Multi-channel routing

Michael,

First up, amazing app. As a solo guitarist sat on a Cajon, its perfect for me to layer up guitar / vocal / percussion and play around with them.

I noticed you mentioned in the updated release that you would allow stereo, Left / Right recording. Just wanted to ask whether it would be possible to split record. e.g. record Left to 1 loop and Right to another at the same time?

Keep up the amazing work, and definitely would love to see a bluetooth pedal implementation as mentioned by a few others, assuming those ****ers don't try and charge you a license fee for the developer toolkit!

Mike

Comments

  • I wonder what it would cost if the number of people on this list who would like the bluetooth functionality were to subsidize the cost of implementation? I'd chip in 10-20 bucks to be able to make use of that!
  • Hey @RossBeaf - thank you very much!

    At the moment, there's no split recording: Just one track at a time. If there's a demand for this, I'm happy to add it in, though, so do feel free to gather support ;-)

    Alas, they are charging a fee for their SDK, but their developer liaison guy tells me it's relatively straightforward even without the SDK. So, I will give it a go, but without the SDK to help push it along, it's not going to be in this update. Next one, though, probably. Still baffled at their approach, but oh, well, not my business =)
  • Hey @Michael,

    I had idea on split multi-channel, in case you decide to do it (which would be amazing!). My thoughts are that there are probably a ton of people who want to use Loopy live to, say, record a line of guitar and then, while that hits loop, easily move over to a bass or synth etc.

    If you took advantage of the rows/columns of circles, you could assign an input (or 2) to a given row or column, that way I could have, for example:

    3x2 iPad circles setup (portrait)
    Row 1: left channel
    Row 2: right
    Row 3: both

    Thus to switch input I just have to pick a circle in a different row, no config needed each time I want to change source.

    Obviously once something is receded you can move it to any circle, combine them etc, but it gives you the power to, say,
    - hit two circles (a different input on each) and record guitar to one, vocals to another for split use
    - hit two circles (Left channel on one, BOTh channels On another, and record the guitar line with and without your vocal line simultaneously) :: great if you want to minimise the time spent looping JUST to get the loops set up etc.

    I'll put it out there to the public for feedback / thoughts, but as a UX designer this is the cleanest and most hassle free way I can think of to make multi channel easy.

    Hope that helps

    RossBeaf
  • As a finer point, you could have a pop out side bar on the row / column which shows what channel goes where, so you dont forget!
  • Finally.. (sorry, thoughts coming like breadcrumbs this morning!) :

    1) This would let you do something that a lot of loop pedals can't do.

    2) I'm very jealous of your amazing lifestyle having read the blog - my other half is clearly going to be pushing for me to get this good at coding!
  • edited July 2012
    Just read your scribings on the multi channel recording...and personally I think how you have suggested hits the nail on the head bang on. It would totally give you the option of layering to inputs simultaneously whilst still having the control on each input/output.

    Perhaps loopy could have a sub menu so before performance you can pick a recording style/layout to use that is best suited to what you are trying to achieve. It would increase the versatility of the app massively without impeding on the apps performance.

  • This is a very interesting direction, @RossBeaf - definitely worthy of some thought. Following on from @samwalker's suggestion, I suppose this could be presented as a separate track layout setting (from within Settings » Track Layout) when a 2-channel input device is detected, which would probably allow it to fit adequately into the current UI paradigm. It wouldn't work for > 2 channel inputs, but that's okay; Loopy could just avoid showing that layout option for any but 2-input devices.

    My original thoughts on this would be to have the input selection as a per-track option, accessible from the track menu (which appears when you hold a track). But obviously that's more work to set up than simply tapping a track in a particular column.

    Nice one =)

    (And thanks for the kind words - I do feel pretty damn lucky to be able to do what I do, that's for sure!)
  • @Michael,

    Dropped you an email with some suggestion UI ideas as I can't seem to post pictures here. Let me know what you think.

    It may be worth sharing as I'm sure @samwalker and others would have ideas as to what would be most useful etc.

    Many thanks - I've been hooked since I picked this thing up!

  • Neat! You can attach images using the "Attach a file" thing, I think. I'll attach your email and my reply below
  • Oh, lovely. Your email seems to have been corrupted in my inbox. Stand by.
  • edited July 2012
    Michael,

    Mike (@RossBeaf) here. Just thought I'd ping a few screenshot UI's to illustrate my thoughts on multichannel. This has a potentially huge impact on my ability to live-loop, and I know loads of guys who'd benefit as they do the same kinda thing I do live, so I've been thinking about it a fair bit. Obviously let me know your thoughts.

    To put you into my shoes, I currently run 2 Boss RC-300's (my timing has to be insane to get them in sync - no midi on Boss RC-300s!), with voice, guitar, Cajon / percussion and bass (They have twin inputs).

    The major selling point of your solution over the RC's is that disabling / enabling one of the 2 tracks on each pedal requires considerable effort. In Loopy I can simply toggle a track on / off, and I can have 9 or 12 different ones!

    However, the advantages of the pedal solution for now are:
    a) Hardware footpedals (I'm getting a Behringer one if this Loopy thing turns out to be my solution)
    b) A function which listens for a signal and THEN starts recording (like a noise gate which automatically enables record)
    c) In/out on click/press, rather than release, which is much easier for timing (Think you've got this in the update pending?)
    d) The ability to record 2 signals onto 2 loops at the same time and then turn 1 off (though for me this currently means using 2 pedals, 1 for each loop).

    Anyway, the more of the above you can get into Loopy, I reckon the more you'd have backing a 'PRO' version which you could charge more for (easily £30, bearing in mind the entry level Boss pedal is c.£180 (1 track), the stereo one is £300! I'd be happy to demo some of this functionality on a web-vid if you ever need me to, to help you showcase these features to artists enquiring about loopers.

    From the loop music community as a whole I think the biggest challenge we have is the time you spend building up the tune, when you really wanna just be able to jump right in there, e.g. take a cover of the tune American Boy by Estelle and Kanye.. my current solution:

    1) Lay down chorus voice and guitar
    2) Loop guitar while I add bass to the loop, while singing the verse
    3) Harmonise with my looped chorus, while playing a different guitar riff in the chorus.

    Sounds complicated, but people go nuts for it, and I'm not exactly breaking the boundaries of what the guys I've seen can do with these things.

    With Loopy it'd currently take me a loop to get the guitar in 'clean' (i.e. no vocals), then sing the chorus, then the bass (and I could do the verse using a Mic not going into loopy), then the other guitar etc etc.. it starts to get quite linear and I'd bore my audience. Hence the split record is a killer solution!

    Onto the interface, below are my opinions, which may be wrong, but hey:

    The hardest thing to get right is how the user selects and then sees what is coming from where (e.g. Circle 1, left input).

    A::: Using my 'rows' approach I would probably think the most visually obvious place to put an indicator of the input would be down the left/right/middle.

    For 2 source this could be a small L, R or L/R, selected using the roller menu as you already have at the bottom, but then constantly visible (but not obtrusive). This could also work for 4 source, using the little cooker dots I saw on your 'incoming update' screenshots.

    Advantage: Can be pretty unobtrusive.
    Disadvantage: Forces you to use the 'rows' method of allocating inputs.

    I've included a sample showing both 2 and 4 track below:

    image


    B::: Another visually obvious place for an input identifier would be the centre of each circle, moving away from the 'rows' approach to a setup that you define beforehand (e.g. Assign circle 1 only to input 1, circle 2 to input 3 etc). Again, using your roller or a popup like the pan/vol selector (figure 3) this could be done live as well, but the option to set up the inputs pre-gig as a template would really allow for some power.

    Another screenie below (Centre LR / Cooker dots):

    image
    And the selection method (I've shown both a 2 and 4 track implementation, and this could either be a 'live' or 'pre-gig' setup - excuse my appalling text!)


    image

    Let me know what you think, it's such a great app that, as a regularly gigging musician who currently juggles 2 stereo foot pedals to achieve 4 track input. This would literally be worth £200 to me if perfectly implemented! Lol.

    There's probably a tonne of coding behind this that I dont get, but having written a 4 track recorder in C++ I had it so that 4 tracks could be recording any combinations of inputs 1-4 (e.g. One track recording input 1 and 3, while another records just input 1), by combining the signals directly from the audio buffer at input level and factoring in the relative volume balance of each. Of course, you're way more into your code and know what's possible etc, but the ability to do a combination of 4 tracks would be super sweet!

    Anyways- amazing work, happy to chat through the above any time. Or invite you to a gig if you're ever in the UK!

    Many thanks
  • Hey Mike,

    Wow, what a presentation! Thanks heaps for all that.

    I'm pretty much sold on the split recording idea - I can definitely see how useful it'd be.

    I'm feeling a little hesitant about the idea of using rows to indicate the source - honestly, I can't even put my finger on why, and perhaps even if I could, I'd be wrong (so I'm happy to be talked out of my reluctance). It just doesn't feel right, at the moment.

    However, I am strongly considering making this an option within the track menu, as you've indicated in the last mockup there - the track menu is actually scrollable radially (it's just not enabled right now, 'cos there are only 4 options), so you would be able to scroll the standard "share, import, volume, pan" menu to reveal a "input" option like you've mocked up. I really like your suggestion with displaying each input as a toggle-able slice of the circular menu - I think that might be the way to go, and if you turn all sections off, it just uses the global input setting in the panel.

    I think the selected input could then be displayed on the track display itself (the radial part), as dots.

    Then, those settings will be saved when you save the session, and restored upon loading, so you can set up a template and use it later.

    I confess that it's more interaction required to get the same results as a column-vs-input layout, but regardless, it feels both neater and more flexible to me (particularly if one wants to construct loops in a particular older).

    What do you think?


    Oh, where in the UK are you? We're about to spend 6 months there, starting in Kent (we're currently in France, but our bloody MOT has already expired, scarily, and we need to hit British soil to renew it).

    Cheers,
    Michael
  • First of all @rossbeaf Wow! Super impressive my friend. I think you are certainly striking a chord (no pun intended!) with the current missing applications in any looping equipment be it hardware or software that's currently available. Multi input recording is something that just hasn't been implemented. I play a hybrid guitar so 2 outputs, cajon, mic and keys, and the biggest task is to layer and loop whilst still having the ability to control. I also own an rc-300 and currently play the proverbial tap dancing act whilst performing.

    If the functions that you and @michael could also be midi controlled, pre gig assigned then I think that you just may have the most powerful looper out there.

    With this in mind, a said 'pro' version would be able to ask a minimum £30...I'd pay more considering a less valuable hardware equivelant (rc300) is regulated at £430 of anyone's money.

    With up and coming hardware that allows the iPad to be a useable interface this is definitely the way forward...just ironing out all the creases to provide a product that wows everyone without the want or need of anymore features.

    Loopy is a great product, but I firmly believe that you are possibly on the cusp of something amazing with further development.

    @michael @rossbeaf. Viva la revolution!

    @rossbeaf I'm also uk, out of Essex, where do you play?
  • "To put you into my shoes, I currently run 2 Boss RC-300's (my timing has to be insane to get them in sync - no midi on Boss RC-300s!), with voice, guitar, Cajon / percussion and bass (They have twin inputs). "

    RC-300s can be synced together using midi. What makes you think there's no midi on RC-300s? There is a midi in, midi out, and midi thru. :/
  • @auxili - apologies, I meant RC-30 (the stereo, non midi, variant).

    @samwalker - I'm in south London (toting bec), but actually most of my playing I do abroad, I have a deal with some hotels where I trade an all inclusive holiday for bar music :-)

    @michael - thanks for putting up the email, my follows (also responded by email but for the benefit of the world):

    Agreed on your thoughts, actually as soon as I mocked up the second UI I preferred central dots and selection.

    Cunning on the rotating track options. 2 ideas there:

    1. How necessary is it to have a volume  option, given that it is automatic when you 'stroke' the track?

    2. When you DO have 5+ options you'll need to prioritise them, or at least let the user do it, as some people (like me) will likely never use 'Share' but will need 'Input' etc. given that they soon anyway this could presumably be a sys config thing.

    3. The 'save setup on close' is good, the ability to save multiple ones as a global setting e.g 'load Gig A' with midi learning profiles etc would be amazing.

    I've got some other ideas, which are in another thread as this multi-channel thing is a discussion point in itself.

    Welcome any comments, and yeah, totally agree that this app has the potential to be the ultimate looper!
  • Damn iPhone.

    Tooting Bec
  • Cheers Ross =)

    1. The volume menu item could arguably be disabled, although I still want it there by default, for the users who haven't bothered to go through the introductory stuff, or who have forgotten - I'd like to keep it as visible as is practical. But as you suggest, this may be something that could be customised.

    2. I could see this happening, particularly when more stuff is added (like reverse playback, decay, etc, which will probably be accessed via the track menu).

    3. You can definitely already save these sessions (in the "Sessions" section) - currently I don't have per-session MIDI bindings, but I agree that this will be a pretty good idea. My current (vague) plan is to implement a more sophisticated midi action system where you can actually program multiple actions per trigger (such as "play track 1 and 2, mute track 3, and start recording track 4"), and provide this extra functionality as an in-app purchase for a couple quid; I could also make this a per-session thing, in the process.

  • @michael

    Point 3 I think hits my other thread point about midi on the button. I'd totally pay for that as an extra.

  • Surely the selection on what button functions you want could be a simple check box list, check uncheck the functions you want, and drag to top of list for priority I.e. top of list, first position.

    @michael midi functions as an add on...like it. Great way to open the gate for anyone wishing to use them. I'd pay!
  • @samwalker Exactly, yep

    And cool =)
  • I used to busk with a looper back in the 80's - 2 seconds was the longest you could get in those days! I'm just getting back into it and Loopy seems the way forward. I've got a FCB1010 foot controller, and if I could assign midi notes to select specific circles, rather than go either forward or back, I could not have to look at the iPad to see which was selected and have a fantastic looper. Or is this capability already there?
    With the multitrack stuff you're all planning above it would be even better.
    I went out with it on the one sunny day this month and couldn't see anything on the screen in the sunshine!
  • edited July 2012
    Yep, that capability's already there, @martinC - not so much selecting particular tracks, but performing actions on particular tracks (like, "mute track 2")
  • Hey Michael,

    On the topic of multiple actions per MIDI message - is this going to be a sequential thing as well? Could I have one MIDI message trigger the next action each time it's pressed? This would be incredible...
  • It certainly could be that way, @thatsRayor. Sounds pretty good to me =)
  • Now you're getting me excited... could we sequence multiple actions too? This would be like magic for a live performance.
  • Hello there,

    AMHO, the second screenshot proposed by RossBeaf deserve an icon system, where you may include the inputs icons if you want too, because basicaly, you know already what's going to be on the left or the right or both, a drum part, a guitar, a voice...The input selected is important to choose, but what you need when you are playing live is to know visually what type of instrument is playing not the input anymore. Icons allows you to have both systems and much more...

    The per session midi binding is also a good idea, but triggers for a more sophisticated midi implementation is really needed here...
    Could it be possible to have a simple text file to import/export ?
    I mean, like this, you may keep it simple for basic use, but if you've got an advanced midi footswitch, you may adapt it with the possibilities of it.
    For instance, with FCB1010 you may assign 5 PC, 2 CC (with two states) on each pedal. So editing a file, should be more customisable for all pedalboards ?
    If we could get all the "simple" commands, and be abble to combine them, we could setup really magical tricks ;)

    If it's too complicated for users, and not user friendly, maybe an other approach of "add bindings" might be necessary. The actual system is very easy, but it waits for an event for an action.
    It could be presets combining "add bindings", for different actions pushing / releasing the same pedal. It also needs to be editable for each "add bindings". (you may only delete and do it again at the moment)

    After all that properly working, the next step might be the chaining mode and grouping mode we discussed here:
    http://forum.loopyapp.com/discussion/427/new-option-on-loopy#Item_7
    and here :
    http://forum.loopyapp.com/discussion/171/sequencing-loop-in-live#Item_22

    Well...Our feedbacks won't let you sleep till 2014 I guess... :)

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