This is a video I made to demonstrate using the Looper device to set up loops on the fly in Ableton Live, and use a midi controller to start and stop the loop.
It came about after the live sets I have been playing recently with Palm Skin Productions.
It will appear very soon as part of the Online DJ Mag Tech section. I will post a link as soon as it is published.
But for now, here is the video and accompanying text.
Ableton Looper Tutorial Video by Ski Oakenfull
The Looper tool was a much requested feature of Ableton, and was only introduced relatively recently in version 8.
Before its arrival, it was still possible to loop pre-warped audio ‘on the fly’ in a DJ situation by assigning controllers to set start & end points in the clip inspector, but the Looper adds much more flexibility and provides some exciting possibilities.
Firstly it exists as an Ableton audio effect, so can be used as an insert or return. For a DJ set up, the return scenario is perfect as it allows you to send any of your DJ channels to the Looper, and then treat that return channel separately.
Secondly, you can assign your Midi controller to any of the functions of the Looper such as Record, Play, Stop, Overdub etc. This means you can ‘perform’ your Looping and introduces more of the chance element, and not be tied to your computer.
Thirdly it offers the ability to drag the audio it has ‘captured’ in its audio buffer to a new clip… So if you happened to grab a killer half bar loop during your top billing DJ set at Fabric, you can keep it for later and make a tune when you get back to the studio!
So in my tutorial video, I have gone about explaining how I use the Looper in a live performance situation. The set I am using to demonstrate this, is one that I have developed with my collaborator Palm Skin Productions. It combines DJ style playing of tracks, with beats and live playing. We also use the Beat Repeat and Auto Filter effects, and have nearly every function mapped to a custom made template on a Novation Remote SL, as well as triggering clips and loops from a Novation Launchpad.
The video demonstration features the following tracks:
‘Powder House’ (Palm Skin Productions Remix) by Duotone – [ECC Records]
‘Just Don’t Break My Heart’ by Ski Oakenfull [Primaudial Records]