste your time tinkering.  

Instead, follow this clear, concise guide and start designing and building your own, highly personalized MIDI rig for live performance today.  This course is ideal for performing artists who want to modernize their rig with an iPad (or simply more flexible MIDI-based performance control.) 

Content and Overview:

Using the tips and walkthroughs in this course, you can design and use a much more empowering set of modern MIDI-based tools to integrate your instruments, keyboards and other MIDI controllers.  Plus, your new MIDI rig will be totally reliable, easier to troubleshoot and more expressive when you go out to play live!  This course will help make your music more original, make performances more successful and allow you more creative freedom to express yourself than you ever though possible!

In the first major section of the course, you'll develop a complete understanding of the tools, apps and technologies that will form the basis for your awesome live MIDI rig.  You'll watch walkthroughs of installing and configuring you're devices for maximum power (and minimum distraction).  Ableton users will benefit from tips and tricks related to devices, chains and racks.  However, users of many DAWs will still be able to use the foundation of this course to make a powerful MIDI rig.  After all, MIDI is the main ingredient.

In the following section, you'll learn how to get inspired and be creative while on stage.  Find out what holds most electronic musicians hostage - pre-fab loop triggering - and liberate yourself by setting up the best iOS apps the right way.  Learn about creating tweakable parameters (like filter cutoff, reverb, envelopes and more).

In the final main section, you'll learn about automating tempo changes, discover the power of LED feedback and learn how to optimize your rig with: 

  • More flexibility (scene/program changes)
  • Increased reliability (hardwire vs. bluetooth and wifi)
  • Distraction-free artistic expression ("blue hand" MIDI mapping)

Throughout the course, you'll benefit from concise and to-the-point lessons.  Each lecture focuses on one topic and cuts to the chase fast without leaving out the details.  I've condensed over 3 years of live MIDI and synth performance into a concise and powerful course designed specifically for active electronic musicians who need powerful, modern and reliable tools.

Who is the target audience?
  • Electronic musicians who want to perform live and want to build or maintain a live MIDI rig.
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Curriculum For This Course
31 Lectures
3 Lectures 09:33

What are the inherent challenges with MIDI in live performance?  There are 3 principles within this course and this lesson explains our goals moving forward.

Preview 02:07

I'll demonstrate how to use Udemy.com's features like Q & A, Bookmarks and more.  You can skip this lesson if you're already familiar with the Udemy workflow.

How to Succeed

Answer a few questions that function as a self-assessment.  This is a great way to help yourself see how much you'll get out of this course.  

Initial Self-Assessment
Building Your Rig
9 Lectures 25:30

This is an overview of aspects of your upcoming rig - instruments, loops and samples.

Components You'll Need

Perhaps the most important aspect of your new MIDI rig will be the computer and DAW combination.  

Laptop/DAW Setup

An iPad makes a perfect "dashboard" and this lecture explains the details of setting up 3 crucial apps.  You'll also learn about connecting your iPad over MIDI.

iPad Apps to Install

In the last lecture, you learned how to setup the appropriate software on your iPad. Now, you'll learn how to install the necessary components on your laptop (or computer) as well.

Laptop Configuration

Download the Ableton Set and get up and running with live MIDI routed through your iPad quickly.

Preview 02:41

Build upon the Ableton Set from lecture 8 and extend it with iMIDIPatchBay.

Preview 04:32

Dive deeper with a look at using MIDI CC messages in iMIDIPatchBay to control elements of your Ableton Set.

MIDI Mapping and CC Control

Ableton Live features "Devices", "Device Chains" and "Device Racks". In this lesson I'll explain how these can be used to create a fast and flexible workflow for your MIDI rig.

Hands On: Ableton Devices, Chains and Racks

Playing Songs in the Real World

Quiz #1
8 questions
Learning to "Play" not "Trigger" music
7 Lectures 18:25

As usual, its best to start a new section with a quick overview of what you'll learn and why.  This lecture lays out the scoop related to Section 3: Learning to "Play" not "Trigger" music.

Overview of Performance

Do you use live instruments, loops and samples?  All 3?  This lecture helps to put these important elements of electronic music in the context of upcoming lectures.

Elements of Live Performance

iMIDIPatchBay is the "dashboard" of our MIDI rig.  You'll find out, in this lecture, how this awesome app helps you route and play live instruments using an quickstart Ableton Demo Set that you can download.

iMIDIPatchBay and Instruments

Continue building on the Demo Ableton Set that you downloaded in the last lecture.  Here, you'll get a demonstration of how I record and play with loops using clips and the Novation LaunchKey49.

Hands On: Looping in Live Performance

Sampling is a powerful tool in electronic music.  For the Demo Ableton Set, I used a sample-based instrument that I made from an FM7 patch of the famous DX7 E.Bass.

Sampling in Live Performance

You've got to have a way to control parameters in your rig during your performance.  Otherwise, you can't really express yourself in the moment.  This lecture helps to illuminate why and how we setup live tweaking controls.

Setting Up Live Tweaks

Watch a straight-forward demonstration of using Ableton and iMIDIPatchBay to execute a filter sweep using MIDI CC.

Hands On: Dedicated MIDI Controllers

Quiz #2
7 questions
Optimizing Your Rig
9 Lectures 32:46

There are still ways to make your rig better.  This section covers many valuable tips and tricks related to making your rig even more playable.  This lecture puts everything in context, so you'll get more out of this section of the course.

More MIDI Rig Optimizations

Now that you understand how we can make your rig better, I want to share the main reasons WHY we make these updates - reliability is at the top of the list!

Elements of an Optimized Rig

This lecture dives deep into exactly how you can setup LED feedback (lights flashing the beat), automatic BPM changes and scene selection (using the Pan MIDI CC10).

Minimizing Live MIDI Distractions

Discover the best way to automatically ensure that ONLY the instruments currently in use are active and using CPU!  I've got hundreds of devices and plugins in my session, but only the ones I need are active - see how I do this in an on-screen demo.

Ableton Optimization of CPU

There are lot of things that can go wrong on stage.  I offer up my top tips and tricks for ensuring that I have control of even the most disastrous dilemmas...

Panic Situations and Reliability

Create 8 "sacred" macros and use the same naming conventions for your control parameters in order to make performance and composition a breeze!

Live MIDI Naming Conventions

Wouldn't it be nice if the instrument you were playing (or split zone) automatically mapped your 8 "sacred" controls to that instrument automatically?  Yes, and I'll show you how to do it (with an updated Ableton Set).

Preview 05:55

We've already discussed my favorite ways to optimize a MIDI performance rig.  But, here are a few more ideas that might just make all the difference in YOUR rig...

Additional Rig Optimizations

Review the possible applications of different tools and technologies discussed so far in this course.  This lecture is designed to facilitate the integration of new features into your live MIDI rig - including sampling, looping, an iPad, iOS apps, MIDI controllers, IAC Driver and more.

Final Self-Assessment and Review

Quiz #3
9 questions
3 Lectures 06:50

Make the most of this course by using your initial and final self-assessments to track down your biggest gains in knowledge and find out where you might still want to improve.

Review and Next Steps

Use what you've learned and complete my final project. I'll outline the 7 elements you'll want to incorporate in a 3-minute performance of your own.  Use what you've learned and find out how liberating your new MIDI rig is!

Hands On Live MIDI Performance

Now that you're rig is built, you've optimized (and re-optimized) it... It is time to consider putting some gravy on top.  I'll suggest some food for thought regarding creating better instruments and putting you and your rig on a path to total perfection.

More Creative Possibilities
About the Instructor
Will Edwards
4.2 Average rating
7 Reviews
59 Students
3 Courses
Music Instructor at Udemy and Music Protest

I've am a full-time professional musician who has broad teaching experience with guitar & bass students in rock, blues, jazz and many other genres. I've devoted over 24 years to my own well-rounded musical education, focusing on a mastery of all aspects of modern music - from practice routines to ear training; from live performance to composition and music theory.

I specialize in bridging the gap between music and technology, focusing on using modern tools to demonstrate all aspects of music. I'm extremely comfortable using web-based tools and mobile devices in education, performance and composition. I even program my own online tools in order to customize my students' learning experience.

I currently maintain a full calendar of private one-on-one students. I offer clear, accessible lessons for beginners and experts alike.