6 Best Online Resources (Courses & Classes) to Learn Ableton Live

Learning a new DAW can be time-consuming and intimidating if you aren’t a skilled producer or engineer. Luckily, there are plenty of online resources to explore that can help improve your Ableton skills in a hurry. 

I’m Donovan, and I’ve spent thousands of hours working with Ableton Live. I’ve also researched many good online resources that are designed to help users learn how to use this software better. 

This post will show you all of the best online resources in the form of courses and classes to learn Ableton. I’ll highlight each resource to give you a taste of what it offers and why you might want to consider using it to improve your Ableton skills. 

Let’s dig in. 

Best Courses & Classes to Learn Ableton Live

Here are all the best online resources, courses, and classes you can use to learn Ableton Live. Taking a course or class is a great way to speed up the learning process and connect with other musicians and producers. 

There isn’t necessarily a ranking order, so keep that in mind as you review things. My favorite courses are at the top of the list, but the other options can work just as well for some people. 

Everyone learns differently, and some of these courses are structured a bit differently from one another. In my experience, taking a few classes can be a great way to really learn a DAW from the inside out and build your network. 

1. Ableton Live Fundamentals by Berklee Online 

Berklee is a very well-known and highly respected music school that many incredible musicians and producers have come out of over the years. But you don’t need to be enrolled at the college to take advantage of some great Ableton Live learning tools. 

The Ableton Live Fundamentals course at Berklee is available to anyone who wants to take it, and you don’t need to fill out an application or have any special credentials to get it. That’s a win-win if you want to learn Ableton from an accredited source. 

This is a 12-week course that goes in-depth on just about every aspect of Ableton you need to know to get started. It’s a great entry point for anyone who has never used the DAW before or just has some basic experience with it. 

A fun part of this course is that it’s based on real-world application and hands-on use. By the end of it, you’ll have composed five original pieces in Ableton through all of the knowledge and skills applied by your instructors. 

Some of the basic skills covered in the course included how to program drums, composing and editing MIDI sequences, creating arrangements, recording audio, setting up inputs and outputs, and mixing, among many more. 

The only real downside of this one is its cost. It’s one of the most expensive options on the list, but that’s to be expected as it is a college course. If you don’t need official credit, you can save some money on the price for students. 

2. Performing Live with Lauren Kop by IO Music Academy 

Image by IO Music Academy

The Performing Live with Lauren Kop by IO Music Academy is another excellent course to help you learn Ableton Live. This one also comes from a fairly official music teaching resource, but it’s more affordable and has less of a time commitment than the Berklee option. 

This course is especially catered to anyone who wants to perform live with Ableton. If you are an aspiring DJ, this course can be an awesome tool to help you learn the basics and start working up your live set from there. 

This is a five-day course that only involves about 7 hours of actual class time. But it packs a lot into that week, and it’s a good option for anyone who wants to cram a lot of learning into a little bit of time.  

Some key elements you’ll learn in this one include how to use arrangement view, instrument racks, FX and automation, looping, MIDI controllers, gear selection, and monitoring. Those are all the essential elements of a sweet live set. 

Lauren Kop is a great instructor and DJ, and I like her approach to learning all of this stuff for direct application in Ableton. You won’t be an expert after this course, but you’ll have all the tools to start creating all sorts of tracks. 

This is an affordable and easy-to-access option, making it great for anyone on a budget. There are plenty of other IO Academy courses to explore on its monthly subscription plan as well. 

3. Creating with Ableton Live Plugins and Instruments by LinkedIn Learning

Image from LinkedIn Learning

I’m a big fan of LinkedIn Learning because of the sheer amount of access you get to a wide variety of learning options with a relatively low monthly subscription. This Creating with Ableton Live Plugins and Instruments course is a shining example of that. 

This isn’t necessarily a course for beginners, and it will help if you already have a working knowledge of Ableton Live. But it can certainly help you take advantage of the tools and features in the DAW to improve the quality and scope of your creations. 

If you like to create music in the box with samples, instruments, and other plugins, this course will have you covered. The instructor goes in-depth on all of these to help you understand how they sound and what they can be used for. 

It’s also a good introduction to the Sampler in Ableton Live, one of the key features that most people who use it want to take advantage of. You’ll also get a solid look at all of the core instruments in Ableton. 

The course runs for just under 11 hours, but you can take it at your own pace without worrying about any tests or real-time assignments. You just need to sign up for LinkedIn Learning to get started, but you can cancel the subscription at any time if needed. 

4. Ableton Live: Produce Your First Track by 343 Labs

343 Labs is another awesome music training resource and an official Ableton Live-certified training option. That essentially means that Ableton Live itself approves this course and comes with high-level teachers you can count on. 

The Ableton Live: Produce Your First Track course will provide you with a very comprehensive look at building and creating an awesome track in the DAW. It provides you with all of the fundamentals to get started and a whole lot more. 

This is a good course for beginners, but it’s packed with enough relevant information and tips to work for intermediate producers as well. I really like the teaching style of this one and think it’s well-organized and makes a lot of sense. 

This course will give you hands-on instruction for Ableton essentials like programming drums, audio recording and sampling, mixing techniques, warping, automation, arrangement, and editing. I also like how it touches on music theory and song-building from a general perspective. 

This is another pretty expensive course, so it will be out of budget for some people. If you can afford it, it’s packed with goodies and will give you an excellent foundation for becoming a DJ or producer, even if you don’t have any experience with Ableton. 

5. From Studio to Stage

Image from From Studio to Stage

From Studio to Stage isn’t just a single class or course (even though there are plenty of courses to take). It’s an entire website dedicated to helping you learn how to use Ableton Live. I love how in-depth it goes with many topics, and the volume of material is impressive. 

The material you’ll find here was compiled by Will Doggett, who is a certified Ableton Live trainer with years of experience helping people of all calibers learn this popular DAW. His teaching style is very approachable and easy to follow. 

In addition to courses covering various Ableton-related topics, you can also get access to direct coaching here, which is terrific when you are dealing with higher-end tasks in Ableton and hit the wall. It’s a great way to access professional help when you need it. 

You can join the site for all access to on-demand courses and coaching, or you can take advantage of a lot of free resources as well if you don’t want to pay. Either way, you’ll get hooked up with what you need to improve your Ableton production skills. 

The higher-level courses in From Studio to Stage are great for people who already know the basics of Ableton but want to take things to the next level. And there are a ton of resources for live performance using the DAW as well. 

6. Ableton Live: The Complete Course by ADSR Sounds

This Ableton Live: The Complete Course by ADSR Sounds is another all-around solid course to help you learn how to use the DAW. It’s a very in-depth option that also comes with an approachable price, which is a win for everyone. 

I like how excited the instructor is about Ableton in this course. That excitement is contagious and helps you stay focused and engaged when you are going over all the material in the videos. It’s always nice to have fun while you learn new skills.  

The course is arranged as 58 different videos, and it takes about 12 hours of running time to complete. But you can go at your pace and pause the videos whenever you need to or rewind to follow up and hammer home the lesson. 

If you want to learn how to make beats, this is one of the best courses for Ableton I’ve seen that deals with that feature head-on. It also helps with using audio effects and mixing and gives you a detailed look at all the synthesizer options available. 

Another Ableton Live certified training teaches this one, so you know the information is accurate and insightful. The value of this course is high, as it’s one of the most affordable options that should fit most people’s budgets. 

Final Thoughts

All of the courses here are recommended for the tools, knowledge, and fun they offer. Whether you are a beginner looking to learn the basics or want to increase your skills in Ableton to the next level, a good course is a great way to do that and more. 

You don’t need to take a course or class to get good at Ableton Live, but it can speed the learning process up exponentially. Plus, you’ll be able to connect with other DJs, musicians, and producers who might want to collaborate down the road. 

Do you know of a good Ableton Live course that isn’t on this list? Let me know in the comments below.

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