From Session to Stage with Ableton Live [Free, FRI 8/15]

So you’ve spent countless hours in your DAW building and mixing down your track, and it sounds great. But when it comes to performing this track live, you’re drawing a blank – there are over 20 instruments there. Do you hire a full band? DJ the track and just press play? No need. There is a better solution.

Ableton Live Session

In this workshop, accomplished producer Time Wharp will show you a method for taking your complex, plugin-filled session and turning it into a playable, manipulatable live performance utilizing Push, APC (Ableton Performance Controller), or your favorite controller, that won’t skip or freeze up. Finally, we’ll further implement this method by reintroducing live keyboards. With a little preparation, you can take your music from your bedroom to the stage with confidence!

To get a taste of what goes into a performance using Ableton Push, take a look at the video below. 

The free workshop will take place at 7:00 PM this Friday, 8/15. You can RSVP here!

Interested in learning how to DJ or produce electronic music? Check out the courses we offer! Contact us for more information, a tour of the studios, and a free DJ lesson!

Free Drum Kits for Ableton by Puremagnetik

The sound designers from Puremagnetik have recently released a free pack of five funky, intriguing, heavily effected drum kits that can take your beats in a whole new direction. Known as the “Wicked Kits” pack, these kits are loaded with samples from old school drum machines, synths, and vinyl. A whole realm of possibilities presents itself at no cost. The pack includes kits entitled Analog Bully, Drty Brty, Dope Loafa, Kid Glitch, and Grinder Kit. With names like that, you know they’re serious business. All the kits are designed for Ableton Live 9 and are ready to go for real-time performance. Download the pack HERE.

Puremagnetik Wicked Kits

Additionally, you can pick up the more natural sounding “Pine Percussion” kit for free right HERE. There’s a pretty cool back story to go along with this kit, as well…

A kit of percussion recorded in the hills of Israel’s Carmel region. While meandering through this fire destroyed forest, I came across a number of fallen trees, many with crispy blackened pinecones and brittle branches still in tact.

This Free Ableton Live Pack includes an assortment of these sounds all programmed into Drum Racks – optimized for (but not limited to) Push integration. Enjoy!

Combining the organic sounds of charred, crackling wood with some modern processed instruments can yield a lot of unique results. Get creative! Push the boundaries!

Interested in learning how to DJ or produce electronic music? Take a look at the courses we offer and learn from the pros!

Ableton Spaces: Ableton Push with Jerome LOL [5/17]

1487376_645461535536548_1722171846115145060_nDuring day two of the Ableton Spaces workshops at Together 5, prolific producer Jerome LOL stopped by our District Hall headquarters to discuss and demonstrate the Ableton Push with some assistance from Ableton instructor Loudon Stearns.

The Push is a new breed of controller from Ableton that allows for a visual creative process based on patterns and shapes, which Stearns cited as creating a more familiar environment for a bass player such as himself. The Push operates on a unique principal of built-in scales, creating something of an even playing field for musicians – “more democratic.”

“When you show someone a guitar or piano, it is so much more difficult to pick up. While the push requires practice, it engages the imagination more and frees the mind from worrying about whether a note is out of key or not.” – Jerome LOL


Stearns is a Berklee professor and self-professed “harmony geek.” He appreciates the Push for different reasons that Jerome, viewing it as a valuable teaching tool that offers immediate gratification while still teaching the user about traditional harmony.

The Push, Stearns explained, is a flexible tool which changes what its knobs, buttons and faders do based on the context in which a musician uses it. It’s also a highly sensitive piece of equipment that can be used even for performances and compositions that require extreme dexterity and speed, recreating everything from tablas to speed-metal guitar riffs.


Jerome asserted that both Push and Ableton Live are amazing platforms for open experimentation, even in realms beyond what its creators envisioned. Among the features and plugins he cited as favorites were the Fade to Grey ping-pong delay with high-pass filter, the looper, the chain selector and the unique instrument racks.

Stearns stated that he believes DJs using tools like Push and Ableton often make better music than a traditionally trained and educated musician like himself. Traditional music, he said, tends to focus on the communication between the artists on stage. DJs, on the other hand, are much more in tune with communicating with the audience.

“With the Push you’re producing a beat on the fly as fast as you can in front of the audience and sometimes it sucks. But that is a part of the excitement of the Push.”

3 Reasons Not to Miss Lost in Boston’s Mmmmaven Showcase

mmmmaven showcase

Tonight, Lost in Sound is presenting a killer showcase of Mmmmaven artists at Allston’s Wonder Bar. We advise you not to miss it, and here’s why:

1. Another Durkin remix is getting buzz

Last week, Durkin released a remix of BOY/FRIEND’s “Never Not Looking” that’s gotten attention from The Fader and others. He’ll also be opening next month’s show with Cashmere Cat, Jerome LOL and DJ Oneman as a part of Together 5, keeping his 2014 hot streak going.

2. Zola is a pro among pros

Charles Mazzola is a producer for #MakeItNew, a resident DJ at Phoenix Landing’s Re:Set parties, and he’s got a versatile repertoire from techno to disco. Did we mention he’s also a Mmmmaven DJ school instructor and has shared stages with everyone from Soul Clap to James Murphy? His resume speaks for itself.

3. Nick Garcia’s playing the Ableton Push

Nick Garcia of HNDMD Records has his hands on Ableton’s cutting-edge hardware: the Push. The highly in-demand controller is a rare sight in the wild, and Garcia is sure to show off everything it can do.

If all that isn’t convincing enough, the cover for tonight is a mere $5. Read up on the details at Facebook and get down to Wonder Bar at 9pm tonight.

Want to become the next artist featured in a Mmmmaven showcase? Get started with a class today.