Stage Piano, Electric Bass and Acoustic Drums

Hello to all,

For my percussion master recital, I would like to use Loopy HD. What I would love is to be able to make my own backing track on stage with piano, bass and drums and then play a vibraphone solo over it. I have spent countless hours trying to make it work and am aware of the infinite amount of questions here on the forum, but I keep on failing. I have a Yamaha CP4 stage piano, acoustic drum kit and a Fender Jazz Bass. Also an RME Fireface 800 and/or RME Babyface Pro and a bunch of microphones (though I guess only the drums would need microphones).

If somebody could explain me how to get the audio coming from those instruments into Loopy HD, I'd be thankful forever.

Thanks in advance



  • @KorneelD - I believe I understand what your goal is, but just to clarify, you want to make your backing track live during the recital, correct?

    First, lets start with the audio interfaces:

    • RME Babyface Pro to iDevice. Quick search shows it is USB Class compliant and should connect via a CCK. From what I could find all the inputs from the Babyface should be available.
    • RME Fireface 800 to an iDevice. Quick search shows no USB audio connection. Have you connected this to an iDevice before? It looks like you would need another device between the Fireface and iDevice. Perhaps it is possible to connect the 2 together via the ADAT/SPDIF, but not sure this is possible or that it would be manageable/useful to get more inputs.

    Next, the instrument connections:

    • Yamaha CP4. I am going to assume that you want the sound (audio out) of the CP4 and not just the use of the Keyboard for playing a synth on the iDevice via midi. Looking at the specs, the USB does not appear to be used for audio, so that leaves L/R balanced (XLR) or Unbalanced (1/4 TS) line out connections. Is what you would be playing on this a stereo sound or would Mono be sufficient? Difference is needing 2 connection from you audio interface versus 1.
    • Bass. This requires a High impedance (Hi-z) input (1/4 TS), unless you are playing it through an Amp. Then it depends on whether the Amp has a Line out. If not, then you would need to use a Microphone in front of the Amp.
    • Drums. This could be simple or very complicated. Most mic's I would assume would be connected via balance (XLR) connections. I have never mic'd drums myself, but have seen a few setups and read a number of articles on it, so i am by no means even competent to really comment on this, but here goes. For a simple setup you might be able to place a microphone so that it captures the drums overall. Of course this will greatly depend on the acoustics of the room as well as how complex the drumming is. With and without People may have totally different results. Complex drum mic'ing can go as far as multiple mic's per piece. Multiple mic audio would need to be mixed down into a stereo or mono track/loop.

    From a physical connection point of view, you might be able to use just the Babyface as follows:

    • Babyface USB to CCK to iDevice
    • 2 XLR (inputs 1 & 2) mic’s (for drums)
    • 1 1/4 TS (input 3) CP4 (Mono)
    • 1 1/4 TS (input 4) Bass

    Now for the recording into Loopy using the Babyface. Loopy only records a maximum of 2 channels at a time (i.e. Left/Right stereo pair). Loopy itself should see all of these inputs (and maybe also the ADAT I/O). There is no Midi binding available to switch the input channel that Loopy will record from, so you will have to manually go into the input selection and choose the proper channel(‘s). You should be able to select 1 (mono) or pairs (stereo e.g. 1&2 or 3&4). I don’t think that you would want to record in stereo (channel 1 Right - channel 2 Left, etc). This however will be a bit time consuming and it would probably be easier using another App to control the input Channels. Again, not having a multi-channel audio interface myself, you should probably investigate AudioBus, Aum, MiMix to name a few that I can think of that might make the routing and or mixing (in the case of 2 drum mics) possible. The AudioBus Forum is a great place to query on what works and what doesn’t for a given setup as well as contacting the App Devs on specific questions.
    As I stated above, it may be possible to connect the Fireface 800 to the Babyface (which will connect to the iDevice). That however would be a topic for someone with experience/knowledge of the Fireface 800 and/or what is possible with ADAT/SPDIF connections.

    Disclaimer - with the exception of a few guitars that I connect via an assortment of single and 2 channel USB audio devices, I am only making educated guesses based on my limited experience and information I have collected via conversations, Forums, blogs and general information from other various internet sources ;-) Free is free, sometimes you get what you pay for, other times you get less or more.

  • @Ganthofer - a very helpful reply to a tricky question :smile:

    @KorneelD - I think the hardest thing is to get a decent drum sound into Loopy. If you're using an acoustic drum kit and you want to get a proper quality drum sound, you really should ideally mic up the Kick, Snare and Toms individually and use overhead mics for the cymbals (maybe one for the hi hats as well). All these microphones will need suitable EQ, compression and mixing to get a good sound. The easiest way to do this is probably via a hardware mixer so that you can then just send a stereo mix into your iPad.

    In fact if you use a hardware mixer you can plug the CP4 and the Bass in there as well. Whatever instrument you are playing will just feed into Loopy with no iOS messing :smiley:

    You could do it all inside iOS if you were brave - use an audio interface with 8 (or more) inputs and the mix them in the AUM app, route it to Loopy via Audiobus.

    Another thing to think about is that acoustic drums are loud... in order to get something comparable coming out of the speakers you will need a large PA system to compete.

  • Thank you VERY much Ganthofer and ricksteruk. Both are extremely helpful!!! This weekend, I will try and see how far I can go with the responses! :-)

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