Posts tagged with: music

Learning music with Ableton's interactive lessons

I saw this little introduction to music making by Ableton on Hacker News the other day and spent more time on it than I'd like to admit. To be honest I didn't expect much when I clicked the link but then there I was, jamming in my browser almost immediately. All it took was reading the first paragraph on the page:

"In these lessons, you'll learn the basics of music making. No prior experience or equipment is required; you'll do everything right here in your browser."

No prior experience or equipment required? Cool.
Do everything right here in the browser? Let's get started already!
The barrier to entry seemed so low that it was hard to resist giving it a try, even just out of curiosity.

The lessons are broken down into chapters where they give you a few instructions and explain basic music concepts. There is no right or wrong answer though and every task seems achievable without much trouble. You can also choose to do whatever you like on the canvas provided.

A few chapters in, I was hooked and wanted more. This was like a gateway drug that took the complexity out of music making for me. As a result of this free course I checked out their products to see what a beginner would actually need to start making music. In the end, my girlfriend was able to talk me out of getting a whole studio setup for now but I'm definitely in interested music production after this.

When companies share knowledge or resources for free and actually help the community without expecting anything in return, the message they send is more genuine than any ad they could come up with. I've never heard of Ableton before, so well done to their team for working on this. Remember, sharing is caring.

Spotify's new discovery channel

I'm an avid Spotify listener and even the recent release of Apple Music couldn't sway me away. The team behind Spotify just keeps improving the product (and the brand) with well designed and relevant features. Songs matching your tempo while running or previewing songs on long tap are just some of my favourites from the past. Enter "Discover Weekly" which is essentially an entirely personalised playlist based on your own listening and on other user's playlists with similar tastes. Apparently it's supposed to become smarter over time and the more you listen, the better it gets.

One of the main reasons I started using music streaming services in the first place was for exactly that - music discovery. I really liked Rdio's approach which Spotify kind of adopted but this new playlist is just brilliant and gives me something to look forward to every Monday.

It's available across all platforms and behaves like any other playlist, except it resets every week so make sure to save the songs you like!