Ableton short-course is an eight week course designed to teach and explore Ableton Live, the world’s leading electronic music production software. Forté chat to Ableton Live tutor and innovator John Sneddon who will be running a specialists course at Oxygen College.
Hey John, Please introduce yourself and your background in music?
My background in music began with my study at the CPIT Jazz School in Christchurch, New Zealand, where I studied as a bass guitar performance major and graduated with a Bachelor of Music. I began music late in life – I was self taught initially, then my first ever lesson on any instrument was when I was 20 years old. Through great commitment to my passion, I was working professionally as a musician five years later which I take as a sign that anybody can achieve anything they truly put their mind to! Over the years, I’ve played in countless bands and projects. These days I am committed to pursuing new and unique music and modes of performance, and sharing my knowledge with the world.
You are coming down to run a specialists Ableton Live course at Oxygen College, tell us what the plans are there?
Our plans are to run an initial eight week course, which will introduce this powerful and creatively liberating software to anybody who is interested in advancing their skills and achieving true breakthroughs in their ability to compose, produce and perform music.
With the advent of artists like Flume and Chet Faker this is an incredibly popular field for people at the moment, do you sense that operating in the area of electronic music?
Absolutely – the advent of software such as Ableton Live is, in my opinion, a moment of fundamental breakthrough in humanities’ musical history; something that is going to shape our creative future for the rest of time, and leave behind it a great legacy. With Ableton Live, we now have an essentially unlimited ability to bring musical ideas and possibilities to life. Things that were previously impossible, are now right at our fingertips. The options for direct, hands on control that the software provides us means that musicians are no longer simply ‘guitarists’ or ‘singers’, but can now easily also become composers of vast, complex sonic landscapes, sound engineers, uniquely creative performers, and even instrument designers.
What can students expect to get out of the eight week experience?
Students can expect to gain a solid foundation of many essential creative elements, workflow techniques, and the mindset required to both fluently start and finish tracks in Ableton Live. No matter what previous musical experience people have coming into this course, they will leave with an understanding of how to create and finish music.
What sort of musicians would this course be best suited to?
Everybody! But especially those who are interested in becoming part of the ongoing evolution of music.
What sort of equipment and techniques will you be exploring?
We will be using MIDI controllers as input devices, and exploring many production techniques including: recording and editing audio, simple and usable beatmaking techniques, easily understood and usable music theory, an introduction to synthesis, sampling, audio and MIDI effects, equalisation and compression, tools for arrangement and composition workflow, and basic mixing techniques.
Finish the sentence: “At the end of the eight week program my goal is to have students… ’
Excited to go forward powerfully and confidently using Ableton Live to produce music and finish tracks, armed with skills that will be useful for a lifetime of creativity.
Starting Date: 20th July (runs for 8 weeks)
Where: Oxygen College (22 Gordon Ave, Geelong West)