The Recording Connection audio school alternative is now enrolling students for our the Ableton for Music Creators and Artists Program. 

Ask Yourself…

  • Do you want to build an exciting career as an EDM Artist or Producer? 
  • Do you want to take your music to the next level?
  • Do you want to learn what it takes to turn the songs you imagine into sonic masterpieces, ready to be shared with the world?
  • Are you ready to work hard to become the artist/producer you envision?

Do you have the passion to be the next Skrillex, Billie Eilish, DJ Snake, Grimes, Diplo, Marshmellow, or Flume?

Our program doesn’t try to make you conform to our standards or society’s dictates of who you should be and how you should sound. We start with you telling us about who you are and the kind of music and sounds you want to create. From there, we show you how to tap into your own creative fire and capture what you see and feel from within.

So many aspiring artists and producers burn out before they even start. Rather than drowning our students in debt, we empower them with the freedom and opportunities they need to power their passion and achieve their dreams.

Making the right choice for your career in EDM starts with you making smart choices about your education. We believe you shouldn’t have to spend $25,000 or more on an education that puts you in a regular school classroom. That’s why we place you as an extern with a music professional who is making his/her living in the music business.

Here’s what you need to know to be a professional artist/producer of EDM in today’s music industry:

While it may sound fanciful, it’s a fact: those who want to work in music professionally need to know how to access their own innate creativity, again and again. That’s where we start. Throughout our 6–9-month Ableton EDM Music Production Program you chart your course and make your music with our support and the guidance of an experienced industry professional who’s there to help you, one on one.

Step by step, you build upon the solid foundation you acquire in our program. You make your music while gaining mastery of the techniques professional music producers use to create high-quality tracks that move listeners.

You need feedback from industry pros.

The Recording Connection audio school alternative is the audio externship program that gives you the opportunity to learn inside the music business like no ordinary school. Your mentor and your Academic Facilitator (your 2nd mentor) are there to help you gain mastery of your DAW, grow in areas where you need to improve your game, and help you achieve the sound and smarts it takes to be a working artist in today’s dynamic industry.

The Recording Connection is built for the 21st Century. We put you in the music business instead of a college classroom. That’s right–we put you inside the music business, and that is where you go to school.

Read on to learn more if you’re serious about building your career in EDM:


Lesson 1 – Your Production Map for the Future

The start of any great endeavor requires planning. Your first meeting with the music industry professional who will mentor you is a big deal. During your meeting with your mentor, you’ll fill them in on the music that speaks to you, tell them what you’re aiming to accomplish as an artist/producer, and share your vision for the future.

As you start mapping out your goals, you’ll also start bringing your music into fruition. By the end of the week, you will have not one, not two, but seven great musical sketches you’ve captured from your imagination. Sounds fanciful? It isn’t. Your imagination moves much faster than your conscious mind can at creating melodies, capturing nuances, and dreaming up what might otherwise take years to realize.

As you peer into the what’s happening in songs of the artists you love, you’ll gain a deeper understanding into who you, as an artist and creator, are becoming. The journey has begun.


Lesson 2 – Beats

Where oh where would we be without rhythm?! This week you’re going to take one of the seven sketches you laid out in week one and use Ableton to start fleshing it out, thereby turning your musical ideas into tight beats. Once we go over the core concepts of Ableton, you’ll start programming your original beats via realtime or pattern-based sequencing. You’ll also get a taste of beatboxing as an effective vehicle for conveying your musical ideas straight into this powerful DAW, get crafty with Kraftwerk, and take a virtual field trip to learn about Xfer Records’ synthesizer, Serum!


Lesson 3 – Bass

With your voice and beats in the batter, we’re going to start adding bass to set a great foundation by building on the root note and learning how to “root” the listener through laying down those fundamental progressions that’ll get them begging for the break. With Ableton and the techniques we show you, even the most complex bass patterns are at your fingertips. On this ride we’ll crack into MIDI, recording in MIDI, quantizing, modulation, finding variations, and tightening that bass. We’ll also delve into Alicia Keys’ voice and sound, take a virtual field trip to Moog, and start considering how you plan on marketing yourself as an artist/producer.

Lesson 4 – Studio Preparation

You’ve got the lyrics, the main vocal melody, the bass, and the drum parts. In other words, you’re on fire! Now’s the time to lay it all out, flesh out those vocals, fine-tune the foundation before you go into the studio to record the real vocals you’ll be using in your song. Before we delve into full-on studio preparation, let’s get into the fundamentals of audio clips and the possibilities Ableton’s Warp Engine provides—stuff yesterday’s music producers could only dream about! Along the way we’ll get into the anatomy of a song, tuning your voice in Melodyne, pitch-perfect rehearsing, and we’ll take a virtual field trip to the makers at Shure.

Lesson 5 – Studio Recording

The day has arrived but before you go into the recording studio to record those master vocals and choruses, you’re going to prepare like the professionals do. You will bring your spreadsheet (recording inventory checklist), your properly packaged stems, and you will be ready to work i.e., mentally, vocally, and physically prepared for a productive day of recording in the studio with your mentor. At this juncture, you will position yourself more as producer than artist, thereby putting yourself on the right foot to potentially be a part of the team at the studio. Once the stress and excitement are over, you’ll immerse yourself in the sonic landscape of U2’s alt-rock masterpiece, The Joshua Tree, and take a much-deserved digital field trip to Splice.

Lesson 6 – Fleshing Out the Arrangement

Ready to make it phat?! This week you’re going to learn about oh so many of the amazing digital instruments and tools at your fingertips. We’re talking leads (guitar, violin, saxophone, trumpet, piano, etc.), pads, plucks and arps (pizzicato, harp, glockenspiel, church bells), loops, and harmony, intervals, chord structures and chord progressions. Exploring the aptly named Flesh by Native Instruments, you’ll learn how to flesh out that song like a pro, with a pro! That’s right, your mentor will be there to guide you through the process of making your song sound complete. Your Academic Facilitator will further assist you in creating a pleasurable, filled out foundation by using chords, progressions, and various instruments that add to your song’s energy and emotion. We’ll also dip back to the 90s with a listen to Cocteau Twins’ Heaven or Las Vegas and take a stop at Sonic Charge to check out Echobode and Bitspeek. 


Lesson 7 – Mixdown

You’ve got the instrumentation, the vocals, beats, and bass. You’ve got chord progressions, effects, and variations. Alas, you do not have a mix. Not yet! This week, it’s all about polishing up our mix and getting everything sounding right together. To do this, we’ll be incorporating several audio effects that will really add some seasoning to what we’re doing while also bringing a lot of balance. We’re getting into all of it: working with clip envelopes, sidechaining, pumping up with compression, the magic of equalization, and rendering. To make sure your mix is “on format” for your specific genre, we’ll uncover how to choose the right, polished reference mix and replicate its attributes. For our digital field trip, we’ll explore the possibilities of the open-ended, customizable Eurorack. We’ll also start putting together a POA (plan of attack) for how you will put yourself out there on social as an EDM artist/producer.  

Lesson 8 – Online Content Creation

Now, with fully mixed and polished music under your belt you’re considered a content creator. You are one of the millions online, who can actually create rather than just critique, listen to, and watch what’s available. If thinking about the millions of other creators out there gets you nervous, it should! With tons of people out there creating music, you need to be smart in how you publish and in how you present yourself. Conveying the persona you’ve carefully developed over the past few weeks though photographs, writing, and symbology are all facets we’ll focus on. From there, we’ll get back into making music through creating memorable melodies and unleashing the powers of MIDI to add variation as well as discover other melodies we can add to our catalog. After that, we’ll dip into Dummy, by Portishead, a beacon of top-notch production quality and emotional content that’s through the roof!

Lesson 9 – Music Video Creation

Expand your reach and add to the lure and artistry of what you do through the power of moving pictures. That’s right, this week you’re going to jump into music video creation! Music videos started out in the early 80s as short and simple visual media showing a band playing and/or artist singing their lyrics. Within just a few years, they became works of art, short movies with compelling storylines, or powerful statements of protest and calls to action. With today’s technology and a little savvy, you can bring your song to life by shooting and editing your own music video. We’ll take you through it all, from performance, to getting your establishing shot, cutaways, nature shots, FX shots, and ample B-roll. Then we’ll get back into our first love—making music, and get a feel for composing first, then filling in with Ableton’s near-limitless sounds and instrumentation. We’ll get into harmonics and the art of orchestration as a way to go from the intimate to the epic and onto uncharted terrain. Then, we’ll take a digital field trip to the reigning king of FX bundles—Waves, and we’ll flashback to the 90s with Beck’s Mellow Gold, the album that brought him into the limelight and cemented the artist’s fame.

Lesson 10 – Remixing 101

Want to catapult your career to the top? Remixes are a great way to spread your name, sound, and production style around in clubs, radio shows, DJ sets, and more. Now’s the time to start showing off your chops and make your mark as a producer by reconceiving a known song in a whole new way. This week, you’re going to tackle remixing a song in three different ways. Then, you’ll learn how to use Ableton to create and properly package your stems so that another artist/producer can remix your music! For our digital field trip, we’ll head over to Maono and take a look at their solution for getting good vocals without going into the studio. 


Lesson 11 – Employment Training Bootcamp, Part 1

There is, without a shadow of a doubt, a way of being that can afford you swift passage through the ambiguous waters of not knowing and into professional audio work. This week, we’re going to focus on making the studio your place of earning a living, either as an employee or freelancer. The place where you’re currently recording and are forging a solid relationship with your mentor could be your launchpad to making your living in music. Because studios are artist-run, they’re drastically different than any other business you could think of. Nevertheless, recording studios must make their business i.e., their studios profitable. We’ll get into crucial things you, the future pro, must understand including, mindset, studio etiquette, protocol, and paying your dues. We’ll also reveal ways you can start being an asset to the studio right now, thereby setting yourself up for success and putting you in prime position to take advantage of future opportunities as they arise.

Between studio times and working on your music, you’ll delve into one singularly powerful album that has left an indelible mark on so many of today’s amazing artists and musicians—Prince’s Purple Rain.  

Lesson 12 – Collecting Graphics & Intro to Effects

This week we’re going to dip into Live’s Audio Effects that have a never-ending array of uses in music making and sound design. We’ll explain the differences between various kinds of effects and discuss those which defy classification. From spectral processors, equalizers, and filters to wicked dynamics processors, LFOs, time-based effects, distortion effects, and much, much more, we’ll peak behind the curtain and get a taste of what’s in store for us with Ableton effects!

Along with the sonic splendor, you’ll add to your symbology by creating a powerful visual image that evokes meaning and has the power to hearken instant recognition. What oh what could that powerful image be?! Your logo, of course. You’ll also start assembling and creating pictures and symbols of your journey. Carefully curated ephemera, photographs, and images enable those watching to feel connected to you as an artist and creator with a feel that’s all your own.

Lesson 13 – Workflows

Want to stay loose and uninhibited while you create? Establish workflows that work for you! As we start working on your forthcoming single, we’ll look into putting together workflows that serve you well by including the feel, sounds, instruments, and qualities that are associated with you as an artist/producer. From there we’ll get into setting up templates that include the instruments and effects that you gravitate towards so that everything is ready to go from the moment you start.

Next, your music making journey continues by breaking up your single into scenes via Ableton Sequencer. By recording yourself switching between different scenes, it’s easy to bounce from location to location, amusing the audience with the changeups and dynamics of your song, while staying in perfect time.

From there, we’ll reveal an easy and effective way to record an arrangement for songwriting using Ableton Live. Ableton is one of the few music creation suites that allows you to record your arrangement in real time. The value of this cannot be overstated. Using the technique we will reveal to you, it becomes extremely easy to string out several complex sequences in a cool, intuitive progression. Imagine being able to create multiple high-caliber arrangements, then picking the one that you feel is best as your final! You’ll be doing that now with your song as you arrange it three different ways. After that, your mentor will give their input on which arrangement they feel is best and why. For our digital field trip we’ll celebrate the opulence of sound with a visit to Eric Persing’s brainchild company, Spectrasonics.

Lesson 14 – Virtual Synths

Every artist has a palette of paints they carry around, every DJ a few crates of vinyl, and every artist using a DAW, their own cherry-picked plugins. Plugins are virtual devices like synthesizers, effects processors, drum kits, and more. Last week, we began to get familiar with synthesis, particularly subtractive synthesis. This week, we’re jumping further into synthesis, laying out the types of patches and explaining why they’re useful to you as an EDM creator and artist. From there we’ll get into building a one-shot patch and a looping patch. Then, we’re checking out third party instruments including Massive by Native Instruments, digging further into Ableton’s instruments, and getting in deep with Operator. We’ll have a look at Collision, Electric, and Tension. A main course of MIDI effects’ arpeggiators is next on the menu, followed by a taste of how the arpeggiator has been used (a lot!) in popular music in songs by Giorgio Moroder, Massive Attack, Daft Punk, Gesaffelstein, and more!

Lesson 15 – Sampling for Effect

Up to now you’ve largely been immersing yourself in sound design with synths and effects. That’s great but now let’s dive into one of Live’s original and main strengths—recording audio. This week, we’ll specifically cover recording audio in the session view. This is one of the biggest features that sets Live apart from other DAWs on the market, and it can be a real strength for how you produce with it. Mastering these features will really help you work faster and will enable you to make new sounds and add to your preexisting beats and songs quickly and creatively. Armed with that knowhow, you can then find effective ways to utilize sampled phrases of your own to add some spice to your songs and take them over the edge in terms of marketability. Remember, an infectious vocal phrase has a power all its own!  

We’ll cover how to setup Live for recording audio, monitoring (direct and software), establishing a workflow for working with audio, recording external and internal audio, moving audio around Ableton (internal audio routing), clip recording, Simpler, Sampler, and more. Our digital field trip takes us to VST (Virtual Studio Technology), currently the most popular plugin type in audio. Then we’ll listen to the digital audio laden, Pretty Hate Machine by Nine Inch Nails, the award-winning album that blew open the doors on the early Industrial Revolution of the 90s and made Trent Reznor a household name.

Lesson 16 – Sampling for Percussion

If you’re interested in using sampled loops, you’re working with the right application. Ableton was made with looping in mind. Regardless of whether you’re recording your own loops or going to a massive online sound library like, integrating sampled loops into your music is easily handled, thanks to Ableton’s session view.

Sampling, or digitally recording drums and other instruments, has been a major element in a multitude of genres for years. This form of musical accompaniment has been a boon for composers and players alike since people who don’t know how to play drums, or any instrument whatsoever, are able to fill out arrangements. But regardless of the level of skill one has or doesn’t have with physical, analog instruments, all kinds of music creators utilize and even create loops for music production. Ready to join the tribe? That’s right, this week, we’re getting into loop creation as well as loop manipulation, one-shot samples, and we’re delving deeper into Ableton’s Simpler and Sampler.

Lesson 17 – Sample Programming & Editing

Now that you’ve both recorded and edited samples, you’re getting a feel for how they fit into the songwriting workflow and are probably seeing just how much time they can save. Have you found yourself wishing there were a more elegant way of handling samples, specifically one-shot samples? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to trigger drums on a drum pad or MIDI controller? Let do that now, shall we?

This week we’ll get into triggering drums via MIDI controller or drum pad, drum racks 101, building drum racks, one-shot setup in the drum rack, drum rack loop slice, and more! For our sonic excursion we’ll plunge into Fleet Foxes self-titled 2008 album and listen to what happens when modern day production techniques meet classic folk instrumentation. For our digital field trip, we’re off to none other than Universal Audio to check out the Arrow and a slew of UA plugins.

Lesson 18 – Returning to Your Vision

You’ve come so far in such a short time! How do you feel? Pause and take a look back at all you’ve learned and accomplished. Pat yourself on the back and breathe. What do you see in your future? What’s next on the horizon? Once you’re in a balanced, congruent state of mind, you’ll set five more milestones you’d like to accomplish in the near future and further visualize the outcomes of your endeavors.   

Along with setting up a plan for moving forward, we’ll take some time to fill in a few of the cracks, put answers to some of the mysteries of sound and indoctrinate you into many of the principles, theories, and developments of sound recording, production, how the human ear hears, the physics of sound, and more! This is great stuff to geek out on before you go into the studio again. Do not despair if you don’t readily understand everything in the text. This is weird, amazing stuff! Feel free to reach out to your Academic Facilitator if you have questions. 

Lesson 19 – Vocal Editing 2

Having done this before, you’re ready to take the reins at editing your vocals. Just like the pros do, you’ll clean up those large swathes of audio and apply EQ and compression. From there, you’re assembling your audio and building your song utilizing the many, many tools and techniques you’ve learned along the way. Can you believe the possibilities before you? Aside from the important work of building out your song, you’ll get a crash course primer on the Art of Recording, exposing you to professional audio recording fundamentals, technologies, and various kinds of gear that enable audio engineers to achieve high-quality sonic outcomes. We’ll cover transducers and connections, line levels, mic levels, instrument levels, direct recording, mono and stereo, and the nitty-gritty microphones which will serve you very well going forward. Knowing a little bit of the science behind all of it will help you get your bearings when you’re in the studio and when you’re talking with engineers, producers, and the like. Don’t expect to understand all of it in one go. Aim for being able to ask smart questions. Then, listen to what your mentor and other pros have to say.

After that, we’re back in the Ableton Live, setting up your workflow for working solo and for when you’re recording someone else, either in the same room, or with them in an ISO booth. We’ll run through several products that can help make the experience sweet as well as show you how to create a headphone mix for an artist to sing to or accompany on their instrument. For our digital field trip, we’re heading to Izotope and taking a look at Ozone as one way to splash some polish on a mix. Then, we’re blowing back to the 70s and ABBA Gold. ABBA has lots to offer the hungry listener, from songwriting and composition to production quality, to instrumentation, so listen closely, tiger.

Lesson 20 – Song 2 Mixdown

During your first mixdown we kept things a bit simpler so that you wouldn’t get too overwhelmed. This time around, we’re stepping things up! On song two we’ll get into more advanced mixing techniques and jump into automation with the completion of not one, not two, but three different mixes of your song. We’ll also be pulling back the curtain on a few practices you may already be doing intuitively like giving every instrument (digital or analog) their own space in the “virtual stage” of your mix. We’ll discuss amplitude, pan, frequency, uncover various recording workflows in the arrangement window, and take a digital field trip to Arturia to take a look at their software and hardware. We’ll finish it off with a listen to Billie Eilish’s record-breaking album When We Fall Asleep, Where do We Go?

Lesson 21 – Self-Documentation

Those who will identify with your sound, your lyrics, your look are going to want to learn more about you. It’s vital that you as the artist/producer take charge of your narrative and your image or you’ll find others doing it for you. Listeners expect access to key bits of information about the artists they relate to and whose music they support. Smart self- documentation of your journey that you share on social engenders a deeper connection with your followers. What you share can be as little as concise updates throughout the week, detailing various victories on your productions (like “Finally got those vocals sounding just the way I wanted!”), mentions of radio plays, collaborations, and talk about the gear you’ve been using. Now that you’ve got your first song, a remix, and your second song, technically you have a single, so marketing it is right around the corner. Those captured glimpses into your life as a creator can say more than some flashy photoshoot, so remember—document those moments along the way!

Along with revisiting your social media profiles and crafting your long and short artist bios, we’ll go back to talking about the many ways to lay out a song, discuss the importance of finishing your songs, and get into a number of special effects that you can apply to your music. Our digital field trip takes us to, not a maker but rather the oldest, most comprehensive online database for audio plugins where you can find out what others are talking about, what’s new, and what’s good.

Lesson 22 – Employment Training Bootcamp, Part 2

You’re back in the studio this week and you’re helping out, even saying yes to the grunt work. Why? Because you know cementing your relationship with your mentor and the other pros in the environment can lead to paid work, gigs, and opportunities. Also, because these people are fellow music makers, fellow creators, and though your musical leanings may be different (or the same), you’re part of the same small community of music professionals in your city. Even in New York and Los Angeles, pros know other pros. So, take to heart the suggestions put forth in this last chapter. See how you can add value and score a win for your mentor’s studio. Get out to live performances and keep building those connections online. Is there a local artist you’d love to record? Why not talk to your mentor about bringing them in?

Today, every successful business has a website and hopefully a social media presence on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, or more. You’ve been working on your own social media during this course, but have you been checking out how your assigned studio is marketing itself? What talents and insights can you lend to their social? 

Everyone in music is in it because they love it. Nevertheless, recording studios must make their business i.e., their studios profitable, so use your ingenuity to see how you can be a part of the solution. And no matter what, be sure to communicate to your mentor your appreciation, passion, and commitment to the work you’re doing as an artist/producer and upcoming music making professional. Keep in touch with them and with us. We’re here to champion your success and…

May the wind be always on your back.