Ableton DJing-Creating Loops on the fly
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  1. #1

    Default Ableton DJing-Creating Loops on the fly

    Hi All,

    I just want to say first of all that this is such a great community. There is a wealth of information here and alot of good people who are willing to take the time and help others out in undersanding concepts as well as bounce ideas off each other. I have been lurking on the site/forums for some time now but only registered now. I just wanted to take the opportunity to say thanks for everything i have learned from this site and i am eager to be a part of this community to continue learning and hopefully help someone out in the process!

    Onto the topic at hand. I have a question regarding DJing with Ableton Live that maybe someone can help by pointing me in the right direction. Just so its a little easier to understand, my setup is as follows: Ableton Live 8, APC 40, pioneer EFX-1000 (setup as send/return).

    One of the main struggles that i have found with djing with ableton in a live scneario, is the inability to create loops on the fly. What i mean by this, is what i would like to do is beable to say sample a 2-4 measure progression out of a track and beable to seamlessly loop that progression for transitional purposes between songs. Ultimately, i would like to have seperate control over this loop so that i can apply effects to the loop without affecting any other audio so that i can really get creative with applying different effects when transitioning.

    That being said, I was wondering if anyone has figured out a solution to this?
    For now, what i have been doing is creating feedback loops with the efx-1000, but thats not a reliable method, nor does it give me enough control for what i am looking to do. I have also been looking at Maschine by NI. I dont know enough about the unit to know if it matches what i am trying to do, but it seems like it has a sampling feature that would allow me to sample a small part of a track and then perhaps loop it?

    Perhaps i am taking the wrong perspective on this. I am open to all ideas and would love to know what your opinions are!

    Thank You!
    Hilel T.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru DigitalDevil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Orlando, FL


    Ableton does have a looper (assuming version 8)

    Even aside from that you could route the playing channel to a record enabled audio channel and trigger a clip to grab a loop as desired.

  3. #3


    You could load the same clip to another channel and set loop mode on and then scroll with a small loop window back and forth to find and play back the loop. Alas this does not handle the case where you create a loop with effects on but the looper mentioned above might work (have not tested this myself) hooked to the main output.

  4. #4
    Tech Wizard voetsch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011


    If you got Max4Live there is a dedicated api that allows CDJ style looping.
    Join the (unofficial) DJTechTools IRC channel here!

    Turning the forum into an image board...One post a time.

  5. #5


    Hey All,

    Thank you so much for the replies!!

    DigitalDevil-thats a great idea! i think i was looking to much into that one :P Ive tried that, using a send so i can choose which channel to send to a loop channel and loop it that way.. im finding that audio quality is lower when doing this, i have to look and see if ive missed something.

    ksandvik-that would definitely work but i feel like thats too much work i want to beable to do this on the fly as quickly as possible.

    voetsch-looks awesome! thanks for the link i will definitely give it a try!!

    Hilel T.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    From Ireland Living in Manila: Philippines :D


    Have a peek at my APC40 template, 8 channel, 4 regular decks and setup as 4 sample "loop" decks which are set up for xfading between dry and sampled (or effected) tracks. Sounds like what you are looking for (i think) Sample decks record and play when you stop recording.

    Same eq is being used for ch 1-5, 2-6 etc, so levels or eq's on loops arent an issue, separate FX on them though so you can loop a sample off 1 into ch 5 and xfade between the sample decks, likewise stopping the sample just plays the ch1 output as an input which you effect separately.

    Might work somewhat for you .. latest version is on page 2.

    Midi Stroke is probably not necessary apart from needing to manually quantize and zoom its handy.

    You could use the looper, personally I prefer being able to pull the samples in for use later
    Last edited by deevey; 08-31-2011 at 09:23 AM.

  7. #7



    thats awesome!! im replying to this a little late i know, but thats really cool. Great Work!! Ive since been experimenting with different things and have actually found omnilooper a max plugin works really great.. but i do like the idea of the loops recording to bring back at a later time, it allows for alot of flexibility with set consistency and flow. good stuff.

    Thanks again,

  8. #8
    Tech Guru Onimode's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Citrus Heights, CA


    Will Marshall's template has a custom MIDI remote script for APC40s. It replaces the Activator buttons for tracks 4-8 and makes them into looping controls for the currently selected clip.
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