Droppin' BASS, not BOMBS!!!!

Teaching Abelton Live 9 to Middle School Students

DSC04833This is the beginning of the first official Abelton Live 9 Class at Irving Magnet School located with LAUSD here in Los Angeles, California.  I believe that this is the first class of its kind within the district and it is all due to the vision of many teachers at Irving Magnet school who believe that music, math, science and art are important to have together in order to develop young minds and to help foster creativity and innovation.  My involvement in this project was to teach students how to produce music and record music using  the 21st Century way of making music through midi, sampling, and recording through computers.  And that is why I chose Abelton Live 9 as the platform where I teach students.  Just to name a few reasons why I chose Abelton is the easy use and automatic tempo matching and quantizing.  I believed that this was the easiest way to teach students who have never made any music through computers.  Also, another plus for Abelton was that I can use it for deejaying and live performances.

We have recently got approved for a federal grant that will help fund this recording program even further.  The dream of many teachers within Irving Magnet is to have a professional recording studio and state of the art auditorium.  I will keep you updated on all things that are happening here.  Below, I have enclosed the class syllabus and my first two tracks I made on Abelton.  The workflow is very smooth and easy, you should give it a try.


Objective:  Students will be able to write, arrange, and create all of  their  favorite music using one of the music industry’s most widely used and innovative software in the world today, Abelton Live.  This software has revolutionized music production because it can be used to create music, live performance, live remixing, recording and mastering all in one program.  Students who take this course will learn many of the technics and processes of what goes into producing music from the creation and all the way through the recording, mix-down, and final mastering process.


  • Laptops/Desktops
  • Abelton Live 9 Program
    Ableton Live 9 lntro2
  • Headphones

Course Outline:

  1.  Unit 1:  Navigate Program
    1. Project set-up and parameters
    2. Learn all tools
    3. Use various instruments
      1. Drum Machine
      2. Loop Player
      3. Synthesizers
      4. Samplers
  2.  Unit 2:  Track Production
    1. Proper song arrangement = intro, versus, chorus, bridge, breakdowns, finale.
    2. Learn how to produce 3 main groups of genres of music:
      1. HipHop/RnB/Trap/Dubstep (70bpm-140bpm)
      2. Dance/Electro/House/Trance/Techno (120bpm-150bpm)
      3. Rock/Alternative/Acoustic/Metal (80bpm-130bpm)
  3.  Unit 3:  Using processors and effects
    1. What effects will produce the desired affect to your track
      1. Reverb, compression, gate, equalizers, delay, maximizers
    2.  Proper mix-down technics before mastering begins
      1. How to use the mixing board and what are the functions
      2. Leveling
      3. High Pass, Low Pass, Mid Pass Filters
      4. How to use spectrum analyzer
  4. Unit 4:  Demo’s
    1. Students will create 2 to 4 original tracks of their choice and have them premixed down and ready for mastering.
  5.  Unit 5:  Mastering
    1. Students will learn how to master their own track using many of the popular technics on how to make a track commercial quality.
      1. Using the Limiter
      2. Dithering
  6. Unit 6:  Remix and Performances
    1. Students will have to remix another students track in the class.
    2. Students will learn how to create a set for live performance.

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