Active loop rekordbox tutorial

How an Active Loop works in Rekordbox

What is an Active Loop?

With an active loop (sometimes called auto loop) a loop is automatically triggered when playing a track without the DJ having to look at it.
This can be handy to make an outro longer, so you can fluently mix over to another song.

This automatically triggered loop needs to be programmed explicitly in Rekordbox in the Export mode.
This auto loop plays in the Rekordbox Performance mode, but can also be exported onto a usb drive to use in one of Pioneers CDJs.

Be aware: an active loop can be enabled or disabled.
A disabled active loop is still recorded, but needs to be enabled in order to work in the Performance mode and on the CDJs.

active loop in rekordbox performance mode
An active loop in Rekordbox Performance mode

How to set an Active Loop in Rekordbox

In the Rekordbox Export mode go to the loop section and set a loop like you normally would.

There are 2 ways to set a loop:

  • by click in the “4” (=4 beats) and shorten or lengthen it with the arrows left and right
  • or set an IN and OUT point by clicking on “in” and “out” when playing

There is a small scroll bar under the buttons that let you switch between one method or the other.

Setting a loop by clicking on “4” (scrollbar = left)
Setting a loop by setting in and out point (scrollbar = right)

When you use the “4”-button to set a loop, the loop turns yellow in the waveform, meaning that a loop is set.

Click on “MEMORY” to record the loop

The loop will be added to your list of Cue Points, but there is a little circled arrow behind the timestamp.

Now comes the biggest mindf*ck of them all: it is NOT enabled yet! Although it acts like it does when you play the track!
You need to enable the active loop explicitly, by clicking on the circled arrow.
The orange icon will turn into faded red-ish color (red = enabled, orange = disabled).

I get that this is very confusing and I personally always forget what red and orange meant again, I had to double check it twice before writing this article.
Not Pioneer’s finest hour in terms of User Experience in my opinion.

Rekordbox Active Loop not working? Try THIS!

Double check if the Active Loop is enabled

I think the most common problem with active loops not working is the fact that it is disabled.
The problem is, is that it is very hard to see if an active loop is enabled or disabled.
An enabled loop has a red icon.
A disabled loop has an orange icon.

Over here you can see if the loop is enabled or disabled
Loop icon is orange = Active Loop is disabled
Loop icon is red = Active Loop is enabled

Is Active Loop REALLY not working? Check it!

I know it sounds super obvious, but it is really easy to confuse an active loop working and not-working, because Rekordbox gives little-to-no-clues if the loop is working or not.
Because when you play a song with an active loop in the Export mode it doesn’t behave as an active loop, it is not repeating like you would expect.
When you switch over the Rekordbox Performance mode however, it will work!

Switching between Export mode and Performance mode for every song in your library is very labor intensive.
I personally would like to see some of the visuals being improved on this one.

check active loop in performance mode
Check your loop in the Performance Mode: it actually acts as an active loop.

Use Export instead of Sync

Over the years I’ve found the USB Export function to be more reliable than the USB Sync function.
Although I have no hard evidence, I get the idea that I miss tracks on the USB drive when I’m out and about with the Sync function.
It could be that the Sync function does not register a change that triggers the Sync function, while it does with the Export function.
It’s a wild guess, since I personally haven’t experienced any problems with active loops not working.

Use the right-click export function to export tracks to your USB device