I first want to congratulate you that you want to start your music production journey with Ableton. If you just surfing around looking for digital audio workstation software for music production, read this article completely and you will get an idea about why Ableton is the best choice to start with and how long it takes to learn Ableton?
Even though there is a lot of other software out there Ableton boasts of having the maximum features and the flexible performance for literally any kind of production work that you are getting yourself into. I was skeptical about whether I should start with Ableton or FL studio, I’m glad that I choose Ableton because of how fast I can make a beat than an FL studio producer.
It’s not at all because of my skill as a producer but mostly because of how well the interface is organized that it doesn’t make you waste time showing unnecessary graphics.
It takes an average of 10 days to get used to the Ableton interface and 2 months to master the interface properly. Your workflow and speed increase rapidly as you master the Ableton interface sometimes even up to 20x rates.
You may get intimidated at first when looking at the Ableton interface but 2 hours of deep-dive will solve all your questions and you will feel right at home using Ableton.
Levels in learning Ableton
Starting Ableton is the hardest thing to do when it comes to music production. Unless and until you give some time to learn Ableton you won’t feel like you are comfortable with it. The interface will get to your head making you think, you won’t be able to learn.
I struggled with it big time.
If I am to classify the levels in learning Ableton and give you a clear idea of how long it takes this is how I would put it.
Beginner learner in Ableton
Reaching a beginner stage where you know what you are doing is not that hard at all. At the beginner level, you would be able to navigate through the various views in Ableton, import a sample pack, import a plugin, and even make a small beat with two or three tracks.
This is something I would consider that a beginner level would be. You can reach this level within a maximum of 5 days if you are spending 2 hours a day on Ableton.
If you can invest the time then you can do it in two days for some people who can grasp better can do it in 3 hours of watching a tutorial.
I wasn’t even on the 5 days gang so don’t worry if you couldn’t grasp the beginner stuff within 5 days.it took me a month to understand how music production works. Once I watch a few beat making videos everything came to me like clear water. So don’t sweat it too much, take it playfully just like how you will learn a new game, where you would fall on your face again and again.
Intermediate learner in Ableton
There are a lot of things to consider when we consider who is an intermediate learner in Ableton and what skills should he/she have achieved. The following are some of the things you should be able to do if you are an intermediate music producer who is using Ableton.
Able to the side chain with Ableton compressor
Create racks and add chains in midi and audio racks
Create return tracks and work with complex 40 – 90 track projects.
This is a small metric to use if you in my opinion to figure out how far you have advanced. If you can do the above things seamlessly and work through a complex project then you are at an intermediate stage in Ableton.
Give yourself a treat because most people fail before reaching this spot. The important thing that you will notice is that you will be seeing a significant difference in how fast and efficient your workflow is in Ableton. The people who gave up will never understand and will blame that Ableton is an 1800 century product.
The time that will take you to reach this spot is a variable number. I can’t put a number on this and say hey this is all you need. I can tell you how long it took for me to reach this spot. It took me 6 months to figure out all these. If a dumb person like me can learn Ableton and whip through 127 track projects today, you can too.
Never doubt yourself.
Advanced learner in Ableton
This is where things get freaky. You just start to do crazy things that make you proud of what you have accomplished. Some common signals of reaching an advanced learner level are when you start to find multiple ways to use the same function in the daw.
An advanced user would be able to optimize his time in using the daw and would know nearly all the shortcuts as well.
It will take at least 2 years to get here and you have to keep learning if you want to get to this level.
Goals in learning Ableton
If you want to speed up the process the one way you can do it is to not learn the software instead focus on making good music.
This is helpful because each time you make a new beat or a song you can implement a new technique or a skill and learn from it.it helps when it comes to music production.
The most important thing is not to be hard on yourself. Give yourself the time and space to learn instead of force-feeding just because you want to do it in a shorter time.
Everyone is not the same. Everybody is built differently.
If you are interested in learning Ableton you can check courses on skillshare they offer premium free for two months.
Maslin JE is a Music Producer/Composer Who has been working in the Music Industry for over 10 years. Having an evolution from being a church keyboardist to becoming a full-time entrepreneur he has gained an abundance of experience in music production and entrepreneurship.