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Loopy - Questions about the hardware required

edited June 2012 in Equipment
I'm in the market for a new looper. I don't know if I should go for something like an rc-300 or, instead, get an ipad+dock+loopyHD. Both run for around 600-650$.

Some questions to start:
- How functional is Loopy HD (not loopy 2) on the ipod touch / iphone? Are you stuck with 6 tracks?
-Is using the ipod touch version of Loopy HD absolutely identical to using the ipad version? (aside from 'smaller screen') Same settings, same latency, etc. (Basically, does it work the same on an ipod touch as on an ipad)

- Are there any reliable i/o iphone/ipod docks similar to those for the ipad? (I require a mic input, mono input, mono output, and midi port). The Alesis i/o seems fitting, but it's important the kit be durable and reliable and the alesis is, well, plasticky. And to my knowledge, the ipad i/o docks don't work with ipod touch or iphones.

- Will Loopy HD work on an Ipad2 or gen4 Ipod Touch 3+ years from now, without delays or latency problems? Pedals work for years, I'd like to know that this investment would also last for years.

- Is there a way to stop and start all loops with one button press? (rc-300 has a pedal dedicated to this, which also restarts the clock. it's not a 'mute/unmute', but an actual 'stop/start')

That's all I've got on the top of my head for now. Thanks! :)
Keep in mind I've got live performance/gigs in mind, not just home use. :)


  • Hey again,

    Loopy HD on the iPhone/iPod Touch is completely, 100% identical to Loopy - it's just that Loopy HD also works on the iPad. You can have up to 12 tracks on the iPhone.

    3+ years is an eternity in iOS-land - I can't make any promises there, I'm afraid. Imagine the devices that were available 4 years ago - they're ancient, by today's standards. If developers limited themselves to that enormous degree of backwards-compatibility, we wouldn't get anywhere!

    There's not currently a mute all/unmute all function, although I'm happy to add it in the next update.

    Current MIDI-controllable actions are:

    Select next track
    Select previous track
    Toggle mute
    Toggle record
    Toggle record and select next track
    Toggle record, then overdub
    Toggle record without count-in/out
    Clear track
    Rerecord track
    Solo track
    Adjust track volume
    Adjust track pan
    Adjust session tempo
    Tap tempo
    Double clock length
    Halve clock length
    Toggle session pause
    Toggle session pause and restart
    Restart session
    Toggle track synchronization

  • (I lie - "Toggle track sync" is in the next update, not the current app store version)
  • edited June 2012
    Fair enough re: the lifespan. In your experience with ios devices, will an ipod touch, left unupdated, work the same 2-3 years later as it does during its first year? Or does the tech degrade (I'm not an iphone/ipad/ipod owner, I don't know how long they last before getting buggy and slow :P )

    And hopefully the community can fill me in on viable docks (I've also heard many bad things about the alesis dock - midi notes hanging, cheap build, input noise). I'm wondering if, to save money, I can go with an ipod touch instead of an ipad, and have 100% the same functionality (ie. a dock with i/o ports and such).
  • Aside from usual wear and tear, it's not so much the device that degrades, but the software tech passes it by. If you think back to the original iPod Touch or iPhone trying to run today's apps, it just doesn't have the grunt any more, as today's apps rely on the capabilities of newer devices. We developers like to deliver the best possible product, which means taking advantage of the hardware tools that Apple give us (such as parallel processing, etc), which means older devices that don't have those tools are going to struggle.
    Trust me, the whole situation vexes me as much an anyone - what a horrible waste of resources to have to throw away and buy a new (very resource-expensive to produce) device to keep up with the latest software trends. Ideally, these devices would be upgradable, but in the make-stuff-to-be-replaced 'economy' in which we live, there's no one doing that.

    If you buy an iPod Touch, that is going to limit you to devices that are specifically built for iOS; the iPad supports USB devices via the Camera Connection Kit, which gives you a broader range of options (depending on what you're looking for).

    The newer Touches basically work the same as the iPhone now - they have built-in microphones, so they work with Loopy without a headset, although as I mentioned elsewhere, the iPhone/iPod Touch form factor does *not* give good results with any application that plays and records at the same time, as the mic is right beside the speaker, which means unacceptable feedback. It's mitigated a little with the builtin echo removal that Loopy supports, but it's not a great result - that's why I always recommend using headphones, or some decent audio equipment (although I have no experience with the latter, unfortunately).

    If you don't get much response on the io front, I would suggest doing a bit of research - list all the options (search on Google, Apple accessory sites, etc), then for each one, Google search for chatter about it, and list the good things and bad things people have said about each. Then pick the best one =)
  • Thanks for the response.

    To be clear, I'm not at all going to be using the ipod's built-in speaker or mic of course. Again, my plan is to use this while gigging, so obviously I'm going to be using a proper mic for the vox, a direct input for my instrument, and an out to an amp.
    This is possible, yes? The 'echo' problems you speak of shouldn't be a problem, since the ipod's speaker and mic will be disabled, right?

  • Ah, I was mistaken. The problems with the ipad/iphone/ipod input methods is that the in/out jack on the top of the devices are hybrids, but even adapters like 'irig' and the peavy equivalent can not fully disable the crosstalk between them. Thus leading to unwanted feedback.

    Thus I'd have to resort to a a dock accessory that allows input. Sadly these accessories are expensive and have their own problems (cannot charge device while using it, and cheap plasticky build quality).

    It seems the hardware is holding this solution out the most.
  • edited June 2012
    Final question (I promise!) And this is about loopy this time :P

    Is there a way to re-trigger the loop clock?

    For example, I may manually mute all tracks by tapping them all. Then I'd perform an acoustic bridge.
    What I want to know is if there's a function to trigger loops to start on my demand (rather than wait for the clock to come around and retrigger the loops automatically).

    The rc-300 and rc-50 have a function called play/stop all, which when used, re-starts the loop tracks.
    I use loopers with the count-in and count-out settings, so having a function to manually make loops restart is really important
  • Hey,
    You're totally right about the headphone socket - not a great solution, so it does leave dock stuff. Are you sure there're no dock things that also charge? I know there's a MIDI accessory that does, it seems weird if there wasn't an audio one too.
    If you ever feel like it, I'd love to see your notes on the available options. It seems to me that even if there isn't a brilliant hardware solution out there yet, that won't be the case for long, as iOS music is developing pretty rapidly.

    Yep, Loopy has that same function - it's called 'Toggle session pause and restart', and when pressed will pause the whole session (muting all loops in the process), or restart from the beginning.
  • Perhaps I'll give my notes on ipad hardware in the future when I have better hands-on experience. :)
    I'm currently trying to figure out if the Alesis IO Dock works with the ipod touch or iphone, instead of the ipad. Can't find any info on anyone using it with an ipod/iphone though.

    Good to hear that the stop/start functionality is there. Is it only accessible via a midi interface, or is it built into the touch interface of the app?
  • Ooh! Another question - is loopy (via the alesis io dock and an ipod touch) able to act as a master midi clock? Like an rc-50 or rc-300 does
  • The I/o dock definitely dies not work with the iPhone iPod touch I'm afraid.
    The stop start all is accessible on the touch interface.
    The tascam iU2 will charge the device while acting as an audio and midi interface through the dock connector.
    I have not tried it but you can set loopy up as the midi master clock.
  • How do you know the alesis io dock doesn't work with iphone/ipod touch?

    Also I've heard lots of bad reviews for the tascam iu2 so I'm not sure it's a viable alternative.
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