Live MIDI looping


I’m very interested in live MIDI looping as an alternative to audio loopers.
Has anyone had any joy with piz’s MIDI Looper? I’ve had a good play and have come to the conclusion it’s not quite reliable enough to be part of a live workflow. It’s open source but the dev hasn’t worked on it for some 5 years. It’s close but no cigar.
It’d be great if @brad would drop everything and finish it off :smile: .

Although the inbuilt looping in C3 looks very useful if you’ve got pre-prepared MIDI files, for live loop recording it’s not suited.

I guess the main alternative to run Ableton alongside C3 and port over clocks and data.
I’d be interested how other folks have looked into MIDI recording/looping on the fly.


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Hi Neil,

Live Loop Control is something I’m hoping to add this year but this is more about setting up loop ranges in existing MIDI files and then being able to exit that loop at a time determined at show time.

I’ve had very little call for loop recorders in Cantabile - perhaps surprising, but interested if others are interested in this.



Interesting software that midi looper.
So why isn’t it usable?

Hi @So_Godly,
I keep finding little quirks I have to work around.
e.g. CC overdub doesn’t wipe out previous CC so you end up with a mess.
After a while the MIDI thru on ch1 stops working, although it still records events.
I wasn’t convinced by its unquantised recording either. It just didn’t sound like what I had played.
You can’t edit velocities in the piano roll.
It could be a wonderful vst but I fear its place in the market has been taken by clip-based MIDI sequencers.
I have a license for Ableton that I got with an M-Audio FW410 from way back. To their credit that lite license has been updated to v8 lite. It looks like that can do the looping duties, running external clocks to C3 over loopMIDI.

Hi @brad,
I think any extra looping features would be most welcome.
Maybe the additional ability to record just the MIDI of a route, rather than a whole port, would be a step towards live performance looping?

Hm, not workable indeed.
Maybe there are other vst available for that job?

update: NO :slight_smile:


Iv been Playing around with Ableton Live 9 and definitely C3 is way superior in flexibility but i have to admit that i would love if cantabile may some day have a kind of loop matrix for Live Loop Control… That would be definitely a future i’m willing to pay for! because been able to load-trigger MIDI or Audio loops on the fly will definitely will drag many Ableton users to the Cantabile Universe!!

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Hi Brad, I’m really searching for a practical Live-Play MIDI looper like you propose, but on iOS.
Controlled by a foot pedal to loop around Intro, Verse, Chorus, Bridge etc.
If you have plans for iOS migration I can share my specifications

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This midi VST looper is very impressive:
It only does note events but it’s seriously addictive and reliable.

…actually it’s not running so perfectly in C3.
It sends a bunch of note offs (which look like one for each note in the loop) at the start of each loop. They sometimes cause the first note to stop suddenly.
…and it can crash C3, grrrrrr.

The developer, Eric, is looking into C3 compatibility.

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v2.0.1 of Circlys is available @ (NoteOff problem)

But indeed, there’s a crash in 64bit when unloading the plugin…
I’ve tested Circlys in other hosts (FLStudio/Reaper/Mulab/Tracktion6/RnT2) and everyting looks ok…
I’ve contacted Brad from TopTenSoftware. Perhaps he has any clue why this crash occures in Cantabile.
I can’t find any reason for this behaviour…


The note off problem is fixed. Brilliant.

Crashing C3 bug is fixed (thank you Eric and Brad).

If you’re on Mac and interested about MIDI looping:

REPETO Standard is a MIDI looper and sequencer for live performance, improvisation and recording.

Records, overdubs and loops MIDI note data.

Recorded loop can be manipulated by overdubbing new notes and by manipulating recording, loop length, quantization and playback parameters in real-time.

Available in AU MIDI FX and VSTi format plugins. OSX 10.7+ (Universal Binary).

@brad, I keep intrested ! :slight_smile:Maybe just add a record function to the midi media player? And some little editing with a pencil, and hupsadaisy you have a great midi player. Not a looper, but it’s a start…

Hey Neil and everyone,

I just stumbled across this thread and am trying Circlys in Cantabile. It does work pretty well but did notice it doesn’t record my sustain pedal. Any work-arounds for this? Other than that, this is pretty great for a midi loop setup.
I was looking for a solution for looping midi because looping just the audio chops the reverb and sustains at the end of the phrase.
Any other options for this maybe??


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it took a bit of finding but i did remember there was a plugin that converts sustain to note lengths:

see the cc64 emulator

there may well be other vsts midi fx that do it too


Hi capncrunky,

If you have Solo or Performer version you can use a MIDI filter that changes the CC64 to a note you aren’t using in your sequence on the input route to the plugin for when you record and a filter on the output route the turns the notes back to CC#64 sustain.

The Input route to the sequencer/looper has this type of filter that looks like this example. The CC64 sustain is converted to the note C0 and the looper records it.

The output route from the looper has a filter on it like this. The first filter converts the C0 note back to CC#64 sustain and the second one blocks the actual note from sounding on the synth that is the target.

The finished filters …

This ought to work if you like Cantabile MIDI filter magic …



that’s a very creative answer!

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I’ve been fascinated by some solo guitarists use of looper pedals and I was thinking I would like to try that with keys. Since I’m using Cantabile now, it seems that there should be a way to accomplish looper functionality using Midi instead of audio. Of course my assumption is that Midi playback is more efficient than audio playback, but that may not be true?

I came across this thread in my search and was wondering if there have been any updates to this technology? Is anyone doing ‘live looping’? For example, to solo over your live loop?

Based on this thread I will try Circlys, but I am wondering if there are other alternatives since this thread was last updated.

Cheers! - David