BeatSeeker Syncs Ableton Live To Live Drumming


Ableton has introduced BeatSeeker – a new Max For Live device that’s designed to let you sync Live to your band’s drummer.

Bands who use Live in their setup often use a click track to make sure they’re in time. The drummer follows the computer and their groove locks to the grid. BeatSeeker is designed to reverse these roles. Now Live doesn’t have to set the tempo; it can follow it.

Here is the official video intro:

BeatSeeker works by detecting the BPM of any rhythmic audio signal and matching Live to its tempo. Then you can launch clips and BeatSeeker adapts Live’s tempo to respond to the signal and keep on the beat.

Drummers can switch between playing to a click or having Live react to shifts in tempo by using one simple control, which can MIDI-map to a footswitch or other controller.

BeatSeeker is designed for use with live drums, but can also be used by DJs to sync Live with turntables, or with any other rhythmic audio signal used in performance or production.

BeatSeeker is available now from the Ableton website for US $29 / EUR 24.

12 thoughts on “BeatSeeker Syncs Ableton Live To Live Drumming

  1. Looks great, would need to see this in action. My drummer and I experimented with an older program that did this only about a year ago and the results were terrible.

    PLEASE if somebody uses this upload some video or something. It is 1,000,000 times less complex to run one audio signal to a laptop than it is to make sure that the whole band is playing to a click track. If this works it’s a game changer and could make me go back to using Ableton Live (I switched to Bitwig).

  2. Revolutionary. This has got to be the most-requested feature since backing tracks were invented decades ago…and now in 2015 it looks like it’s finally here. That is, if it works! You’ll need to mic your drum kit well, obviously…and send a discrete channel into your interface for BeatSeeker to work (I’m assuming). What happens when you’re onstage and it’s loud and cacophonous? I’m eager to check it out.

    1. i had th same thought…

      maybe contact mics could be a low profile solution that would do away with excessive bleed through in a loud environment or since its going into ableton maybe a simple electronic trigger would work.

      it’s a fancy “tap tempo” i can’t imagine it can average the tempo from just listening to the bass drum or the snare on the fly. i feel like it would need to hear the drums as a whole.

      as i see it, in order for this to work properly it would need a constant clean signal from the drums. so you’d have to mic the whole kit or use triggers.

      i don’t know….really freaking cool though.

  3. I wonder how it would keep tempo correctly in a loud noisy environment. Contact Mics seem like a really good solution.

    I would think that a minimal mix setup would be ideal. Snare and maybe kick? Or a mic somewhere around the bass drum that pics up a more direct room sound?

  4. Very cool. I think the snare mic/directed kick mic directly into Live should do the trick. I watched Andrew Robertsons video from a year ago after it was being developed. I’ve been waiting on this! I haven’t messed with it yet but I’m wondering if i can trigger the acoustic kick/snare into ableton and bypass any of the room noise/rhythm confusion some of the previous responders mentioned.

  5. Have purchased this and given it a go. I think/hope I have misunderstood the instructions. When It is in listening mode ie live is not playing it detects the BPM fine, when I click it, it goes into ‘tempo following mode’ and starts Ableton at the correct incoming drummers tempo, however if drummer changes tempo slightly nothing happens, Ableton is locked in the tempo it first detected and I get drift.

    Anyone know what I’m doing wrong here?

  6. How about Ableton answering this comment above? My band is having the same problem. The instructions for Beatseeker assume that it works automatically – but are very unclear about this switching to follow tempo.
    We want it to follow tempo all the time. A step-by-step instruction is needed.

  7. Hello together,

    the use with audio signal works also with me not properly. Did you find a solution?

    I also tried to connect my Roland TD-30 via Midi on a Midi track with BeatSeeker. A signal arrives, but it is not used by BeatSeeker – the tempo does not change.

    I can not find any information on the Internet.

    Best 🙂

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