Perfect Loop Start / Initial Loop Transient Analysis

edited November 2014 in General

Hey there, just wondering how many other loopers out there have come across a similar "challenge":

On certain loops (depending on many different factors), I need to discipline my foot to trigger RECORD a fraction of a second before I play the first notes on my instrument. If I don't do this (ie. if I trigger RECORD exactly simultaneously with the first notes I play), then the initial transient of the loop is cutoff. This is not a problem when the track is continually looping, but it becomes audibly apparent when I restart the loop: since the initial transient is cutoff, there is a lack of "punch" at the start.

My next question then is this: is it possible (either in this version of LoopyHD, or in the new upcoming MasterpieceEdition) to have Loopy do some kind of "transient analysis" that would eliminate the need for me to master triggering some milliseconds before I play the first notes on my instrument?

So first off: anyone out there recognize this issue? Any one use any hardware/software loopers that successfully employ "look-ahead" processing to make this a non-issue?


  • I have the same problem and great difficulty for managing the start point in record mode.... I would like so much to have the function AUTOSTART ...
    would be truly magnificent!!!

  • edited December 2014

    So this got me to thinking about the details of it... in my situation, if there was a sort-of ARM AUTORECORD track binding... that I could enable with a foot press (MIDI binding)... just before I actually started playing on my instrument... that could be a way to enable the full first transient to always be present at loop start. And then after recording, the AUTORECORD would be automatically disabled till triggering ARM AUTORECORD again (so recording isn't set off unintentionally).

    @nosfe Does that work for your situation too, or were you thinking of some other implementation?

  • Interesting - any idea why you're not using count-in?

  • edited December 2014

    Hi Michael, well the reason count-in won't work for this is because it doesn't work on the initial loop recording (as far as I know). It might be a different issue than what you are thinking of...

    I'll try and explain it better... it's a confusing issue and I'm just trying to put it into the right words. First thing: it doesn't have anything to do with any kind of hardware latency issue... it has more to do with the style of music that is being played. For example, if I'm playing a steady guitar riff at a moderate tempo, then this whole thing I'm talking about here is not an issue. But if I play a certain "heightened intensity" style where I am actually starting the first guitar note some milliseconds before the first downbeat, then the first part of the note(s) is cut off.

    I just want to stress that there is no "bug" going on with Loopy here... Loopy is working perfect. I am just wishing for a looper that is always recording some milliseconds in advance somehow (maybe 250 ms would be a good starting point), then when RECORD is actually pressed, the looper analyzes the first transient in beginning of the loop (including the 250 ms) and sets a loop start point from that. Perhaps if the looper doesn't find any transient at all then it just defaults to when the actual recording was triggered.

    What I'm talking about here would not be equivalent to what is currently known in the industry as a "look ahead looper", since these devices actually record long time periods before the player hits record, capturing the last "riff" or so of what they played, but my idea here would be using some of the same concepts (namely, recording a buffer of audio constantly).

    I just posted to see if anyone else has this issue, or recognizes it (if no one has the issue then what is there to upgrade?). I think because this is a potentially confusing issue, I'll try and post a video in the next few days explaining the situation.

  • edited December 2014

    @thenonanonymous - interesting idea, but when you end the recording it is now X number of beats plus a little and how would you use it? If it's your first loop, then it sets the timing for all the following loops. The start of all the loops would be the start of the first loop and playing it more than as a one shot at the beginning would throw the actual timing out of sync. Or are you running in unsynchronized mode? Just courious how this would actually be used.

  • edited December 2014

    @Ganthofer said:
    but when you end the recording it is now X number of beats plus a little and how would you use it?

    well the idea is... that Loopy would do some analysis on the audio... which would include that little bit at the start AS the first beat.... it just shifts the first beat a little earlier if necessary

    It seems possible to do this since Loopy already does some kind of analysis of the loop on-the-fly to get at the tempo and beats per measure. I don't know exactly how tricky the whole thing would be to program though...

    But the first thing is to find out how useful this would be to people. I think I might find it more important than most because I record a live instrument AND I often employ the "Restart session" MIDI binding (used as a compositional "effect"). Because I restart the looper often, that first transient becomes really important.

  • Sorry about the MASSIVE delay responding to this one! I'm finally stirring through the dregs at the bottom of my inbox ;-)

    Right, gotcha, that makes sense. In theory, Loopy already supports anacruses by punching in manually (and it'll recognise the overlap and process the loop to the correct size accordingly, by mixing the start and end), but it does require you to be hands-on (or feet-on =)). I'm already planning to do audio threshold recording in Masterpiece, so that'll take care of this.

    But: note that for the first loop of a session, the one that sets the tempo/etc, this doesn't apply. That's because Loopy wouldn't know where the beat starts, and wouldn't know how long the loop is meant to be.

    There's a chance some audio analysis might help figure that out, but I don't think I'm going to go down that route because I don't think there's any way of providing a guarantee that it'll work every time -- and for live stuff, if it doesn't work every time, it shouldn't be done at all.

    For the record, Loopy doesn't do any audio analysis - it guesses the tempo/etc by looking at the length of the first loop, and picking a likely bpm given that.

  • edited January 2015

    Thanks for the response and info Michael. I had definitely considered what I'd been dreaming up here being potentially very difficult to program consistently. So I guess really what I must do then is... practice more! Who would have thought a musician should have to spend so much time PRACTICING and mastering their instrument? lol (I consider my looper setup as part of my instrument)

    In reflection, I believe I've clarified the main reason I want to master "perfect" loop starts, compared to others for whom this is not an issue for. I want to do all songs totally live, no prerecorded elements, not using a metronome, having the initial loop as an integral part of the song (which means the audience hears me record that initial loop). It's really quite a tall order sometimes (depending on the song), but one I'm committed to.

    Speaking of practicing, I'd better get back at er.

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