Making generative music in Ableton Live (free project file included)

Have you ever tried creating generative music?

In traditional music production, we compose each component of our song to be fixed—every time you play back your track, you hear the same grooves, chord progressions, melodies, etc. However, what if you were able to click the play button and be surprised with new musical material each time?

Generative music allows us to do just that; instead of writing out individual parts, we write a system that uses defined parameters to compose random but intentional musical material for us. This might seem incredibly complicated, but you can actually make generative music right within your DAW—in the video above, we demonstrate how to create a system that makes ambient music at the click of a button using Ableton Live and Arturia’s Pigments 3.

If you’d like to follow along in your own DAW, you can download the project file we created in the video here.

Do you have any tips for making generative music? What topics in music production would you like to see us cover on our YouTube channel next? Let us know in the comments below.

Try Pigments 3 for free, and then Rent-to-Own the synth for $9.99/mo until you own it outright:

May 29, 2021

Max Rewak Max Rewak is a record producer, audio engineer, and music writer, based in New York and currently working in Sounds content at Splice.