Drum Racks and Programming Drums in Ableton Live

drum racks
Stop by our offices this Friday for our free workshop on Drum Racks and Programming Drums on Ableton Live with local musician and producer Mitchell Owens!

The Drum Rack in Ableton Live is a unique device that allows the producer to expand the ways in which they program MIDI drum parts in their tracks. With a similar look to pad based drum machines, sick the Drum Rack is a vital tool in any Ableton Live users arsenal. For drum pad playing enthusiasts, healing the Drum Rack is a great way to be creative and play not only Drums but full song arrangements as well. In this workshop we will go over the various components and features of the Drum Rack including the built in mixer, macros, and internal effect sends. We will also talk about creative ways to expand the capability of the Drum Rack by using other tools in Ableton Live like the Instrument Rack, and how to use the Drum Rack for more than just programming drum patterns.

About the instructor:

mitchMitchell Owens is a guitar player , sound designer, and electronic composer/producer from Durham, NC. He attended Berklee College of Music right here in Boston and has over 5 years of experience with Ableton Live producing and performing music under the moniker Subalias, as well as doing sound design and soundtrack composition for independent films and animations. Mitchell’s music blends the organic and synthetic for a balanced fusion inspired by sample based Hip­Hop, Downtempo, House, Funk and R&B. He believes in freedom of creation and expression and likes to cater to students’ specific needs in order to teach them the proper skills and techniques needed to achieve their musical goals.

Inside Kicks and 808’s – FREE WORKSHOP 7/1/2016

Want to learn all about synthesizing kick drum sounds?

Come to MMMMAVEN on Friday for this awesome FREE workshop!


In this workshop, we will explore different methods of synthesizing kicks and 808 basses. We will build up sounds from scratch using conventional software synthesizers as well as dedicated “kick synths”. Once the sounds are constructed, we will discuss several methods of processing them including compression, saturation, bit crushing and downsampling. The discussion will also touch on the pros and cons of synthesizing kicks and 808s vs. sampling them. Creating good sounding kick drums from scratch is one of the most difficult but best skills to learn as an aspiring producer. The kick often drives the whole composition of a song, especially in electronic music. So come learn how!



INSTRUCTOR – MMMMAVEN’s own Jason Petrin.

Jason Petrin - Music Production Instructor

Join freelance producer/engineer and club DJ, Jason Petrin. He has built a career in the audio world both in the studio and on the stage. After graduating from Berklee in 2004, Jason began his career working in studios in and around Boston producing and engineering records for a variety of bands, artists, and rappers. Jason continues to split his time evenly between producing, engineering, writing, performing and teaching Music Production Program at MMMMAVEN.



Friday, July 1, 2016 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)
MMMMAVEN – 614 Massachusetts Avenue #203, Cambridge, MA 02139


History of the DJ Mixer

While everyone knows that DJs use turntables for mixing and scratching records, DJ mixers have been criminally underappreciated over the years. The DJ mixer is the seldom mentioned piece of gear that usually sits in between two turntables in the classic DJ set up. What makes the mixer so critical is that it allows the DJ to combine multiple audio sources into one signal, and to fade between different audio sources with ease. If turntables and records are a DJ’s ingredients, then their mixer is their oven; sound goes in a mixture of parts, and is sent out to the speakers as a finished product (Well, actually that’s where the sound engineer steps in, but there’s just not enough room in this analogy for them).

Two turntables and a microphone,” might be the most famous saying in DJ culture, but what about the mixer?

Just like turntables, DJ mixers have evolved quite a bit over the past few decades. By the time the first DJ mixers were being developed, similar mixing interfaces had been around for a while for recording and radio broadcasting. The difficulty was in making a product that was portable enough for mobile DJs, but with the features consumers wanted and good sound quality.

One of the first mixers made for a DJ was a one of a kind piece named “rosie“, made special for DJ Francis Grasso (The guy who invented beatmatching) around 1965. Around the same time, Bozak was starting to make the first “commercially-available” mixers, however they weighed about 25 pounds making them inaccessible for mobile DJs.


These first mixers featured knobs to control the individual channels volume, as opposed to faders which are far more common now. Some mixers today still feature knobs instead of channel faders, as knobs usually produce better quality signal and last longer, however they are more expensive than faders. As Mike Fotais, production manager for Movement: Detroit Electronic Music Festival, recalls, rotary mixers were too expensive for most, so it wasn’t until the use of faders that mixers were able to be mass-marketed to mobile DJs.

“An original Urei rotary DJ mixer was something I had never seen. It was like a unicorn,” he laughs. “It was like $3,000 in 1980s money. You didn’t even think about it.”


Where does the technology develop from here? For more, head to Cuepoint.

Want to see a mixer in action? DJ Rugged One is giving a free seminar tonight! RSVP:

Ableton Live Meetup 1/9

Looking to boost your Ableton skills? On Friday, January 9, the Mmmmaven Project will be hosting their FREE monthly Ableton Live Meetup. These meetups allow aspiring musicians to fine tune their skills in both production and mixing with assistance from Mmmmaven instructors + special guests. They’re also a great opportunity to network with other musicians and get involved in Boston’s music scene.

Screenshot 2015-01-07 at 2.43.52 PM
This month’s topics include

  • Ableton live performance techniques w/ Wigzen
  • Making beats using hardware w/ Nanocannon
  • Frequency shifter & grain delay w/Ali Berger

For more information visit the event on Facebook or RSVP via MeetUp below:


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