Review: In the Studio with DJ Santé

Review: In the Studio with DJ Santé

Dj Santé is one of Berlin’s hottest up and coming DJs and producers and in this Ableton Live online course he uncovers the secrets behind making a classic house track, ‘Do You Wanna 808′ on Desolat. The course is titled “In the Studio with DJ Santé” and is provided by Producertech.

This series of tutorials were shot live in Santé’s studio and it consists of four modules: 1) Creating the Beats and Bass, 2) Improving the Mix, 3) Arranging the Track and 4) Final Touches and Mastering.

Included are also a selection of loops from Santé’s Groove Essentials Loopmasters sample pack, including drums, bass, tops, music and FX.

Length of the course is 80 minutes and it’s aimed for beginners and intermediate level producers.

So how’s the course?

In the first module, Santé starts from the basics. He show’s how to build a standard house drum groove from one shot drum samples using the Ableton’s drum rack and how to make the samples sound tight. On top of the drum groove, Santé lays down the bass line using a third party synth plug-in. That’s the first module in a nutshell.

Personally, I didn’t learn anything new from this module, but if you are new to making dance music (and Ableton Live), it should give you a solid idea how to create those groovy four-to-the-floor house beats with it.

The second module is all about mixing. Santé uses the Live’s stock plug-ins such as EQ Eight, compressor and multiband compressor to fix the frequencies and tweak the dynamics to make specific elements stand out in the groove.

For me, this section didn’t offer any new production tips either. But like I mentioned already, if you are new, you’ll learn a handful of basic tips on mixing for sure though I would have liked to see some of the plug-in parameter tweaks explained a bit more thoroughly.

After the mixing, Santé proceeds on arranging the track (module three). In my opinion, this was the most interesting and useful part of this course. Santé gives some very good reasons why a track that is aimed for clubs needs to have a certain structure. Also, you’ll get an idea of the different sections of a house track (intro, drop, etc.) and how a full dance music song can be made up from relatively simple elements and grooves.

In the final module (module four) Santé uses the Ableton Live mastering racks to give the track a facelift.

Verdict: this is quite decent Ableton Live house beat production course. And even though Santé doesn’t explain very thoroughly some of the specific plug-in tweaks he makes during the video (and there’s also some phasing problems in the recorded video audio from time to time), this course should give an idea for new Ableton Live users how to build a groovy house track. Plus, it’s always inspirational to see how other producers create their music.

For more info and trailer of the course, check out

About Petri Suhonen

Petri Suhonen is an electronic music hobbyist. He has been producing music with computers over a decade on such styles as trance, downtempo, ambient & experimental electronic using FL Studio.

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