State of the Loop attempts to bring the live performance ease of hardware loopers like the Boss RC-505 to the Ableton Live Looper device.
State of the Loop
The Looper device in Ableton Live is a very useful live performance on improvisation tool. Although it has great integration with controllers such as the Ableton Push it requires your fingers to make it work which can be difficult if you want to loop more than electronically triggered sounds. MIDI floorboard controllers can help with this but they tend to be large and overkill for running the simple Looper device. Into this situation steps Pierre-Antoine Grison, producer on Ed Banger Records and Ableton Certified Trainer, and his State of the Loop MIDI controller that is dedicated to the one task of handling the Looper in Ableton Live.
State of the Loop has a row of 5 footswitches, 4 LEDs and a 2 digit LED display. They give you everything you need to select Loopers (up to 99 instances), record, play, overdub, clear loops and ready them for recording. Here’s the layout detail:
In addition to the footswitches, there are 2 expression pedal inputs. State of the Loop uses Max For Live which enables it to dynamically map the switches and expression pedals so that when you move to another Looper the mapping moves with it. You can map up to 4 parameters to each pedal.
State of the Loop has another secret weapon in that it can also take control of your scenes. In Scenes Mode you can navigate through your set using the + and – buttons and launch scenes. The LED colours even reflect the colour of the scene.
It’s a well thought out box that will immediately appeal to performers who have struggled to get their hands free when using Ableton Live – me included. Pricing starts from €240 which places it in the middle of the pack of more generic floor based MIDI controllers. But with the ease of its Max For Live based Live integration there’s nothing to touch it. They need to raise a modest £26,000 and have 30 more days to do it – I hope it works out.