Ableton Live expert, tutor and Soma Records artist Simon Stokes paid New College Lanarkshire a visit this week to give a Masterclass in creative music production within Ableton Live. Armed with a small bundle of creative tools, including an Ableton Push controller, a Korg analogue synth and a Zoom field recorder, Simon tried to expand students minds to consider fresh and unique approaches to electronic music production. This included poly-rhythmic drum pattern creation, recycling old field recordings, using twigs to create beats and Warp-streching audio jams to embrace a certain amount of happy accidents. Simon, who records on the name Petrichor on the now legendary Soma Records label, was also able to preview some new tracks from his upcoming release titled Narisshu. He also keeps himself busy running evening and weekend classes that specialise in electronic music production of all sorts, with a particular emphasis on Ableton, through his subSine Academy. He is also the only Ableton Certified Trainer in Scotland and the opportunity to learn from an expert was not lost on the students: HND Sound Production students Dylan and Josh had this to say about the session:
Dylan: Simon gave a presentation on some of the different production techniques he used to create an album entirely in Ableton Live. The pieces of hardware in his presentation fascinated me – the Ableton Push which is basically an Ableton Live controller allowed him to freely record instruments without having to individually input them into Live. The presentation today changed my perspective of Live. I used to see it as a DAW mainly used for synths and techno style music, now I see that with the right hardware Ableton Live can be an instrument in its own right.
Josh: Simon’s talk was full of inspiration for me in terms of my productions. I really enjoyed seeing his workflow and some of the methods he uses in his tracks. What really stuck out for me was the way he took a fairly simple sound from a synth and recycled it in many creative ways making it much more complex. He did this by recording his synth to an audio channel rather than inputting MIDI notes which allowed him to go on and manipulate his sound further with some of the features in Ableton Lives clip view.
Thanks to Simon for stopping by! You can listen to his music here: https://open.spotify.com/album/3AZtHE8Sycthnm4k7O73Ve?si=sn_Xwyh3SzKwaMw7iqgNQA