Skip to main content
For students Search

Intro­duc­tion to Live Elec­tron­ics: Ableton Live

  • Course level: Bachelor/Master.
  • Year of study: One semester, fall.
  • Final assessment: Practical exam.
  • Prerequisites: MUSTEK10, DIG10 (compulsory in the 1st module) or equivalent.
  • Language of instruction: Norwegian or English.

Course description

The course gives an introduction to the artistic use of music technology for music performance. The course is aimed at students wishing to perform music using modern music technology. Students' artistic and aesthetic development and reflection is central to instruction.

Note: Students must have at their disposal:

  • Ableton Live Standard (newest version) software. A student licence can be purchased at a lower price from all distributors.
  • A laptop capable of running the newest edition of Ableton Live Standard (test with a demo-version before purchase).
  • A MIDI controller consisting of a keyboard and a minimum of 8 faders or knobs.
  • External audio card with minimum 1 microphone input and 2 outputs.
  • Closed headphones.
  • Microphone.

The software must be installed and all equipment tested prior to starting the course. Support is usually available where the products where purchased.

Responsible department: Composition, Music Theory and Music Technology Department.

Course instructor: Bernt Isak Wærstad.

Learning objectives

On completion of the course, students are expected to

  • perform music in live performances with the program Ableton Live
  • possess a basic knowledge of the Live Electronics field
  • show artistic reflection over the use of music technology in performance


The course will cover topics like

  • introduction to Ableton Live
  • sampling, signals, editing and processing recorded sound using software-instruments
  • designing digital instruments and mapping
  • a short overview of alternative software
  • synchronising several computers


Group instruction. Approximate tuition resource is 12 times 90 minutes. Some instruction may be organised in projects.

For an overview of recommended amounts of instruction and organisation, please see Organisation under the description of the individual study programme.

Students have registered automatically for instruction/supervision and assessment in the course in accordance with the study progress requirements set out in the individual education plan.

Course requirements

Students will hold 4 artistic presentations for their peers. Topics will be introduced by the course instructor one week in advance at the latest.

Final assessment

All coursework requirements must be approved prior to obtaining a final assessment.

Assessment is based on learning objectives. The final assessment is given as a pass/fail mark, which is determined based on a practical exam. Assessment is done by two internal examiners of which one is normally the course instructor.

Practical exam

Students will perform Live Electronics and give an artistic presentation about their performance. Scope: Approx. 10–15 minutes.

New assessment

In the case of re-assessment, the same procedures apply.

Study component

Published: Apr 3, 2020 — Last updated: Feb 16, 2021