When we last joined our friend Gustavo Bravetti, Uruguay’s Ableton maestro, he was showing us how to glitch out with Live. Now he’s on Hong Kong-based DJ site djvox with a comprehensive set of Live tutorials. These are not necessarily the usual “how to use Live” fare. Instead, they focus on musical techniques, with Live as the tool — a means to an end, and a way to approach Live as an instrument, rather than a duplicate manual.

First up — one of my favorite tricks, which is building bass drum sounds in Operator. Not everyone loves Operator, but this is exactly why I like it for certain tasks: it’s a no-nonsense, quick way of building synths that drops nicely into a Drum Rack for quick DIY drum machines. And that pitch envelope and all-in-one time controls are especially handy.)

And for IDM lovers, here are some clever tricks for creating rhythmic variations using envelopes and follow actions. This one is especially worth a trip through the guide, even if you have different musical results in mind, because it’s an exceptional description of how follow actions work — one that’s actually better than the manual’s.

That gives you an idea of what Gustavo is working with, but be sure to check out the full guide for more details and step-by-step instructions, friendly even to beginners.

He even gives a shout out to the open-source 3D webcam MIDI controller for Windows we looked at last year.

Looking forward to more iProducer installments, Gustavo! And readers, now you know what to do with your evening / weekend / sick day you’re about to call in. Erm, if you’re not too busy building an arcade cabinet for Live first, that is.

iProducer: A Creativity Upgrade [Ableton Live tutorial on djvox]

(By the way, for digital crate-diggers: snooping around that Hong Kong site, you can buy downloads there internationally, though they wind up being a bit steep in US dollars.)