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Ableton Live: Using BinkLooper

Ableton Live Tips & Techniques
By Len Sasso

We look at a free MFL device that can breathe new life into tired loops.

This month we'll explore a real-time recording technique used in performance by the percussionist Frank Wienk (aka Binkbeats), as illustrated in a series of videos on the Ableton website (ableton.com/en/blog/binkbeats-in-and-out-loop). As the introduction clarifies, "It's not about looping," it's about "turning a perfect loop into a perfect song". The second video in the series explains how Binkbeats sets up Live for his performances. His Live Set has dozens of tracks, many of which use a Max For Live plug-in called BinkLooper to create and manipulate Live clips without ever stopping the music. BinkLooper is a free download from Binkbeats' website (binkbeats.com/binklooper), and it is a great tool for beginning a project or for getting unstuck when a project has stalled.

One Click

BinkLooper manages the recording of clips in Session view clip slots on the track on which it is inserted. You use it to record and manipulate clips without ever stopping the music. Without BinkLooper, recording a looping audio or MIDI clip entails arming the track, triggering a clip slot to record the clip and then retriggering the clip or disarming the track, either of which will start the clip playing. You can do that away from your computer with a few button presses on any Live-compatible button box. But what if you need a do-over or quantisation or just want the clip to record for a fixed length and then start playing on its own? In addition to arming, recording and playback, BinkLooper offers all these options and more with a single button press.

BinkLooper comes as both a MIDI and an audio plug-in. Use the...

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Published June 2019