Making Music at the Library with the Ableton Live & Push Controller

September 19, 2016 | Greg Astill

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Music production at the library has gotten a whole lot easier. Thanks to an amazing donation to the Toronto Reference Library's Green Screen Room, there has been influx in new music recording tools. The Ableton Live 9 software and the accompanying Push Controller has been great for new music experimentation and creating new productions.     

Ableton Push Controller

These two new tools are great additions to the Hub for anyone who wants to experiment with music recording and creating. These are essential tools for anyone expressing an interest in constructing loops, tweaking samples and adding effects to make your sound stronger and better.

DJ Live

Whether it be for use in a studio or in a live setting, some of the world's most popular artists and DJs use this tools. Some of the artists listed as being a fan and avid user of this powerful tool are Nine Inch Nails, Daft Punk, Underworld and even Canadian DJ deadmau5 to name a few.

To understand the device and software a bit better, try a few videos like the ones below from the Ableton YouTube Channel or check out tutorial websites like or Safari Tech & Business Books Online to to help you conquer the equipment.

For those who don't know, the Push Controller is a pad that helps users create music at their fingertips.  Play and tweak samples, construct loops and add instruments, samples and effects to your sound. The device is meant to allow the user to construct sound with just a touch of a button.

Get into more detailed arrangements, and edit your song using the software tool Live. All your work is already laid out, as the software has been powering your session the entire time. Improved waveforms and enhanced metres are just some of the tools that have been updated to make editing and arranging easier.

Ableton Live Software

The software and device doesn't scream easy use at first glance.  A lot of it is trial and error but the staff at the Toronto Reference Library are in the process of scheduling a few workshops for the fall.  The sessions will show you how to better use these two wonderful tools.  

Please check back regularly for announcement of dates and times.  

Have fun!!