Start/Stop an indivudual track in a session

edited August 2014 in Support and Feedback

Congrats for developers for this amazing app, really great job! But I am having a problem: How can I start/stop a single track in a session? I am new in Loopy HD, I've been using a Vox Dynamic Looper pedal in my live gigs (it has two individual tracks to work with), it's very useful to stop and start a loop from the beginning as you want. Ex: I use to record a beat or a guitar base in a track and let it playing in the whole song, so I record a singing chorus on the other track and keep it, when the chorus come for the second time in the song I play the voice loop and sing together to have a double voice effect etc... I am trying to do the same with Loopy HD, BlueBoard and Ipad Air but it seams to be impossible. I think I tried all the binding combinations. Start/stop tracks from the beginning is really useful since you want to be free to improvise singing and playing in a live gig. I was very happy with the possibilities of my new stuff but now I'm disappointed with my inability to solve this! If there's not a solution for my answer I hope developers are working on it for soon! It's something really simple that is possible in all the loop pedals I know.



  • I am thinking about a binding like "Record and stop" and "Play and stop" to make things easy. :)

  • Have you tried the "Toggle mute" binding? I think it has all you need in 1 binding

  • edited August 2014

    Thanks for the suggestion Tom. Yes I tried, but I need a binding to really stop/start a single loop while others are playing in the session and not just to mute it, because it keeps playing muted. I need to play it from the beginning when I want, as any loop pedals I know. As far as I could see in Loopy HD, stop and play a loop of its beginning is only possible by stopping the entire session.

  • Yes, even turning off synchronize tracks wont result in what you describe. What kind of music are you making? As for playing guitar this would be way to messy.
    You can set up an expression pedal to open/close the volume on certain tracks. I do this with my FCB1010. But i wont give you the sync you need though.

  • I do live gigs singing and playing guitar, it's very useful, for example, to record a singing part or a base for solo and play it when want beeing free to improvise. I hope developers add this simple binding.

  • On an empty session this is already possible.
    On a session where there are loops already playing, you can try pressing the "Toggle mute" MIDI binding a second time. It will start recording from the second press. Also i will continue recording infinitely, until "Toggle mute" is pressed again.

  • It seems you are looking for more of a basic sampler function then. Record something, hit stop. Hit play, it starts playing from the start of the recording. A basic single channel looper can work like that, but most multitrack loopers I have worked with don't.

    Generally with a multitrack looper the idea is that you will either use it like loop 1 verse, loop 2 chorus, loop 3 bridge OR will use it like loop 1 drums, loop 2 bass line, loop 3 chord progression etc.

    Loopy (at this stage!) is much more geared to the second style of usage. In this frame work it is generally seen as desirable to keep all tracks playing in sync and then mute and un-mute tracks as desired. The reasoning is that if you have drums, bass and chords the 3 pieces lock together to create a musical phrase. You can mute and unmute ideas whilst the phrase stays locked together. So playing the verse we just have the guitar chords. As we come to the chorus we want the bass and drums to come in few beats before the chorus starts. Since the drums, bass and guitar chords are all playing in sync when they are unmuted they will all be in time, with the phrase still locked in. If we instead used start/stop instead of mute/unmute then the guitar would be playing the last 3 beats of the phrase as the drum and bass would be playing the first beat of the phrase.

    Not saying that it isn't useful to be able to trigger a loop to play from the start when you want it, but it really isn't the general multi track looper thing but more of a sampler thing.

  • I'm not sure exactly what your after here maybe you can make it clearer but in settings if you turn on count in/out mute it will always play each loop from the start and stop at the end when you tap on it. If you want it to play from the start as soon as you tap or trigger it then I don't think it's possible but don't really know why you would need to in a live situation. I can do exactly what I think you are asking in loopy on my ipad with my blueboard, just make sure count in/out mute is turned on in settings..

  • edited September 2014

    Ok buddies, thanks a lot for the tips and sorry because English is not my first language but I'll try to explain: I do live gigs playing the guitar and singing. This is one of many ways of how I used to work with JamMan and Vox Dynamic Looper for some years in live gigs (note that both have two tracks with dedicated footswitches): In the first track I record (guitar and voice together) the whole first part of a song, stop and keep it, then I record the second track with chorus, stop and keep it, and that's the point: when I think it's the right time in the song I tap the pedal and start the first loop singing and playing together with the loop harmonizing voices and guitars etc and doing the same thing with the chorus. I can do anything since I can start and stop a loop from the beginning exactly when I want. In many songs I record a beat tapping the body of the guitar and let it playing in the whole song using the other track to record other things, if I do the same with Loopy HD I can't simply use play/pause session to start a track from beginning because it would also stop the beat... I think I could do all this things and much more with a simple start/stop binding, I suggested that to developers. I know that since it's my first week with Loopy HD I have lots and lots to learn.

  • If track 1 (beat) is playing. Track 2 (Guitar) is recorded and muted, you can anywhere down the loop, press "Toggle mute" track 2 (which will pend to unmute track 2). Then just before you actually want to play track 2 press "Toggle session pauze and restart", create a tiny silence, and on second press start the 2 loops from the beginning.

    Advantage is that the 2 loops will be perfectly in sync (well at least as perfect as the initial recording), and creating a tiny silence before adding a loop can actually sound real nice.

    As the way you describe means that this "toggle to unmute right now" binding will have to be pressed very precisely to the beat of the other loops. A fraction off greatly changes the emotion of the music.

  • Nice suggestion Tom. About my old pedals: in Vox Looper you need to press precisely, after some time training I got the skills to do it, JamMan has the option to sync the loop with the tempo of the first one then when you start the second loop it fits perfectly. Anyway I'm trying all the tips to get the results I need. :)

  • I guess it all comes down to what Syph says: verse-chorus-bridge mode vs drums-bass-chord progression mode.
    Loopy was most likely made for the second style, but it's getting quite close to be fully usable in the first way also.

    The developer recently added the "Play from start" option which now enables to activate a track from its beginning whenever you ask it (provided Count in/out mute is off). This is a feature I really needed, in a similar situation as Merlin.
    Now there is still the small problem of stopping a track just when ending its recording: say I'm live and just recorded the verse, and I want to switch to recording the chorus, I need to stop the recording of the verse and ask it not to play again just now ;)
    Indeed, with the current version, when the recording of a loop ends, loopy starts playing it automatically. I don't see an option to record-then-stop. So in practice, I need to double tap on the track being recorded (once for saying loopy to stop recording, then once to ask him to stop playing it). But this takes some practice as depending on the time laps between the two taps loopy understands or not. Moreover, I need to tap on the next track to record the chorus, so this is quite a lot of consecutive taps (a footswitch is heavily needed there).

    As Merlin points out, a "Record and stop" option in Track management would be nice.
    Then, to have the time to switch from verse to chorus (doing the appropriate taps), there is a chance I can rely on the "Count out recording" stopping at the next boundary and the count in recording (allowing to say a little bit in advance to loopy that I'm gonna record the chorus now). Well, this might work if I'm perfectly in time with the timing of loopy.... hum hum (playing live, I'm not sure I'm that good :s ). Maybe what's really needed in our current situation is a "Record next loop" option which will stop recording the current loop, put it in mute mode, and start recording the next loop). That would fit nicely as a 4th option in the "Count out recording" option panel, juste after "Disabled, Instant End", as this is a further variant of this. Please developer o:)

    PS: I heard somewhere on the forum that several midi events can be sent one after the other with a single tap on a footswitch by using a specific app. I didn't tested that for the moment, but I will, as I'm curious to see whether transmitting several midi events will be fast enough for live situations (all the more they will travel a lot: from floorboard to audio interface then to iPad OS then to loopy)

  • Maybe what's really needed in our current situation is a "Record next loop" option which will stop recording the current loop, put it in mute mode, and start recording the next loop).

    As quite new to loopy I should I have turned my tongs seven times before writing this, but I'm so enthusiast with Loopy that I couldn't help comment to soon ;)

    So, this function is not available in the settings, but this is available in the bindings: Track Actions -> Advanced functions -> Toggle Record, mute, then record next track.

  • Hi Merlin,
    I know exactly what you're talking about and actually had Michael add this function as I do certain songs the same way that you do. I think he's pretty much got it dialed in as he just finished it up a couple weeks ago. But I've been sick and switching out some gear. He added a play tracks from beginning. I'm not sure if something similar to that was there before or not as I am also new to Loopy. But let me know what you think? !

  • Ant news about this issue?i have the same problem.we need start-stop selected track please :'(

  • I think the "Play from start" setting should take care of this, shouldn't it, @rexrecord?

  • I'm struggling with the same problem, if anything even simpler. Basically I want to use Loopy like my TC Ditto X2 looper but with the two buttons on my Airturn Ped controlling 'record/play/overdub' and 'stop'. I plan to use it for practice (and, maybe, live performance) to record a rhythm guitar track then to solo over it for several choruses, then stop playback. I only need a single track to do this but the loop length has to be flexible and not tied to a preset metronome as tempos vary. Most the rhythm tracks are 32 bars or longer and I record them live each time (pre-recorded tracks are not acceptable).

    So button one needs to do three things, 1, start recording to a blank track or playing from the start of an existing loop, 2, end recording and start playing (setting the loop length in the process), 3, toggle from play to overdub and back again (I could live without this for practice purposes).

    Button 2 simply stops the loop.

  • "Toggle record then overdub" is probably the best option for you Sam.

    Tap it once for record.
    Second tap starts payback with overdub.
    Tap again to toggle overdubbing on/off.

    There are also several options for start/stop for your second button.

  • Thanks I'll give it a go. It would be better if it switched from record to play then toggled play/overdub.

    Here's a scenario. I start recording a rhythm track by simultaneously pressing button 1 and starting playing the part, as I finish playing the rhythm part I press button 1 to end the loop and start playing it from the beginning, starting to solo over the rhythm part as I do so. I solo for several choruses/loop cycles until I decide to end the tune at which point I press button 2 and simultaneously play the final chord or outro sequence.

    My TC Ditto Loopers button 1 cycle is record/playback/overdub my Boss RC-30 button 1 is record/overdub/playback, the latter is less convenient for instant soloing but better for overdubbing multiple tracks on the fly (say building up a full backing track or drum pattern).

    The crucial thing for my needs is that I don't have to preset the loop length and the stop button stops the track rather than mutes it. I only need one track/loop at one time.

  • I think I may have that working, all I need now is to get the audio out to my bluetooth speaker/headphones...... can anybody help?

  • @sam.spoons - there have been a few discussions and requests for Bluetooth Audio support here on the forums. Somewhere here (search "Bluetooth") there are responses from @Michael on why it is not supported. To paraphrase, the latency/lag makes it unusable for live looping and will vary. iOS imposes some restrictions on apps that play and RECORD audio.

    Having stated the above, and adding that Loopy does not officially support Bluetooth Audio. And further more, that any and all effects (good, bad or destructive) that may be the result of applying any of the information below, is solely YOUR responsibility/liability. Blah, bah, blah.......;-)

    I don't have a Bluetooth speaker to mess with, but I had a go at using my BT headset (specifically a Plantronics M70). It's not stereo and obviously has a mic, so this may not translate at all to a Bluetooth Stereo speaker especially if you are connecting an external audio interface to get your audio into Loopy ( see last line below). By using Audiobus and AudioShare along with Loopy, I can get Loopy audio to play to my BT headset. It seems to require a set sequence and of course this may not work for a BT speaker ( and of course this bug may be fixed in a future version of AB ;-).

    1- connect BT speaker. All I do for my headset, is turn it on since it has already been paired with my phone.
    2- open AudioShare ( I think any Audiobus compatible App that will play to BlueTooth speakers on its own might work). Play something to make sure that the audio output is going to the BT speaker.
    3- select System Audio Output for the output slot.
    4- open AB and select AudioShare for the input slot and tap to launch (even though it is already open and running). Switch to AudioShare and again play something to verify it is still working with the BT speaker.
    5- add Loopy as an input on the same channel as AudioShare and tap to launch.

    In my case, the playback(output) of Loopy and AudioShare goes to the BT headset. The headset mic is active input to Loopy. Once I connect my external audio interface of course, the BT audio gets disconnected, as iOS (to the best of my knowledge) only allows 1 audio interface to be active. And my guess is that Hardwired connection takes priority over BT.

  • edited June 2016

    Last thought (4 now) on the BT speaker - if you are using an external audio interface, then you might try finding a gadget to connect to its Headphone/output connection that transmits Bluetooth audio. I'd give you a link to an example, but I haven't found any. Only seem to be BT audio receivers. They may not exist.

  • edited June 2016

    Good news about Bluetooth audio from this year: iOS 10 is going to add support for use of Bluetooth and AirPlay outputs as part of recording sessions. So, this will soon be possible. Hooray!

    Mind you, of course, it'll still be useless for Loopy, because the latency is enormous, so...use a wired speaker =)

    (Edit: This may not be 100% true, YMMV)

  • edited June 2016

    Ah, that's bad news, I was hoping to get a wire-free practice system (Loopy, Airturn Ped and BT speaker). I wonder why third party apps won't playback via my BT headphones though when the iOS 'music' app does so?

    TBH, latency may not be an issue for my purpose, as long as the loop end is clean (i.e. no glitch when the loop 'loops') it should be fine as I don't need to build a multitrack loop just record a single track and then replay it while I jam over it. If there's a glitch before playback starts that would rule it out for performance but not for practice. I will experiment later today and report back.

    Thanks guys

  • I've finally just managed 5 mins to try Loopy as a simple looper with the Airturn pedal and it works like a charm recording my rhythm track via the iPhone mic works well enough for practice purposes and the loop is tight and glitch-free. Very impressed so far :)

    The Airturn sends [up] and [down] key presses and I have bindings thus :-

    [up] "Toggle record without count-in/out" (track actions>advanced functions)
    [down] "Toggle session pause and restart"

    Not tested the latter for more than a "stop" function but that will be sufficient if I can't refine it further.

    If I can get it to playback via bluetooth (which I will experiment with later) I will have achieved my goal.

  • Ganthoper, I'm not using an audio interface just the iPhone mic for recording and, hopefully, bluetooth for playback (the Airturn for record start etc does not affect the audio). I'm not clear what I need to get BT audio from Loopy to my BT speaker. I guess I need Audiobus but shouldn't that be all?

    Michael, the" Toggle session pause and restart" seems to be behaving randomly, it doesn't always start from the beginning of the loop but sometimes from a different point?

  • edited June 2016

    @sam.spoons - I tried what apps I have, it is possible something like AUM might work in place of AudioBus, and as I mentioned, any AudioBus compatible music app that works stand alone with your Bluetooth speaker will probably open the Bluetooth audio channel from with-in AudioBus. I used AudioShare because it's one of my basic set of iOS Music/Audio apps.

    A little explanation of my guess work theory here, is that because AudioShare will connect to BlueTooth audio on its own, it basically hijacks the output of AudioBus (when System Audio Output is selected in AB) and directs it to the BlueTooth audio. When you add Loopy to the same AB input slot as AudioShare (at least when I tried it), the audio continues to be sent to the BlueTooth audio connection.

    What I don't know, since I don't have a BlueTooth speaker (only a BT headset), is what happens to the mic connection. Does it still get input audio from the built-in mic or ?

    So, while writing this, I stumbled upon another possibility, and it would probably be a good way to check what happens to the built-in mic. Using just AudioShare, open AudioShare and connect your BT speaker. Play something from AudioShare to make sure the BT audio connection is working. Now, using the Record function in AudioShare, (the default input which should be the Main In - hardware input), does it record from the built-in mic?

    If it doesn't, then I think you are out of luck.

    If it does, then it might be a work around for you. Also, in that same AudioShare recording function, it is possible to put Loopy as the recording source for AudioShare, which might allow you to use just Loopy and AudioShare for your purpose. You'll have to play with all the monitoring settings in Loopy and AudioShare to see it it will work for you (live monitoring).

    ***this work around/hack if it works for you, could cease to function with any update (iOS, Loopy, AudioShare, AudioBus). So be careful when updating if this is an integral part of your setup!!!!!

  • Thanks again for your time G. I'll try that but there has appeared another fly in the proverbial.... the input gain in Loopy does not work with the built in mic so, unless I can find a way to preset the mic gain I am unable to record undistorted audio into Loopy anyway. There must be a way, the beatboxers in the video's seem to manage it >:)

  • edited June 2016

    @sam.spoons - doesn't Input gain under Settings work for you? Works for me on a iPad air1 and iPhone 6. Current version iOS and Loopy HD. Try sliding all the way to the left. It doesn't turn off the mic, but makes a huge difference in volume from far right (clipped audio) to far left quieter audio. Make sure Monitoring is turned off, or you get the built-in speaker being recorded back into the mic.

  • edited June 2016

    No, the input gain is greyed out in Loopy settings unless something is plugged into the input (bear in mind I'm not using an interface as that would defeat the purpose of the exercise, no extra boxes and as few wires as possible). There is a workaround as, so far, it does remember the setting when you unplug whatever it was plugged in (in my case a custom lead with a jack input for my guitar). It's very hit and miss though, I've turned it down as low as it will go and still it's clipping (Selmer Style Gypsy Jazz guitars are loud.....) so it's looking like this project is doomed to failure :(


    The gain control on Tascam's PCMRecorder app works just fine and has sufficient control to get me clean undistorted audio using the iPhone speaker

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