Free Ableton Live Workshops with Darcy Davis Live & Online

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In this free workshop series Darcy breaks down the fundamentals of beat-making with Ableton Live to get you on your feet over 3 workshops, starting from the basics and advancing into more deeper production concepts.

Please note: Participants are required to have their own laptop, headphones and the ability to download the free trial of Ableton Live. You can check if your device has the system requirements for the trial through this link

See below for details of what you will learn in each workshop:

Ableton 101 

  • Timeline view vs Session View
  • Different types of tracks – audio/midi/returns
  • Preview volume blue headphones
  • How to solo/mute/record arm multiple tracks
  • Differences with other DAWs
  • Basic key commands
  • Using Tap Tempo to find a groove – how to vocalise a beat
  • Example midi programming of beats in different BPM and style
  • How BPM relates to genres
  • Creating drum racks and quantising
  • Creating instruments with Abletons’ Sampler/Simpler – attack, release and loop points
  • Basic FM synthesis with Operator: wave shapes – how they sound and behave (demonstrate with fixed oscillator hz)
  • What is white noise? How to apply it creatively
  • Creating melody, arrangements and basic mixing

Ableton 102

  • Synthesizing your own drum kit with Operator using different wave shapes
  • Using automation to create movement & dynamics
  • Making your beats fat through layering and compression/saturation
  • Setting up sends/returns – creating space with psychoacoustics
  • Designing your templates for faster workflow
  • Sound design: creating patches, plucks and pads

Ableton 103 – the Science of a Banger

  • How to make a drop: the build up/break down formula in different genres
  • How to make a Reece (resampled) bass
  • How to make wobbles
  • Using Side Chain compression to achieve a clean mix
  • Using randomness/chaos to spawn new ideas and textures
  • Using field recordings to add personality to your beats
  • Basic mix down strategies


Thursday 23rd July 5:30-7:30pm

Thursday 30th July 5:30-7:30pm

Thursday 6th August 5:30-7:30pm


Red Hot Arts, 67 Bath St, Alice Springs


ZOOM from your own home. Link will be sent prior to the workshop. EDIT: The Zoom link has been sent, please check your junk mail if you haven’t received it.



EDIT: online registrations have now closed – contact red hot arts directly for more INFORMATION.

Please note: Numbers for physical workshop spaces are limited so be sure to get in early to claim you spot. You can still attend online if physical workshop is full.

Workshop Facilitator: Darcy Davis

Pianist, songwriter and producer Darcy Davis has a background of over 20 years in music. Darcy studied classical piano through the Suzuki method, which gave him a foundation in classical composition. Moving to China in his early teens, Darcy continued his musical education with an emphasis on contemporary styles and improvisation. Returning to Australia in 2006 Darcy created the original 7piece Ska/Reggae band, Dr Strangeways who went on to record a full-length album and play various gigs around the country. In 2012, after 6 years of deep immersion in the Alice Springs Arts and Music scene, Darcy moved to Melbourne and completed his Advanced Diploma of Music performance at NMIT. In parallel with his music performance and primary instrument studies he apprenticed himself to several sound Engineers in Melbourne. These skills were applied to the production of an electronic, hip-hop project, Mycology that explored healing frequencies, binaural beats and non-standard tunings such as 432hz to create a unique live-performance experience.

This event has been made possible through Arts NT and the Northern Territory Government and Bendigo Bank, Alice Springs.

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