5 Ways to Create Round Robins (Alternating Samples) in Ableton Live

Someone recently asked in an Ableton Live Facebook group if round robins were possible, and most of the answers said no or only in Live 12. That’s not true.

Some of you may be wondering what round robins are. They’re a technique that allows a single MIDI note to play different samples in turn. This can give MIDI instruments a more organic, natural sound. This feature is particularly important to avoid the ‘machine gun’ effect, where the same sound is repeated in rapid succession.

So in this video tutorial, we’re going to look at five different ways of achieving round robins.

Round Robins in Sampler in Ableton Live 12 and Below

First, I’ll show you how it’s implemented in Live 12’s Sampler and how it works. The way it operates in Live 12 is much easier, but it has always been possible in Sampler since it was added to Ableton Live’s arsenal of MIDI instruments.

Next up we’ll take a look at how to do round robins in Sampler in Ableton Live 11 and below. One way is to use Sampler alone, and the other way is to use one of Live’s stock MIDI effects.

Round Robins Without Sampler – Even Possible in Live Lite

Sampler is only included in Ableton Live Suite, so not everyone will have access to it, nor will they benefit from the easy and straightforward implementation in Live 12 when it’s released. For this reason, I’m also going to show you two ways of creating round robins without it. The first alternative is possible using Simpler in an Instrument Rack, the second using nested Drum Racks.

For each option I’ll be going through the pros and cons, so you know, which one fits your goal best. Whatever method you’ll employ, don’t forget you can always misuse this technique in creative ways. One I’ll be showing you in next week’s tutorial.



00:00 Intro
00:25 What is a Round Robin?
00:47 Round Robins in Sampler in Live 12
03:04 Round Robins in Sampler in Live 11 and Below
05:12 Pros & Cons
05:46 Round Robins in Sampler v2 in Live 11 and Below
07:02 Pros & Cons
07:32 Round Robins with Simpler in Instrument Rack
09:18 Pros & Cons
10:02 Round Robins in Nested Drum Racks
12:09 Outro

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Related Tutorials

As always, feel free to let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. If there’s a particular topic you’d like me to cover in a future tutorial, feel free to leave a suggestion below.

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