June 16th, 2010 – While the staggering rate of evolution and revolution in computer-based music tools has allowed users to do more things, and faster than ever, one of the problems is too much choice. You would think that choice is a good thing, and to a certain degree it is; however, too many options can cause paralysis.
I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. You read about the latest plugins or improvements to the many DAW options out there, and figure that you’ll wait until the new features are released. The problem is, even when they arrive, you won’t know how to use them effectively and learning something new when you have your tried and true methods seems like a bother.
This has happened to me with Ableton 8. Having seen all the cool things people were doing with it, I picked up a copy (btw, I noticed that they have a Live Pack you can download that features sets from established artists so you can learn from what they’ve done…pretty cool!). After installing it and going through some of the included tutorials, it has all but sat unused for the past several months. I’ve come to the realization that I cannot learn from books, nor do I learn well from classrooms or video apparently.
What I’ve decided to do is work on an unfinished mashup remix that’s been on my to-do list for quite some time. I figure this will give me the chance to do something that I’m good at in my normal DAW, Logic, and transfer the skills to Ableton. Because I’m not creating something from scratch, I can get a broader picture of how things work in Ableton versus what I’m used to in Logic. After I’ve gotten my feet wet, I can then start to explore Ableton’s deeper functionality.
How do you learn new music software? Do you read books? Tinker around? Watch tutorial videos? Do you have different techniques for different types of software (ie. software instruments, effects plugins, DAWs)?