Dubspot Ableton Live Tips #10: Creating A Unique Performance Setup (Dorian Concept)

In this Ableton Live video tutorial, we’ll explore some techniques inspired by two incredible conversations I had this past week. We will look at the creative possibilities of using the Simpler, some portamento, LFO, and delays, and we’ll also explore a great technique for crafting 8 bar drum patterns.

First up, I had the great pleasure of catching Dorian Concept‘s insanely inspiring set at Low End Theory last week. Dorian Concept is a Vienna-based producer who has developed his own completely original style of keyboard playing. He’s been tearing it up at Festivals around the world since bursting on to everyone’s radar with the massive tune Vertical Output a few years back. His latest release on Ninja Tune is called Her Tears Taste Like Pears, full of funky, synth driven club heaters. He often sits in live improv style with his friend Flying Lotus when they cross paths internationally, and his series of YouTube videos ‘Fooling Around With The MicroKorg, Alesis Micron, etc’ are straight jaw droppers.

So I had the honor of chatting with him at length at Low End, and I thought I’d share some tidbits from our inspiring conversation. He shared some serious wisdom that would be helpful for any aspiring producer. Turns out he is not classically trained, and he’s actually completely self-taught. The great thing about what he has done, is that he has kept it simple and really mastered his instrument, developing his own unique style. With all the tools we have available in our toolbox these days, it is easy to get overwhelmed and the reality is that sometimes it is better to simplify and limit yourself. That is what he has done, truly mastering his Microkorg and Micron and developing his own very distinct style of playing these instruments. We talked about our shared admiration of Squarepusher, as he had a very similar approach, mainly he used one particular sampler for all of his pre-year 2000 productions. He also developed his own very recognizable style of bass playing.

Dorian Concept – Freeze Sweep by Dorian Concept

Applying these concepts to working in Ableton Live, I strongly recommend finding a compositional process that works best for you. These tutorial videos are about sharing various production techniques, find the ones that give you the best results and develop them further. Put a few of these techniques together into your bag of tricks, and then work at becoming the master of them. Identify a few elements that will become your signature sound, and then create a body of work with them. Develop your meat grinder, and then crank out the jams.

Stay tuned for the next tutorial, in which Professor Nalepa shares some great tips and techniques for drum programming and sequencing he picked up from Dutty Artz co-founder and Dubspot Instructor Matt Shadetek. The track used at the end of this video is “Wonton Garden” from Matt Shadetek’s Dutty House EP, out now on Dutty Artz.


For a deeper exploration of Ableton Live I recommend checking out Dubspot’s new (in-house or online) courses on the program.

Working together with Dubspot, we have created an online Ableton Live curriculum designed to take you through the complete process of finding your own unique style and creating a body of work – learning Ableton inside and out! (inspired by my advanced classes I teach at Chapman University Conservatory of Music). The goal: to become a well rounded producer. I am thrilled with how it has turned out, Dubspot’s talented Pat Cupo created the videos for the online class, taking my course design and actualizing it in a brilliant way. The weekly video tutorials will supplement this great course.

Steve Nalepa is an LA-based producer, professor, Dubspot Instructor and Ableton Live expert. He’s produced tracks and collaborated with everyone from legends like Bill Laswell and Pharoah Sanders to rising electronic music artists Nosaj Thing and The Glitch Mob.

Ableton Live Producer Certificate Program

All six levels / 48 sessions / 132 hours of hands-on instruction + labs

The flagship of our music training, with every Ableton course offered at the school. Finish tracks at every step of the process for an EP and earn the Dubspot Producer’s Certificate in Ableton Live.


  • Ableton Live Level 1: Shake Hands with Live
  • Ableton Live Level 2: Completing Your First Track
  • Ableton Live Level 3: Production Essentials
  • Ableton Live Level 4: Sound Design & Instrumentation
  • Ableton Live Level 5: Advanced Composition & Production
  • Ableton Live Level 6: Taking Your EP Global

This program is about learning Ableton Live by going through the entire process of being an artist, from developing your sound through a series of sketches while getting familiar with the application to creating a fully-fleshed out four song EP. You will create a remix and submit it to an active remix contest, score a commercial, and learn valuable insider tips and techniques.


  • Ableton Live Core & Advanced: 6 levels
  • 132 hours of in-class instruction
  • Additional instructor-supervised lab hours
  • Dubspot’s complete Ableton course load

Program Goal:
After completing this program, you will leave with a multi-track EP, a remix entered in an active remix contest, a scored commercial to widen your scope, and the Dubspot Producer’s Certificate in Ableton Live.

  • James Boggs
  • 4/25/2011

all Steve Nalepa’s videos are so clear and helpful. I have Learned so much on dubspot. wish I was a student! some day…. cheers -James Boggs

  • Redskyy
  • 4/25/2011

Hey i Sat in on the Sessions In boston It was great to meet you and I found the seminars very resourceful!

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