Ableton Live 11: Sound Design Session I – Kicks

Learn Sound Design in Ableton Live 11 and Understand How to Create and Process Your Own Kick Drums

What you’ll learn

  • How to create and process kick drums in Ableton Live 11
  • Various Ableton Live plugins to create kicks (Operator, Vocoder, Drum Bus, etc.)
  • How to use resampling techniques to build a library of sounds quickly
  • Enhancing weak sounding kicks
  • Using Instrument Racks and automating macro parameters
  • Make kicks with third-party plugins like Sonic Academy’s Kick 2 and Superior Drummer
  • Learn different layering techniques to layer your kick with sub and click sounds.


  • A basic understanding of sound and music
  • A working PC, Laptop, iMac or Macbook
  • Ableton Live 11 Software installed on your PC or Mac
  • Basic music production skills are recommended, but not necessary


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Welcome to my “Sound Design Session” Series.

Working as a Sound Designer for Native Instruments in Berlin, Germany, I thought it was finally time to pass on to others what I had learned.

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Sharing Industry Secrets

The best producers aren’t making production tutorials, they are too busy making music. That’s why there are so many tutorials where the sounds being created are just not up to pro level standard. I came here to change that.

I’ll create a complete Sound Design course, covering the creation of all kinds of sounds to bring you the most comprehensive manual on sound design and production techniques here on Skillshare. Snares, drum loops, synths, pianos, basses, everything.

The courses are designed in a way which allows anyone to learn these sound design techniques, from beginner to professional, with a gradually increasing level of complexity from lesson to lesson. You’ll make new sounds using different techniques in each lesson, some of which are even industry secrets of some of the most reputable producers in the world right now.

Instead of giving you a theory lesson on “how to use Ableton Live”, I’ll show you how the best producers actually make their sounds!

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This is Part I: Kicks

I’ll start with the basics, so the first couple of lessons are all about drums, starting with kick drums. How to create and process them, how to deal with weak sounding kicks, resampling techniques, different plugins for bass drum creation and much more.

Start with the first lesson about how to make a kick using Live’s Vocoder plugin right now!


Who this course is for:

  • Those with basic music production knowledge who wish to improve their sound design skills
  • Experienced music producers who want to know how to create their own bass drums
  • DJs who want to start producing their own music
  • New and experienced Ableton Live users who want to deepen their knowledge of this software
  • Those interested in creating their own sounds or being better at music production
  • Anyone who wants to learn Ableton Live for fun or for taking their music production and music creations more seriously

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Course content

5 sections • 11 lectures • 1h 15m total lengthExpand all sections

Introduction1 lecture • 3min

  • IntroductionPreview03:23

Working with Kick Samples & Resampling4 lectures • 19min

  • Vocoder Kick02:16
  • Resampling Multiple Kicks03:56
  • Resampling Kicks One by One03:23
  • Enhancing Weak Kicks09:07

Creating a Kick Instrument Rack & Macro Automation2 lectures • 20min

  • Operator Kick RackPreview08:12
  • Kick Rack Automation12:05

Sonic Academy’s Kick 2 VST Plugin2 lectures • 14min

  • Kick 2 VST Plugin06:40
  • Layering Sub06:58

Making Kicks with Superior Drummer2 lectures • 19min

  • Superior Drummer09:12
  • Layering Click Samples10:02


Niels Steinmetz

Niels Steinmetz Music Producer, Sound Designer, Audio Engineer

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Niels is a Sound Designer from Germany, working for Native Instruments GmbH in Berlin. He also teaches classes about music production and sound design at Technische Universität Berlin.

Apart from that, he produces Audiobooks for Audible GmbH, which is also based in Berlin.

He recently felt the urge to share his knowledge, so he decided to create a series of online courses, teaching others how pro level music producers and sound designers make their sounds and turn them into tracks.

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