Planning my (first) Loopy HD hardware kit (by Iofan)

edited September 2014 in Equipment

Hello Loopy community!

I'm new to this forum. Just found it two days ago, when I was researching on information about the boss rc 300. After a few posts in here (and the fact that I already own an Ipad Air) I was convinced to go for the Loopy HD option of my newly found looping life. =)

I read through a lot of threads already, but since I am very new to the theme and some threads are quite outdated, I'm up for my big question:

Which hardware kit do you recommend for me as a new Loopy HD user considered the following requirements?

  • I want to use the equipment for sondwriting AND live performance
  • I want to have maximum freedom in arranging the foot pedal.
  • The more tracks I can possibly manage with my foot pedal, the better.
  • I want to try to create different parts for verse and chorus (and bridge too!) ;)
  • In the beginnig I will mainly use my looping device in my band for my guitar and voice (I've got a human drummer and bass player ;)). Since I am the songwriter, I'd also like to play our songs on my own (alternative rock songs).
  • I'm a fan of long lasting, good quality equipment. But at the moment I haven't got tons of Euros to spend (say € 400 max). I really want to get started! =D

Have I forgotten any important requirements?

I would be very thankful for advice. =)

Greetings from Austria,
Iofan

Ps.: I think it would be a great idea to creaty a sticky thread in the "equipment" section, with the most recommended hardware pieces to use together with Loopy HD for professional reasons, as well as set advices like: audio interface x plus foot pedal y = the "plug and play kit", another kit could be focussed on maxmium options, etc. etc.
Just in short with the most important adavantages and disadvantages. I'd do it. If I had a clue. xD

Comments

  • I'm new to looping and to music making, but am looking forward to this thread developing since I'm also interested in live performancing.

  • Hey guys. You will need an audio interface to accept the audio signal from your guitar and microphones. You will also need some kind of midi foot pedal, either wireless (Bluetooth) or with wires (usb midi or regular midi). You will more than likely need Apple's Camera Connection Kit as well, in order to hook up usb devices to the iPad.

    The foot pedal is easy. There are only a handful that most would recommend. Personally, I use the FCB1010, as it is cheap and the new ones are easy to program. Older production runs had a terrible firmware that was impossible to program, apparently. Keith McMillen Instruments makes some cool stuff too, but I felt the price and features don't work great for looping. There are also some Bluetooth solutions, but that seems like too much trouble if you ask me. Maybe in a few years, wireless pedal boards and iPads will be trustworthy enough for me - but as for now, I'm playing it safe. There's more info on here, but I know lots of people use the Blueboard (IK Multimedia I think?).

    The audio interface can be tricky. Basically, any class compliant usb audio interface will work and transmit audio and midi to and from your iPad. I use an Akai EIE, because it has 5 pin midi in/out, as well as three USB ports. It sports four line or xlr audio inputs, phantom power available, as well as four more inserts and four audio outputs. It's overkill for a simple looping setup, so I also have a griffin studioconnect that also has 5pin midi, but only one audio input and one RCA out. That device does charge the iPad, however, which is very very nice. Basically, look around the forums and see what set of features matches what you need. Avoid anything that hooks up through the headphone jack, like some irig products - those seem to have some shielding problems that produce noise/hiss.

    Good luck! Don't update ios8!

  • I'm in a similar situation - new to Loopy - but love it...
    I've also looked through this thread but can't seen anything recent which answers my question.

    I want a very simple setup to start with - I'll be using Loopy on an iPhone 4S, to loop my flute which will be mic'd up with a small powered condenser mic (probably with a jack plug output). So I guess I need an audio interface which will let me connect the jack from the mic (and possibly an XLR in the future) and also allow an output to a speaker (probably jack).

    Can anyone recommend a simple product to do this?

  • Hey guys. New to the forum too.

    I (think) I have a fairly simple requirement but wanted to check with you to make sure I've understood everything correctly.

    I'm the drummer in the band and would like to trigger some loops during our live performance. If I have understood everything correctly I think I can upload the loops into Loopy and then trigger this via a MIDI foot pedal.

    So first off...

    1. Am I right?
    2. Is there a way of routing (not sure if that the correct term) loops to different outputs? For example - click & loop to monitor and just loop to front of house?

    Any information you could provide would be appreciated!
    Cheers.

  • Hey guys!

    Seems like there are also other folks out there looking for similar answers. ;)

    @duck_waddle: Thank you very much for your answer! I will take a Behringer FCB1010 and the Akai EIE seems like the best longterm solution for me. I just haven't decided between the normal EIE and the EIE pro. The Pro has a higher bitrate and is a little cheaper (which already may tell you something ;)), but there seem to be some very bad issues with the drivers on Win7 64bit - which I am using.

    I would also like to use my Ipad and Interface to record music in at least a very good demo quality. I'd probably still go into a real studio for a "proper" record. Have you ever tried the EIE pro? Do you know if the difference in the bitrate between 16 and 24 is a big one?

    I think the griffin is no real option for me, since I will have guitar+voice all the time most probably. It is pretty cheap though. If the EIE will get too heavy for life use on the long run, I consider an iTrack dock (or maybe something better, if it is awailable in future). But I'm not sure if is compatible with the FCB1010.

    I hope you can enlight my EIE vs EIE pro situation here. ;)

    Thx!
    Iofan

  • From what I've (continually) heard on the Audiobus forum the EIE Pro is NOT compatible with iPads. I can't help you further than this. Maybe you can try going to the AB forum yourself.

  • Hey guys.
    Been looking for years and have had a Boss (was the older RC50) plus a plethora of other loopers.

    I am now using the following for live setup:-
    - iPad 4 running Loopy HD connected to
    - Alesis io Dock II (as there are two inputs and midi)
    - Behringer FCB1010 with Uno chip using normal midi cable into the io Dock.

    This system is SO SOLID and awesome for me.
    Downside, it's big.. And I mean a HUGE pedalboard! Much bigger in size than the RC300 but the many positives and possibilities massively out way this.

    I have used the IK multimedia BlueBoard and it works well but there is a lot of re-training your brain to work well with it as there is a slight delay even though Bluetooth 4.0 is real quick, it's just never going to be as quick as a hard wired midi cable.. I will still use the Blueboard for busking (as its battery powered) with my iPhone and a simple iRig Pre.. But for the full gigs, the iPad Pedalboard rocks! :-)

    Also checkout Alesis ioHub as its small, two channel XLR/ 1/4 jack plugs (unlike the irigs) only around £80 and can run off an iPad (with camera connection kit) with no extra power needed. I might be getting one to busk with as I can only plug in one thing (mic) at the mo.
    Nice little device.

    Hope this helps.
    Cheers, JohnPaul

  • The most important question for live performers is this: Are you intending to use Loopy slaved to MIDI Clock, or will Loopy be Clock Master?

    If you want to use Loopy in live performance with Loopy slaved to external MIDI Clock, you need to extensively stress test your system before doing any gigs. Loopy's ability to sync to external clock is still not 100% stable....it's close, but not close enough for gigs, especially if you are syncing to other performers.

    If Loopy is master, that works well.

  • I've got it!

    At least the hardware. Akai EIE and FCB1010 - they are standing right beside me. =D

    Well... buying was easy - now I'm starting with connecting (and programming). I was able to connect my guitar, mic and amplifier to the EIE at once. That was quite intuitive.

    Right now I am trying to connect my Ipad Air with loopy to the EIE. When I've got this set up, I will connect the FCB1010 and learn all that Midi stuff.

    I don't have a camera connection kit at the moment, BUT the cable that came with my Ipad Air is already an USB-Cable (lightning to USB), therefore I am trying to connect it without a CCK.

    Does anyone know, if I need drivers (from the CD or online) for the EIE and the Ipad to work togehter? I found drivers online only for windows. And getting drivers from a CD to an Ipad could be the next challenge for me. xD

    Thx in advance. I'll post my further progress. =)

  • edited October 2014

    lofan, you are almost there! A few tips:

    • The CCK is absolutely required for your setup. Something about how iOS changes how it interacts with whatever data is coming thru a cable plugged into the CCK.

    • a powered USB hub is required. This goes between the iPad and the EIE. Plug the power in first, then connect the square USB port on the EIE to one of the hub's USB ports. Then connect the "host" end of the USB hub to the CCK.

    • (finally some good news) No driver is ever required for iOS audio hardware. The EIE is class compliant, which means any iOS device or Mac will "just work" because the drivers are built into the operating system.

    Enjoy the adventure :-). Let us know when you've got it all running!

  • Hello Hmtx!

    Thx for your quick answers! Seems like I have to give back this "USB-to-USB"-adapter I just bought for € 6,-- and get this CCK (lighning to USB) for € 31,-- instead. Juhuu! xD

    But the powered USB hub? There is already an USB hub integrated in the EIE and the device is powered too. Do I need an extra powered USB hub to connect it to the EIEs USB hub? ^^

    It's great that I don't have to install anything. I like that lights on the EIE and my Behringer. xD

  • edited October 2014

    hey, no worries. I know the system can be quirky with everything that is required. but once its all in place its so much fun, in my experience.

    The USB situation:

    First of all your EIE has 3 [rectangular] USB-A ports for plugging additional MIDI devices in. This is great, but I have no experience with making that work.

    Your EIE uses its square USB -B port to connect to its host, which would be the iPad, iPhone, or computer. This is the connection that may need an additional "Powered USB hub," A powered hub sends a little more current to the CCK>iPad along with the data coming from the EIE. For some reason several devices need this or the iPad sends back a message that the "audio device does not have enough power" or something like that.

  • It works! =D

    I just got the CCK (lightning, as I own an Ipad Air) and connected it to the square USB-B port of my EIE. There is no extra powered USB hub necessary in this case. I'm glad I don't have to buy that too at the moment. ^^

    Right afterwards I plugged in my FCB1010 and it worked straight away. Means - I assigned Midi-commands in the options of loopy and created my first "foot controlled" session. It was fun! =D

    I thought it would take me at least several days to set this up - not just an hour or so.

    But I still have one problem, that I am trying to figure out atm and I am open for advice:

    What I have plugged in:

    Input one: electrical guitar
    Input two: microphone

    headphone out: my guitar amp (marshall MG100DFX)

    The connection works but I only get the guitarsound out of the amp. I have a tiny Roland Microcube too. If I connect the Marshall on Output one and the Roland on Output two, I have guitar and vocals of course. But I'd rather have both coming out of the Marshall for it is much more powerful and the Roland reaches it's limits quite quickly.

    Ok - I'll try more. Maybe I can figure it out in the next minutes. ;P

    Btw.: It's great to have you all and this forum. I wouldn't have made it to this point without the valuable information and help from you all. And Michael of course - Loopy is awesome! =D

  • Ok - I just swapped the inputs - now I hear both sounds. But Input one is clearly louder than input two.

    Now I get to think of configurations for my FCB1010 and learn how to apply different effects from apps like amplitube to specific loops via audiobus. This is all quite complex but at the same time oh so exciting! =)

  • Loopy processes stereo sound, so channels 1 and 2 usually are panned Left and Right. This means if you connect your amp to output 1 in the EIE it would only play the left channel, or sounds recorded on channel 1.

    One solution is within Audiobus. When a mic input is selected in Audiobus, I think it processes to Loopy centered in the stereo field. That way it will output equally to outputs 1 or 2 on the EIE.

  • @Iofan, this is an old thread but I'm looking for a USB powered audio/midi interface to use with ios devices (iphone 6, ipad pro). Can you confirm that the EIE works with an iPhone/iPad with no additional power required?

    To be clear, I want to use this for busking, so I'd be taking my iphone or ipad, the EIE, and a battery powered speaker out to play - the idea being I wouldn't need to plug in for power anywhere...

  • This is such a useful thread, it covers a lot of the questions that I have however, I want to connect my Allen&Heath zed 10fx desk to my iPad via the Apple Camera connector lead. Then back from the headphone socket on the iPad to the desk. Am I nuts? I managed to connect the desk through the TRS (?) headphone socket which works but obviously no output from the iPad.

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