loopsite

They moved from one flagship software product to adding one piece of flagship hardware. Now there’s a flagship event, too.

It’s called “Loop,” and it will be held 30 October – 1 November in Ableton’s headquarter city of Berlin. It’s clearly in part a summit for the Ableton Live community. But just as their recent book covered the creative process rather than Live per se, the event is pitched a convergence of creativity and technology generally.

It’s not just talks or demos, either. The event organizers are combining hands-on workshops and invites educators. There’s also a collaboration with CTM Festival to set up evening performance programming.

As they put it:

Loop is three days of performances, talks, and interactive workshops aimed at exchanging ideas at the cutting edge of music, creativity, and technology. Bringing together artists, technologists, and other creative thinkers, Loop is a collective exploration of what it is to make music today and what it could be tomorrow.

Talk titles include how to overcome creative blocks and how to get in the flow and what music looks like beyond genres. As in Dennis DeSantis’ book, there are deep discussions of what loops and repetition mean, how they relate to traditional drumming, and how to escape the grid and presets. I’ve been told these are just a few of many more topics and speakers to come.

Already in the speaker list (apart from yours truly) are (of course) Robert Henke, Holly Herndon, Henrik Schwarz, King Britt, James Holden, Money Mark, Young Guru, Dauwd, DJ / rupture, Daniel Miller, Matthew Herbert, and Electric Indigo. There are also people like researcher Rebecca Fiebrink, who is doing ground-breaking work in interactive machine learning and has an unparalleled research and development background.

Actually getting into Loop if you aren’t a speaker will be a bit of a challenge. There are only 400 participants in total, with registration by lottery. To maximize diversity, they say they are also grouping tickets by age and genders. There are links provided for SoundCloud and the like, though with the stated intention of seeing if you’re doing something – that is, it isn’t an audition.

Tickets are 250€ for a full ticket, though if you’re 18-25, it’s 100€.

Since I’ll be there in journalist capacity, of course, I’ll do my best to bring relevant information to you whether or not you make it to Berlin. For more information:

https://loop.ableton.com

  • jblk

    Great idea for a conference, exciting all around, but jeez : the website looks like someone randomized links over some Cut Copy album art.

    Still love you, Ableton!

  • jblk

    Great idea for a conference, exciting all around, but jeez : the website looks like someone randomized links over some Cut Copy album art.

    Still love you, Ableton!

  • Graham Spice

    Looking forward to your review of this event and any video that you’re allowed to take! 🙂

  • Graham Spice

    Looking forward to your review of this event and any video that you’re allowed to take! 🙂

  • Jim Jones

    Sounds great, but since the event is called “Loop”, I’d like to “shout out” one thing that I could never understand about Ableton and their resistance to see things from any angle except input from their Exclusive Little Group that makes all the decisions.

    If people want to do (repeating) Ambient background texture Loops in a Session Clip, they either have to pick: Repitch, Beat, Complex, Complex Pro warp modes to do a Loop. Clip looping only works when content is “warped”. Once a Clip is warped it (the Warp Mode algorithm and CPU utilization) becomes dependent on the Global Set tempo — (I’m not referring to Clip Launch Quantization, I’m just referring to what the Clip Audio in Warp Mode has to go through relative to Global tempo to minimize artifacts)

    Yes: one could put the Ambient Texture loop in a Drum Rack and then then it is Tempo independent. But there’s a whole list of extra (time consuming) work (and some limitations) to having to put a “simple loop that we don’t want to be tempo effected” into a Drum Rack Cell instead of a Session Clip. (Plus it isn’t easy to get a loop in a Drum Rack to repeat forever until ‘toggled’ off — try it some time).

    Plus, a lot of the controllers, like the AP40 MK2 don’t even show / trigger Drum Racks (in the native controller).

    My suggestion is a new Clip Mode (warp type) named: No Warp, but allow the Loop Brackets in a Clip to define where the clip starts, ends and loops — independent and irrelative to tempo. This would allow people to simply “drop audio pieces in to a Clip, and create loops that have nothing to do with the Live Set tempo and be triggered by LaunchPad and APC controllers (without having to go into Drum Racks).

    Color coding of Clips is important (high usability value) and the new LaunchPads and APC have color coded pads / buttons to match Session Clip color. Drum Racks don’t have colored cells and don’t report color to controllers.

    There is fantastic amount of new music and creativity with (No Warp) Clip audio looping that is independent of tempo. Not everything in life has to be 4/4 and/or quantized to be beautiful and creative.

    That’s my beef when I hear Ableton taut the word “Loop”. It’s 2015 now already and the Abe’s still haven’t created/allowed a No Warp mode in Audio Clips which can do time-independent looping. ” ‘No Warp’ Looping in Session Clips” will use very little system resources compared to today’s choice of Complex or Complex Mode to keep the audio’s pitch and timing the same as the orig audio when looping.

    I hope the Abe Devs can step out of their (self-defined hipster) box and see the (future world music creation) value this can bring to Ease of Use and Creativity for both new Ableton users as well as the veterans.

    Imagine the simplicity of:

    – dropping a piece on non-beat, repeating audio into a Clip

    – set desired Start, End and Loop markers on the Non-Warped Audio Clip

    – bring in beats to a different Clip (i.e. Beats warp mode)

    – set global tempo to taste

    – build on that

    Also (the above) is a very cool, quick way to introduce new people / students to the magic of Ableton.

    We just need the “Non-Warped Clip Mode that allows Looping” to do that.

    Thanks for listening.

    • Kuhli Loach

      this is a great idea. i wold love to be able to bring in field recordings, textures, and such, and loop them without being subject to project tempo. Abe Devs, please consider implementing this!

    • Ben

      Why not just set the tempo of your non-rythmic clip to match the project tempo? Then you can loop it however you like while it plays back unwarped. If it’s textures, who’s to say what their tempo is anyway.

      Sure this isn’t ideal if your project is going to change tempos, but then you could always just use a Simpler to look texture playback without warping.

    • jakub

      You may achieve it also by Follow Actions, drop your audio in two clips with quantise off, set Follow Action on the first one to play next clip, on the second one set it to play Previous. Not ideal but quite easy.

      • Jakub

        Correction: There is also Follow Action Repeat, so you may do it with just single clip. And you may set time interval of actions – just set it to the same value as duration of your clip.

    • Ben

      BTW: if you do set a clips tempo the match the project tempo, there will be no extra CPU usage using beats, tones, or textures. Live doesn’t warp clips that are playing at their original tempo.

    • Jim Jones

      thanks everyone for the feedback and good ideas. Since we are all different (in our workflow and tastes), 2 things:

      a) I don’t want to be locked into / commit to any Project Tempo. I’d like to use Ableton as an Ambient / Textures sound “trigger template” with all clips running at their “Natural (orig recording) tempo / pitch” and simply use the Live Global Tempo (bpm up and down) through the set (without any affect / influence / artifacts on those clips). The ambient sound / textures might play over 90 bpm, 135 bpm, 100 bpm, 75 bpm etc.

      Beats — I’m OK with having a desirable or locked tempo, but I’d like the ambiance to be 100% completely independent of the Global Set tempo, which will change on the fly.

      b) Using Follow Actions is clever, but I need the Ambient loop to repeat at the exact end of clip, not linked or end based on the Project tempo. I know the Play Again setting in Follow Actions, but even with Launch Quant set to None, it still Repeats based on the Set Global Tempo (or on the Set 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, etc), not the actually end of clip (unless I manually make the clips end on beat — which will only work for the current Global tempo setting).

      Anyway, thanks again all for the feedback.

      The solution that I use, and it works perfectly is: All my ambient clips are really midi clip triggers that trigger an audio clip in Battery 4. In Battery 4, I have 100% complete control of Start, End, where and when I want to Loop, infinite clip play (note on, toggle mode, etc). I’m going to try this week to get my Battery Cell colors to match the colors on the new LaunchPad RGB so that I don’t have to look at the computer as often.

      Honestly, I love Ableton, but on certain issues, there is too much need for “inventive workarounds or Max for Live” that we all tend to make excuses for because “it’ s Ableton (bow down to the software g-ds, “they must be geniuses”).

      My interpretation of Ableton is that there are 20 people in the world who Ableton brass actually listens to and the rest of us are considered “peons” who must listen to and see the ways of the Ableton Elite.

      I know I can be more constructive then my complaining, but even if there are “work arounds” I don’t under the rationale of Abe not letting us simply “drop clips” and “loop full clip” without it having to be quantized (and I don’t mean “launch quantization”).

      It is true that I could go to all my ambient loops and set those Clips to Warp Mode and set their Clip BPM to the Global BPM and will be fine — but I don’t want to be locked into a Set BPM. When one is gigging out, one never knows that the pace of the set and audience is going to be (+ / – BPM). Ableton sets already get a bad rap sometimes with too much Clip Quantization and Locked In BPM — fells “stiff” IMHO. Watch a non-electronic band, and watch how quickly they change their BPM based on the audience and mood of the moment.

      Non-warped Repeating Loops (triggers by Clips, not Drum Rack Cells) allows a whole different amount of creativity and happy accidents.

      Thanks reading my perspective.

  • Jim Jones

    Sounds great, but since the event is called “Loop”, I’d like to “shout out” one thing that I could never understand about Ableton and their resistance to see things from any angle except input from their Exclusive Little Group that makes all the decisions.

    If people want to do (repeating) Ambient background texture Loops in a Session Clip, they either have to pick: Repitch, Beat, Complex, Complex Pro warp modes to do a Loop. Clip looping only works when content is “warped”. Once a Clip is warped it (the Warp Mode algorithm and CPU utilization) becomes dependent on the Global Set tempo — (I’m not referring to Clip Launch Quantization, I’m just referring to what the Clip Audio in Warp Mode has to go through relative to Global tempo to minimize artifacts)

    Yes: one could put the Ambient Texture loop in a Drum Rack and then then it is Tempo independent. But there’s a whole list of extra (time consuming) work (and some limitations) to having to put a “simple loop that we don’t want to be tempo effected” into a Drum Rack Cell instead of a Session Clip. (Plus it isn’t easy to get a loop in a Drum Rack to repeat forever until ‘toggled’ off — try it some time).

    Plus, a lot of the controllers, like the AP40 MK2 don’t even show / trigger Drum Racks (in the native controller).

    My suggestion is a new Clip Mode (warp type) named: No Warp, but allow the Loop Brackets in a Clip to define where the clip starts, ends and loops — independent and irrelative to tempo. This would allow people to simply “drop audio pieces in to a Clip, and create loops that have nothing to do with the Live Set tempo and be triggered by LaunchPad and APC controllers (without having to go into Drum Racks).

    Color coding of Clips is important (high usability value) and the new LaunchPads and APC have color coded pads / buttons to match Session Clip color. Drum Racks don’t have colored cells and don’t report color to controllers.

    There is fantastic amount of new music and creativity with (No Warp) Clip audio looping that is independent of tempo. Not everything in life has to be 4/4 and/or quantized to be beautiful and creative.

    That’s my beef when I hear Ableton taut the word “Loop”. It’s 2015 now already and the Abe’s still haven’t created/allowed a No Warp mode in Audio Clips which can do time-independent looping. ” ‘No Warp’ Looping in Session Clips” will use very little system resources compared to today’s choice of Complex or Complex Pro Mode to keep the audio’s pitch and timing the same as the orig audio when looping.

    I hope the Abe Devs can step out of their (self-defined hipster) box and see the (future world music creation) value this can bring to Ease of Use and Creativity for both new Ableton users as well as the veterans.

    Imagine the simplicity of:

    – dropping a piece on non-beat, repeating audio into a Clip

    – set desired Start, End and Loop markers on the Non-Warped Audio Clip

    – bring in beats to a different Clip (i.e. Beats warp mode)

    – set global tempo to taste

    – build on that

    Also (the above) is a very cool, quick way to introduce new people / students to the magic of Ableton.

    We just need the “Non-Warped Clip Mode that allows Looping” to do that.

    Thanks for listening.

    • Kuhli Loach

      this is a great idea. i wold love to be able to bring in field recordings, textures, and such, and loop them without being subject to project tempo. Abe Devs, please consider implementing this!

    • Ben

      Why not just set the tempo of your non-rythmic clip to match the project tempo? Then you can loop it however you like while it plays back unwarped. If it’s textures, who’s to say what their tempo is anyway.

      Sure this isn’t ideal if your project is going to change tempos, but then you could always just use a Simpler to look texture playback without warping.

    • jakub

      You may achieve it also by Follow Actions, drop your audio in two clips with quantise off, set Follow Action on the first one to play next clip, on the second one set it to play Previous. Not ideal but quite easy.

      • Jakub

        Correction: There is also Follow Action Repeat, so you may do it with just single clip. And you may set time interval of actions – just set it to the same value as duration of your clip.

    • Ben

      BTW: if you do set a clips tempo the match the project tempo, there will be no extra CPU usage using beats, tones, or textures. Live doesn’t warp clips that are playing at their original tempo.

    • Jim Jones

      thanks everyone for the feedback and good ideas. Since we are all different (in our workflow and tastes), 2 things:

      a) I don’t want to be locked into / commit to any Project Tempo. I’d like to use Ableton as an Ambient / Textures sound “trigger template” with all clips running at their “Natural (orig recording) tempo / pitch” and simply use the Live Global Tempo (bpm up and down) through the set (without any affect / influence / artifacts on those clips). The ambient sound / textures might play over 90 bpm, 135 bpm, 100 bpm, 75 bpm etc.

      Beats — I’m OK (and understand the requirement) with having a desirable or locked tempo with Beat content, but I’d like the ambiance to be 100% completely independent of the Global Set tempo, which will change on the fly.

      b) Using Follow Actions is clever, but I need the Ambient loop to repeat at the exact end of clip, not linked or end based on the Project tempo. I know the Play Again setting in Follow Actions, but even with Launch Quant set to None, it still Repeats based on the Set Global Tempo (or on the Set 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, etc), not the actually end of clip (unless I manually make the clips end on beat — which will only work for the current Global tempo setting). For my ears, having a loop repeat based on Follow Action (even when not “linked” to tempo) is always “abrupt” and non musical, plus: the end of the Follow Action (loop) varies based on the Global BPM setting.

      Anyway, thanks again all for the feedback.

      The solution that I use, and it works perfectly is: All my ambient clips are really midi clip triggers (with Quant = None) that trigger an audio clip in Battery 4. In Battery 4, I have 100% complete control of Start, End, where and when I want to Loop, infinite clip play (note on, toggle mode, etc). With Battery 4 as a VST in L9, all audio sample playback is completely independent of Ableton Global Tempo even as I change the Set Tempo. I’m going to try this week to get my Battery Grid Sample Cells colors to match the colors on the new LaunchPad RGB so that I don’t have to look at the computer as often.

      Honestly, I love Ableton, but on certain issues / functionality, there is too much need for “innovative workarounds” or “Max for Live” that we all tend to allow excuses for because “it’s Ableton (bow down to the software g-ds, “they must be geniuses”).

      My interpretation of Ableton is that there are 20 people in the world who Ableton brass actually listens to and the rest of us are considered “peons” who must listen to and see the ways of the Ableton Elite “g-ds”.

      I know I can be more constructive versus complaining, but even if there are “work-arounds”: I don’t under the rationale of Abe not letting us simply “drop clips” and “loop full clip material” without it having to be quantized (and I don’t mean “launch quantization”).

      It is true that I could go to all my ambient loops and set those Clips to Warp Mode and set the Clip BPM to the Global BPM and will be fine — but I don’t want to be locked into a Set BPM. When one is gigging out, one never knows the pace of the set and audience is going to be (+ / – BPM). Ableton sets already get a bad rap sometimes with too much Clip Quantization and Locked In BPM — feels “stiff” IMHO. Watch a non-electronic band perform and watch how quickly/easily they can change their BPM based on the audience and mood of the moment.

      Non-warped Repeating Loops (triggers by Clips, not Drum Rack Cells) allows a whole different amount of creativity and happy accidents.

      Thanks for reading my perspective.

  • wishniak

    looks like it could be interesting but i was surprised to see the ticket price and to read about the “lottery” system where they check your application “to make sure you’re making music”.. seems like they could have footed(?) the bill and invited a bunch of users that they know could contribute something or benefit from an event like this.. i don’t know, just seems strange..

  • wishniak

    looks like it could be interesting but i was surprised to see the ticket price and to read about the “lottery” system where they check your application “to make sure you’re making music”.. seems like they could have footed(?) the bill and invited a bunch of users that they know could contribute something or benefit from an event like this.. i don’t know, just seems strange..