Tutorials

Human After All? – 3 Ways to Humanize Your Music

The beauty of electronic music is that anybody with a laptop can be a one-person band, but far too often we are stuck in the grid and our music loses its human element. The beat is not quite locking in a rhythm so you quantize but now it's too stiff and robotic so you readjust, then requantize, then throw your computer on the ground and call it a day. If you've ever found yourself following a similar routine then we have a few tips on what to do in order to add the humanity back into your music.

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Touch of Vintage – Melt Factor Free Ableton Effect Rack

Touch of Vintage – Melt Factor Free Ableton Effect Rack AfroDJMac has released a free effect rack for Ableton that can add warmth and vintage vibes to any track you add it to. It is part of a larger Pack that includes 40 instrument racks filled with nostalgic charm. Check out the video below for an in-depth look at the Pack with the creator himself.     I added the rack to a Wurli track I have in one of my songs and it instantly brought the instrument to life. You can download the Melt Factor rack here for free.

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SubmitHub – A Review of the Reviewing Service (Special Guide)

This week we'll be doing a review of the blog/label submission service - SubmitHub. The service was created by Jason Grishkoff of Indie Shuffle for the purpose of simplifying the song submission process, he knew that blogs/labels want music and that artists want exposure, reviews, and signing. In Josh's own words, "The goal of the website is to centralize the disorganized process of submitting to music blogs. We're here to help curators and artists connect. It's up to them to take it from there :) ".

We had a chance to see the blog review process from the beginning and wanted to share the experience with you.

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Game On! – PAPU, Free Nintendo Gameboy Plugin

This week we took a look at a FREE plugin by Socalabs called 'PAPU' which emulates the Game Boy Sound System (or GBS) found in the OG Nintendo Gameboy.

The synth has 2 square-wave oscillators that each can be modulated by Attack and Release, Tune and Finetune, and Pulse Width knobs. The first oscillator offers a pitchshift knob which you modulate by negative or positive milliseconds. A Noise Oscillator is available with A/R knobs, and includes a Shift, Steps button (7 or 15 steps) and Ratio knob to adjust the timbre of the oscillator. All three oscillators have stereo outputs that can be individually switched on and off which allows for some interesting sound design, you could use any combination of. The sounds are absolutely reminiscent of old Nintendo so we thought it would be fun to show you how to achieve a chiptune sound to really spark those memories.

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Loop (2017) – Ableton Hosts its 3rd Annual Summit for Music Makers

It's that time of the year again, when the heat creeps in, fades out teasingly, then wakes you up in mid-September to remind you that Summer ain't over yet even though Fall is just around the corner. By the time Autumn has finally shown up in early November everybody's favorite music company, Ableton will be ready to host its international music conference Loop. What is this conference all about?

The name was inspired by live-looping/loop-cutting, both are relatively new methods of performing/producing music on the fly by solo or group artists. The conference is described by Ableton as, "three days of discussions, performances, presentations, studio sessions, installations and interactive workshops designed to share ideas at the forefront of music, technology, and creative practice". The conference will be held at the historic Funkhaus Nalepastraße radio station in Berlin for the third year.

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Soundtrackers – The Secret Sauce Behind Aphex Twin, IDM and Glitch Music

Anyone using a DAW nowadays should be familiar with MIDI instruments and the Piano Roll (#blessed). Before the Piano Roll became a staple in music production, explorers in electronic music relied on step-sequencers of all types.

The earliest analog step-sequencers were used in player pianos which were fed rolls of paper with holes punched into it to tell a piano which notes to play, hence the 'Piano Roll'. Software step-sequencers were developed for and have been used in computer music since the 1950's, allowing for composition, playback, and sound synthesis. In the 1980's we saw the invention of Soundtrackers which were some of the first software step-sequencers to allow for complex music production.

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You’re Doing Too Much: Common Mix Mistakes

You’re Doing Too Much: Common Mix Mistakes We are currently in the middle of two weeks of advanced mixing techniques in our most advanced class here at Beat Lab, and it’s amazing how the more we learn about the process the more we keep coming back to the basics. The simplicity of the concepts of proper EQ, compression, and balance can make these tasks appear to be easy and we often feel we have grasped their importance before we really have. We have all been there and every part of this process of creating records from songwriting, to production, to mixing, and mastering is all it’s own endless rabbit hole so don’t be discouraged. If you feel your mixes still aren’t where you want them to be it’s possible all that is missing is the strongest possible foundation. From there there is often little work left to do. More advanced concepts will definitely …

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5 Arpeggiator Techniques + Free Cheat Sheet

5 Arpeggiator Techniques + Free Cheat Sheet   We continue with our Ableton Effects cheat sheet series. Check out the previous cheat sheets and techniques by CLICKING HERE. The entire collection is available to Beat Lab students and alumni. Up until now we shared many techniques and cheat sheets cover the audio effects in Ableton Live. The Arpeggiator is the first MIDI effect we tackle. Because it’s a MIDI effect, it must come before an instrument. It does not make a sound on its own but only change the incoming MIDI signals. It can be a very powerful tool to create melodic sequences, basslines, arp textures and percussion phrases and fills. In the most simple form, it can even act as a note repeater. Let’s check out a few ideas of what to do with it. Instant Fills   Arpeggiator in Random Style can help you create some awesome fills! Load …

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Foundation of Music Theory
  • Rhythm Theory
  • Using Semitones and Intervals
  • Diatonic composition
  • Harmonizing and building chords
  • Styling
Learn the language of music to help you make the music you want to make, To communicate with other musicians and reveal the magic behind your favorie songs.
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Progremming Beats
  • How Drum Racks work
  • Choosing the right samples
  • How to use Syncopation
  • Layering Techniques
  • Drum Processing methods
Sequence drums in any style using Ableton Live's Drum Racks. Learn tricks and techniques to take your beats to the next level.
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Ableton Live 101
  • Why Ableton Live?
  • Session vs. Arrangement
  • Recording & Editing Audio
  • Live's Warp Engine
  • Using & customizing MIDI controllers
Experience the leading software today for modern music production.
Demystify the world of Ableton Live to make any style of music.
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Sampling
  • History of Sampling
  • Hardware Samplers
  • Simpler vs. Sampler
  • Sampling your own instruments
  • Slicing Samples
Explore the endless world of sampling.
Add organic texture or make it into an instrument
Everything is possible with sampling
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Using MIDI Controllers
  • Which Controller Should I Get?
  • Setting Up
  • Expression Controls
  • Advance MIDI Utilities
  • Playing Live Beats
Choose the right MIDI controller for your production/live needs.
Use MIDI remote scritps to enahce your workflow
Learn tricks and tips to customize your controller
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Recording & Warping
  • Choosing the right mic
  • Setting up recording session
  • Working with other musicians
  • Time Stretching
  • Live's editing tools
Learn how to setup and record mics and instruments in Ableton Live.
Master the warp engine for syncronizing audio and sound design
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Class Jams
  • Play in a band with your computer
  • Try out different instruments and MIDI controllers
  • Improvise on any given scale
  • Develop your ear for melodies, harmonies & Basslines
Play live with your classmates in the first modern ClassJam environment.
Develop collaboration skills, performance focus and improvisation techniques.
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Structure & Styling
  • Active Listening
  • Pre-Determined Arrangement Techniques
  • BPM Ranges
  • Song Segments and how to use them
  • Finishing a full song
Get your own sound from analyzing and deconstrucing modern song structures.
Learn different musical genres to help you achive your own unique sound.
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Music Theory 202
  • Parallel Harmony
  • Relative Scales
  • Pentatonic & Blues Scales
  • Jazz in Modern Music
  • Voicing Techniques
  • Borrowd Chords
Progress your composition skills by learning advanced music theory methods.
You will get a deeper understanding of how produce strong harmonies, melodies and arrangements.
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Ableton Live 202
  • The Launchbox
  • Modulation Vs. Automation
  • Session View Production Techniques
  • Advance Audio & MIDI Editing
  • Clip Envelopes
Learn advance Ableton techniques to take your production to the next level.
Everything is possible with Ableton Live let your imagination be your guide.
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Styling
  • Analyzing Electronic vs. Acoustic music
  • Odd Time Signatures
  • Arrangment Styling
  • Sound Selection
  • Deconstructing Methods.
Learn the key characteristic of all popular music styles.
You have a specific style in mind you want to produce? We'll show you all the secrets.
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Synthsis
  • Analog vs. Digital
  • Synth Signal Path
  • Oscillators, Filters, Envelopes and LFOs
  • Advance Modulators
  • Reverse Engenieering
Take the sounds in your head and create them in the computer using synthesizers.
Demistify the vast world of virtual synths.
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Sound Design
  • Advanced Time Stretching
  • Psychoacoustics
  • Fractal Soundscapes
  • Experiments in Sound
  • Field Recordings
  • The Art of Layering
Develop creative thinking by using multiple techniques to create unique and complex sounds.
Become a sonic master.
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Collaboration
  • Ableton Link
  • Class Production Sessions
  • Project Managment
  • Real vs. Virtual instruments
  • Live Performance Routines
  • Rewiring
Collaborate with class mates with in-class synchronization.
Develope the skills needed to productevlly work with other musicians.
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Remixing
  • Choosing The Right Song to Remix
  • Flipping a Sample
  • Remixer Tools
  • Stems and Multi-Tracks
  • Preparing your Original Production for Remixing
Learn the art of remixing from top remixers in the industry.
Take your favorite songs and filp them with your own style.
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Live Performance
  • DJing in Ableton Live
  • Preparing your Songs for Live Performance
  • Playing with a Band
  • Live Looping
  • DIY Controllers
Use the computer as a live musical performance tool.
DJ or play your own orgianls in any way you can imagine.
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Max for Live
  • Max for Live Essentials
  • Modifying Exciting Devices
  • Creating your own Devices
  • Ableton as a Modular Environment
  • Live's API
  • VJing using Jitter
Explore the infinite potenital of Cycling 74's and Ableton's Max for Live.
Control Live in ways that weren't possible before.
Anything is possible with Max for Live
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Mastering
  • Win the Loudness Wars
  • Mastering Song vs. Album
  • Prepering Your Music for Distribution
  • Understanding the importance of Dynamic Range
Master your songs to sound as good as possible on as many playback systems as possible.
Learn the secrets on how to make your songs loud and punchy.
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Finger Drumming
  • Choosing the Right Controller
  • Sound Design for Live Performance
  • Building Custom Racks
  • Using DIY Controllers
  • Planning your Controller's Configuration
Humanize your production or impress your audience on stage.
Build your own sound packs and develope your live performace skill with finger drumming.
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Live Looping
  • Hardware Looping
  • Using Live's Looper
  • Live Looping in the Session View
  • Automatic Loop Recording using MIDI Scripts
  • Setup and Routing
Master the art of live looping with virtual instruments, conventional instruments and mics.
Come up with quick musical ideas, build your songs live on stage.
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Online Presence
  • Social Media
  • How to Reach Out to Labels
  • Booking Shows
  • Getting Signed
  • Getting more Followers
  • Making a Music Video
Develop your artist brand and get your music heard by the right people.
Book shows, tours and festivals.
Find the right label and make music your career.
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Entertainment Law
  • Clearing Samples
  • Commercial vs. Indie Distribution
  • Getting your music on TV and Film
  • Working with a Manager
  • Copyright your Music
  • Performance Rights
Understand the legallty behind the music industry.
Get the most out of your shows and releases. Maximize income streams.
Distribute your music the right way.
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Production Sessions
  • Class Jams
  • Live Routines Assignments
  • Additive Composition
  • Produce other Classmates
  • Online Collaboration Methods
  • Musical Chairs
Collaborate in class.
Get private mentorship sessions from Beat Lab's instructors
Learn how to add part of yourself creatively to an exciting song.
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Mixing
  • Understanding How Sound Work
  • Gain Staging
  • Controlling the Stereo Field
  • Using Compressor & EQs
  • Using Time Based Effects
  • Bussing and Pre-Mastering
Master the art of sound mixing.
Make your music sound more clear, punchy and loud.
Learn the techniques and tools to help you take your music to the next level.
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