Ableton Live Techniques: Sampling
Building on the skills learned in Ableton Live Techniques: Fundamentals, in Ableton Live Techniques: Sampling you will explore the sampler devices in Ableton Live. Sampling concepts learned in this class are applicable to all samplers, and the course goes into great depth, showing the techniques that are unique to Ableton Live. Instructors will demonstrate all sampling techniques within musical examples, and we’ll explore the larger cultural and ethical considerations of sampling. You will analyze contemporary examples of these techniques, apply the techniques within your own compositions, and reflect on the ethical considerations of using sampled sounds.
Each week you’ll create and share custom-designed instrument presets for peer review in discussions. Weekly assignments give you experience using Ableton samplers within musical compositions.
Upon completion you will have developed a library of custom sampler presets that represent your personal production voice, and you will have created numerous compositions.
By the end of the course, you will be able to:
- use Ableton Live’s advanced clip functions creatively
- compose using Ableton’s sampling devices
- describe the cultural and ethical considerations of sampling
- use recording editing and processing practices in Ableton Live effectively in your compositions
- use custom sampler presets created during the course in your own compositions
- assemble a portfolio of numerous compositions created within the course
Lesson 1: What Is Sampling?
- What Is Sampling?
- Exercise: Exploring Ableton Session View as a Sampler
- Launching Clips with MIDI Mapping
- Exercise: Create a Sampler Using Ableton Live's Session View
- Exercise: Warping and Sound Design
- Assignment 1: A Short Sampled Etude
Lesson 2: Time Rearranged
- Warping Review
- Exercise: Warp It
- Slice to Drum Rack
- Exercise: Slice to Sampler
- Exercise: Share Your Sampler
- Slice, Resample, Discover, Repeat (Creative Workflow)
- Assignment 2: Slice, Resample, Discover, Repeat
Lesson 3: Appropriation
- Discussion: Share Online Resources
- Power in a Sound
- Meaning and Culture
- Sample Preparation
- Juxtaposing Sounds and Mixing Cultures
- Arrangement View Editing and Warping
- Assignment 3: Appropriated Composition
Lesson 4: Looping and Tuning
- Polyrhythm and Interval
- Loop Synth
- Exercise: Create Your Own Loop Synth
- Exercise: Granular Sparklepad
- Evolving Bass Pulse (Creative Workflow)
- Assignment 4: One-Minute Crescendo
Lesson 5: Designing Drums
- Drum Rack Signal Flow
- Exercise: Electronic Drum Rack
- Exercise: Acoustic Drum Rack
- Exercise: Create and Share a Custom Kit
- Extract, Mix, Match, Layer, and Groove (Creative Workflow)
- Assignment 5: Extract, Mix, Match, Layer, and Groove
Lesson 6: Sampling Your Life
- Reexamining Your Sonic Landscape
- Recording, Documenting, and Organizing
- Thumps, Hisses, Hums, and Clicks: Cleaning Tips
- Assignment 6: A Day in a Minute: A Sonic Time Lapse
Lesson 7: Sampling Yourself
- Plan, Record, Edit, Build, and Play
- Zones and Ranges
- Levels, Loudness, and Filters
- Assignment 7: Add Yourself
Lesson 8: Live Sampling
- What Is Going On?: Audience Perspective
- The Art of Multitasking: Performer Perspective
- Design, Build, Practice, Perform, Reflect, Tweak, Repeat
- Assignment 8: Live Sampling Performance
Lesson 9: Sampling Vocal Performances
- Sampling Meaning: Producing Prosody
- Creating Harmonies And Melodies
- Voice Grooves
- Assignment 9: Final Production Palette
Lesson 10: Sampling Emotion
- Designing Expression
- Assignment 10: Anticipation and Relaxation
Lesson 11: Build a Sampler from Scratch in Max for Live
- Build a Sampler in Max for Live
- Assignment 11: Finish Final Project
Lesson 12: Moments of Musical Mystery
- The Impact of Sampling on Music Production
- Pitch Drop
- Sample Replacement
- Assignment 12: Review and Remix
Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements
Completion of Ableton Live Fundamentals or a strong understanding of the basic functionality of Ableton Live is required.
- None required
- Ableton Live 10 Suite
- Max for Live Essentials Pack (included with Live 10 Suite)
- MIDI controller
- Audio interface
- XLR microphone such as Shure SM58, Audio Technica AT2020, etc.
After enrolling, please check the Getting Started section of your course for potential deals on required materials. Our Student Deals page also features several discounts you can take advantage of as a current student. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.
General Course Requirements
Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in live chats. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course.
- Latest version of Google Chrome
- Zoom meeting software (available in the course when joining your first chat)
- Speakers or headphones
- External or internal Microphone
- Broadband Internet connection
An authoritative voice in music, tech, and education, Erin Barra is a course author and instructor at Berklee Online, the Director of Popular Music at Arizona State University, and Executive Director of Beats By Girlz. She has a wide breadth of experience developing and teaching curriculums at the open source, K-12, and collegiate levels, several of which are the most popular and highest rated courses on their respective platforms.
As a community organizer, she has the ability to mobilize and build from the ground level up, creating and funding several organizations and efforts at the intersection of art, technology, education, and equity. She currently sits on the board of Women in Music, and has spearheaded research regarding women in the music industry in partnership with Berklee’s Institute of Creative Entrepreneurship, which won the Innovation award at SIM São Paulo.
Specializing in composition, performance, and creative music technology application, Erin has worked with and represented companies such as Ableton, ROLI, MusicTech, Moog, and iZotope. She has presented at Loop, NAMM, SXSW, Moogfest, Gearfest, KIEM, Future of Music Coalition, Yale’s EXPOL, and Re-Mixed Media Festival.
Erin has worked with an array of artists, from Grammy winners like John Oates, George Massenburg, Kathy Mattea, and Elliot Scheiner, to those at the front lines of the independent movement like Res, Miles Robertson, and Ari Raskin. She holds a degree in Songwriting from Berklee College of Music and has 20+ years of keyboard/piano experience. Read Less
Loudon Stearns is an associate professor at Berklee College of Music, a course author and instructor at Berklee Online, and an active media-artist. Within the Contemporary Writing and Production department at Berklee College of Music, he prepares students to work as independent composers and producers in a technology-laden music industry. Online, he focuses on the latest electronic music styles and music-technology innovations, showing students how to analyze contemporary styles and use the latest music technology in their own works. An innovator in both education and art, Loudon authored a Massive Open Online Class, "Introduction to Music Production," that has provided high-quality free education to hundreds of thousands of students, received an award from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association for "Excellence in Teaching" and received the "Excellence in Media Art" award from the Emerson College Visual and Media Art department.
Holding a Bachelor of Music in Contemporary Writing and Production and Bass Performance from Berklee College of Music, and a Master of Fine Arts in Media Art from Emerson College, Loudon pulls from a broad range of skills in the creation of his own multi-media performances that include live music, projection-mapping, dance, visual art and interactivity. Of particular interest is using the entire world as a performance space by using internet streaming to coordinate numerous performers and audiences on vastly different parts of the globe. The technical and aesthetic challenges of this type of performance are new and exciting and require the sort of broad skill-set that Loudon has developed through his extensive institutional and self education in music, sound, performance, motion graphics, photography, programming, and construction. Read Less
Brian Funk, aka AfroDJMac, is a multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and Ableton Certified Trainer from New York. He began his musical career with the guitar, playing in numerous rock bands, recording albums and embarking on tours on the East Coast of the United States. In an effort to expand his studio’s capabilities and songwriting arsenal, Brian turned toward computer-based music in 2006. As a guitarist and songwriter, he found Ableton Live to be the ultimate tool to unlock his creativity and bring his studio creations to the stage.
A curious sound designer, Brian regularly releases free Ableton Live devices that challenge conventional sound-design-thinking. His series of Two Minute Ableton Live Tips earned him the title of "a legend in the Ableton Community" (Ableton Blog 6/26/12). In 2017, Brian started the Music Production Podcast, which explores creativity, technique, and philosophy on music making through conversation.
As a writer and high school English educator, teaching Live and music production is the perfect marriage of two life passions. Brian specializes in teaching Live for songwriters and rock musicians, home and professional studio application, and live performances. His experience as a rock musician offers students a unique insight into bridging music of the past with the music of the future.
Brian has written, authored, and produced various courses on Music Production and Ableton Live. Along with his own blog, Brian writes for various music publications on the web. Read Less
When taken for credit, Ableton Live Techniques: Sampling can be applied towards these associated programs: