I’ve had an EDP looper for years and love the quantise replace effect (see a video I made). Now I’m ableton-based, I wanted the same effect. There is a  VST version of the EDP, called Echoloop, which is capable of doing the same, but I wanted to apply it to the built in looper, which is the basis of all my live looping. There are lots of “beat slicer” VSTs available, but they seem to be designed to work on an existing sample and would be working in opposition to the built-in looper.

One possibility is to create a custom VST plugin to do what I want, but with no experience in the subject, that’s a long-term, labour-intensive solution, although please get in touch if the idea appeals and you have some programming skills!

So, I’ve been messin with ableton. Firstly, I tried to use midi clips to set the record/feedback controls to allow signal in and replace on specific notes.  However, ableton doesn’t allow you to set specific midi notes to control parameters unless you can feed the midi note via a control surface. I’ve tried various loopback devices with little joy, several simply don’t work on 8.1, although loopmidi seems the best. But it’s all faff and I wanted a cleaner solution.

The theory was, set the looper on overdub, then gate the input signal to it to feed short sections to it. The trick was to use a dummy clip to control things. However, I quickly realised that looper has no “replace” feature, so the new snippets simply layered onto each other and I couldn’t feed in “silence”. So, I used a dummy clip on an input track, controlling the input volume, ideally quantised so it was a neat subsection of the loop length.

Using a random sample to provide audio in, I tested this by running the dummy clip, damn me, it worked. At least, the audio is being fed through to the next (looper) track, although the quantisation wasn’t what I expected (am investigating quant options).

The next issue was to persuade the looper to replace rather than overdub, so I set a similar dummy clip to control the feedback, reducing it to zero for the selected time. Surprisingly, this also worked.


To make it all work, I had to arrange both dummy clips on the same scene and trigger them with the scene master play button. Again, this seems to work! However, there are two issues. Firstly, the quantisation doesn’t seem to be syncing, but this is probably my complete lack of comprehension of the concept 😉 Secondly, it would be great to combine the two clips into one, but as it stands, this would mean a dummy clip controlling a parameter on a separate track. I’m not sure it can do this. We shall see!

Finally here’s a dump of the track setup. I’d welcome anyone’s thoughts on this topic, I can’t be the only one obsessed with QR 😉