Loopy ideas

edited July 2012 in General

Further to the other thread, here are a couple more thoughts on future loopy functionality for you / all to comment on:

1. The drag-merge function is great, however because the gesture is so similar to volume and the stroke to get radial options (to clear, etc.) I find it typically takes a couple goes, and I inevitably stop the track by accident sometimes!

2. On the topic of Midi, allowing some learning of Global midi functions, e.g stop/start all, would help those with foot controllers. It would also be cool of you could hardwire in some stop starts for a defined track number, rather than te one currently selected. E.g. I'll always record by main line on track 1, so an on-off footswitch dedicated to track one, as well as the ability go bank up and down togglin tracks, would be awesome (maybe this is there and i've mised it in the bindings - let me know either way).

3. As i mentioned in my first email, a key functionality of Boss pedals which is really useful is auto-record. You've built in a limiter, but being able to arm a track such that the recorded loop begins from the first note (e.g. It flashes a different colour (red) and waits, and the loop only starts once the limiter detects a signal) would allow for better hands free use.


  • Nice one =)

    1. Oh, good lord, this one - seriously tricky. I'm very open to suggestions here. Loopy's gesture system is something I spent hours upon hours agonising over, trying to find a balance between interface clutter and functionality. The merge drag gesture is a particularly tricky one given its overlap with other gestures. The decision I made was to basically rely on users to just learn the gesture, and I haven't had many objections so far, although I do know it's not perfect. I may find avenues for tweaking it in the future, although I'm all out at present.

    2. I think you may have missed this one - there are actions to start/stop the master clock, and you can program any action to be either be performed on the selected track, or on a specific track.

    3. Yeah, I will build this at some point; it's on my todo list.

    In your email you also mentioned track selection via MIDI actions - you may have edited it out because you discovered it in the interface, but in case it was an accidental omission: Track selection is indeed already a MIDI action (select next/previous track).
  • Yes - saw the track select, or more precisely - got it working and could appreciate its functionality.
  • @michael

    As an added thought (Sorry, you must have such a long todo list, but this follows on from the radial options from the other thread, and you might like it). I was chatting to my dad about your App - who is also a loop musician - and he suggested something I think is really neat.

    At present the volume / pan etc come up in the radial menu. The option to dial in Global FX (reverb, delay etc) for a given loop would be really cool (sort of like an fx send on a mixer).

    As an idea of how to incorporate the setup of FX channels, you could make use of the existing Circles layout to allow users to visually set parameters for FX.

    For example: On a mixer channel you have Reverb, which in its most simple form has 3 factors:
    1. Room size
    2. Amount of reverb
    3. The strength of the signal going to the Reverb channel

    Delay is similar:
    1. Delay time (short/long, or multiples of the tempo e.g. 1/2, 1/8th etc.)
    2. Feedback (number of times the delay echoes)
    3. Track signal strength.

    In both cases you'd set signal strength to the fx in the same way you do volume / pan. Toggle it from the menu, slide finger around circle to increase / decrease value accordingly.

    The settings for fx parameters, however (e.g. 1 and 2 in both my examples above) could be played with using another 'circles' view, as I've tried to illustrate below (apologies for my butchering of your lovely circles, but I did this very quickly in photoshop):


    So above I've got 2 Global FX (Delay and Reverb) which each have an XY plot allowing really tactile FX setups. The Dot is dragged by the user and you could add/remove fx with a 2 button press on each circle.

    I think this makes use of the lovely circle theme, while enabling you to easily configure up to 6 / 9 / 12 global FX. Obviously there's a question of writing the FX first. But I could imagine this as a sweet way of tinkering, and you could allow users to buy FX in packs to drop into this view.

    In my mind you'd get to the view by swiping down on the menu bar, which you'll notice has turned green with the FX indicator on it (and obviously the loop circles would disappear to be replaced by the FX circles). Then you could get back by swiping up, much in the same way you switch between Tempo / Multiplier / Metronome settings at present.

    You could also use the currently spare menu-bar real estate to give an indicator of the capacity of Loopy for fx, (e.g. a horizontal bar showing that you've got 3 fx running, and any more will push the ipad in terms of processing power etc - assuming this is a problem).

    Finally - and yes.. i just seem to be on a massive ideas train, but your app got me really excited by its potential - as and when multi-channel OUTPUT is available, you could use the radial dials to dial in the amount of volume for each output. (exactly like Aux send on a mixer). Thus my looper could output a monitor channel with one set of levels (Vocal up loud, guitar and drums lower) and a front of house channel with another mix).

  • Oh, yes, I played with this idea too a little while ago, although not quite in the same way - I was thinking the FX could be per-track, and could be manipulated on the track menus.

    I've since decided I'd prefer global FX (but probably with dry/wet per track, accessible by a dial on each track).

    I would rather provide these kind of manipulator UI elements on the main control screen, rather than using the track UI for it - I think it confuses the semantics of the UI, because the track circles *are* tracks; using the same UI element for something semantically entirely different is probably not a great move.

    Interesting idea about the multi-channel mix controls - I think it might be a bit too complicated, though.
  • edited July 2012

    Agreed - both are quite 'pro' features and wouldn't impact users not doing performance etc.

    FX - I take your point on UI semantics - though key to my using fx in a gig is ease of use, and any menu system detracts heavily from that, as you have to go through it to get what you need in, say, the 5th menu screen. This was a concept for allowing users to effectively swipe to a screen on global FX, adjust quickly and swipe back to the *tracks*.

    Visually you could perhaps change the outer ring of the track circles to a different colour (i coloured them green as my visual indicator), and you've already lost the black hub of each circle in my example, turning it from a ring-donut to a circle (Jam donut?). The XY thing is similar to the Korg KAOSS pad, which a lot of people are quite familiar with, and certainly gives a more 'hands on' experience than say, 2 sliders. Anyway - just my 2 cents..

    Outputs - similar to the above, being able to dial in an aux send or.. more importantly, suddenly turn the level down if my monitor starts to feedback, are 'gig critical' functionality to me and a lot of live musicians.

    As an example, my current setup runs through a mixer which can split one pedal (voice and instrument) from the other (percussion and instrument), such that my monitor mix is mostly vocal and bit of guitar. In a gig I can quickly swipe the Aux send if my voice feeds back.. and keep in mind you have about a second to make the change before you deafen everyone with a high pitched whine.

    The only way around that, without the multi-outputs set by the app itself, would be to run an output for each track into an external hardware mixer, and use the mixer to handle your levels... but this requires you to have a) a multi output interface.. e.g. 6 outputs for 6 tracks b) a mixer.

    Again - these are totally pro features.. but this and the other functionality are the sorts of things that, to me, distinguish something I'd pay a fiver for from something I'd pay £50 for!
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