Using my floorboard controller and vanilla Ableton MIDI mappings, I've managed to figure out a way to juggle two phrases with loopers. However, the MIDI assignments are a pretty clunky. The basic idea goes like:

Button1: Plays phrase 1 (loopers 1 & 3), stops phrase 2 (loopers 2 & 4)

Button2: Plays phrase 2 (loopers 2 & 4), stops phrase 1 (loopers 1 & 3)

Button3: Looper 1 Big Button, record/play/dub -- bass

Button4: Looper 2 Big Button, record/play/dub -- bass

Button5: Looper 3 Big Button, record/play/dub -- chords

Button6: Looper 4 Big Button, record/play/dub -- chords

This works fine for simple stuff, but anything more than two loop phrases requires more button mappings by an order of magnitude, more foot dancing, and a lot more chances to gaff the loops.

Here's a demo of what I've got so far with the setup above. It consists of three patches, four loopers, and two phrases, and I think it works pretty well. The top buttons are the phrase switches (Button1 and Button2), the bottom buttons are the loops, (Buttons 3 through 6)

Since I can't assign multiple buttons to the same control, I can't figure out how to do three or more phrases with the loopers without busting out Bome's MIDI Translator to send multiple controller events per single foot pedal event... and anyone's who's messed with Bome's MIDI Translater knows that that's just an aneurysm waiting to happen.

I'm completely stumped on this one.

So, the question: Is there a way, with Ableton's vanilla MIDI mapping, without using clips (since clips lack overdub), to have three or more phrases mapped to a one-button-per-phrase loop triggering?

Also, if there's a good workflow for working with Bome's or a similar utility, I'm all ears.

  • Are you using MIDI-OX in conjunction with MIDI Yolk? – bot_bot Jul 28 '11 at 19:54
  • @mal I have Bome's MIDI Translator, and that will definitely work. The point of my question was to determine whether I needed to bring in the extra firepower or not. – ltackett Aug 9 '11 at 7:42

It sounds like

1) you want to keep track of the state of the loopers 2) you want to trigger multiple loopers from one button on the pedal

is this correct? Just want to make sure I get the question :-)

I'm not sure if you are using a control surface for Ableton Live? Maybe the APC40 or other controllers have a way to control the loopers in Live and to show their state. I don't think they can start/stop several loopers from one button press though, you might need to do a max4live patch for that.

You might want to check out MIDIBridge for AudioCube - AudioCubes are perfect for high level visual feedback of Ableton Live, since you can mix the colours of the audiocubes from within clips in Live (red/green/blue). You can also MIDI-map triggers from the cubes to multiple clips in Live, I believe.

Note: I'm a fan and user of audiocubes myself.

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