Trying to Adapt Loopy to Live Performance Needs
I currently use a Boomerang III looper in my live performances (Roland RC loopers before that). I have been trying out Loopy HD with a SoftStep MIDI pedal, as well as a Line 6 HD500 set up to send MIDI commands. I have run into shortcomings using Loopy for live performance (at least for the way I use loops) that I want to discuss, because I may just be missing something, as I have only used it for an hour or so.
1) The main problem for me seems to be a requirement to have lots of footswitches assigned to lots of functions. To really have flexible looping, I need to be able to turn individual loops on and off. This is more like "stop and start" rather than "mute and unmute." Once a loop is recorded, I need to start and stop it whenever I want, from the start of the loop. There seems to be no toggle play and stop function for a loop or loops.
2) With the Boomerang, any of the momentary "control" foot switches can serve TWO functions. This really saves on the number of buttons required. Tapping a button can be assigned (like a binding) to a first function. Holding a button (for more a half second or so) can be assigned to a second button. In my case, I use a tap to record then start/stop a loop, then start and stop it. If I hold the button, it goes into overdub. Or you might use a tap to stop and start all loops, and a hold to clear all loops. That sort of thing.
Couldn't Loopy allow this "button saving" ability (two bindings per switch) via Note On/Note Off MIDI commands? The app could detect the time a button is depressed by the time between Note On and Note Off. So it would know the difference between a tap and a hold.
3) With most hardware loopers I have used, there is no need to select loop length (X2, etc) before recording a second "slave" loop after a first "master" loop is recorded. On the Boomerang, for example, I can record a master loop. While it is playing I can start a second loop and continue recording until I hit a button to end recording. The recording then ends in sync to the start of the next master loop. This way, my slave loop(s) can be any multiple of the master (X2, X4, X10, etc), without having to predetermine the length. With Loopy, do I always have to use the multiply, divide function before I record a second loop?
4) I don't want a looper to control the tempo of my entire song. Its OK when a loop or loops are playing to dictate the tempo that I have dictated by the start and finish of the first recorded loop, but I prefer to use a loop(s) during a lead or chorus, then continue without loops; free-flowing and dynamic tempos. Then I might decide to start a loop(s) in later in the song. At that time I WILL follow the looper tempo. My experience with Loopy so far seems to require that Loopy ""run the show, and I have to be very mindful of Loopys tempo (flash) if I want to bring loops in later.
Thats it for now. More later as I experiment more. I would love to be able to use Loopy for live performance if it works out. If not, its still a great little looper!