I have seen that it is possible to set up Ableton to work as a live looper

How is it done?

6 Answers 6


I find that the best way to do it is with some kind of foot pedal switch, like the FC-50. By mapping Start, stop, undo, delete and next track to your foot switches, you can easily perform your loop in realtime, get it right, and then advance to the next scene or track when you want to record the next variation.

Looper is great for looping live audio, but is a little redundant for recording MIDI loops in realtime - since the built-in ableton live controls are a little more flexible. The challenge for me has always been seamlessly looping, overdubbing, and riffing in real-time and since I'm a keyboardist using both hands, the footpedal was the only way to go.

I just looked at the Kid Beyond video and I don't think he's using Looper - it looks like he's arming a series of different tracks, all of which he's routed his mic input to. He's got a 1-bar control sync on so he doesn't have to be 100% precise with his foot pedal punch-in/punch-out. It looks like he just has each pedal keyed to the record / play button for the same scene across different tracks. This is why he has to pause for a bar after each recording before arming the next track. At the end of the day - whatever works for you right?

  • IN case you go the FC-50 route, this post tells you how to set it up in Ableton
    – Tom Auger
    Apr 30, 2011 at 13:52

You might get on track by looking into the Realtime Looping Essential Config or Live Looping Tutorial.


Ignoring the basics and MIDI mapping for a moment; my setup for Looper in Live 8 is a bit more advanced, but very effective if you wanna get the most out of Ableton's loopers:

Setup Looper in an aux channel
Set Input -> Output to Never
Any track you want to go to the looper, just turn up the aux send

This way you can send any of your tracks to the looper channel through the aux send. Which is a great way use one looper for all your sounds.

In the following example, you've got a basic one-loop setup for a microphone. Easy. Just map a key or a MIDI controller to the Multi-Button and you're looping like a king.

Single Looper in aux one

For a more advanced looper setup, you can group a chain of loopers together for setting up layers, which can be cut in and out by using key mappings on each Mute button in the group.

Multiple Loopers in chain

Then just add whatever sounds you wanna play with in your looper, map a button to the corresponding Arm buttons, and goof off with your killer loop setup.

Multiple Loopers, and multiple patches


Ableton's clips are useful as a live looping tool but if you want something more like a traditional guitar looping pedal, check out the Ableton Looper effect in Live 8.


I recommend sooperlooper. You can set it up as a plug-in with live.


Here's a sooperlooper forum thread about live and SL



Just some clarifications:

How to do it depends on what version of Ableton you're using; more specifically if it includes the "Looper" effect from Ableton. I'm not sure if it was in 7 or not, but def. included in 8+

The Kid Beyond video is mentioned above- he most assuredly was not using looper as the video was made before Ableton HAD looper and is much of the reason they MADE looper. The way Kid Beyond does it is utilizing another program called Bome's Midi Translator Pro (Midi OX is a similar prog, but Bome's is rather unique) which is kind-of like a virtual midi patch bay but FAR more. Ableton used to link to a tutorial on how to do it (how often do you see Ableton referencing any third-party software?) but they went ahead and made Looper which does some CRAZY stuff the Kid Beyond way couldn't (without Max, at least :) ) so they likely don't have the link anymore. However, Bome's site has an tut @ http://www.bome.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1583

While Looper does stuff the old way can't, so too are there things one can do with Bome's that Looper just can't, too. They each have their advantages but basically USING LOOPER IS WAY EASIER than setting up Bome's. (One should hope so, right?) Hope this helps.

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