My Groovy Template With Manual The best I could do to get clip-launching and non-linear in Cubase

This is kind of scary.

I would rather fumble through a live set, after 2 days of no sleep than share this as far as how much anxiety it is generating.

I have this fear that the included example (which contains no music) will be used to create Cheesy Science Fiction based songs. But then again, it might not be so bad.

When I was ripping out my own “Kits” I didn’t spend much time making examples so… Cheese away if you must.

That said, here is an abstracted version of my primary song writing Template, and a manual to set the same thing up yourself if you want.

I spent some time making it more generic and less specific, and have started a new project with this version. My apologies if you try and use it and there are defects, I have found a few over the past few weeks, but thought I would share as I think I have most of them worked out.

It’s overkill nerdsvill. And that’s the way I like it.

Extra bonus points if you know the Example Project references.

Had to break it down…

Oqion Groove Template (731.1 KB) (1.2 MB)
Groove - (3.2 MB)
Groove (597.0 KB)
Launchpad (3.8 KB)
Kontakt Quantize Clip (4.6 KB)


What is this black magic!? :slight_smile:

…ah what the hell. I’ll download and see. haha - thanks, I’m very curious now.

WOW! Looking at a 65 page pdf manual for a custom cubase template for CLIP Launching? Thank you for doing this!

it seems so, yes. On the one hand really awesome, on the other: i m a bit dumb, not understanding everything you did there (i can’t even comprehend how cubase could ever support playing live-loops in different timelineslots without playback interruption. And i guess the playback-interruption while loading a VST always will be there, that’s just engrained in cubase, haha) - so before i start a huge journey of trying to make this thing run properly, please let me ask you to share a video in case you still use this template, so we can get a glimpse of how things work in practise :slight_smile:

Waitaminute, where is @oqion not seen them about for months - you still with us?!

I’m about. I will respond more soon.

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Thank you for your interest in the Template I built. Most everything you would need to know would be in the User Manual PDF. I thought about making some vids but… , it is quite an effort, and I don’t really have the video equipment or video editing tools. I have considered making a YouTube channel and talking about this sort of thing as well, and that would be a whole production and a camera etc. I’m not quite there. If enough people were into it, you know.

If you don’t feel comfortable with configuring and trouble shooting, then it would be more of something I would be willing to help you with if you run into trouble. Message me, get on a Zoom call, that sort of thing.

The thing to ask yourself is not if you want a “Live” clip launcher. It can function that way poorly, It requires a bit of manual work, moving the audio clip into the Sampler Tracks. It’s the one step that is completely manual, and it isn’t like using Logic or Bitwig.

I do NOT use this for Live Looping. I use it for grooving/jamming/song writing. For live looping I wouldn’t use a DAW!!! Seriously I hate doing that. I have tried Logic, Bitwig, and Live, and I find the BOSS RC600 a much more convenient tool. So, as you might guess, my idea of looping in that context is not DJ, “producer”, sorts of workflows!

I want loops so I can try things out, and arrange clips independently of a song’s segments . The Arranger wont do that. And I want to be able to create music spontaneously, and not be thinking through it like computer programming, which I do as well. I want the parts to be improvised, and the arrangement to be improvised as well.

To do that, doesn’t require just a looper, but also the ability to control how the information (audio, midi, and “automation”) flows into a track. Cubase doesn’t do that!!! But it does a better job than any, save for perhaps Bitwig, which is getting there. The solution to this -for me- is “Channels”, and a Tape Deck metaphor. And I have no need for MIDI looping/clip launching! Once the “performance” is recorded, the audio is all the clip I would want. MIDI in this context is primarily a performance mechanism, not a composing mechanism. (Though it’s still set up to allow for MIDI editing… because fixing mistakes in an otherwise good performance is less time consuming. But still, I personally, usually, leave mistakes in!)

Look at the part of the manual called Deck Modes, and the Looper Modes and ask yourself if it fits a workflow that you would want. If it isn’t then the Looper via sampler tracks part is a much smaller subset. You don’t need to install the scripts, you just need the Kontakt and MIDI routing tracks. Though, if that is your aim, then I doubt 7 or 8 “Channels” is going to cut it, and you will miss all of the staging from Bitwig or Logic.

If you don’t mind having a limited number of Channels, and your workflow goes something like:

  • Turn on a Channel
  • Record a performance to that Channel
  • Play the performance, (the MIDI or DI), maybe try out different effects.
  • Burn/Dub/Write, as if to Tape, the performance with existing effects.
  • Overdub in real time (the audio, the MIDI, the CC/Automation INDEPENDENTLY) directly to the final “Tape”… without destroying the already existing “Tape”.
  • Play the result of either the Dub or the Overdub (whichever was last)
  • Version the Channel (Save what you did on the Channel as a version of the Channel’s tracks, and clear it out for a new take.)

And to do each of these with only ONE BUTTON PRESS!!! If that doesn’t sound like your workflow, then the bulk of this template is not going to be for you.

That is my workflow! That and the occasional manual edit, which is why the Play Performance mode is there. I almost always use this workflow, (parts of this possible workflow) and I always forget something. Every time, there is some little extra mouse click or something tiny that I forget to do, and the whole groove is lost. An engineer isn’t going to be there doing it, you know? I’m thinking, “make music”, not “engineer”, and these two ways of thinking require a completely different mindset for me.

I want to be able to do the music when I feel musical, and so I put all of the engineering up front to cover all the “modes” I am ever in. That way it is one button press, and presto, I don’t need an engineer, and I don’t have to think like and engineer while I am enjoying NOT thinking like an engineer.

But then, I also don’t want to be forced to think about arranging all of that groovy goodness linearly. If I think, "what if that one melody on the guitar came in while the synth is doing that other thing. It only takes a second to drag it over to an already set up Sampler track and play it that way to see. And do that by pressing the clip’s button. And if I want, I can play clips directly on to the looper track where it records the MIDI that triggers the clip… and also some FX if you want to add those in. That’s what the Arrange/Looper modes are for. It’s still about being immediate and improvising, and not being perfect, and constructed.

It’s about not having to think like an engineer while thinking musically. It’s not about thinking in little tinny 2-8 bars phrases and then playing around with their order to try and make something that isn’t completely monotonous…

If that sounds compelling, then know, it is a hack that is using Cubase in a rather unique way. Especially the scripts (LEs). It does require some frustrating sessions to get it set up to work smoothly. (When I moved machines it took a few hours to get it working right again.) But I would rather do the engineering for a session, and then not have to worry so much about it when I am trying to Jam.

I wanted features that Cubase doesn’t have, and instead of continuing to complain and ask for them, and have few (maybe 1) people/person understand what I meant, I just made something as close to what I was asking for, as I could make.

“See? See Steinberg? Something like this!” Maybe? See how the MIDI and CC and Audio are all on one Channel, because that is how amp modelers and vocal synths work? You need all of that independently recordable and editable, but still on the same “channel” er, track, where the mode of that channel represents what you actually want to be doing, See how putting all this on separate tracks makes using those kinds of tools a terrible pain?!?! See how it could be?

And gee, while we are at it, see how the building blocks for an audio clip based tool is practically already there?

No? Just me?

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Apologies for posting here rather than creating a new topic.

Live looping is no big deal and hidden in plain sight. But the gui may be a factor why this workflow is overlooked .


There are some samplers what can chromatically record and assign audio from any source to a pad or key. Studio One has SampleOne XT and Steinberg has the pro version of Groove Agent. Both samplers use a gate and threshold for recording.

Groove Agent enables you to select the playback mode of the recording in advance and has separate outputs.

Samplerone Xt does not have separate outputs or allow you to alter the playback in advance.


All you need to do is use a midi controlled noise gate or enveloper shaper to decouple the recording mechanism in the sampler. This enables you to record when you are comfortable. You don’t need to arm & enable multiple tracks or have to count in.


Project window.

Create an audio track and a group track & insert the noise gate on the group track.
Create a midi track and assign your midi input device to the noise gate.

The sampler.

Assign the group track as the input source to the sampler & lower the threshold to the gate.Also assign the starting root note to the pad.


A sustained midi note is transmitted which activates the noise gate.The sampler records and assigns the audio to the pad when you manually deactivate the noise gate.The sustained transmitted midi note is recorded and played back on the next loop cycle.

The transmitted midi note will be of equal length to the recording and all the following notes will be on a single midi track.

The note which triggers and activates the gate must be identical to the note and any sequential notes which are chromatically assigned in the sampler. This can be streamlined by transposing if users have hardware with a limited amount of pads or pedals.


A sustained midi note activates the gate which enables the sampler to record and chromatically assign the audio to a root note in the sampler.

All midi is recorded on a single midi track.

Mistakes when performing

You are sampling so there’s no quantising.So prioritize what external audio instruments benefit from using this workflow.
There are commands which can remove the most recent note.However you will probably have to sacrifice the pad as the audio recording is chromatically assigned.


You can streamline the workflow by using a midi effect to incrementally globally transpose the note so you can use a single pad or foot pedal to activate the noise gate.

Midi remote or a virtual midi port can be used for hands free recording. This workflow involves creating midi parts which are inserted in the timeline which will behave like a cue. The midi note can be assigned to transport mechanism will activate /deactivate recording when the play head reaches the cue.

Groove Agent playback modes. Track navigation and non linear workflow

Audio & midi recordings will be of equal length. Eg. A 20 second audio loop will be 20 seconds of a sustained midi note.

There are modifiers or commands where you can extend note length. So you can alter the sampler playback mode to trigger instead of responding to sustained notes.You know what your starting note will be so you could prepare your midi notes in advance & un mute them. Drum editor or beat designer can also be useful tools for polyrhythms.

Midi controlled noise gates & envelope shapers.

Steinberg has midi gate. I also have a round up of gates & enveloper release times in this video guide.

First off, this thread isn’t just about live looping. The template is really more about workflow. But it’s also about a kind of looping or clip triggering. But the two concepts, in practice, are quite different. Actual Live Looping, in my opinion, is best done with a tool like the Boss RC600. You are going to need a decent floor midi controller anyway, and at that point, You might as well just pick up one or two RCs, and have perfection.

That said, there is a major paradigm issue with using Groove Agent.

That’s where the paradigm breaks! That isn’t how you do live looping. You can’t go setting up every cell in GA for exactly the length of clip you want, unless you know how long the clip is going to be in advance, and that isn’t how it works. That may be fine if you are simply trying to perform an already written song with all of the mixing and effects and clip lengths pre-planned. But where’s the fun in that?

There are also a few other details about using Groove Agent in that way, that absolutely require pre-planning and a few issues that can put the breaks on, and make you shift back to “engineer” brain, rather than “jam” or “groove” brain.

Using a Noise Gate is exactly how GA recording can work, but I think you will find that the triggering and alignment when using it as a “clip agent” is more trouble than it is worth.

And yes, setting up a separate Noise Gate plugin could also get you some sort of looping, but that supposes that you have a set max loop length, not that you are arranging, and playing different clips in real time.

The primary downside to setting up a pre-configured sampler trigger (As IS done in this Template) is that currently the Kontakt script is limited to by-measure pick-up. That could be a bummer, but it’s also just a limitation in the script. I just didn’t need more than that enough to bother.

The downside is the requirement for one to select and copy the clip into the sampler. And that is because you couldn’t record directly into the sampler… and also because of the overdubbing modes which were a big deal to me at the time. And may be again.

I challenge you to build a template with all of the pre-work you are suggesting pre-done for an 8x8 (or 8x7) grid. I would be very impressed with that.

I’m not being snarky, I mean that.

You will still be lacking the ability to freely trigger any clip at any measure and you also won’t be able to record the clip-trigger performance, but you knew that as you alluded. And then there is the ability to put effects and record those effects on the triggered clips without destructively changing the effects and automation - on the clip itself. You know, like the cheesy example would be, ‘stutter’.

That is the part of the clip-agent which is useful for being creative and song writing. Again, if what you want is to Live Loop, the RC is magic. If what you want is to DJ/Produce Bitwig would be my choice, with Logic as a less expensive alternative.

Mods can move or delete my post if you take offense.

I’m a Cubase veteran who also uses Studio One.I have a touch screen system which is networked between desktop and tablet pcs.

I made a typo in my last post as i’m describing two similar workflows with Sample one Xt and Groove Agent. The midi noise gate video should have made it obvious what I meant… However I won’t edit it i’ll just clarify and correct it here.

Groove Agent.
You need to either calibrate your gate or enveloper to automatically close after a certain time or manually close it when you finish recording your performance.

Your midi note will be sustained in Sample One Xt. But you have more sample playback options which can be calibrated in advance in Groove Agent.


The navigation workflows are similar in Studio one and Cubase but Cubase and Groove Agent has an advantage. So you can use another sequencer in your workflow to complement and trigger the sampler. Eg Beat designer, Algonaut Atlas , Audio modern Play beat or Stochas which is free.


Live looping and clip triggering workflows are over engineered in daws what don’t have those features. I breakdown the task & use the sampler if it’s viable but only for external audio & try and decouple the recording & the playback.

You already have some idea where your root note are going to be recorded and your loop lengths can be nudged or moved so you can prepare things in advance And just mute or un-mute if you have a capable bidirectional controller. Effects can be inserted on the separate outputs.

The first half of this video is a basic navigation workflow in the project window and the second half illustrates alternative with a sequencer which has polyrhythms. ( Studio One one does not have midi mixer channels. )


The sampler auto populates it’s pads etc when it’s receives an input signal. Your challenge is easy as I have touch screen software with plenty of work spaces which can perform as a step sequencer etc. Record , play & automate itself, insert plugins, change mixer states… I can stack hundreds of commands or shortcuts to a single pad & use hardware to trigger the pad. However I try and create guides for users with the least amount of tools or screen estate.

A user can use game pads , drum triggers , audio to midi tools or stack macros which respond to velocity.

Key ranges , key splits , playback modes & individual outputs have been present in samplers for decades.There are also all the advanced sequencers which can expand the live loop archetype ?

This is a universal workaround to hands free recording and very desirable in Ableton.

You use Kontakt which cannot record audio & has constant feature requests relating to it’s tiny gui Do you have any screen recordings of your workflow & it’s relatability to a user with a laptop?

Maybe we can have a friendly challenge and instigate some feature requests.