Learn guitar, piano or music production with one of these discounted bundles

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These music courses are the perfect way to kick off your new year productively
These music courses are the perfect way to kick off your new year productively.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Do you remember when you decided you would use your extra time during quarantine to pick up a hobby or learn something new? Well, 10 months have passed, and we’re rolling into a new year with continuing restrictions due to COVID-19.

But don’t let that discourage you. One fun and productive hobby you can pick up is playing music. And we have some great musical training bundles that’ll help you start 2021 off right.

Hook up Digitakt and Ableton Live with Overbridge [Part 2]

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Digitakt on a table
The Digitakt is good alone, better in a group.
Photo: Cult of Mac

This is the second of a two-part video feature on integrating your Elektron synthesizers, samplers and drum machines with Ableton Live on your Mac.

In this video, we’ll show you how to use the brand new Overbridge 2 app and plugin to record up to eight tracks simultaneously over a single USB connection. We’ll also dive into FX routing on the Elektron’s Digitakt sampling drum machine, which is powerful but confusing at first. Finally, we’ll explain how to use the Overbridge plugin to sync Ableton and the Digitakt, and to record loops through a normal analog mixer.

How to record Digitakt into Ableton Live with Overbridge 2 [Video]

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Digitakt close up
The Digitakt drum sampler is even more awesome paired with Ableton Live.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Overbridge 2 is an amazing new app/plugin from Swedish drum machine and synthesizer maker Elektron. As its name suggests, it acts as a bridge between your computer and Elektron’s hardware boxes.

Using Overbridge, you can plug in, say, the Digitakt drum computer and sampler, and stream all eight of its audio tracks to your Mac or PC over a single USB cable.

5 Ableton Live tips for GarageBand users

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ableton live at home
Who needs to leave the house any more?
Photo: Ableton

If you’re a stuck-at-home musician, or just someone who would like to learn to make music with their Mac, then maybe you’ve just downloaded the generous, lockdown-era, three-month free trial of Ableton Live. And if you’re a GarageBand (or Logic Pro X) user, you may be feeling a little lost.

Fear not. I did the same thing last year. At first I was overwhelmed just trying to do basic stuff, like routing my guitar into Ableton or trying to work out why the app offers at least three record buttons.

So, as a relatively fresh Ableton user, I thought I’d make a list of handy tips for new users coming from Apple’s music apps.

Grab these pricey creativity apps and use them for free during the pandemic

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Ableton and Logic Pro X free app trials: Nothing says
Nothing says "unbridled creative frenzy" like a mass of tangled cables.
Photo: Ableton

Being stuck at home with nothing to do but watch the world collapse around us is kind of a downer, but there are some upsides. One is that people are getting creative. Like, literally creative — making more music, writing and sharing videos. The other silver lining is that app-makers are offering big discounts and extended trials for some amazing apps.

For instance, Apple now offers a free, three-month trial of its music-production app, Logic Pro X. And Ableton just matched this offer with its Live Suite.

Dive into a DJ bootcamp featuring Ableton and Logic Pro [Deals]

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The 2020 Music Production with Ableton Live 10 & Logic Pro X Bundle
Get 56 hours of training in songwriting, recording, production and distribution using the industry-leading music software.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Being stuck at home with your computer doesn’t have to mean you’re not active. If you’ve got a copy of Ableton Live or Logic Pro, your laptop can be your platform for DJing, songwriting and producing music. With this massive bundle of lessons, you’ll get the skills to do all of the above.

Apple leaks new Logic Pro X Live Loops feature

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Logic Pro X Live Loops
This screenshot shows an as-yet unreleased version of Logic Pro X.
Photo: Apple

Sometime before this past weekend, Apple posted a screenshot of what is presumably an upcoming new version of Logic Pro X, its pro music-creation app, onto its education page. It shows a brand new feature, previously only seen in the iOS version of GarageBand: Live Loops. Live Loops is a way to trigger music clips live, on-the-fly, so you can create music like a DJ.

And the Logic version looks great. And more importantly, it finally adds Apple’s take on the Session View from Logic’s biggest rival, Ableton Live.