How can I record live for longer than 4 bars?

I want to just record a synth loop, something quite long from hardware and just choose when to stop recording? It keeps stopping for me at the end of 4 bars, which is the pattern length. Is this something to do with a one-shot?

Do you start your recording with a Rec Trig?
What is Rec Setup 1 > RLEN?
How do you stop your recording?

Default max recording length is 16s.
Set Memory Settings > Dynamic recorders = YES if you want to ignore this setting.

Set Rec Setup 1 > RLEN = MAX

You can start your recording with Rec buttons.
If you want to start the recording just after PLAY, you can use a regular rec trig and remove it, or use an armed one shot rec trig. You can stop the recording by pressing STOP.
You can also stop the recording by pressing REC buttons if ONE2 mode is set in Rec Setup 1. (Beware, if you start recording with a rec / one shot trig, in ONE2 mode you have to press REC buttons twice).

If you want to quantize your recording start / stop according to pattern length (or 16 steps, etc), select QREC = PLEN in Rec Setup 2.


Usually set up a recorder trig and then press play and quickly turn it off.
Set the RLEN to MAX
Usually the recorder stops at the end of the pattern length - so 64 bars.

Thanks - it looks like I need to change to Dynamic recorders!

Because my OT was not synced to Ableton, I was holding down the record button and then releasing when finished. But the 64 step loop length would cut me off before letting go of record.

Not at my OT right now but thanks for the advice!

use one shot rec trigs to stop you having to quickly remove the REC trig you currently use, this method saves you a bit of headspace at critical times simply by hitting enter to arm the track before recording starts

assign just one track as recorder in the buffers to open more space, set the pattern at a slower division so that 4 bars is actually a lot longer

Not sure if you meant that, but unfortunately even if you change scale multiplier, recording length (RLEN) will be the same, counted in steps at regular scale x1.

RLEN sets the duration of the recording once the track recorder starts to sample. This setting is dependent of the BPM of the sequencer but disregards any scale settings of the track.

Changing tempo works of course.

1 Like

This is my single most used approach. Really good. OP, bear in mind this can let you record for way longer than the pattern - minutes even (if you change the memory settings as advised).

You can press record well before you start playing. You can set the recording to end at with another click at any free moment during your last bar.

What’s nice is that your recording is then quantised in length, so is super easy to manipulate musically.


Me too if I want to record an improvisation longer than 64 steps! Before I was also using one shots but starting record with QREC is similar sound wise.
IIRC, @Open_Mike often uses 256 steps for QREC.


Say I want to record exactly for 128 steps and have the recording stop automatically.
How can I do that?
AFAIK QREC only configures the point in time for starting the recording. The length is configured by RLEN, where 64 steps is the max.
The reason I ask is, I would like to slice the recording afterwards but of course the slice grid requires that the length of the audio file fits the grid.

Using the ONE2 trig mode for the recorders does the trick for me, as suggested by @sezare56

1 Like

I want to slice perfect loops longer than 4 bars as well. I’d expect there to be a way to end the recordings with the same recording trig that started it, like a sequencer one2 mode, is that not a thing?

Or is there any way in the audio editor to trim a sample to an exact bar length? I see that I can put the end marker at a certain bar but it seems a bit arbitrary.

Calculate the number of samples of the loop.
Beat (quarter note) length = 1/BPMx60 seconds
1 second = 44100 samples.

Ex : 4 bars at 120 BPM, 16 beats
8x44100=352 800 samples

Beware of BPMs with decimals :
The Untold Truth About Octatrack Tempo

Not in the audio part unfortunately.
But it’s doable with midi loopback. You can get perfect loops sending the right note, qrec.

Record perfect loops with QREC, manual stop.
With QREC=PLEN, Master 1024, you get a 64 bars recording.