As with every year on the Ableton blog, we’ve endeavoured to provide you with a diverse range of artistic perspectives, sounds, techniques and creative strategies to help and inspire you in your music-making experience – here are a few of our favorite articles, artist features, tutorials, and movies of 2019.
Inspiration Compilation: Eight Favorites from 2019
For many of us, a good loop is the starting point of a new composition. But how do we give it structure, add tension and release, or turn it into a performance? Earlier this year, we shared a documentary on Binkbeats, an artist whose whole approach has grown out of answering these questions. Watch the movie to learn about his unique approach to looping techniques, get a walk-through of his incredible setup, and see how it all comes together on stage.
Watch Binkbeats: In and Out of the Loop
Magenta Studio: Free AI Tools For Ableton Live
2019 seemed to be the year when talk of how AI and machine learning will impact music-making reached a new fever pitch with much of the discussion focussed on dystopian vs. utopian visions for the future. There’s no need to wait for the future to arrive, there are already tools out there that let you experiment with machine learning inside Ableton Live. Magenta provides a pretty graspable way to get started within a field of research that can get a bit murky. By giving you easy access to machine learning models for musical patterns, you can generate and modify rhythms and melodies.
Check out the discussion and download the free devices
CV Tools: Control Your Modular with Live
The modular synthesis resurgence showed no sign of slowing down in 2019. With the idea of bridging the worlds of voltage controlled hardware and Ableton software we released CV Tools, a Pack of devices that let you interface your modular or other CV-based gear with Live 10 using a compatible, DC-coupled audio interface. And even if you don’t use CV-based equipment, CV Tools includes devices that can add modular-style workflow inside Live or to your hardware setup with MIDI.
Learn more about CV Tools and download the Pack*
Requires Ableton Live Suite 10.1 or Live 10.1 Standard + Max for Live
Sakura Tsurata on Push
This year’s Push performance highlight was Tokyo-based producer and DJ Sakura Tsuruta's one-take video in which she makes live recording, structuring, mixing and improvising look effortless. In the accompanying walk-through video Sakura lifts the lid on her setup and demonstrates how preparation is the key to a streamlined Push performance.
Make unique sounds in Live
Trying to find our own unique voices, we are sometimes tempted to think that acquiring some new piece of gear will make that possible – often without having mastered the tools that are already at our disposal. That’s why one of our favorite tutorials of 2019 came from producer and educator Anthony Thogmartin, aka Seed to Stage, whose showed how to design a range of unique sounds – all using only Live’s native audio effects.
Abid Hussain on Sampling and Copyright
One of the folks from the Ableton community who gave a presentation at the recent Loop summit is Abid Hussain – an experienced producer who’s also an Ableton Certified Trainer and a licensed attorney. Having worked on several copyright infringement cases, he gave an overview of recent rulings in the courts that may well impact the way samples and sampling are used in the future.
Anna Meredith: The Shape of Sound
In our second artist documentary of 2019 composer, Anna Meredith shared her journey from award-winning modern classical composer to touring the world with her genre-defying band. The movie includes some studio insights into how she created her recent album FIBS, as well as her super useful method of making visual overviews for each track.
Learn Live 10.1
2019 saw the release the 10.1 update to Ableton Live, which brought new tools and workflows to support your creative process. To help you make the best use of all the new features (or just to brush up on the basics), we also updated and expanded our series of Learn Live tutorial videos.