Ableton Live Certificate Course

Course Outline

Ableton Live is about making music; for composition, songwriting, recording, production, remixing and live performance. If you’d rather be “making music” than just “using music software,” Ableton Live is for you. Check out the Ableton website for a full feature list and current product pricing.

Our 4 week Ableton Live Producer Certificate Course will equip novice students with the skills needed for recording music, using midi, using the sequencer, beat making, working with loops, audio editing, audio mixing, remixing, music production and live performance with the Ableton Live audio software suite. After completing this course, you will leave with a portfolio of original tracks, and the Secret Sound Producer’s Certificate in Ableton Live. You will also be eligible to register for our follow on Ableton Live Intermediate Producer course.

About our certificate program

This program is about learning Ableton Live while going through the creative process of being an artist. We focus on being creative rather than getting hung up on technical details, and developing your own sound through experimentation. You will learn the ins and outs of this powerful software through a series of exercises designed to help you master the steps involved in producing your own music. After a level of getting familiar with the tools that Ableton Live has to offer, you will then develop your sonic ideas into full-length tracks. You will be exposed to a variety of approaches to arrangement and composition, and ways of creating tension and drama in your music. Levels 2 – 4 will give you the experience of actually completing tracks to add to your portfolio (see the What You’ll Learn tab above for details).

Please not that this is NOT a certificate issued by the manufacturers of this software but rather Secret Sound’s certificate acknowledging the successful completion of our personal enrichment program.

What You’ll Learn

Ableton Live Level 1: Beats, Sketches and Ideas

Learn the fundamentals of Ableton Live by producing a series of musical sketches. Learn how to create beats, bass lines, and melodies with MIDI instruments, record live instruments, and start discovering the infinite potential of Live as a studio production tool.

Lesson Topics

Software & Hardware Setup
The Live Interface
Recording Audio
Working with loops
Creating MIDI Instruments and Devices
Music Theory Basics
Recording MIDI
Synthesizing bass with the Analog synthesizer
Audio Effects and the Signal Chain
Mixing Techniques 1: Faders and Pan Pots
Mixing down / Exporting tracks

Lesson Goal:
Learn the fundamentals of composing and producing using Ableton Live while creating a series of musical sketches.

Ableton Live Level 2: Completing Your First Track

Get comfortable with Ableton Live as you begin to develop your short sketches into full arrangements. Explore Live’s powerful tools for transforming audio, including Warping and Sampler. By the end of level 2, you’ll be comfortable with Live’s core production tools, and have your first full track composed.

Lesson Topics

Drum programming fundamentals in Drum Rack
Musical Dynamics & The Basics of Rhythm
Manipulating sounds with Sampler
Deconstructing commercial records
Time stretching with Warping
Creating song structures and arrangements

Lesson Goal:
Develop a sketch from Level 1 into a full-length arrangement.

Ableton Live Level 3: Synthesis, Effects Processing, and Streamlining Workflows

Dive into synthesis and process sounds to add a unique sonic fingerprint to your music. Learn the fundamentals of analog-style subtractive synthesis to create basses, leads, pads, and sound effects using Ableton Live’s powerful library of software instruments. Explore fundamental mixing and effects processing concepts.

Lesson Topics

Working in Session View
Envelopes: ADSR
Subtractive synthesis with Analog
Alternative workflows

Lesson Goal:
Create and process original sounds to add to your music. Save the sounds you create to begin building your own library of sounds. Study alternative methods of composition and streamline your workflow.

Ableton Live Level 4: Routing, Transitions and Finalising Mixes

Build your knowledge of subtractive synthesis by creating sweeps, risers, and transition effects. Use reverb and delay to integrate sounds into your mixes, adding character and texture. Combine your mixing skills to take one of your tracks through the final mixdown process.

Lesson Topics

Routing 1: Sends and Returns
White Noise
Creating builds, drops, and transitions

Lesson Goal:
Learn to use alternative routings to add reverb and delay effects to your mixes. Use automation and filters to build drama and execute exciting transitions. Combine your mixing skills to create a final mix of one of your tracks.

Course Package Includes:

Free Trial: Try out some of our unique student resources now

  • 8 hours of classroom tutoring, with 30 minutes before every class dedicated to helping students one-to-one with specific questions and issues.
  • Access to our online Ableton Live tutorial video series. Each week’s tutorials reflect the material we cover in class, so even if you didn’t quite catch something the first time around, you’ll never miss a beat with our tutorial videos.
  • Support outside of class hours: Students can schedule face-to-face online support with their tutor via Skype Screen Sharing. Screen sharing not only allows you to show the tutor exactly what you’re talking about, it allows us to demonstrate what needs to be done in real time.
  • Access to our online Q&A wall, where you can post your questions and have them answered by our practicing professionals. Every question stays up on the wall, so our database keeps growing as each questions is answered for all to see.
  • Valuable and transferable audio production skills with our weekly Mixing Techniques modules.
  • Weekly downloads including class notes, resources, FX banks and sample packs


Ross Fortune (BMus)

Profile shot of Ross Fortune

Ableton Live & Logic Pro Course Instructor
A multi-instrumentalist and honours graduate from the UCD School of Music, Ross has built up more than 8 years of experience teaching music and music technology at a number of schools, and now brings his expertise to our Ableton Live and Logic Pro music production courses. Ross Fortune is a producer, mixing engineer and composer, and is also an Avid certified Pro Tools operator. He has produced music and sound for radio, video games, television, film, and adverts for well-known national and global brands.

He has produced and mixed music for established Irish artists including VANN MUSIC, Ham Sandwich’s Niamh Farrell, and Benny Smiles, and also has a successful track record for music in various media.

In 2008 Ross graduated from the highly regarded University College Dublin School of Music. He began his career as a freelance composer and creative sound designer writing music for short films and commercial campaigns for clients including Renault, Radió Telefís Éireann (RTÉ), the Irish Film Institute, and The Porterhouse Brewing Company. In 2013, he began exploring the world of interactive media and video game sound. His work has since appeared in the global cult hit video game Hotline Miami 2 and other popular titles on a variety of platforms.

You can hear his work at his website, or check out the player below to hear tracks he has produced under the pseudonym Benny Smiles.

Student Testimonials

“Just completed the Ableton Live course. 10/10 to the lads, couldn’t of asked for more.
Well organized classes, very friendly and helpful, everything well explained and lots of attention to detail. The notes and videos were very effective – nice to be able to have a look back and jog your memory. Great Value for money. Thanks again guys!”
Padraig O’ Callaghan

A wonderful, exciting and simple step-by-step introduction into the world of home recording/producing. Loads of fun and worth every cent! Please sir, may I have some more?….
Adam Power

“The videos were great – very well punctuated and pragmatic, and the teacher was excellent. Very understanding towards students different learning levels and extremely accommodating/approachable.”
Tracy Tough