Recommended Guitar Pedal MIDI Controllers for Ableton Live Looping (All Instruments)

This website is built around the idea of a specific, powerful looping solution that uses Ableton Live. That being the case, I’m going to speak to what I think works best in the context of this integrated solution.

For ease of use, I use a hand controller and a foot controller. You can see both in action in the video.

Hand Control

best midi controller for looping in Ableton
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The Akai APC40 MKII Midi Controller

This controller works really well for triggering loop recording in Ableton, quickly arming/disarming tracks, controlling volume levels, panning, and effects parameters. It’s fairly large: 16.5″ wide x 9.75″ tall, and the buttons are good sized and have a good feel. I prefer this over Ableton’s Push because this device has volume sliders (and it’s significantly less expensive).

Foot Pedals

three pedal USB footswitch
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For PC: iKKEGOL Upgraded USB Triple Foot Pedal Switch Control 3 Three Key Foot switch

This USB footswitch can be used with AutoHotKey (PC only) to control Ableton in some very handy ways. Personally I use it to start/stop playback, to undo or redo a loop recording, and to undo/redo session takes in Ableton. See the video below for examples of how it can be used to dynamically control your loop making process.

Here’s an article on how to set up the foot swtich using AutoHotKey for PC

Note for Mac users: This foot switch will work on Mac. But, you have to have access to a PC in order to be able to assign keys to the foot switch. (That requires software which runs only on PC.) Once the keys are assigned, they are saved in the pedal and you can then plug it into your Mac. Then you use Automator on Mac OS instead of AutoHotKey. Instructions here…

guitar pedal for mac os
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For Mac : Kinesis Savant Elite2 Programmable Triple Foot Pedal (FP30AJ- with Extra 4th Jack)

While much more expensive than the PC foot pedal, this pedal does work with the Mac OS, including the ability to program macros into the pedal.

Behringer FCB1010 Midi Foot Controller
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Behringer FCB1010 Midi Foot Controller

This MIDI foot controller is a more expensive (and more versatile) alternative for foot control. It can be used with Mac or PC and combined with Bome MIDI translator to perform the necessary functions.