Live Performance Techniques Part 3: Ableton Configuration w/ Atropolis

In this third video of a three-part series on Live Performance Techniques, Dubspot Instructor Adam Partridge aka Atropolis takes us deeper into his live set to give an even closer look at the custom tools used to perform and manipulate sounds while offering some creative tips to help improve your live sets.

In this third video of a three-part series on Live Performance Techniques, Dubspot Instructor Adam Partridge aka Atropolis takes us through some of the Ableton Live Instrument and Audio Effect Racks he created to perform and manipulate sounds in a live performance. Using a Livid Ds1 MIDI mixer, Adam demonstrates how he incorporates various custom Instrument Racks to access and manipulate several different sounds and overcome device limitations. Adam also explores his approach to developing sounds live and performing with various effects on-the-fly to create a new layer of expression.

Check out Atropolis’s personal process to creating and performing with custom Ableton Live tools.

Performing Live with Custom Ableton Tools

In my Live Set, I am utilizing custom MIDI, Audio, and Instrument Racks that allow me to gain control over my sound processing. My MIDI Effect Racks allow me to do fast octave shifts, which are hard to achieve on my mini AKAI keyboards, as well as allow me to add chordal elements to melodies recorded during my live set. My custom Audio Effect Racks allow me to access and manipulate various delays in ways I would not be able to if I were using a basic delay. My Instrument Racks allow me to have six custom synths under one channel, which I can access and manipulate with my Ds1 without looking at my screen.

These tools may vary depending on your needs. I cannot stress how valuable Ableton Live’s ability to build these tools has allowed me to really push and develop my sound with ease. It wasn’t until I started practicing and experimenting with my set that lead to the creation of these tools.


With the advent of music technology, the process of a live set is a multidimensional process that is very personal and custom. Starting from scratch can be a daunting task at first. My best advice is to set limitations and guidelines first. I enjoyed Timo’s advice to pick up a pen and paper and start sketching out a graph of a controller you might use to start visualizing specific needs. For me, it was a combination of thinking, experimenting, learning, and modifying which lead me to where I am today. The Push was the first tool that influenced how I organized my tracks. From that moment onward, I had the ability to start performing my tracks and developing my set further. It was through the practice of performance that I begin to build custom tools and incorporate other devices like the Livid’s Ds1, Roland’s HPD 20, a foot switch to punch in loops with my Push, and two Akai keyboards.

Be sure to catch the other two videos in this three-part series on Live Performance Techniques where I talk about my own personal process and demonstrate the equipment used to build my live set.

Live Performance Techniques Part 1: Performance Playthrough w/ Atropolis

Live Performance Techniques Part 2: Equipment Breakdown w/ Atropolis


Ableton Live Producer Certificate Program

About This Program

At Dubspot our world-class instructors provide the most complete and cutting-edge Ableton Live learning experience. The Ableton Live Producer Certificate Program is the flagship of our music training. After completing this program, you will leave with a portfolio of original tracks, a remix entered in an active contest, a scored commercial to widen your scope, and the Dubspot Producer’s Certificate in Ableton Live.

This program is about learning Ableton Live by going through the entire process of being an artist, by developing your own sound through a series of sketches and experimentation. You will also learn the ins and outs of this powerful software through a series of exercises designed to help you master the steps involved in producing your own music. After a level of getting familiar with the tools that Ableton has to offer, you will then develop your sonic ideas into full-length tracks. You will be exposed to a variety of approaches to arrangement and composition, storytelling techniques, ways of creating tension and drama in your music. At the end of the day, it is the sum total of your choices as an artist that define your sound, and levels 2 – 6 will give you the experience of actually completing tracks to add to your portfolio.

What’s Included

  • Ableton Live Level 1: Beats, Sketches, and Ideas
  • Ableton Live Level 2: Analyze, Deconstruct, Recompose, and Assemble
  • Ableton Live Level 3: Synthesis and Original Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 4: Advanced Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 5: Advanced Effect Processing
  • Ableton Live Level 6: Going Global with your Music


  • Dubspot’s complete Ableton course load: six levels/48 class sessions
  • 132 hours of hands-on instruction
  • Additional lab hours to work on assignments in Dubspot’s onsite facilities
  • 24/7 access to Dubspot Online’s Ableton Live course videos
  • Access to the course videos for one year after course completion


Visit the Ableton Live course page for detailed information on this program here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.