Live Looping ideas

Hi everyone! Paul this stuff is brilliant! I’m new to Ardour (on 2.8.12) and quite amazed. I can’t wait to do something with it musically that brings me an income so I can send a more significant donation.

I know Ardour is not Ableton Live, but I can almost see it working for live looping sessions alongside Sooper Looper. Essentially I want Ardour to loop plugins/ effects over the audio from SooperLooper. Any suggestions to make this work would be welcome.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  1. Get multiple loops going on SooperLooper
  2. Use Jack to send each SL loop to individual tracks in Ardour for effects/ plugins.
  3. Set Ardour to play a 4 or 8 bar loop constantly at same BPM as SooperLooper.
  4. With SL loops going thru Ardour, I can automate fx parameters over the looped section on the Ardour timeline. This is the tricky part (not practical for live setting) because I have to switch between write and play in order for the effects to be automated(write) and then looped (play).

So, this leaves me with a few questions (or feature requests):

  1. Is there a MIDI programmable way to toggle between write and play functions for automations? A MIDI command for write/play on each automation for each effect parameter would essentially make my set-up functional in a live setting.
  2. Can Ardour be set up to receive its BPM and Loop length from Sooper Looper?


Hey, its great to see someone else looping with Ardour. Thanks for the tips. I’m on OSX so I’ll try the AU SooperLooper plugin (up till now I’ve used the stand alone SooperLooper program). Also, I just noticed the 2.8.14 update to Ardour , so I’ll get that going and see how everything works.

I guess I’m assuming you are working under linux. I didn’t think, but maybe you are using the SooperLooper AU plugin under OSX? In that case, whatever I said may not apply.

I’ve use a similar setup here on a live rig, substituting Ardour (2 or 3) for Qtractor or Mixbus depending on need.

To answer number 1, I think the only way to toggle write/play with a midi controller is by using a controller with touchfaders. I put in a feature request for A3 to have the automation state made into a controllable item. If this change gets made, then you could change state with any midi controller. It doesn’t look like my feature request has progressed, however.

To answer number 2, it is probably easier to set SooperLooper to be a Jack slave, and then have Ardour as JACK master. This won’t get Loop length synchronization, but the BPM will be shared and general sync will be achieved.

If you really want to create tighter integration between the two, then you might want to look into OSC scripting. Both Ardour and SooperLooper have excellent OSC implementations. These should make it possible, for example, to rewind Ardour transport as the SooperLooper progress hits 0. Anything you do with OSC will require a third application like PureData, though.

I’d love for Jesse to bring out an LV2 SooperLooper plugin, but I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon.

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