An example of what is possible with this looping system…
The Best Guitar Loop Pedal
A powerful, Ableton based looping system for guitar or any instrument.
Can This Guitar Looper Do Overdubbing?
Q: Hello, this is nice. One of the things a classical looper does is Overdub – that isn’t possible with this device, right?
A: The way you overdub with this device is a little different than what you might be used to. The looping device is lightweight enough that you can place it on multiple Ableton tracks without issue. That means you can think of each track in Ableton as a single layer of your overdub. Notice the process starting a 1:00 in this video:
As you can see, each layer of the loop is on its own track – allowing for volume and pan control, effects, etc... It’s really powerful and there’s no way to have that much control with any other looper. When combined with something like the APC 40 midi controller, all your recorded loops are laid out physically and visually in front of you – instead of hidden inside a tiny pedal on the floor. You can also build a really powerful loop template. This video shows how to do that.
What do I Need?
To see what components are involved in this looping system, view this guide:
A Powerful Looping System that Grows with You
Whether you’re looping a single instrument like a guitar or want to do full on, multi-instrument looping and performance, this looping solution will provide you with significant creative freedom and ease. By combining Ableton Live with some specially created devices and optional MIDI controllers, you have a looper that’s very simple or very complex, depending on your needs. Either way you have easy, intuitive control of your loops and an open palette of available loop slots.
And, you can easily turn your loops into songs using Ableton’s arrangement view.
Hand & Foot Control
Gone are the days of trying to manage your loops in a pedal on the floor. Navigating and building loops sets in a guitar pedal is frankly, a bit of a nightmare. Now, have all your loops laid out in front of you for quick, one touch control. You can see here that there are a minimum of 40 loop slots available with this system:
So there are 40 loops slots available, along with pan and volume controls. To complete the picture you can undo or restart loop recording using a foot pedal like this one:
What Is This Site?
I got into looping about ten years ago, when I discovered an iOS app called “Loopy.” The interface was simple and brilliant. I owned a guitar pedal looper at the time, but Loopy’s touch interface was so much easier to use than the pedal! The experience was much more fun and intuitive and opened up larger creative possibilities.
Before long though, I realized that because Loopy was relegated to an iPad or iPhone, it could never really be more than a toy. As a professional musician, I wanted that visual layout of my loops, but combined with the power of a professional DAW.
I later got into using Ableton and loved the program, but found that the ability to loop just didn’t begin to compare with Loopy. When I looked online, I saw that people had been wanting to be able to loop what are called “clip slots” in Ableton as far back as 2007.
Luckily, Ableton has its own scripting software and I was able to create some devices that brought what I enjoyed so much about Loopy – to Ableton. The result has been so great that I’ve set up this site to share this solution with other musicians. Everyone can use it, whether for guitar, bass, drums, vocals, cello, anything….
Ultimately the setup is relatively simple, but it will take a little time to digest how it all fits together and that’s what this site is for.
What Do You Actually Need to Do This?
A New, Exciting Feature in Ableton Live 11 That Makes Live Looping Even Better!
Something very exciting is that Ableton 11 now has a feature called “Follow” where it can listen to a live drummer and adjust its BPM to match – on the fly! This means you can loop with a live drummer and let the loop software follow the drummer rather than the other way around.