I want to do make loops in Ableton live session view and use two tracks. Because of creativity reasons, I don't want to be bound to the metronome, so I switched it off the global launch quantisation.

Now I record the first track, and I can loop it perfectly. Then, I record the second track, which wont have to same length like the first track because quantisation is off, and it's very unlikely that I hit the record button just in time. It looks like this: enter image description here One note: the tempo is set to 120 bpm, but as metronome and quantisation is off, that does not effect the music. The 10+ and the 6+ and the bottom of the tracks just indicate the relative length of the tracks with 120 bpm as a reference. When I press stop and play the following think happens: The fist loop is perfectly aligned, and it sounds like it should sound. But with the second loop, problems occur: As the Track 2 is shorter than Track 1, it starts early. Result: The Music is out of sync. That can be seen here: enter image description here So what I am looking for: A solution that starts Track 2 everytime, when I start track 1. So that track 2 "waits" for track 1 to be finished before restarting. I was thinking of the "follow actions", but coundn't figure it out.

Any ideas to keep me in sync are very welcome!

Edit: My end-goal is to loop voices, and I love the session view, so my idea is to record e.g. 5 different voices without beat during recording. Then, I would like to enable/disable voices with MidiPads. And I would prefer a solution, where I dont have to use my computer keys for adjustment :)

Here is a photo of the setup: enter image description here

  • Sounds like you want an actual looper pedal or something that mimics one. Try Ableton's Looper device. By the way, Ableton is spelled Ab Le Ton. Oct 31, 2019 at 9:17
  • Yess, that is the idea! Thanks, I will try this out. And now I am able to spell it correct ;)
    – Kolibril
    Oct 31, 2019 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


Thanks for asking this!

You don't need follow actions, that's not going to help you for this purpose. For your purpose, there are two things I want to point out.

First, how do I get both clips to start at the same time?

  • Instead of clicking the play buttons next to the clips, try the play button on the Master track at the far right end of your session view. That play button will simultaneously trigger all the clips for that "scene" (another word for rows in session view)

Second, how do I get the length of loop 2 to be the same as loop 1, so they don't de-synchronize?

  • You can do this simply by changing the loop length in the clip. Select the clip, then in the clip view (might have to toggle to this view using the tabs in the lower-right if it doesn't automatically show up when you click the clip) change the length and loop durations to be the same as loop 1. So if loop 1 has length/loop of 4.0.0 (4 bars) then loop 2 should also have length/loop of 4.0.0

Basically, the reason they're going out of sync is because the clips are not the same length. You would run into the same issue using a looper pedal, the issue is actually with your timing. To resolve this, you can try setting the loop/length of each clip as soon as they're created and sticking to that, or just improving your timing by counting out loud as you play, "one ee and uh, two ee and uh, three ee and uh, four ee and uh" etc -- and make sure your loops all start and end on the same beat, usually the "one."

Alternatively, you can loop as a fraction of the total loop length -- e.g. if loop 1 is 4 bars, you can record loop 2 as a 1 bar loop, then it will play four times through for each time through loop 1. But these must be an exact ratio for it to work -- if loop 1 is 4 bars and loop 2 is 2 bars 1 beat, they will go out of sync very quickly. :)

If you need further clarification, I can add some screenshots when I get home. Hopefully this helps you!

  • Thanks for taking so much time for writing an answer, I got your idea and you dont have to do the screenshots ;) That brings me closer to what I want do to, but I am not there jet. I am looking more for a hands-away-from-laptop-solution, so adjusting the track lengths manually is not an option. Also the counting is not feasable, as my loops will be quite short. To specify my problem a little more, I add a photo of my setup in the end of my question. I keep your question unaccepted to see if other people have other ideas, but I really appreciate your sharing of ideas.
    – Kolibril
    Oct 31, 2019 at 20:27
  • Of course! I'm glad my suggestions helped. If you truly want hands-off-laptop, a looper pedal might be your best option. I've heard you can simulate one using a sustain pedal and MIDI mapping in Ableton, but never done that myself. A decent entry looper like the TC Electronics Ditto isn't too expensive, so maybe demo one at your local music store and see if that fits your idea. As far as counting the rhythm, you should always be doing that, even if you're not looping. It's the best way to maintain a consistent tempo.
    – 3d12
    Oct 31, 2019 at 20:36
  • Cool! I already have a looper, but I want to use some abelton effects, so I use this. Hmm, my next idea is to write a python script that remembers the length of the first loop in scene 1 and then triggers all other scenes to sync. Would be hacky, but interesting problem
    – Kolibril
    Oct 31, 2019 at 20:49
  • I wish you the best of luck with your solution. Bear in mind that simply starting the loops at the same time is only half the battle. If loop 1 is 10 bars and loop 2 is 6 bars, your script will need to stop loop 2 after 6 bars, wait 4 bars, then start it again. Otherwise loop 2 would start again on bar 7, when loop 1 is only 70% done. This is why I encourage counting beats and simply leaving that space at the end of your loop. But, your solution might work too!
    – 3d12
    Oct 31, 2019 at 21:15
  • The second half of the battle can be solved with follow up actions and very long empty loops somewhere down the scene they lead to. But I must say, I think I will just stay with the beat, I thought there would be a simple solution
    – Kolibril
    Oct 31, 2019 at 21:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.