Acoustic Instrument Setup


I'm new to loopy and have never really had to use any tech like this so I was wondering if someone could help me out. Basically I want to be able to record sections of a piece live and loop over them until it creates a full piece. So Loopy seemed like a better, cheaper solution to buying an expensive Boss pedal.

I play woodwind instruments which are all acoustic (flutes, saxophones, double reeds, etc). So I am wondering what I need to be able to do this since it seems like most people are using this for guitars that you can just plug in. I'd imagine I need a mic and some sort of amp but don't know the best way to get those running through the ipad.

So if someone could give me some tips on setup and any favorite items or brands you use that would be great.


  • @zlarimer - welcome to the forum. First, if you already have an iPad/iPhone for other reasons already, then it COULD be cheaper. Assuming you are a one man band scenario, below is, IMHO, a typical cost for low end hardware. This not to say it will be low quality output, but it will most likely have limitations. Also, depending on the specifics of your needs ( number of mics/inputs, portability, power source, size of space to fill with sound), the choice of suitable hardware will be better defined (limited). Great deals can sometimes be found, especially if you are not in a hurry or on a fixed time constraint.

    $100.00 - $$$$ Midi foot controller (if D.I.Y. maybe $50.00) 5pin, USB, Bluetooth
    $50.00 - $$$$$ Audio + midi interface (assorted cables may add more $$)
    $40.00 - CCK ( to use class compliant USB versus direct iOS connection)

    Needed for either route (Loopy or Boss pedal)
    $50.00 - $$$$$ microphone, stand
    $50.00 - $$$$$ powered speaker, amp, PA system, .... ( depends on the space you need to fill)

    The quality of course can play a large part in the cost and is IMO somewhat subjective. If you are busking out on the street, how high a quality is really audible, versus a studio/small concert hall with (near) perfect acoustics.

    If this setup needs to be ultra portable and or self powered (battery), it tends to increase the cost.

    I don't know anything about mic'ing wind instruments. 1 mic may be sufficient or more may be required (differences in how one mic's a flute versus sax versus double reed versus ...). The difference in the physical location the mic needs to be (close to mouth level for flute, close to the bell of the sax, ...), may require you to have multiple mics or be forced to reposition the mic/stand when you change instruments. The type of mic(s) can also restrict what audio interfaces can be used or if a pre-amp is required. I would image that you will want a mic with a unidirectional pickup pattern so as not to pickup the speaker/amp/PA and get feedback.

    A little long winded, sorry, just some food for thought.

  • Thanks @Ganthofer! That was very helpful. Yeah for mics it's ideal to move it for each instrument but I've done a lot of shows with just one mic and you can make it work if its positioned right. Yeah I already have an ipad and I'm looking to loop several tracks and have the freedom to mute them as needed so I think Loopy is the best solution. I already have a cck and a midi pedal too but this helps a lot with what else I need.

  • Is the midi pedal USB (assuming it is since you have a CCK) or bluetooth? If it's USB, then you could use a USB hub (might required a powered hub). Here's a possible audio interface

    Never tried one, but many on here and the AudioBus forum seem to like it.

    Connection of the mic of course will require at minimum, some sort of patch cable.

    As an afterthought, you could check out a USB class compliant mic and not get an audio interface.

  • The pedal is USB. Also I realized I have a yeti usb mic that I might just get a shock mount for to save some money. So if my mic and foot controller are usb do I need an audio/midi interface? I'm not plugging in a guitar or keyboard to anything.

  • If the Yeti USB mic works when connected to the CCK, then all you should need is a USB hub. most likely you'll need a powered hub, but you can try a passive hub if you have one. Worst case is the mic and foot controller won't work, because they require more power than the CCK/iDevice will provide.

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