Using Ableton's Beat Repeat Live

Ableton Live's Beat Repeat can help you create builds, transitions and even stuttering glitchy effects in the studio or when performing. Mo Volans shows how to get it working for you.  

Ableton Live houses a good number of effects but one of my personal favorites is the Beat Repeat plug-in. This little beauty has followed me all over the place and whenever I've played live it's been a mainstay of my effects rack.

Let's take a look at how to get this set up to create build ups, glitches and dance floor mayhem! I've kept things pretty basic here so even if you've never used the effect you should be able to get stuck in.

Step 1 - Loading The Beat Repeat

The Beat Repeat plug-in loads up just like any other Ableton effect. Simply navigate to the audio effects section using the browser on the left of Live's interface and locate the Beat Repeat. 

The effect can now be dragged and dropped onto any audio, instrument or return channel. One thing I would say is that this works best as an insert effect, at least it does for the following technique!

With your Beat Repeat loaded and an audio loop in place, we are good to go and can start dialing in some appropriate settings. Of course you can use any audio source you like here: a MIDI pattern, vocal or an entire drum buss. To show the Beat Repeat at its best I've gone for a musical loop here, this goes some way to emulating an entire mix.

The Beat Repeat plug-in is located!

The Beat Repeat plug-in is located!

The loop we are going to use:

Step 2 - Dialing In The Correct Settings

In its default state the Beat Repeat will play back 16th-of-a-bar repetitions. So we need to make a few changes before we can use it as a live performance tool. There are four main changes we need to make here... 

  • Turn the Chance parameter down to zero 
  • Adjust the gate control to 1 bar, 
  • Engage the '

Mo has been a professional in the music industry for around 15 years. He has released material with the world's leading record labels and also produces music for TV and Film. Mo is also a prolific writer and is a regular contributor to magazines such as Music Tech, Future Music and EQ magazine. There isn't a piece of music software tha... Read More


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