I've started learning Ableton Live about a week ago. Now I've created one track, and I actually do like it already as it is, but I see some problems like sound goes too high in few places. As I understand I need to mix and master? my track. Most of the resources I find about mixing in Ableton are either some full courses, and I need like 2 weeks to just finish course, or it doesn't really explain it "step by step". Could anyone point me where do I go from here? Should I forget about mixing at the moment at all? Or am I supposed to go through long term mixing lessons and go back to my track later? I don't really feel I should do that. Instead what I would like to do is to do some basic mixing for my first ever track, so that I'm able to show it to friends etc...

3 Answers 3


Let me start by saying mixing is an art by itself. If you're passionate about making music and producing it end-to-end you should learn how to mix, on the other hand, if you're passionate about songwriting and don't feel like going through the process of learning how to mix then you'll surely be able to find someone to mix it for you and you can keep on making your music.

I learned how to mix because i wanted to create my own unique sound in music, so i had a vision and the only way to get there was to play with the sounds until I'm close to the sound going on in my head. The more i learned the closer i came to that sound and that's the hook of mixing (especially from the producer perspective rather than the mixing engineer, but they're pretty close).

So bottom line is there are no shortcuts to this, it's a long process with many stages and various learning curves throughout.

The 2 ways you can go is,

a) Start learning how to mix your tracks and how to mix your sounds the way you want, i don't know if a course would help you, or learning by doing it will cause that's a debatable subject. After all if you get involved in songwriting seriously, at some point you will have a better understanding of the whole process.

b) Keep on writing songs focusing on initial sound textures and when you feel it's finished, export your tracks and send them to a professional for mixing and proudly share them.

It all has to do with where your personal touch goes. If you're all about the harmony and arrangement and you just want it to sound nice, a professional is your best choice. If you want to create a very unique sound and you think that this will give the edge to your music, either discuss with a professional who will understand or learn how to do it on your own.

There's really no clear answer, it's about what you want to do. Good luck!


I agree wholeheartedly with @frcake's answer. I'll just add on some additional thoughts.

If you are interested in learning to mix, but you want to get this particular track done quickly, I would encourage you to give it a try and see what you can do. With or without formal learning, experience is always going to be your best teacher. If it's not coming together to your satisfaction, you might want to have someone else mix it just to get it done, and then you can look at learning more about mixing for the next track (and the next one).

There are also a few plugin tools out there which will help you get jump-started on a mix. No tool is ever going to do your mix for you, but there are a few that have some well-thought-out presets which will get you in the ballpark more quickly than if you did it yourself from scratch. You will want/need to tweak to taste from there. These tools have the added benefit of being a great learning tool for inexperienced mixing engineers. If you like how a preset sounds, look at the details of how it was implemented and file those concepts away in your brain for the next time you want to achieve a similar sound.

One such tool is EZMix by Toontrack. Another, more advanced one is Neutron by iZotope. EZMix is cheaper, and probably a little better for folks who are just getting started with mixing. For more intermediate-to-advanced mix engineers, Neutron is probably a better fit.

As far as formal learning, in addition to online courses, there are also lots of books and YouTube videos out there. You might even find some instructional material that's specific to the genre of music that you work with most. Take a look around to see what's available and pick whatever seems like the best fit for your learning style.

Best of luck!


Mixing and editing a track is comprised mostly of copying and pasting waves! and getting transitions! to sound good. To do this your deleting, adding, reordering minuscule waves or whole sections and adding effects to a section(learn to add effects). You'll be Fixing(cut/paste and effects) or deleting artifact that showed up during the original recording. You'll be trying to link one sound to the next most often. You then listening to the track and at every pass you'll be fixing what you find you can fix. At some point you'll run out of things to fix,reorder or delete. The song is created. At that point just listen to it for 1Year+ to see what it feels like with time(LT).

What you need to learn of a program you won't use. You start with sounds and pieces and put them together, That all!...... Its a lot like a VCR or text editing programs. They have a lot of options that you never or seldom use. You'll likely have a menu called effects. Choose each one one by one and apply it and learn what they do. That's what you need to do "practice effects". What you'll do most of the time is "cut and paste". You'll visually look at the wave, remembering how the song goes, use your judgement, instinct and cut it where you want, after 20 tries the transition should work, its really about luck often.(after 20 failed tries,give up and try something very different).

Use the help menu if you want to know "if you can do something that you think you should be able to" and learn then how to do that. Don't learn 99% when you'll only need 5%. Ex.Text editing programs. You'll find that "some programs can", others can't. Upgrade effects by buying! better programs as needed.

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