Of the many complaints lodged against Ableton Live by users of DJ software such as Serato and Traktor, the lack of cue points is one of the most recurrent. Whereas most DJ software allow you to create multiple cue points within the track–such as Intro, Chorus, Buildup, etc.–Ableton has no such thing. Luckily, there is a way to get around this with this simple trick that will allow you to make cue points to your little heart’s content.


  1. GUNNER BASS January 18, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    Great tutorial but I think i’m speaking for alot of Ableton DJ’s in saying that spending 5-10 minutes prepping EACH track is absolutely mad. Add in MP3 gain staging and Keying and all the sudden you’re spending WAAAAY too much time prepping.

    MIDI assignable locater flags in CLIP view (like in arrangement v) would solve this; and if you colored the flags that would be a BIG bonus. I’d rather not have all my tracks split up into 5+ parts in clip slots. Makes for a mess IMO when it comes to DJing a slew of tracks in a short period of time.

    I want to interact with the music fans, not my gear.

    • Anthony January 18, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

      Tarekith mentioned the same thing on the twitter and I agree. To be honest, though, I’ve never found this way to be too messy. Time-consuming, yes.

      I like the idea of the locator flags in the clip view. Have you posted this idea on the Ableton forum?

      • GUNNER BASS January 18, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

        i actually haven’t. i can’t imagine I’m the first one to think of such a thing but i will check.

        it would be particularly useful with colored flags so you can come up with your own scheme: red = drops, blue = breaks etc…

        thanks again for the tutorial Anthony!

  2. fraxyl January 19, 2011 at 4:28 am #

    It’s a pretty neat concept, and whilst if you were transferring from another program into Ableton, it would be very time consuming at first, with each new track beyond that only taking an extra 5 minutes.

    The cool thing about using follow actions is you can randomise it and shake things up quite easily.

    After splitting tracks into clips, you can then colour the clips to suit a scheme. Playing them out in the session view is more intuitive than the arrangement view and then you could get into using Launchpad or APC :3 Using this method to mash tracks together would be much quicker in the long run than say, Traktor, from what I can tell, since you can just drag and drop a bunch of song clips in and get to work!

    Although this is coming from someone who has been using Live for a fairly solid number of years so in that respect, I can see how it would be easier for me than someone else.

    • Anthony January 20, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

      For sure. I take for granted sometimes how much faster the keyboard shortcuts make everything. Everything I did here can be done with shortcuts.

  3. Chris January 19, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    This is a great method for queue points but if it comes to on-the-fly looping you are in trouble because the follow actions fire wether looping is enabled or not…

    • Anthony January 20, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

      Yeah, it is kind of an either/or situation. I usually do all the short looping with the Beat Repeat, though.

      • Reign Johnson January 20, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

        For on the fly looping I bind start loop, end loop, and the loop button itself to three buttons on my midi controller. This allows me to create any size loop that I want to while performing a live set, as the loop commands will only apply to clips that you have selected.

  4. Neil Alexander September 6, 2011 at 4:34 am #

    Very interesting thread. I’ve had little success mapping midi controllers to loop start/end/on-off, as Reign recommends. But assigning follow actions to a bank of clips is great, but too time consuming for stuff on the fly. I’ve yet to find a method that works for me. Follow Actions, on the other hand, can have some AMAZING generative music applications (as I’m sure you know). :)

    • admin September 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

      Oh, most definitely too complicated for on the fly stuff. I’ve used this, though, with my own tracks.

      Follow actions are the bees knees!

  5. Vincent September 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    it’s great is use it with on my mpd32
    took a while to cue all the tracks but after a while you get the hang and you just do 10 new tracks before a set

    great video !

    • admin September 8, 2011 at 2:50 am #

      yeah, like a lot of things, once you get the flow, it’s not so bad.

      Just the first time that’s a bummer.

  6. Tyler December 6, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    I like to set the cues on kick and snare beats and set quantize to 1/16th notes and do some live beat juggling

    • Anthony December 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm #

      That is an awesome trick!

  7. Dj miley February 1, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    I use this follow on method and also make the final clip an 8 bar looped at the end of the track this way you will not run out of track and it’s another good clip to roll in the next track in the mix

    • Anthony February 2, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      That’s a great idea! Thanks for that, dude.

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