Ableton Live 10 New Features

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Ableton Live 10 New Features

Arrangement Editing

  • Warped Arrangement audio clips can now be stretched by holding down Shift while dragging their border.
  • It is now possible to move Arrangement clips within a time selection using the arrow left/right keys. To toggle grid snapping, hold down the "CMD" (Mac) / "Alt" (PC) modifier key.
  • It is now possible to slide the contents of an Arrangement clip within the clip's boundaries, by holding "Alt+Shift" (Mac) / "Ctrl+Shift" (PC) and dragging the clip's track display area. To toggle grid snapping, hold down the "CMD" (Mac) / "Alt" (PC) modifier key.
  • In the Arrangement, the "Reverse" command can now be performed on a time selection via the new "R" shortcut key. Also fixed a bug related to reversing samples.
  • When using Reverse on a partially-selected clip in Arrangement, only the selected part is reversed.
  • It is now possible to deactivate, reverse and crop selected material within a time selection on an automation lane.
  • The "Activate/Deactivate clip(s)" command now only (de)activates the selected portion of Arrangement clips. Previously, the entire clip would be (de)activated, even if only part of it was selected.
  • Arrangement clips can now be moved by dragging the upper half of the clip content area. The mouse cursor changes to a hand to indicate the clip's draggable area, where time selections can also be made via a single-click.
  • The Edit menu's Loop Selection can now be toggled by pressing "CMD+L" (Mac) / "CTRL+L". (PC). Previously, the shortcut could only enable the Arrangement Loop, but not disable it.
  • It is now possible to enable MIDI note chasing via the "Chase MIDI Notes" command in the Options menu.
  • It is possible to import an audio or MIDI file via the ‘Create’ menu. Depending on the track type, this command is named “Import MIDI File…” or “Import Audio File”. The file will be inserted either where at the Insert Marker position (Arrangement View) or in the currently selected empty clip slot (Session View).
  • Double-clicking on a MIDI track in Arrangement View now creates a new MIDI clip.
  • MIDI and Key mappings can now be assigned to the Lock Envelopes switch.


  • Implemented a global automation mode. In the Arrangement, the visibility of all automation lanes is now toggled via the Automation Mode button or the "A" key. When the automation lanes are visible, the content lanes are minimized to the height of the clip headers.
  • Fades have been removed from the Fades/Devices chooser in the Arrangement. Clip fades are now always available in the content lane, if the track is at least three units tall.
  • It is now possible to split and consolidate material in a time selection also when the selection exists in an automation lane.
  • It is now possible to create automation breakpoints by double-clicking anywhere in an envelope view/automation lane. In the Arrangement, this means that MIDI clips can only be created by double-clicking in the content lane.
  • When moving multiple segments within a time selection, snapping aligns at left or the right of the time selection, depending on which side of the time selection you start dragging. A similar logic is also applied to single segments. Additionally, when hovering near segments the value for the aligned events is now shown. The automation value at the border of a time selection is also shown, regardless if a breakpoint exists, when hovering in proximity of a segment.
  • While creating an automation breakpoint in a time selection, the time selection disappears, which enables moving the newly-created breakpoint.
  • When dragging automation breakpoints or segments, they now snap to existing breakpoint times. The "Shift" modifier is no longer required for moving automation segments past existing breakpoints. When the grid is disabled, automation breakpoints now snap to breakpoint times and grid times if they are one pixel away.
  • For breakpoints grabbed by the mouse, automation values are now displayed when hovering over a breakpoint, or dragging any of the following: an automation segment, a time selection automation segment, or multiple breakpoints in a time selection.
  • It is now possible to move automation segments horizontally.
  • When breakpoints are created close to a grid line, they now automatically snap to the grid.
  • A vertical editing helper line now appears when moving breakpoints in the Arrangement View or Detail View.
  • Breakpoints are now quantized when they are moved.
  • Introduced fade edge handles in the Arrangement, which allow users to change the duration of a fade in (via the "Fade In Start Handle") and fade out (via the "Fade Out End Handle") without affecting the fade peaks. However, a fade edge cannot move beyond the the fade peak. To do this, the clip start/end must be used to increase the size of that clip.
  • Holding "ALT" while resizing one track now resizes all tracks in the current view.


  • It is now possible to display and search for uninstalled Packs within the browser, and install them from there.
  • The Packs sidebar label now shows updates made to Packs. Users can now download and install these updates.
  • After restarting Live, previously downloaded Packs are now ready for installation, and partially-downloaded Packs can now resume downloading (unless Live was restarted on a metered internet connection).
  • Introduced the Colors feature in Live’s browser, which enables tagging browser items with a choice of seven colors. Colors can be assigned to items via context menu entries, or using the number keys (1-7 for assigning colors, and 0 to reset). Multiple colors can be assigned to an item, but no more than three colors will be shown. New labels show all items tagged with their respective color. These labels can be renamed via a context menu, and shown/hidden via the “Edit” button next to the “Collections” header. On initial usage, only the red color label (named “Favorites”), is shown.
  • Improved the behavior when using the "Locate" button to find a missing user folder. Previously, this would trigger a complete re-scan of the new folder, even if the contents were exactly the same as before, and also lose any colors assigned to items in the folder.
  • When previewing samples in the browser, samples less than 2.5 seconds will always play unwarped and unquantized. Samples longer than 2.5 seconds are unchanged and will play quantized unless the "Raw" button is on.
  • The hierarchy of Group Tracks in a Live Set now appears in the browser. This allows dragging the contents of a Group Track into the current Live Set.
  • In the browser's sidebar, it is now possible to rename user folder labels. The User Library and Current Project folders now have context menus with the "Locate Folder" / "Show in Finder" command. Files can be dragged and dropped onto the User Library, Current Project and use folder labels directly.


  • Introduced “Capture”: a new way to get music into Live, without the stress of recording. Live now always listens to MIDI input on monitored tracks (i.e. armed tracks with the monitoring set to “Auto”, or unarmed tracks with the monitoring set to “In”). Pressing the “Capture” button creates a Session clip that contains the last phrase played, without any need to activate recording or playback beforehand. Live plays back the captured loop immediately, ready for you to add more material.
  • To trigger Capture from Push 1 and 2, press and hold the “Record” button and then press “New”.

File Handling

  • The Export Audio/Video dialog now shows toggles for "Export PCM" and "Export MP3". When "Export PCM" is on, a PCM file is written. In addition to WAV and AIFF, FLAC and WavPack formats are available for PCM export. When "Export MP3" is on, a CBR 320 kbps MP3 file is written. It is possible to export PCM and MP3 simultaneously. If neither toggle is enabled, the Export button will be disabled.
  • Upon saving a Set using "Save Live Set", "Save Live Set As" or "Save a Copy", the previous version gets moved into a backup folder of the current Project. Up to 10 old versions of the Set are stored in this folder. In Live's browser, the current Set has "Show Old Version" context menu command, that points to its most recent backup version. When a backup version is loaded, it gets saved to the original location.
  • When saving a Live Set, the undo history is no longer cleared. The original file and history position are remembered when creating, loading and saving a Live set and the information is used to restore the Live set after a crash.
  • Improved naming and sorting of recorded audio files, by attaching a timestamp to the filename. 
  • Added various changes for Windows 10:
      - Live now supports the Jump List.
      - When using Live 9 and 10 in parallel, they no longer ask for admin rights if you start them   interchangeably.
      - Owners of Live 9 and 10 can choose which version of Live to open a Live Set with, by right-clicking that Set and selecting "Open With".
      - It is now possible to associate .als files with a specific Live version, via "Control Panel" → "Apps" → "Default Apps".
  • Large Live Sets can now be closed 5-10 times faster.
  • Improved the speed of loading samples referenced by a Live Set. This reduces the Live Set loading time considerably.
  • Dropped support for The Bridge.

Interface Improvements

  • Incorporated the new Ableton Sans font in Live.
  • Introduced the Live 10 color palette.
  • MIDI notes are now drawn in their clip color in the Note Editor.
  • Updated the appearance of clips in both Session and Arrangement View.
  • Introduced a set of five new themes in place of the previously available Live "skins".
  • Introduced a preference to enable HiDPI mode on Windows. HiDPI mode can be enabled on Windows 10 via Live's Preferences → Look/Feel → Enable HiDPI mode.
  • Introduced Pen Tablet Mode and added it to Live's Preferences. Pen Tablet Mode allows use of graphic tablets to meaningfully control Live’s UI, and improves the experience with touch screens. It replaces the "AbsoluteMouseMode" option.
  • Added new mouse cursors for resizing clips and dragging clip content in the Arrangement on Windows.
  • Live's dials and sliders are now rendered using real-time vector graphics rather than bitmaps. The result looks sharp and consistent at any zoom level.
  • Added a "Assign Track Color to Clips" menu item to the context menu of track headers. When the command is used in the Arrangement View, it applies the track color to Arrangement View clips. When used in Session View, it applies the color to Session View clips.
  • Enabled sample dots on the waveforms. When zooming in, users can now more closely see where their samples are on the Time Ruler.
  • Some of Live’s UI motion has been improved to move at 60 frames per second.
  • Added several visual improvements for Windows: the second window now shows the same menu bar as the main window. When the Alt key is pressed, no letters in the menu bar are underlined anymore. Also, modal windows now come to the front if the window underneath is clicked. Previously, the modal window could only be brought to the front by Alt+Tabbing to a Live window.
  • Previously, resizing the Session View vertically or horizontally caused the Session View to "bounce" up and down, as a way of accommodating the vertical / horizontal quantization of resized scenes and clips. Now, the Session View is resized in a fluid way, with no bouncing or quantization.
  • The clip/device drop area is now always displayed in Session View to enable dragging.

Max for Live Improvements

  • Max is now bundled in Live, and no longer requires an external installation.
  • Live will always use the bundled version of Max.
  • Max is now loaded at startup, instead of when the first Max device is used.
  • Max for Live devices now support multiple audio inputs and outputs, which can be accessed via the track's Input and Output Channel choosers. Devices can also be routed to arbitrary tracks via the Live API.
  • It is now possible to route devices and device chains to Max for Live devices.


  • It is now possible to change a track's Pan control to 'Split Stereo Pan Mode', via a context menu item. This both applies to both Arrangement and Session View.
  • It is now possible to route an individual Drum Rack pad's audio output to one of its parent Drum Rack's return chains. This allows these return chains to be used as mix buses.
  • It is now possible to reset knob and slider control values to their default value by double-clicking them (in the same way that the "Delete" keyboard shortcut works). The double-click gesture does not apply to toggles or action buttons.

Multi MIDI Clip Editing

  • Introduced multi-clip editing, which enables viewing up to seven MIDI clips at the same time. When multiple MIDI clips are selected, clicking on a note or multi-clip loop bar in the MIDI Editor sets the focus on the respective clip. Loop points are represented by vertical lines in the Note Editor.
  • The state of the MIDI Editor's Fold button is now set globally across all tracks, rather than per track. The Fold button can now be Key/MIDI-mapped.
  • The state of the MIDI Editor's Preview switch is now set globally across all tracks, rather than per track.
  • Changed Fold button behaviour for MIDI clips on tracks that contain a Drum Rack: when Fold is deactivated, the MIDI Note Editor only shows rows with notes corresponding to a pad with devices on it, and when Fold is activated, only rows containing notes are displayed.


  • “Added “Show All Tracks” in the View and context menus in the Arrangement View. This minimizes all tracks, allowing you to see as many as possible on your screen. The action can also be triggered via the "S" shortcut.
  • It is now possible to zoom to (and back from) time selection in Arrangement and in Detail View. This feature can be triggered with the "Z"  and Shift + "Z" respectively, via the View menu, or via a context menu item.
  • It is now possible to zoom vertically and horizontally in the Arrangement View, using two-finger trackpad gestures or a mousewheel. Pressing "ALT" (Mac/Win) while scrolling vertically zooms the amplitude/pitch axis of the selected track(s). Pressing "CMD" (Mac) / "CTRL" (Win) while scrolling vertically zooms the timeline to the cursor position.
  • It is now possible to scroll horizontally using the Shift modifier key also on WIndows.
  • On U.S. keyboards, it is now possible to zoom by pressing "+" without using the Shift modifier key.
  • In Arrangement View, Detail View, Simpler, and Sampler, zooming with a mouse wheel or trackpad is now possible using the Ctrl (WIN) or Cmd (OSX)  modifier key.
  • When time is selected within an Arrangement clip, Detail View's display now zooms in on the selected time.
  • When making an edit in the Arrangement or Detail View, Follow is now paused instead of being deactivated. When paused, the Follow button changes from yellow to orange. When stopping or re-starting playback, or scrubbing, Follow starts again. Furthermore, Follow is also paused when scrolling horizontally in Arrangement.
  • Dragging frozen clips and tails to the clip/device drop area in the Arrangement View creates new frozen tracks.
  • Dragging clips from existing tracks to the clip/device drop area creates a new track with those clips, and also the devices from the original tracks.
  • Audio effects can now be dragged to the Master track's Scene Launch area.

New Devices and Device Improvements

  • Introduced Wavetable, a new Instrument for Live. Wavetable is a dual oscillator wavetable synthesizer with flexible modulation, that brings harmonically rich and expansive modern sounds to Live’s sonic palette.
  • Introduced “Echo”, a new audio effect device for Live. Echo is a modulation delay that is capable of a wide range of sounds, from tape-saturated and bucket-brigade styles, right through to modern, clean and digital delays. Echo includes an LFO that modulates filter frequency and delay time, and an envelope follower that can be blended with the LFO. “Noise” and “Wobble” parameters simulate sound artifacts found in vintage delays. Also included are a distortion switch, a reverb, stereo width control, a ducking compressor, a gate, a feedback signal inversion switch, and a toggle for repitching and crossfading repeats.
  • Introduced “Pedal”, a new audio effect device for Live. Pedal is a guitar distortion effect, that can also be used in less conventional settings, e.g., as a standalone effect on synths or drums. Pedal has three different modes: Overdrive, Distortion and Fuzz. Each mode was inspired by distortion pedals with their own distinct sonic characteristics, including: warm and smooth, tight and aggressive, and bluesy yet broken.
  • Introduced “Drumbuss”, a new audio effect for Live. An analog-style drum processor, Drumbuss was designed to add body and character to a group of drums, while gluing them together in a tight mix. Drumbuss combines the most used drum processing tools into a single device, which includes distortion, a compressor, low-frequency enhancement, a transient shaper and a control for dampening high frequency response.
  • Introduced the improved “Utility” device for Live. The Gain control can now be adjusted from -infinite dB to +35 dB. The Left / Right Phase buttons now invert Utility’s input signal instead of its output signal. Furthermore, the layout has been redesigned to fit new features, including a Mono switch, a Bass Mono switch, a Bass Mono Frequency slider, a Bass Mono Audition button, and a Balance knob control (which replaces the Panorama slider). Older Sets will continue to sound the same due to an added legacy mode. Older Utility devices can be upgraded via a button in the title bar."
  • Extended EQ Eight's minimum frequency down to 10 Hz.

Nested Groups

  • It is now possible to create Group Tracks within Group Tracks.
  • For Group Tracks, the "Assign Track Color to Clips" context menu item was renamed to "Assign Track Color To Grouped Tracks & Clips". When the command is used, the contained tracks (and their respective clips) inherit the Group Track's color.


  • Control Surfaces are now available when Live runs as a ReWire slave. This applies to both Push 1 and 2 as well.
  • It is now possible to convert audio to MIDI from Push, using the Convert button.
  • Added Split Stereo Pan Mode to Push 1 and 2. When Split Stereo Pan Mode is active while in Global Mix Mode, the current pan value is displayed but the pan dial is inactive. In Track Mix Mode, either the pan dial or stereo pan sliders are shown, depending on the active pan mode.
  • The Repeat button's state and setting is now remembered for each track.
  • It is now possible to arm a track with one hand via Push 2 by holding the respective track's selection button.
  • Nested chains can now be displayed, folded and unfolded on Push 2.
  • Introduced a root level 'Collections' folder for color labels/collections in the Push 2 browser in Live 10. This prevents other important root level items like 'User Files' from being pushed off the screen by many Collection Labels.  

Push Device Visualization

  • Visualization of filter bands was added to EQ Eight on Push 2.
  • Added a new parameter layout and a graphical representation of the Activity View to Compressor on Push 2.
  • It is now possible to configure a sidechain routing for Compressor from Push 2.
  • Redesigned the Filter Envelope, LFO Envelope, and Pitch Envelope banks for Operator on Push 2, and added a visualization to the Envelopes.
  • Added a visualization of Simpler's Envelopes to Push 2.
  • Improved waveform drawing performance for Push 2.

Push MIDI Clip Mode

  • Notes are now shown in Push 2’s Clip Mode, when a MIDI clip is selected. The velocity of each note is also indicated by the note's opacity.
  • Implemented a representation of the sequenceable area for the melodic step sequencer on the Push 2 display. A grid window indicates the sequenceable range on the pads within the selected loop page.
  • It is now possible to crop MIDI clips from Push 2.
  • When changing the loop position from Clip View, the 32-pad melodic step sequencer now follows the active portion of a clip.

Push Note Layouts

  • Introduced a new note layout mode on Push, consisting of a 32-step sequencer on the top half of the pad matrix and 32 notes on the bottom half. Users can press pads in the lower section to select which notes to add via the step sequencer, in the upper section. Users can see, add, and remove pitches from steps by holding the respective pads.
  • Added a loop selector to the 32-pad melodic step sequencer layout. Users can access it by holding the Layout button on Push 2 or holding the Note button on Push 1.
  • On Push 1 and 2, note layouts are now remembered per track.
  • It is now possible to delete the contents of a sequencer page on Push 1 and 2, by holding "Delete" and using the Loop Selector.
  • It is now possible to duplicate the content of a sequencer page on Push, by holding "Duplicate" and using the Loop Selector.
  • Removed the loop length pads from the Melodic Sequencer on Push 1 and 2, to allow sequencing an extra note on the pads. The loop length pads can still be accessed momentarily, by holding the Note button (Push 1) or Layout button (Push 2).  
  • Pressing Shift”+“Note” (Push 1) or “Shift”+”Layout” (Push 2) now locks the selected layout’s alternate layout. This removes the need to hold the “Note” or ”Layout” button, freeing up that hand for other tasks. Pressing “Note” (Push 1) or “Layout” (Push 2) again unlocks the alternate layout.
  • When using the 16-pad layout in Drum Racks and Simpler’s Slicing Mode, holding the “Note” button (Push 1) or "Layout" button (Push 2) momentarily toggles the 16 Velocities layout.
  • It is now possible to access the Loop Selector while in 64-pad mode by holding the “Note” button (Push 1) or "Layout" button (Push 2).
  • When using the 16 Velocities layout, holding the "Note" button on Push 1 or “Layout” button on Push 2 now toggles the Loop Selector.


  • It is now possible to set names for mono or stereo input and output channels from the Input/Output Config preferences window. These names appear in all Input/Output Channel chooser dropdowns (Note: the names are always only associated with the specific audio device; they are not transferred to any other devices). "Tab" and "Shift-Tab" key commands can be used to cycle between the channel names.
  • It is now possible to choose between different metronome sounds from the Metronome's context menu.
  • It is now possible to select a different tick interval for the Metronome, via its pull-down and context menus. The default "Auto" setting behaves the same as in Live 9 (i.e., the tick interval follows the time signature's denominator). Interval selections that don't fit into one bar of the current time signature will appear disabled. If the currently selected interval no longer fits in a bar due to a time signature change, the metronome tick will return to the "Auto" behavior. However if the time signature is changed so that the interval selection fits in a bar again, the tick will follow the selected interval.
  • Added the "Enable only while recording" menu item to the Metronome's pull-down and context menus. If this is enabled and the Metronome is activated, the Metronome is only audible while recording. If recording into the Arrangement while the Punch-In switch is active, the Metronome is only audible after the punch-in point. The "Enable only while recording" setting is not saved in Preferences, and must be enabled every time Live is started.
  • The Computer MIDI Keyboard is now always off at application launch. It can now be toggled with the "M" key.
  • By default, the Computer MIDI Keyboard is now always disabled on start up. Its current state is kept when creating or loading a Live Set.
  • Live 64-bit performance on Windows should now be slightly improved.
  • On Windows, the small arrow that exits Fullscreen Mode is now also visible in the lower right corner of the second window.
  • On Windows, authorizing Live after reinstalling your operating system does not require to use up another authorization.
  • Updated FLAC to 1.3.2 and enabled code optimizations. Live Packs might now install up to 20% faster than before on modern CPUs.
  • Context menu items now react when the mouse is released, instead of after the initial mouse click. This makes it possible to drag away from a selection to cancel triggering an item, while keeping the context menu open. When hovering over disabled context menu items, they are no longer highlighted.

Early Bird Pricing - summer semester 2017

Early Bird Pricing - summer semester 2017

Save up to $1,456 with Early Bird pricing on all certificate programs and courses Beat Drop offers. Discounts apply to all Music Production and DJ Certificate Programs, Online courses and courses at our Calgary and Airdrie location. Early Bird is only available for courses starting in the Summer and Fall 2017 Semesters. Act fast! Early Bird pricing ends March 30th 2017. For more information contact or register online. *Early Bird pricing does not apply to payment plans

Mixars 2 channel mixer review - CUT - MXR-2 - DUO

In this episode of C-SIK's corner, GSD joins C-SIK to review three different 2 channel DJ mixers from Mixars. Each of them at different price points and feature set.

Mixars Cut

Price: $250USD|  $340CAD

  • 2-Channel Battle Mixer
  • Integrated mini innoFADER Crossfader
  • Crossfader Rated at 4 Million Cycles
  • RCA and XLR Master Outputs
  • 3-Band Channel EQ
  • Mic Input with 2-Band EQ
  • Aux Input
  • 1/4" and 1/8" Headphone Connections
  • Solid Metal Construction

Mixars MXR-2

Price: $350USD|  $525CAD

  • compact 2-channel mixer w/ built-in effects and studio grade 4-in/4-out soundcard
  • 7 different effects w/ easy tempo syncing via auto-BPM counter
  • combines all essential DJ features in a familiar + intuitive layout
  • 3-band EQ per channel
  • independent mic input w/ EQ
  • smooth dual rail 45mm input faders
  • convenient AUX input
  • balanced 1/4" + unbalanced RCA outputs
  • sturdy metal construction

Mixars DUO

Price: $1000USD|  $1300CAD

  • Integrated Serato DJ
  • 8 x RGB Pads for Cue Trigger and Sampler
  • High-Pass and Low-Pass Filter
  • 3-Band EQ for Each Channel
  • Switchable Mic/Aux Input
  • Built-In mini innoFADER
  • 2-Port USB Hub
  • XLR Master and 1/4" Booth Outputs
  • Master and Record RCA Outputs

Beat Drop Selected for YouTube NextUp

What is YouTube NextUp?

NextUp is a program designed to nurture and accelerate the next generation of talented Creators on YouTube. Creators with 10K to 100K subscribers were eligible. Hundreds of Creators applied and YouTube selected the 10 finalists that we believed were ready to take their channels to the next level. The selections were made by YouTube staff who work with Creators every day. This is the first time that NextUp has run in Canada.

What happens at NextUp?

NextUp is a 5 day Creator Camp at YouTube Space Toronto, to learn about video production and techniques, access to a YouTube Partner Manager to help guide your channel’s development, $3,200 voucher from YouTube to purchase new production equipment, and extensive networking opportunities with established Creators. 

How did Beat Drop get selected?

We have been posting videos on YouTube for a number of years and see it as an amazing platform to share our love of music production and DJing through educational videos. It has been a tool to inform potential students about our school in Calgary and online. When we were offered a chance to apply for NextUp, we jumped at the opportunity and knew it could be great for our school. Part of the application is to submit one video that encapsulated our channel. We have a wide variety of videos on different topics on our channel, so selecting one video was quite hard. We chose this video from our head DJ Instructor (Canadian Thre3style champ) DJ C-Sik. It explains some high level routine preparation. It's done in a fun way and captures the heart of what Beat Drop is about. The motto of our school is to Inspire and Educate. This video tries to do both.

Our YouTube Journey

We started out on YouTube very slowly, about 5 years ago. One of our first videos we posted was a workshop with French Hip Hop Producer Onra showing off one of his famous beats.

The video production was super lame and you can hear the camera's gears as I zoomed in and out. He was such a nice guy and I wish we knew how to make better videos back then.

Another idea we tried was doing some reviews of gear we were interested in. We got sent some headphones from Urbanears so we decided to try our hand at doing a review video. Again with poor videography skills we tackled the subject, but this time we had a pro to quarterback it. Drew Atlas a local DJ and Radio host worked with instructors, Sandro and Kyle to make this pretty unique review. (Still one of my faves....those outtakes).

A video series that really helped our channel take off was a series of beginner's tutorials for Ableton Live we called Quick Start. It's a really low budget set of tutorials showing beginners how to use Live. Over the years it has helped a lot of people and the playlist has received over a million views. Pretty good for a super niche topic from a small school from Calgary, AB Canada.

A real strength of our school is that all of our instructors are in the music industry in some capacity making a living. We are also surrounded by amazing talent here in Calgary, so we get stoked when we can include them. Here is a YouTube series I started showcasing a unique instrument called the Ableton Push. We called this series "Push Beats". In this video I remixed the Game of Thrones theme song on the Push and then invited my friend and Platinum selling artist Jocelyn Alice to come sing on the track. (her performance is at the 2:55 mark).

Music production technique videos are all over YouTube these days. There is a lot of great content and a lot of content people need to filter out. With YouTube we really want to create content that applies to the modern day producer and is filled with usable knowledge while showcasing what it would be like to come to school here, whether it's online or in Calgary. Below Brandon Smith, one of our instructors, explains some high level synthesis combined with some production techniques.

I'm really excited about where our channel is headed as we place more time and resources towards it. The boom of LIVE video is a real opportunity for a school like ours and one that I see us taking advantage of more in the coming year.

NextUP Creator Camp Opportunity

I will be heading to Toronto from Nov 27 - Dec 2 to attend NextUP Canada.  I am stoked to network and learn for sure, but I'm most excited to meet with a Google YouTube Partner Manager. They are the YouTube ninjas that can help critique our channel and give us feedback to help us become more effective and grow our audience.

While I might be the oldest one of the Youtubers selected for this camp, I know I'm still young enough to learn a lot. My kids think I'm pretty cool now too and think I might get to meet some of their YouTube heroes like DanTDM and Miranda Sings. I told them they have a couple more subscribers than Beat Drop so I might not see them at the camp :) I'm just stoked to hang with other camera and audio nerds talking about creating content and growing our influence on the biggest video platform on earth.


Mitch Lee
Beat Drop




Take advantage of the quality you've come to expect from Beat Drop at a fraction of the cost. Save up to $2,296 with Early Bird pricing on all certificate programs and courses Beat Drop offers. Discounts apply to all Music Production and DJ Certificate Programs, Online courses and courses at our Calgary location. Early Bird is only available for courses starting in the Winter Semester. Act fast, Early Bird pricing ends November 20th 2016. For more information contact or register online.

Live Online Synthesis Workshop with Brandon Smith

Live Online Synthesis Workshop with Brandon Smith

Do you struggle to make thick, evolving bass lines like those made by producers like Noisia? You're not alone. Scores of producers create simple, generic bass lines that sound thin and don't hold the interest of their listeners. In modern dance music heavy, aggressive bass lines dominate the mix and shake the earth. Sadly bass sounds that don’t live up to today’s standard can hurt your music and cost you fans. Fortunately there’s an answer. Modern software synthesizers like Native Instruments’ Massive offer amazing modulation capabilities and can be used to make incredible bass lines. Pair the synthesis power of Massive with Ableton Live’s resampling workflow and the results can be astounding. 

Early Bird Pricing On All Courses Starting Fall 2016

Early Bird Pricing On All Courses Starting Fall 2016

Beat Drop is offering early bird pricing for students registering in courses starting in the Fall 2016 (September) Semester. Early bird pricing is valid for courses online and at our Calgary location. All DJ and producer certificate programs and courses are eligible.  Early bird pricing ends July 11th 2016 so act fast!

The History of DJ Gear Part 2: Rise of the Technics 1200

The History of DJ Gear Part 2: Rise of the Technics 1200

Although the basic principles of how records work haven’t really changed in over a century, the equipment and techniques used continue to improve. These days, a turntable is not hard to get a hold of. Every so often a half-decent deck pops up in thrift stores or Kijiji. Many record stores also sell used home stereo decks on consignment. There are also tons of currently produced models ranging from the cheap $130 belt drive deck with built-in USB converter from Best Buy to the opulent (but probably very satisfying) audiophile hi-fi decks. The ones listed here start at $100,000 US! Of course, none of these are suited for the demanding rigours of DJ’ing.

Beat Drop Spotlight - Brandon Smith

Beat Drop Spotlight - Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith is an absolutely massive part of the Beat Drop Community.  In addition to teaching SynthesisSound Design and Keyboard Fundamentals, he is the head technician at the Beat Drop Repair Shop.  Brandon is an active member of Calgary's music scene and plays keyboards in several bands.  Yet, somehow he finds time to work at the National Music Centre, a cornerstone of the Calgary scene and "a national catalyst for discovery, innovation and renewal through music."  We sat down with Brandon recently to find out a little more about him and his life as a professional musician.  P.S. Brandon can I please borrow your Minimoog?

The History of DJ Gear Part 1: Ancestors of the Turntable

The History of DJ Gear Part 1: Ancestors of the Turntable

Take moment and think about how music has changed in your lifetime.  Now try to imagine what that music would sound like today without the influence of DJs.  It's hard to even conceive what modern music would sound like without them.  Join me as I investigate the history of the tools that DJs used to build their craft and how those tools altered the course of music history.  Like any good story, this story has a beginning and it all started with the most important tool in the DJ's arsenal – the turntable.

Former Beat Drop Student Funk'nRight Wins Dirty Tones DJ Competition

Former Beat Drop Student Funk'nRight Wins Dirty Tones DJ Competition

Last weekend former Beat Drop student, Carsen Kendel aka Funkn'Right, won the 8th Annual Dirty Tones DJ competition. Carsen was enrolled in our DJ Program and successfully completed DJ 101 and Turntablism 101. He joins two other Beat Drop DJ students, Goodbar and Mystique, as winners of the Dirty Tones DJ Competition. Rick Cruz (DJ C-SIK), our head DJ Instructor, sat down with Carsen to learn what it takes to be the Dirty Tones champ and find out what the DJ community means to him.

This Is Your Bass On Compression - Part 3

This Is Your Bass On Compression - Part 3

Whether you're making pop, rock or dance music, bass is the anchor of your tune.  It provides rhythm, groove and lays the foundation for the rest of the mix to be built upon.  Producers often run into issues with bass.  Not only is bass difficult to monitor in a reliable way in most home studios, but certain attributes of the sound itself can cause problems.  Much like when dealing with drums (see These Are Your Drums on Compression), producers reach for compressors when processing their bass for specific reasons.

Beat Drop Spotlight - Brynn (DJ Heebz)

Beat Drop Spotlight - Brynn (DJ Heebz)

Byrnn Collingridge (DJ Heebz) is one of Calgary's hardest working DJs.  He holds down residencies at The Hifi Club and Commonwealth Bar and Stage in addition to co-instructing Production and Remixing for DJs at Beat Drop.  Brynn is a prolific remixer, DJ and an amazing communicator.  We sat down with Brynn recently to get his take on DJing and life in general.



You've probably heard all about the amazing things compression can do for your mix.  Add punch, tame peaks, increase the average volume, impart tone, glue a sub-mix etc.  But why do producers compress their drums and when should you do it?  

This Is Your Mix On Compression - Part I

This Is Your Mix On Compression - Part I

Compression is central to a modern producer's arsenal.  You've probably heard all about compressors and the amazing things they can do to your sounds (and maybe some of the not-so-amazing things they can do too).  Compressors are tricky devices to wield because often their effect is not obvious.  All of the moving parts found on a compressor only add to the confusion.  Is the compressor attacking or releasing and how do the threshold and ratio play off the other parameters?  All this confusion has manifested itself in often more perplexing articles, blog posts, YouTube videos and tutorials filled with truth, lies, myths and legend. T

How Tuning Drums Leads to Cleaner Mixes

How Tuning Drums Leads to Cleaner Mixes

Most producers don't include instruments in their songs that are playing out of key.  The reason being instruments playing out of key sound dissonant (or bad depending on your point of view) and can be unsettling to the listener.  However when it comes to drums, many skilled producers load up a sample, put it in their song and process it with EQ, distortion, and compression without giving a second thought to pitch.  This could be that many people assume drum sounds don't have a distinct pitch.  These people are wrong.

Beat Drop Spotlight: Krystle B

Beat Drop Spotlight: Krystle B

Few people have been a part of the Beat Drop community as long as Kloves (or NJVK).  This talented Calgary based producer is well known in western Canada as a purveyor of exquisite four to the floor beats and has experience rocking clubs and destroying dance floors on the festival circuit.  This rising young star of the Calgary scene is one to watch.  Kloves began her time at Beat Drop as student of our Music Production Certificate Program.  Since she graduated Kloves has been a TA at Beat Drop helping instruct Ableton Core I and Music Fundamentals. 

History of the Sampler Part 4: The Best Modern Sampling Tools

History of the Sampler Part 4: The Best Modern Sampling Tools

In the last three blog posts we’ve looked at the evolution of samplers – from tape, to expensive dinosaurs, to little grey boxes, to no boxes at all (besides the computer of course).  Recently, while trolling vintage samplers on Ebay I noticed that the prices vary quite wildly.  The Emulator I and IIs can go for as little as a few hundred to as much as several thousand dollars.  There are legitimate reasons for this – its more expensive if a technology is no longer produced, some have modifications like card readers and bigger hard drives.  A vintage samplers will also fetch more if it comes with a significant library of disks.