• Hi Guest: Welcome to TRIBE, the online home of TRIBE MAGAZINE. If you'd like to post here, or reply to existing posts on TRIBE, you first have to register. Join us!

ableton noob query


TRIBE Promoter
I want to learn how to produce and to be able to manipulate music more. Is it as easy as going out and buying Ableton live, plus some kind of controller (apc40) and then practicing?

Or is there more to it than that? Or is this a good starting point.



TRIBE Promoter
you'll probably need some kind of audio interface/sound card (a traktor box will do it if you have one of those. not sure about serato) and a pair of monitors. I started off with some cheap ones and am regretting it hugely. Going to be upgrading as soon as I can afford something better.

that controller is probably not ideal. I get the sense that it is more useful for performance than production. I have a novation SL and it's perfect for what I do Novation Remote Zero SL USB Controller at zZounds . I honestly don't use it that often though, preferring to manipulate sounds with a mouse in live rather than with a controller (though that is likely due in large part to inexperience).

other than that, you'll need a synth. I have been getting really into my Native Instruments Massive synth recently. There are a lot of great tutorials online on how to get the most out of it too. you'll probably want to pick up a couple of sample CDs so you can practice arranging tracks before you really start to sink your teeth into making your own sounds with a synth, which can be a bit daunting.

finally, the lessons in ableton are actually pretty good. I have been hacking around on my own for about 2 years now and am just starting to get to the point where I think I'd like to do a lesson or two. In retrospect, I probably could have gotten to where I am now much more quickly if I had done a beginner lesson earlier. might be worth considering.


TRIBE Promoter
Hi Marty!

Ableton Live is an amazing tool and it's very easy to learn. That controller IS pretty good however it is geared towards performance however, the pads CAN be assigned to any value so there are other uses. Assigning values to pads and faders is very easy as well. There are knobs and faders that can also be assigned to any value on any paramiter so you could in essence get that thing to control just about anything within live. I use something similar for performance AND production:
It's pretty much the same as what you're looking at except it wasn't manufactured specifically with live in mind. (although it does have live presets)

As previously stated, n external soundcard is also a good idea for recording and sending Audio. I use:
M audio Mobile pre USB

Also as stated previously, studio monitors are a must for providing non coloured sound and monitoring a true refrence signal when mixing your productions. I like KRK Rokit 5's or 8's these days. They sound like a dream and translate really well to your mixes.

Last edited:
tribe cannabis goldsmith - gold cannabis accessories


TRIBE Promoter
I never thought about the speakers.. and good qualilty speakers at that. I already have traktor audio8 sound card. My birthday's coming up and my wife's wondering what to purchase.So, I'm going to steer her in that direction. :)

docta seuss

TRIBE Member
Best value monitors by far are Behringer Truths. I hate rokits.
Behringers are decent value, but Alesis monitors are infinitely better and don't cost a heck of a lot more in my opinion.

I've had the Alesis and Behringers side by each, and there's no comparison.

That said, I've moved on to ADAM A8X's w/ a Sub20, and if you're willing to spend the cash, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything better at a remotely affordable price.

docta seuss

TRIBE Member
As far as production gear, all you really need is Live and a modest midi controller, unless you plan on recreating an analog studio feel.

My setup consists of Live, a PreSonus Firebox audio interface, an M-Audio Ozonic keyboard, and a Behringer BCR-2000.

All affordable gear, and I have more knobs than I know what to do with.

The Ozonic is a firewire audio interface in addition to a midi controller, so you'd be laughing with just an Ozonic and Live really, although you don't exactly want to have to drag a keyboard with you whenever you'll be needing your audio interface, but if it will be staying in a studio setting, it's an affordable, quality setup.

Also, as someone mentioned, you will need a virtual instrument or twenty, and while Live comes with the uber-potent Operator synth, it's not the ideal tool for all situations.

NI's Massive is a KILLER vst, and if bass is your thing, look no further.

Albino is a sweet synth as well.
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders


TRIBE Member
10 hrs of n00b videos ..

The biggest and most important tutorial series I have created is what you are about to check out. It's a 10 hour long collection of videos that explain how to write a tune using Ableton Live from absolute scratch (you also get the Ableton Live file with the series, so you can open it up and see exactly how it was made).

The set has only Ableton Live native instruments and effects (no VSTs) so anyone with a copy of Ableton can follow this easily. All samples are also included in the live pack.

Topics covered in the video include

* Creating your own sounds from scratch using Synthesizers
* Making drum loops using the piano roll and samples
* Using EQing, Sidechain Compression and other effects to fatten up your sound
* Making your tune flow and progress steadily
* + many more of my own production hints and tips explained in massive depth
An Introduction to Digital Audio Production