Grooveboxmusic gives some free Ableton school.

Video tutorials are a great way to learn software. You can pause, switch to the app, try things out and return to the show. For a limited time Grooveboxmusic is giving away three hours of Ableton video tutorials. I love Ableton Live and so should you. With Live you need to learn and use the program for a few weeks before you get that “AH HA!” moment. These tutorials are sure to help you out and since they are free and you have some Xmas vacation time coming up I don’t want to hear any excuses.

“Our friends at are giving Ableton users free access to a collection of high-quality Ableton Live tutorials running over three hours in length via the Ableton Web Pass. This collection of tutorials covers topics such as how to record and edit, virtual instrument basics, warping, designing electronic drums and much more. The videos are hand-picked from the extensive Ableton Live tutorial collection available at This offer provides seven days of access from the day you sign up and enter your access code. Offer valid until December 31, 2008” –

Head over to the free tutorials: click here

photo credit: James Sarmiento

Is learning at the SAE Institute worthwhile?

I’m big on education. The more you know the better your music will sound, the more jobs you will get, the more money you will be paid and the more fun you will have. Last week I was talking to a friend of mine in Spain and he was telling me about his experience at the SAE Insitute over there. First off, he told me he paid about 9000€. Immediately I let out a big gulp. Teachers should be paid yes. Equipment is expensive yes… but still. I give him “props” as he’s not a native Spanish speaker and all his classes are in Spanish. Because of this however his grades are low. This doesn’t reflect on his music or drive because his tracks are well produced and he’s involved with some decent commercial work already. However, he complains that he can never get studio time at the school except for early in the morning around 8:00AM. He also mentioned that he has several rotating substitute teachers, none of which he has confidence in. He doesn’t like that they gave him the cheapest Mac laptop (the white one). I guess he should have known which computer he was going to get before entering into the program.

I know this post could be seen as a little controversial but I got the notion it was a good topic because over at the Sound on Sound Magazine forums a new bloak asks what people think about SAE almost daily. Almost daily the reviews are mainly negative. Here’s an example: click here

“i’d do a cost analysis: student loans versus potential income. hmmmmmmm, let’s see… potential income = zero” – Sqye, Gearslutz Forum Member

So are any of you currently enrolled at SAE? What do you think? Any allumni want to chime? Is it worth it? I think a lot of people coming into the music business want to know.

Some forum threads on the subject at Gearslutz: click here and another one. is a good place to learn a DAW and more.

About two years ago I learned the ins and outs of Adobe Illustrator at Illustrator was one of those programs I owned that I always struggled with. The free tutorials I could find online in the usual spots really didn’t get me to a place where I felt like I knew the software. Frustrated, I asked a graphic designer friend do teach me what he knew and instead he bought me one month at Lynda. Within a week I was in a happy vector place. What does this have to do with an “all things pro-audio” weblog? Well as it happens Lynda also has courses from some pro-audio apps including Pro-Tools, Logic, Reason and Soundtrack Pro. I’m a big Ableton freak and I know Cubase inside and out. However, in a few weeks I’m going to be working with some new people and unfortunately they are Logic nerds. I can’t be in a room of computers and not take the helm sometimes so Lynda is getting me up to Logic speed. In fact I think by tomorrow night I may know more than the the guys who have been using the big L since it’s Emagic days.

Wow… I just read the above and it seems like an ad… so a disclaimer: I’m not affiliated in anyway with Lynda. I just really do think it’s a good resource. Almost all the courses have the first few lessons unlocked so go check some out!