Abstract Composition in Ableton and Max For Live – On demand

Level: Intermediate

Ableton and Cycling 74’s Max For Live offer a vast playground of programming opportunities to create unique compositions and rich sound designs. In this workshop you will create musical and sonic ideas using abstract techniques of composition. This workshop aims to provide you with suitable skills to begin exploring generative composition and complex sound design.

Session Learning Outcomes

By the end of this session a successful student will be able to:

  • Discuss the relevance of using generative processes in certain musical contexts.

  • Explore how we can use these processes to create musical ideas.

  • Look at ways to capture these ideas to use for future projects.

  • Exploring various sound design techniques to add colour and shape.

Session Study Topics

  • Deploy Ableton and Max For Live devices to generate musical content.
  • Develop this content with various devices such as instruments and effects.
  • Capture, edit and consolidate the content.
    • Reflect on the content we created and discuss ways to develop the project further.


  • A computer and internet connection

  • A good working knowledge of computer systems

  • A basic awareness of music theory and audio processing

  • Good familiarity with Ableton and Max For Live

  • Access to a copy of Ableton Live 10 Suite, or Ableton Live 10 with a Max For Live license.

About the workshop leader

Ned Rush aka Duncan Wilson is a musician, producer and performer. He’s most likely known best for his YouTube channel, which features a rich and vast quantity of videos including tutorials, software development, visual art, sound design, internet comedy, and of course music.