Creating dynamic drum patterns in Ableton Live – On demand

Level: Beginner

Programmed rhythms can lack the expression of real players. This is particularly evident when sequencing drums. In this workshop you will learn to program a variety of drum patterns, utilising a range of expressive techniques in Ableton Live. This workshop aims to provide you with transferable skills to enable you to breathe life into your MIDI programming.

Session Learning Outcomes

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

  • Program at least one drum pattern with variations;

  • Understand groove and learn how to implement it;

  • Use MIDI devices (such as random and velocity and MaxforLive) to humanise parts;

  • Utilise the Convert to MIDI function to analyse existing patterns and provide inspiration.

Session Study Topics

  • Drum sequencing in session view

  • Applying groove and swing

  • MIDI effects, LFO device

  • Converting audio to MIDI


  • A computer and internet connection

  • A web cam and mic

  • A Zoom account

  • Ableton Live 11 Suite – if not, participants should be advised to download the trial version

About the workshop leader

Mel is a London based music producer, vocalist and educator. 

She spends most of her time teaching people how to make music with Ableton Live and Push. When she’s not doing any of the above, she makes educational content and helps music teachers and schools integrate technology into their classrooms. She is particularly interested in training and supporting female and non-binary people to succeed in the music world.