Participant Guide: All Hands On Deck Music Production Course


Hello! We’re stoked to make music with like-minded womxn, welcome! The goal of this 4-week course (Level 1) is to get comfortable with music production, create ideas for your first song, and (optionally) upload your music to SoundCloud. We’ll show you the software step-by-step. If you follow the steps and do the coursework, you’ll know the basics of using Ableton Live and create songs using 2 different workflows.😀 We recommend that you spend at least 3 hours between sessions going over the material, though this is optional. If you attend all the sessions, you’ll also get a free licence for Ableton Live Intro, woohoo! 🥳 Just email us if there is a reason why you have to miss a session.


The sessions will take place on Zoom. It’s recommended to use either Google Chrome or Firefox as your browser. If you haven’t used Zoom before, here’s an easy-to-follow guide. You can also join a test meeting to get comfortable with Zoom and check your audio. There is a cool feature in the Zoom Settings – you can change the colour of the reactions to match your skin tone! 😀 Please join 5 minutes early and use your real name, so we can let you in from the waiting room and ensure a safe classroom.


  • Your computer + charger
  • A pair of headphones (over-ear headphones provide better audio quality and block out outside noise)
  • A good, stable internet connection (if possible, connect to the router with an ethernet cable rather than WiFi)

The sessions will be easier for you if you have two screens – here are some suggestions:

  • If you have two computers, use the more powerful one for Ableton Live and the other for Zoom.
  • Use your computer for Ableton Live and a tablet for Zoom.
  • Mac: put your computer in extended desktop mode and connect it to your TV. Have Ableton Live on your computer and Zoom on your TV.
  • Windows: Connect your computer to your TV and use multiple monitors to have Ableton Live on your laptop, and Zoom on your TV.
  • If you only have one screen, no worries, you’ll be fine! 😀

One tutor will be available to answer your questions on the Zoom chat throughout each session. It can help if you take a screenshot of your issue and send it to us. If you’re not sure how to take a screenshot, here are the instructions for Mac, and for Windows.

Let’s support each other! Please feel free to ask questions / link your work / share tips, tricks, and inspirational videos on our Equalize Facebook Group. This is a safe and supportive space 🙂 This is also the perfect place to discuss collaboration, events or meeting up outside the group. 

We’d also love to connect with you on the All Hands on Deck Facebook Group: Manchester’s DJ collective & regular open-deck party for women, trans and non-binary people to try their hands at DJing out in a low-pressure, all welcoming, and inclusive environment.


Don’t hesitate to contact equalizeproduction@gmail.com with questions about Ableton Live, or allhandsondeckmanchester@gmail.com with any other questions about the course.


Week 1: The Session View 

  • Introduction to the basic functions of Live 
  • How to program beats

Week 2: MIDI & Live

  • Choose Instruments in Live and record melodies / basslines
  • Create and edit MIDI clips

Week 3: Using Effects

  • Organise your Project with names, colours and groups
  • Add Audio Effects
  • Play with MIDI Effects
  • Key mapping & MIDI mapping

Week 4: The Arrangement View

  • Record your ideas from the Session View into the Arrangement View
  • Learn more techniques to arrange and edit your clips
  • Create a song using Samples from the Browser

E-mail equalizeproduction@gmail.com Hours Equalize Music Production CIC / Company Number: 13008716
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