Ableton Live Looper Documentation

Clip Slot Loopers™ & GQ Clock for Ableton Live


The Clip Slot Loopers (audio and MIDI versions) enable “one touch” looping which is essential for any artist who is playing an instrument requiring two hands. Once a clip slot recording is triggered, the artist is free to concentrate on playing without having to worry about closing the loop. The clip slot recording automatically “punches out” after the desired number of bars. The GQ clock (sold separately) is a large clock that allows the user to see where they are within Ableton’s global quantization cycle.


1. Extract the downloaded folder and place the “Clip Slot Looper.amxd” file in a convenient location on your computer. Then add that folder under “places” in Ableton’s browser.

2. Add the AUDIO Clip Slot Looper to any AUDIO track in Ableton or the MIDI Clip Slot Looper to any MIDI track. Once added, all the clip slots on that track are now enabled for automatic looping. To trigger a loop, press the record button on a clip slot (or the corresponding button on your MIDI controller). The clip will automatically punch out (stop recording) after your selected bar length. If the Clip Slot Looper does not behave as expected, press the INIT button.

3. Choose a bar length for looping. 1=1 Bar, 2=2 Bars, 4=4 Bars, etc…
Important: The selected bar length must be a multiple of the Ableton’s current Global Quantization (GQ) setting. For example, a GQ setting of 2 Bars will work when selecting 2,4,6,8,10,12,16, or 32 Bar setting in the Clip Slot Looper.

Tip: Key map (or MIDI map) your most used loop lengths to keyboard shortcuts (or MIDI buttons). This way you can quickly change loop bar lengths on the fly:

Ableton Live Looper

Map mode where keyboard #2 triggers a 2 bar length, #4 triggers a 4 bar length, etc…

4. Odd Bars
The Clip Slot Looper supports odd bar counts like 5 Bars for example. To enable this setting, press the 4 Bar button and then press the +1 Button. To do odd bar counts, the GQ must be set to 1 Bar.

5. The INIT button: press the INIT button if the Clip Slot Looper is not working as expected. This may happen after changing Ableton’s GQ, time signature, or tempo settings for example.

6. Time Cushion: the time cushion should be set to 250. A known issue is that if an Ableton template is started without a sound card, this value may revert to 1. In this case either manually set the time cushion to 250 or reopen the file with your sound car active.

Using The Clip Slot Looper with Ableton Templates

If you have a regular Ableton template that you start from when creating music, you can add the Clip Slot Looper to each track in the template. You can also key map the bar lengths for convenience and save all of this as part of your default template. In this way, you’re set up to start looping right out of the gate.

Using The Clip Slot Looper with Foot Control

Foot control can be added using AutoHotKey (PC Users Only, Mac users search for “AutoHotKey for Mac”) and either a USB footswitch or a MIDI controller like the Behringer FCB 1010. Bome Midi Translator can also be used to map key sequences to be triggered via MIDI. See this page on MIDI devices for more information.

GQ Clock

The Global Quantization or “GQ” Clock provides a large display of where you are in the current “loop cycle”. It is simply a handy visual reference to know when loops are starting and stopping.

Ableton Global Quantization Visual Clock Large

To use, add the GQ Clock to any AUDIO track. Press the “Open” button to launch the clock in a floating window. You may also customize the colors of the clock. The clock display will automatically adjust to whatever Ableton’s global quantization value is set to (1,2,4,8, 16 bars only).

Building A Looping Template in Ableton

Tips covered in this video:

  1. How to add a live looper to default audio and MIDI tracks
  2. Set track and master overhead before you start recording
  3. Create a looping template in Ableton
  4. Make looping easier with the large Global Quantization display
  5. Using Ableton’s tap button to set tempo
  6. Expand your looping template
  7. Using drums for accompaniment and inspiration
  8. Trigger loop recording with a MIDI controller
  9. Add foot control to easily restart loop recording