1.Welcome to Loopy Pro

Welcome to Loopy Pro!

Note: This manual is still being written, but is steadily growing. Be sure to go through the in-app tour (in the Help menu, top right button), and check out some of the fantastic tutorials already being released.

At its heart, Loopy Pro is a live-looper – it lets you record and layer pieces of sound which play in loops, to perform and construct musical arrangements on the fly. But it goes a lot further, and includes a variety of tools to customise your workflow so you can use Loopy Pro for a lot more than just live-looping.

Loopy Pro is:

  • A live looper
  • A sampler
  • A clip launcher
  • A musical scratchpad
  • A sequencer and arranger
  • A mixer
  • An Audio Unit host, supporting effects, synths, and MIDI sequencers
  • An infinitely customisable control surface

And there’s a lot more still to come.


This guide will take you through the fundamental concepts behind Loopy Pro, starting with clips and the colour system, then effects and audio inputs, the actions system, widgets and the clock.

You’ll be introduced to the basics of live looping and the variety of ways it works in Loopy Pro, with concepts like pre-set vs free looping, Retrospective Record, Intro and Tail recording, and Overdubbing, and you’ll be introduced to the gestures system for on-screen interaction. For those who work with pre-made audio, rather than recording it live – or those who want to work with a combination of pre-recorded and live-recorded samples, this guide will also describe the many ways to bring audio into Loopy Pro.

Loopy Pro’s powerful mixer – where much of the project setup takes place – will be examined in detail, and each section and function described: colours, effects, audio inputs, MIDI and buses/sends. Then we will explore the Canvas, and how to set up almost any on-screen layout and control scheme you can imagine.

Song structure and sectioning, and the various ways this can be realised in Loopy Pro will be described, with Play Groups and the various configurations that can be applied. We will also explore the various Play actions that can be setup, for an additional level of customisation and flexibility.

We’ll go through Loopy Pro’s Actions system, and examine how it allows you to control every aspect of your project – with on-screen controls, or via a MIDI controller, or through Follow Actions. And we’ll follow with an examination of the MIDI Learn and MIDI Control system, and how to setup external MIDI controllers to control your Loopy Pro projects.

We’ll take a look at the sequencer, which has a DAW-like timeline for sequencing clip playback as well as driving a fully-automated live-looping session.

Finally, after a quick discussion of running Loopy Pro as an AUv3, hosted within another app, we’ll finish by taking a look at each settings screen.

But first, some Loopy Pro fundamentals:

1.1.Clips

Clips in Loopy Pro hold individual pieces of audio. They come in two flavours: loops and one shots.

Loops usually appear as circles in Loopy Pro, and play their audio in a seamless loop. They are usually multiples of a bar in length. This is the building block of live-looping.

One shots, represented as squares or rectangles, play once and are usually shorter pieces of audio, like a drum hit, a vocal line, or a sound effect.

Clips of both kinds can be recorded live within Loopy Pro, from the microphone, or any audio hardware plugged into the device, or from an AUv3 Audio Unit, like a synthesiser. You can even resample clips, which means recording some of Loopy Pro’s output back into a clip.

Clips can also be imported into Loopy Pro from outside: you can drag and drop from another app, like the Files app, straight onto a clip. You can import a clip from Files right from within Loopy Pro, or from Loopy Pro’s own Media manager. You can copy and paste audio from another app, or another device, or you can AirDrop from another device into Loopy Pro. You can also copy audio files over USB into Loopy Pro’s Documents folder, and open them from Loopy Pro’s Media manager.

Both imported clips and recorded ones can be time-scaled; when importing a clip, Loopy Pro will attempt to automatically identify the source audio’s tempo, and can optionally adjust the audio to match your current project.

Loops can be grouped together into sections, which can start and stop together, or play one at a time. Loops can be configured to play and stop with a count-in/count-out, which will wait until a given point in the timeline before starting or stopping, or they can play and stop immediately. Both loops and one shots can be configured to play only while holding, or to toggle with each tap – one shots will retrigger from the start, in this mode.

1.2.Colours

In Loopy Pro, clips – both loops and one shots – are organised into colours. Colours provide a visual distinction between different kinds of clips in your project, but they also perform a larger role.

Colours in Loopy Pro behave similarly to tracks in a traditional DAW. Each colour has a channel strip in the mixer, with controls for volume, balance, mute, and solo, and you can apply insert effects and sends to the output of each colour. You can also specify a different output channel for each colour, if you are using an audio interface. And you can assign different audio inputs to different colours.

Colours aggregate the output of clips, and provide effects and audio routing. They’re like tracks in a traditional DAW.

Colours can also perform an additional role: customisation of behaviour. Clip Settings, which define how a clip plays and records, can be defined at three levels: Globally, at the colour level, and at the individual clip level. You can override the global clip settings by changing some settings at the colour level – and then all clips of that colour will take on those settings.

With Loopy Pro’s flexible and powerful actions system, colours can do even more, and play a role in sectioning.

You can add as many colours as you like, either in the mixer or in the colours editor.

1.3.Configuration

Most configuration in Loopy Pro can be defined at three levels:

  1. Globally
  2. At the Colour level
  3. At the Clip Level

This follows a hierarchy: all clips will use the global configuration, unless this configuration has been overridden for the clip’s colour. In turn, that colour configuration may be overridden at the level of the clips themselves.

You can also define settings for playback and recording at the level of individual actions, so you can nominate a particular on-screen control or a MIDI controller button to, for example, trigger a retrospective record, or start a loop recording which will automatically begin overdubbing or mute afterwards.

This allows for a very flexible configuration scheme, where you can, for example:

  • Designate a particular colour for Retrospective Recording,
  • Nominate a single clip to be un-quantised and un-phase-locked,
  • Use a particular button on a MIDI controller to perform a pre-set loop recording, while using free recording as default, or
  • Configure an on-screen button to play a loop once and then stop.

1.4.Effects

Loopy Pro has a growing range of built-in audio effects, including a fully-featured stereo parametric equaliser, filters like low-pass and band-pass, reverb and dynamics, and also supports AUv3 Audio Unit effects.

Effects can be applied in a range of places. They can be applied as insert effects to colours, to audio inputs, and to the master output. They can be applied either pre- or post-fader, so that volume changes occur before or after an effect is applied.

Effects can be chained together, and the same effect can be applied to multiple tracks simultaneously, using Loopy Pro’s sophisticated automatic grouping and instancing features.

Loopy Pro also supports buses and sends: you can create a bus channel, which acts as an aggregator of multiple audio tracks, then apply effects to this bus. Then you can create sends from other channels, which allow you to determine how much of each channel is sent to that bus. This allows you to create sophisticated and expressive effects which are applied on top of each channel.

Once you have added effects using the mixer, effects will appear on the main screen of Loopy Pro in the bottom bar.

1.5.Audio Inputs

Loopy Pro allows you to record live audio from a range of sources. You can record from your iPad or iPhone’s built-in microphone, with an echo cancellation system to reduce echo and feedback from your speakers. If you have a USB audio interface, you can record audio from any number of its channels, including directing different channels to different colours.

You can also use AUv3 Audio Unit synthesisers and other generators within Loopy Pro, with sophisticated support for MIDI controllers and AUv3 Audio Unit MIDI sequencers.

All audio inputs appear within Loopy Pro’s mixer as a channel strip. You can apply insert and send effects to any audio input, and configure each audio input to monitor through specified output channels, or even monitor through the target colour groups and associated effects, so that you can record the dry, un-effected signal while hearing the wet signal with effects applied.

Once you have added Audio Unit audio inputs using the mixer, they will appear on the main screen of Loopy Pro in the bottom bar.

1.6.MIDI Sources

Loopy Pro supports receiving MIDI from MIDI controller hardware, network and Bluetooth MIDI sources, and AUv3 Audio Unit MIDI generators, such as sequencers.

You can use MIDI to drive AUv3 Audio Unit synthesisers, and to control Loopy Pro’s own actions via MIDI Control.

Like audio inputs, MIDI sources appear and can be configured in Loopy Pro’s mixer. You can also chain MIDI sources together, to apply MIDI filters such as arpeggiators or chord generators.

In the future, as described on the Loopy Pro roadmap, you’ll also be able to record MIDI loops right within Loopy Pro, and use them to control AUv3 Audio Unit and external synths.

1.7.Actions

Loopy Pro provides a powerful actions system for controlling every aspect of your project. Actions include controls for clip playback and recording, and audio parameters like volume, balance, pitch and speed. There are actions to adjust effect parameters and sends, play and stop the master clock, adjust input gain and enable/disable inputs, change tempo, and much more.

Loopy Pro’s actions can be controlled in a range of ways.

You can use MIDI Learn to easily make bindings between a MIDI controller and an action that corresponds to an on-screen object, such as a clip or a fader. You can make more sophisticated bindings to MIDI controllers manually using the MIDI Control screen.

You can attach actions to on-screen gestures, and to Follow Actions which occur in response to certain events, like clip playback or recording.

And you can control actions from on-screen controls that you can create called widgets.

1.8.Widgets

Widgets in Loopy Pro are on-screen elements that you can create, arrange and configure to suit your workflow. There are buttons, sliders, dials, X-Y pads, text labels and even a clip slicer control, with more widget types to come.

Widgets work closely with Loopy Pro’s actions system: once you create a widget, you configure it to perform one or more actions. For example, a button widget could turn on a row of clips. A dial could adjust the levels of a few clips, or the amount of a send. An X-Y pad could control a number of effect parameters.

With widgets, you can create project layouts that work almost any way you can imagine.

1.9.Echo Cancellation

When you’re using Loopy Pro with no attached audio interface or headphones, Loopy Pro will by default enable its echo cancellation system. This is designed to reduce the amount of sound coming from your speakers that gets recorded. Without this, due to the proximity of the speaker and the microphone, it is very difficult to record loops without capturing all the audio currently being played.

Loopy Pro’s echo cancellation system requires a brief calibration, which involves emitting a series of chirps, and then performing some processing in order to determine the properties of your device’s acoustic feedback path. When you move your device around substantially – such as placing it down on a table – it’s recommended that you recalibrate the echo cancellation system to take into account the changed acoustic environment.

You can perform calibration at any time by opening the mixer and tapping the microphone icon at the top of the hardware input channel strip, then tapping “Calibrate”.

You can also disable echo cancellation in the same place.

Echo Cancellation Caveats

Disabling echo cancellation may be necessary if you wish to use a Bluetooth headset such as the AirPods, or if you are experiencing difficulties with audio level drops using screen recording.

Echo cancellation requires a built-in feature of iOS called “Measurement Mode”, which has a number of unfortunate quirks, including preventing the use of Bluetooth audio devices and dropping the device output audio level.

By disabling echo cancellation, you will also disable Measurement Mode, which will resolve these issues, at the cost of losing the echo cancellation functionality. I have been in discussions with the team at Apple and hope that these shortcomings will be resolved in time.

2.The Clock

The clock in Loopy can be found at the top right, and controls both your session’s tempo, and the quantisation interval for certain actions, like recording loops – the “Master” cycle length.

Tempo

You can adjust the tempo of your session by dragging the tempo jog wheel right or left, or tapping in the middle to enter a tempo using the keyboard. Your project’s audio will be time-scaled dynamically to fit the new tempo.

You can also tap out a tempo by tapping on the “Tap” button at the top left of the clock controls.

You can also synchronise the clock with other hardware and apps, using either MIDI Clock Sync or Ableton Link, and you can modify any clock parameters using actions and MIDI control.

Once you have audio content loaded within a project, you will see white bars on the tempo jog wheel which correspond to the native tempos for the loaded audio. The jog wheel will snap to these points, making it easy to return to the original, un-time-scaled audio at any point.

Tempo Correction

If your tempo has been set by the first recorded loop, sometimes it may be incorrectly guessed as double or half the actual tempo. You can use the ÷⨉ tempo correction control to the right of the tempo jog wheel to halve or multiply the tempo without time-scaling the loops.

Reset Tempo

You can reset the tempo to an “unset” state at any point. This will put Loopy Pro into a state ready to assign the tempo from the next loop which is recorded.

Master Cycle Length

In many traditional live-loopers, the first loop sets the length of subsequent loops. Loopy Pro provides additional flexibility, and allows you to dynamically set this “Master” length. If you are using Count In and Count Out for your record configuration – Loopy Pro’s default setup – it’s this which determines the length of your loops.

You can change this length via the clock controls by tapping the buttons beside the “Bars” indicator. Jump straight to a length by tapping the numbers, or vary the current length using the mathematical operators: Double, Halve, Add 1, Subtract 1.

You can also modify this length using actions and MIDI control.

Time Signature

You can set a wide range of time signatures in Loopy Pro by tapping the time signature button at the bottom right of the clock controls – by default, this will read “4/4”, indicating four quarter notes per bar.

If you enable the “Update Tempo” switch on this screen, Loopy Pro will keep the duration of each bar constant, while updating the tempo to fit the number of beats you have selected into that duration.

Metronome

Loopy Pro has a built-in metronome, both audio and on-screen flash, which you turn on and off using the metronome and flash buttons at the bottom left of the clock screen.

The metronome has four different sounds: A woodblock, high-hat, beeps, and clicks. You can adjust its volume, and if you have an audio interface, you can assign the output channels it is sent to, so that you can separate the metronome from other outputs.

You can also configure when the metronome is enabled: always, or only when a loop is counting-in to begin recording.

3.Getting Started with Live Looping

Loopy Pro is many things, but at its core it’s a live looper. Live looping is a form of live music production where a track is built up in layers, in real time. In a performance, it allows the audience to witness a song being built from scratch, often from nothing more than the performer’s voice, augmented by effects.

In the studio, looping provides a fun and creative way to experiment with musical ideas and can be an invaluable songwriting aid.

3.1.The First Loop

In most live looping environments, the first loop sets the tempo, and forms the basis for the rest of the session. Loopy Pro provides a number of ways to begin a session, but by default it will wait for your first loop.

Start and Stop Record

To record your first loop, you tap on one of the empty loops. Loopy Pro begins recording as soon as you release your finger, and will continue recording until you tap again – recording will finish when you release your finger.

Note that recording triggers upon release, rather than press, in order to achieve better touch and timing accuracy: touches on a touchscreen can often be missed if one’s fingertips are too damp or too dry. So: when you’re ready to begin recording, place a finger on the screen. Then release to begin. Ditto when finishing: place your finger on the screen head of time, then release to finish.

You can change this setting to on press, if you choose, by opening Clip Settings, then Gestures at the bottom, and turning on the switch beside “Record On Press”.

Automatic Loop Detection

By default, Loopy Pro’s automatic loop detection will be enabled. This can discover loops in the recorded audio and tighten the first loop for you automatically, without needing to worry about starting or ending record on the beat.

If you find that the detected loops are not the correct tempo, you can revise the detection range from the clock controls.

If you set an approximate tempo and loop length before recording, and enable the “Auto-End Detected Loop” setting in Clip Settings, Loopy will automatically stop recording when it detects a loop and begin playing, for a seamless automated start.

But as you gain experience with looping, you may choose to disable automatic loop detection and coordinate the record start and stop timing yourself. You can turn off automatic loop detection in Clip Settings, by turning off the switch beside “Auto Loop Detection”.

Timing

Without automatic loop detection on, the time that you start and stop recording the first loop is very important. You begin recording on the first beat – the “1”  – and then finish recording at the end of the last beat; the final “1”. For example, if you have a one-bar loop as your first loop – “1, 2, 3, 4” – you’d trigger record start on the first “1”, and end on the “1” after the end: “1, 2, 3, 4, 1“. Loopy Pro will then begin playing back your loop immediately.

Starting with a Pre-Set Tempo

You can also set the tempo and loop length prior to recording your first loop, and optionally use a metronome to keep you in time.

3.2.Pre-set or Free Loops

Loopy Pro provides a variety of ways to record loops.

Pre-Set

With a pre-set length configuration, Loopy Pro will count in to the next cycle, then record for a set length and stop recording automatically. This works well if you know in advance how long you want your loops to be, and allows you to record hands-free without needing a foot controller.

This is the default configuration in Loopy Pro, and mimics the behaviour of many hardware loopers.

There are a number of ways to configure loops to use a pre-set length. From Clip Settings, turn on “Auto Count Out”, and set “Count In Quantization” and “Count Out Quantization”:

  • Select Master use the clock’s master cycle length, which can be adjusted dynamically and is initially set by the first recorded loop.
  • Select Custom to define a custom quantisation interval.

You can use a combination of Count In and Count Out settings, to change Loopy Pro’s behaviour. For example:

  • Set “Count In Quantization” to Custom and 1 Bar to perform a 1 bar count-in, regardless of the master length, and then set “Count Out Quantization” to Master, to record for the master cycle length.
  • Set “Count In Quantization” to Master and “Count Out Quantization” to 2 Bars to sync the beginning of a loop with the master cycle length, and record for 2 bars.

You can also define these settings at the Colour and at the Clip level, as well as for individual actions for triggering via a widget or a MIDI controller.

Finally, you can also pre-set the length of an individual clip in that clip’s detail screen, which will automatically stop recording after the given length.

Free

Loopy Pro also supports free looping. Upon starting a recording, Loopy Pro will continue recording indefinitely, until you trigger record end. The length of the loop will be – by default – quantised to the closest number of bars.

This allows you ignore any length restrictions, and determine the duration of each loop as you go.

To enable free looping, turn off the “Auto Count Out” setting from Clip Settings. You can also define this setting at the Colour and at the Clip level, as well as for individual actions for triggering via a widget or a MIDI controller.

You can optionally quantise the beginning and end of recording by setting the “Count In Quantization” and “Count Out Quantization” settings. This will cause Loopy Pro to count-in or count-out to sync with the given interval:

  • None: Start/Stop recording immediately, regardless of position in the cycle
  • Master: Start/Stop recording in sync with the master cycle length, which can be adjusted dynamically and is initially set by the first recorded loop.
  • Custom: Define a custom quantisation interval

 

3.3.Retrospective Recording

Retrospective Recording allows you to simply play, and then trigger a recording afterwards, when you have something you’d like to capture. This allows for a wonderfully free and creative workflow.

To enable Retrospective Record, open Clip Settings and turn on the switch beside “Retrospective Recording”. You can also define this setting at the Colour and at the Clip level, as well as for individual actions for triggering via a widget or a MIDI controller.

The duration of loops recorded via Retrospective Record is set by the master clock cycle, which can be changed on-screen or via an action, either from a button on-screen, or a MIDI controller.

Set “Retrospective Quantization” to determine how recording behaves:

  • Immediate: Recording will capture the immediately-preceding audio, irrespective of the current position in the current clock cycle.
  • Quantized: Recording will capture the whole preceding clock cycle, in sync with the cycle. If, for example, the current cycle is 2 bars and you trigger Retrospective Record at bar 1, beat 3 – i.e. shortly after the beginning of the cycle – Loopy Pro will record up to the end of the preceding bar; it will not capture the audio from the end of the last bar to the current position.

With Loopy Pro’s very customisable configuration system, you can designate individual colours or even individual loops to use Retrospective Record, while keeping the other loops in normal record mode. Or, you can nominate a particular on-screen button or MIDI controller button to initiate Retrospective Record.

3.4.Intro and Tail

Loops in Loopy Pro can have attached intro and tail/outro sections, which play before the loop begins, and after it ends, respectively. Tail sections can also be mixed into the loop, after the first cycle has been played.

Parts of a loop, showing intro, and tail

You can enable “Record Intro” and “Record Tail” in Clip Settings, and these additional layers will be automatically recorded.

Intro recording: When beginning a recording count-in – a value for “Count In Quantization” is required for tail recording – Loopy Pro will begin listening, and will start recording the intro section when the audio level crosses a threshold, up to the end of the count-in duration.

Intro sections are particularly useful for representing anacruses/up-beats: part of a musical phrase that precedes the first beat.

Tail recording: After ending a loop recording, Loopy Pro will continue to record for a little while. Recording will stop when Loopy Pro detects the end of a decay, when the audio level is no longer decreasing. You can also tap to end tail recording immediately.

Tail sections allow you to capture the end of a reverb, or a natural acoustic decay, without it being cut-off at the end of the loop, for much more natural-sounding loops.

You can also designate regions of imported audio to be an intro or outro, in the import screen, or after import on the clip detail screen.

3.5.Overdubbing

After a loop has been recorded, you can record additional layers on top of the same loop. This is overdubbing and you can use it to, for example, add harmony lines to a melody, or augment a beatbox loop with additional sounds.

While a loop is overdubbing, it will continue to add new layers for as long as recording continues.

There are a number of ways to trigger overdubbing. By default, you can 2-finger-tap a loop to immediately begin overdubbing, and tap again to end (you can change this gesture, if you like, in Clip Settings, to something like a swipe or tap). You can also trigger overdubbing via a “Record” action, from a button on-screen or a MIDI controller.

To automatically begin overdubbing after the first loop has been recorded, you can also set the “After Recording” setting in Clip Settings to “Overdub”. This setting can be assigned at the global level, for individual colours, or individual clips.

3.6.Gestures

Loopy Pro has a number of built-in gestures which you can perform on-screen. You can configure these however you like, either at the global level, per-colour, or per-clip.

Here are the default gestures:

  • Tap: Toggle a loop playing, or begin playing a one-shot. If the clip is empty, toggle record. Record will trigger upon release by default, in order to achieve better touch and timing accuracy, but this can be changed to on press if required from Clip Settings.
  • Two-Finger Tap: Toggle overdub on a clip
  • Swipe down/left/right: Clear a clip’s contents. Perform a long swipe to clear immediately, bypassing the confirmation popover.
  • Swipe up: Show the clip detail screen.
  • Two-finger rotation/twist: Offset a loop
  • One-finger circle around loop perimeter: Instant volume adjust
  • Hold-and-drag to another clip: Merge

You can bind any actions to gestures, to create very custom interfaces. Available actions for binding are: tap, two-finger-tap, swipe (any direction), swipe up, swipe down, swipe left, swipe right, long swipe (any direction), long swipe up, long swipe down, long swipe left, long swipe right, long press.

3.7.Mixing Live and Pre-Recorded Loops

Loopy Pro can be used as a live-looper, a clip-launcher, or a combination of the two. You can import pre-recorded audio to clips, and then play them alongside live-looped content.

With Loopy Pro’s high-quality live time-stretching, you can import pre-recorded loops, then reset the clock tempo, putting Loopy Pro in a state ready to take the tempo from the next recorded loop.

The next loop that you record will behave like the first loop of the session. The tempo and master cycle length will be derived from that loop, and all other audio content in the project will be instantly and automatically time-scaled to fit that new tempo.

This is an incredibly powerful  way to run a traditional live-looping performance while also augmenting it with pre-recorded content – all without requiring a pre-set tempo.

4.Importing Audio

Loopy Pro can load content into projects in almost any audio format, with time and pitch adjustments to fit. There are a wide range of ways you can load content into Loopy Pro:

Drag and Drop

You can drag-and-drop one or more files from any compatible app, such as Files, with its built-in support for services like Dropbox and Google Drive, and USB hard drive and network file server support.

By opening up Loopy and Files side-by-side using the iOS multitasking controls, you can simply drag audio files onto each loop, one at a time, or in a batch.

“Open In”

From any app that supports sharing, you can select Loopy Pro as the sharing target, and the audio will be loaded into Loopy Pro’s Media manager, ready for importing.

AirDrop

From a Mac or anther iOS device, you can AirDrop one or more audio files to your device running Loopy Pro, and then select Loopy Pro as the target. The audio will be loaded into Loopy Pro’s Media manager, ready for importing.

Files

Loopy Pro’s Documents folder is visible within the iOS Files app. You can copy and move audio files into this folder, and the audio will appear within Loopy Pro’s Media manager.

USB Transfer

Loopy Pro’s Documents folder is also available as a destination for copying files via a USB cable, using the macOS Finder, or a third-party app like iExplorer or iFunbox.

Clipboard

Loopy Pro can load audio files from the clipboard, copied either as files or using Audio Copy. You can find copied audio within Loopy’s Media manager.

4.1.Media Manager

Loopy Pro has its own media management system, accessed either by tapping the folder button at the top left of the screen, then “Media”, or by selecting the import button from the clip detail screen.

You can organise audio into folders, and import new audio from the document picker, or your music library (Note: Apple Music library is not supported, due to Apple’s DRM restrictions).

You can preview audio files by tapping the play buttons, or tap on the filename to open the import screen.

Import Screen

Once you have selected a file for import, the waveform is visible, with trim handles for selecting a subregion of the audio file. Drag these handles left or right, and pinch to zoom in the waveform area.

By default, if your project has a tempo set already, Loopy Pro will attempt to detect the tempo of the audio, and will apply time-stretching on import to fit the audio to your project’s tempo. You can specify the original tempo of the audio in this screen, and Loopy Pro will calculate the required time stretching parameters. Swipe left or right on the tempo jog wheel, or tap in the middle to type in a tempo.

You can also adjust the pitch of the imported audio, to fit the key of your project.

If you have selected a subregion of the audio file using the trim handles, Loopy Pro will offer to import the audio preceding and/or following the selected audio as intro or tail regions, which will play before and after the loop starts/stops.

Tap “Import”, and Loopy Pro will prompt for a target track, if you have opened the Media manager from the folder menu. If you are importing directly from the clip detail screen, the audio will be imported to the clip immediately.

After import, you can adjust the original tempo and further trim the audio, in the clip detail screen.

5.The Mixer: Routing Central

Loopy Pro’s powerful mixer gives you control over your project’s audio inputs, effects and outputs. In its simple form, you can adjust levels and balance, mute and solo for each colour in your project. In its extended form, you can add hardware and AUv3 Audio Unit audio inputs, specify output channels for each colour and each audio input, configure audio input monitoring, and add built-in and AUv3 Audio Unit effects, buses and sends, and MIDI inputs.

Open the mixer by tapping the  button from the main screen.

Loopy Pro's mixer in extended mode

Loopy Pro’s mixer in extended mode

Simple vs Extended Mode

When you first open the mixer, it will be displayed in its simple form, with just the faders and lower controls visible. You will see your canvas above, with your loops and one-shots visible.

Tap the button to put the mixer into extended mode. The mixer will grow, and the extended controls will become visible. Tap  to retract the mixer again into simple mode.

5.1.Channel Strips

The basic building-block in the mixer is the channel strip, a column in the mixer representing a single channel:

  • An audio input, such as a hardware input, or an AUv3 Audio Unit
  • A MIDI source, such as a MIDI keyboard an AUv3 Audio Unit MIDI sequencer
  • A colour, aggregating one or more clips
  • A bus
  • The master output

Each channel strip has a fader and level meter, and may have balance and mute/solo controls. Audio inputs and colour channels have controls for sends, destinations, and pre- and post-fader effects.

To adjust levels, balance or send amount, tap and swipe on that control. For finer control, tap and then move your finger away from the control: the control area will expand the further away you move from the original control location, giving you more control over fine adjustment.

Tap the icon at the top of each channel strip to access settings and controls for that channel, and long press to delete.

You can also reorder channel strips as you choose, by pressing on the icon at the top, then dragging left or right (or swiping up to remove that channel strip).

 

5.2.Colours

In Loopy Pro, colours aggregate the output from clips, and behave like tracks in a traditional DAW. Each colour appears as a channel strip in the mixer, and has its own fader, balance, mute and solo, as well as sends, destinations, and effects.

If you have an audio interface, colours can be rounded to any output channel.

Colours also act as audio destinations in their own right: by specifying a colour in the “destinations” section for any channel strip, clips of that colour will be able to record audio from that source. This includes both hardware and AUv3 Audio Unit audio inputs, but may also include colours themselves, allowing you to resample the output from one or more colours back into a new clip.

Add new colours by tapping the  button, then selecting “Add Color”. You can also add new colours in the colours editor, then easily assign the new colour to clips.

5.3.Audio Inputs

Loopy Pro can receive audio from the built-in microphone, an attached audio interface (with support for multi-channel input), or an AUv3 Audio Unit.

Each audio input appears as a channel strip in the mixer, and has its own fader, balance, mute and solo, as well as sends, destinations, and effects.

In the “Destinations” section for an audio input’s channel strip, an audio input can be routed to any number of colours, and the clips of that colour will record from that audio input. You can also specify the audio output channels through which you want to monitor that audio input.

Audio inputs can also be monitored through their destination colours’ signal paths. When enabled, this allows the audio input to be heard through the colours’ effect chain, but recorded without any of those effects applied – “monitor wet, record dry“. This can be setup with the “Monitor Through” setting for that particular audio input, accessed by tapping the icon at the top of the mixer channel strip.

Add new audio inputs by tapping the  button, then selecting “Add Hardware Input” or “Add Audio Unit Input”.

5.3.1.Hardware Inputs

The default project in Loopy Pro has a single hardware audio input. If you are using Loopy Pro on a device without any equipment plugged in, this will be the built-in microphone. With an audio interface, this will be one of the available input channels provided by the audio interface.

Tap the mic icon at the top of the channel strip to configure the hardware input: you can select the input channel to use for this input, set the hardware gain (if made available by the system; not all devices support hardware gain), configure the channels through which to monitor the audio source, and enable on disable monitoring.

You can have as many hardware audio sources as you like, including multiple instances of the same channel, so you can configure different effect chains on each one.

5.3.2.Audio Unit Inputs

Model D and Koala Sampler AUv3 Audio Units

Loopy Pro supports hosting AUv3 Audio Unit instruments and generators, like synthesisers and other virtual instruments, which can be downloaded and installed from the App Store.

Audio Unit User Interface

Tap the icon at the top of an Audio Unit’s channel strip or on the bottom bar to display its user interface: This is displayed in a moveable and resizable window. Tap  or double-tap the titlebar to toggle fullscreen, and  to close the window. Drag the bottom right handle to change the size of the window.

On-Screen Keyboard

In the Audio Unit’s window, tap the Keyboard button to show Loopy Pro’s onscreen keyboard.

Keys tapped towards the upper side play at a lower velocity than when tapped towards the lower side. Tap  to toggle hold of the current notes. Tap  to toggle position lock – when unlocked, you can pinch and zoom to navigate around the keyboard. Tap  to expand the keyboard to fill the window, and tap  to hide the keyboard.

MIDI

Loopy Pro can drive MIDI-capable Audio Units from a variety of MIDI sources: Connected MIDI hardware, such as a USB or Bluetooth MIDI keyboard or sequencer, or a loaded AUv3 Audio Unit MIDI sequencer.  You can add MIDI sources either though the mixer, or though the Audio Unit’s settings:  Tap  to open the settings for the Audio Unit from the toolbar of its window. Tap “MIDI Sources” to access the list of sources for that Audio Unit, then tap “Add MIDI Source” to select a MIDI source. You can also tap  to connect to Bluetooth MIDI devices here.

Presets

Loopy Pro supports both factory and user presets for Audio Units. Tap  to open the presets screen, where you can select from the provided factory presets, if available, and create new user presets. Long-press a user preset to rename it, and swipe left to delete.

Bottom Bar Visibility

Audio Units will appear on the bottom bar on Loopy Pro’s main screen by default, for easy access. If you wish to hide an Audio Unit from this bar, tap  to toggle visibility.

Idle Mode

By default, Audio Units which are muted will enter “Idle” mode, where they consume little processing resources. With Idle mode, you can have many different Audio Units loaded, without over-taxing your device’s processor. Tap the ON button, or mute it from the mixer or an action to put the Audio Unit into Idle mode. Tap IDLE or unmute the Audio Unit from the mixer or an action to re-activate it.

If you wish the Audio Unit to remain active when muted, you can disable Idle mode by long-pressing on the IDLE button, then turning off the switch beside “Enable Idle Mode” on the popover that appears.

5.4.Effects

Loopy Pro has a growing collection of built-in effects, and also supports AUv3 Audio Unit effects which can be downloaded and installed from the App Store.

Tap the + button in the Effects section of a channel strip to choose and add an effect. The effect’s icon will appear on the channel strip. Tap to open the effect’s configuration, or double-tap to toggle the effect.

You can also move effects around by holding and dragging between sections on the same channel strip, or to different channel strips entirely.

To remove an effect, hold and drag it out of the Effects section, or long-press and tap “Delete”.

Sends vs Inserts

Loopy Pro supports both insert and send effects. Insert effects are applied upon individual channels and affect the audio in situ. Send effects are applied on a side channel, and their output is overlaid on top of the original channel’s output.

Insert effects can be applied to an audio source, and the affected audio will be recorded into clips. They can also be applied to colours, and will affect all output audio of the colour. Typical effects frequently used as inserts include filters and equalisers, distortion, chorus, limiters and compressors.

Send effects are applied on the output of a bus, to which channels (both audio sources and colours) may send a certain amount of their audio, set by a dial. The affected audio is heard on top of the original audio stream coming from the original channels. Often reverbs and delays are used as sends.

Pre vs Post Fader

Effects can be placed in pre– and post-fader positions. This describes the effect’s position in the signal flow, relative to the volume fader.

Pre-fader effects are applied before the volume fader is applied to the channel: they process the full-volume audio, and then that affected audio is passed into the volume fader.

Post-fader effects are applied after the volume fader: they act on the audio after the volume has been applied, and that affected audio is sent to the output as-is.

Whether you place an effect in the pre- or post-fader position depends on the effect in question. Distortion effects, for example, can behave quite differently with quiet audio versus full-volume audio, and you may want to place these in a pre-fader position to maintain tone at various volume levels. With reverb and delay effects, on the other hand, you may want these to ring out when adjusting the volume, rather than having their output reduced by the fader along with the rest of the channel’s audio, so these may be best placed in a post-fader position.

A performance consideration with pre- and post-fader positions: When you are using the same effect on more than one channel, it’s more efficient to place this effect in the post-fader position for all of the channels. This gives Loopy Pro the opportunity to internally group the channels together and use a single internal instance for the effect. In the pre-fader position, Loopy Pro must use separate internal instances for each channel.

Effect Instances

You can use multiple instances of any effect, and each instance will be treated entirely separately, with its own configuration and interface.

You can also use the same instance of an effect on multiple channels simultaneously, and the effect, with a single configuration and single interface, will be applied to each channel. This is achieved within Loopy Pro by a combination of intelligent internal routing – where channels are grouped together and a single effect instance applied to the group – and internal handling of multiple hidden instances.

Where Loopy Pro is unable to group channels together into a single signal path, it will create multiple, hidden instances of an effect, and automatically synchronise the state across all hidden instances, so that the effect appears as a single instance.

See also the performance consideration note above, concerning pre– and post-fader positions.

Idle Effects

By default, effects which are disabled will enter “Idle” mode, where they consume little processing resources. With Idle mode, you can have many different Audio Units loaded, without over-taxing your device’s processor. Tap the ON button, or disable the effect on the bottom bar of the main screen or with an action to put the Audio Unit into Idle mode. Tap IDLE or enable the effect from the bottom bar or an action to re-activate it.

If you wish the Audio Unit to remain active when disabled, you can disable Idle mode by long-pressing on the IDLE button, then turning off the switch beside “Enable Idle Mode” on the popover that appears.

Effect Tails

When you turn an effect off, Loopy Pro will detect if there is a tail/decay – as with a reverb or a delay, for instance.

When a tail is present, Loopy Pro will perform a smooth transition to avoid cutting off the tail: When you disable the effect, Loopy Pro will mute the effect’s input, then overlay the remaining tail on top of the dry, un-affected audio until the effect output becomes silent.

When this transition is happening, you will see the effect bar button/action flashing. Tap again to cancel this transition and immediately silence the tail.

Bottom Bar Visibility

Effects will appear on the bottom bar on Loopy Pro’s main screen by default, for easy access. If you wish to hide an effect from this bar, tap  from the effect’s configuration screen to toggle visibility.

5.4.1.Built-In Effects

Loopy Pro has a growing number of built-in effects. Here’s a list of the currently-provided effects, and some corresponding notes – see the roadmap for a list of other effects which will be coming soon.

  • Reverb – A simple reverb plugin (Apple’s own AUReverb2), with a number of presets provided: Small Room, Medium Room, Large Room, Medium Hall, Large Hall, Plate, Medium Chamber, Large Chamber, Cathedral, Large Room 2, Medium Hall 2, Medium Hall 3, and Large Hall 2.
  • Equalizer – A sophisticated parametric stereo EQ, with support for eight filter types: Peak, Band Shelf, Low-Pass, High-Pass, Band-Pass, Low Shelf, High Shelf and Notch. You can combine any number of these, and apply them to both audio channels, or just the left or right. To add a filter, begin dragging on the frequency response line; a peak filter will be created by default, and will follow your finger to allow you to shape the frequency response. Tap the circular handles for each filter to change the type, channel and parameters. All parameters can be controlled via actions; you can specify which parameters are available for control by tapping the “Parameters” item in the popover for each handle.
  • Filters: Low-Pass, High-Pass, Band-Pass, Low Shelf, High Shelf – Single filters, based on the Equaliser.
  • Dynamics – A combined compressor/limiter module (Apple’s AUDynamicsProcessor).
5.4.2.Audio Unit Effects

FAC Transient, Discord4 and AU3FX:Push Audio Units

Loopy Pro supports hosting AUv3 Audio Unit effects, which can be downloaded and installed from the App Store.

Audio Unit User Interface

Tap the icon of an effect, or tap the corresponding button on the bottom bar to display its user interface: This is displayed in a moveable and resizable window. Tap  or double-tap the titlebar to toggle fullscreen, and  to close the window. Drag the bottom right handle to change the size of the window.

Presets

Loopy Pro supports both factory and user presets for Audio Units. Tap  to open the presets screen, where you can select from the provided factory presets, if available, and create new user presets. Long-press a user preset to rename it, and swipe left to delete.

On-Screen Keyboard

Some Audio Unit effects may support MIDI input. Where MIDI is supported, a Keyboard button is shown in the toolbar of the Audio Unit window. Tap to show Loopy Pro’s onscreen keyboard.

Keys tapped towards the upper side play at a lower velocity than when tapped towards the lower side. Tap  to toggle hold of the current notes. Tap  to toggle position lock – when unlocked, you can pinch and zoom to navigate around the keyboard. Tap  to expand the keyboard to fill the window, and tap  to hide the keyboard.

MIDI

Loopy Pro can drive MIDI-capable Audio Units from a variety of MIDI sources: Connected MIDI hardware, such as a USB or Bluetooth MIDI keyboard or sequencer, or a loaded AUv3 Audio Unit MIDI sequencer.  You can add MIDI sources either though the mixer, or though the Audio Unit’s settings:  Tap  to open the settings for the Audio Unit from the toolbar of its window. Tap “MIDI Sources” to access the list of sources for that Audio Unit, then tap “Add MIDI Source” to select a MIDI source. You can also tap  to connect to Bluetooth MIDI devices here.

 

5.5.MIDI

Loopy Pro supports full MIDI routing: you can send MIDI from a connected MIDI controller to one or more AUv3 Audio Unit synthesisers/virtual instruments, or drive an Audio Unit synthesiser from an Audio Unit MIDI sequencer. You can also send MIDI out to connected MIDI devices.

Add new MIDI sources by tapping the  button, then selecting “Add MIDI”.

In the Destinations section on a MIDI channel strip, tap the + button to add a new destination – this will display a list of the loaded AUv3 Audio Units that can accept MIDI, as well as a list of the MIDI destinations available to the system.

Tap a destination to open its settings.

Here, you can specify a particular MIDI channel or Audio Unit cable that the destination should receive. You can also restrict the range of MIDI notes which will be received; currently-playing notes will be visible on the on-screen keyboard.

You can also specify a transposition which be applied to MIDI sent to this destination.

Different destinations of the same MIDI source can have different settings here, allowing you to split a MIDI keyboard out to different Audio Units, for instance.

5.6.Buses and Sends

Use buses in Loopy Pro to implement effect sends, or to configure custom routing, such as sending the same colour channel to multiple audio interface channels at the same time.

You can add a new bus by either tapping the  button, then selecting “Add Bus”, or by adding a new send by tapping the + button within the Sends area of a channel strip, and tapping “New Bus”.

Once a bus has been created, you can create any number of sends from channel strips to this bus, by tapping the + button within the Sends area of a channel strip.

Sends appear as dials which you can adjust by swiping horizontally – make finer controls by moving your finger vertically away from the dial. You can also use actions to adjust sends from widgets or a MIDI controller.

Long press on a send dial to configure its position:

  • Before All Effects – the audio from a channel strip will be sent to the bus before any effects or faders are applied.
  • Before Fader – audio will be sent at full-volume, before the fader is applied, and after any pre-fader effects. This is the default.
  • After Fader – audio will be sent immediately after the fader, and before any post-fader effects.
  • After All Effects – audio will be sent at the end of the channel strip’s signal processing chain, after fader and all effects are applied.

Remove a send by long pressing and then tapping “Delete”.

5.7.The Clip Mixer

In addition to changing the levels of whole colour groups, you can also adjust the levels of individual clips using the Clip Mixer. This can be useful for gain staging imported content, for instance, prior to applying the colour channel levels.

With the mixer in its simple mode, tap the  button to toggle the Clip Mixer.

You can also enter the Clip Mixer while the main mixer is hidden by long-pressing on the  button on the main screen. Tap it again to hide the Clip Mixer, or keep holding the button to switch to momentary mode, and the Clip Mixer will hide when you release the button, for quick changes.

With the Clip Mixer visible, swipe up or down on any clip to adjust the volume. While sliding, move your finger away horizontally to make finer changes. Swipe left or right to adjust the balance. Double-tap on a clip to set the volume back to 0 dB.

You can adjust multiple clips simultaneously by dragging a rectangle from any empty space over the clips you would like to adjust. Then swipe on any clip to adjust the group.

With the Clip Mixer hidden, you can also quickly adjust the gain of a single loop by dragging your finger in a circle around the perimeter of a loop; a momentary radial fader will appear. Move your finger around clockwise to increase the volume, and anti-clockwise to decrease. Let go to hide the fader.

6.The Bottom Bar

The bottom bar on the main screen displays all the effects and audio inputs that you have added to your project.

You can enable and disable modules by tapping in the main area of each button, and you can expand the module’s interface by tapping the  icon – or double-tapping anywhere on the button.

You can also long press on these buttons to switch this behaviour around, so that a tap in the main area opens the module’s interface, and a tap on the ON/OFF button or double-tap will toggle the module.

Condensed Mode

As you add more effects and inputs, the bottom bar will expand upwards to fit the new items. You can switch the bar to condensed mode by swiping down on any of the buttons – each button will collapse down to a smaller form factor. Swipe up again to switch back to normal mode.

Hiding Effects and Inputs

You can also reduce the number of items that appear in the bottom bar by hiding items. Open an effect or source’s interface by tapping the   icon, then tap the icon to toggle hide.

Making More Room

The buttons at the far left and right of the bottom bar can also be hidden by swiping them off the edge of the screen. Bring them back in by tapping the bar handle, or swiping them back in.

7.Clip Detail

Open the clip detail screen by swiping up on a clip from the main screen, or from the canvas editor by tapping on a clip.

Here, you can adjust the clip’s parameters: volume, balance, pitch and playback speed.

You can halve the length of the clip by tapping DIVIDE, and double it using EXTEND or MULTIPLY; Extend will pad with silence, and Multiply will repeat the clip’s contents.

You can import audio to the clip by tapping , and export the clip’s audio by tapping , and you can change the colour of the clip with the top right colour selector.

If you open the clip detail screen from the canvas editor, you can also rename the clip.

If the clip is empty, you can define a pre-set length here, and the clip will automatically record for the set length.

Trimming, Original Tempo and Intro/Outro

Adjust the start and end points of a clip using the start and end handles on the clip’s waveform, and pinch to zoom in and out.

If the audio has been imported, you can set the original tempo by either dragging the jog wheel, tapping the ÷ or ⨉ buttons, or tapping in the middle of the jog wheel and typing in the tempo. The clip will be time-stretched to fit your project’s tempo. If this is the first clip of your project, then your project’s tempo will be adjusted instead.

As you move the start and end points using the waveform handles, Loopy Pro will suggest a tempo that corresponds to a whole number of bars. Tap the suggestion to apply that as the clip’s original tempo.

If you inset the start or end point inwards, you can assign the preceding or following audio to be an intro or outro, respectively. These sections will play before or after the loop is started/stopped.

Playback and Recording Settings

Here, you can set a loop to be either phase locked or free. A phase locked loop will lock its playback position to the main timeline, even when it is not playing. When you start a phase locked loop playing, it will begin playing at a position determined by the overall timeline. A free loop, on the other hand, will always play from the start, regardless of the current timeline position.

You can define whether a loop will play continuously (Loop), or play once and stop (Play Once). This setting can also be defined for an individual action, for triggering by an on-screen button or a MIDI controller.

You can override the clip settings, by turning on the switch beside “Playback Settings” or “Recording Settings” override. You can also open either the global- or colour-level clip settings from here, for convenience.

Follow Actions and Gestures

Set up clip Follow Actions in conjunction with Loopy Pro’s powerful actions system to perform actions when certain clip events occur, and to implement sidechaining with the Amplitude Envelope follow action.

You can also configure clip gestures here, which will override the global- and colour-level settings. You can configure the actions which are performed when you tap, two-finger tap, long press, or swipe or long swipe in any direction.

8.The Canvas

Loopy Pro’s canvas allows you to create your own project layout, with any number of loops, one shots, buttons, dials, sliders and other controls. With a rich system of actions, you can set up on-screen widgets to control every aspect of the session, on a variable-size canvas that can also be split over multiple different pages.

To access Loopy Pro’s canvas editor, tap the  button from the main screen. The grid will appear by default, accessed by the  button on the bottom toolbar.

On the grid, you can move and scale elements; select multiple elements at a time by dragging a rectangle from any blank space, and then move them as a group.

Copy elements by selecting them, then tapping “Copy”; paste them by tapping in a blank space, and then tapping “Paste”. You can copy and paste between projects, and even between different devices using iOS’s Universal Clipboard feature.

You can add rows or columns to the canvas by tapping the , etc. buttons, and remove them and their contents by tapping the  buttons.

Along the bottom of the canvas are the elements which can be added. Tap an element to add it to the canvas. The following sections describe the elements that can be added to the canvas, and their configuration.

8.1.Clips: Loops and One Shots

Add clips – loops and one shots – to the canvas by tapping  or .

Clips can be any size; loops will appear as rectangles if they are a non-square aspect.

Once a clip has been added, tap it to open the clip’s detail screen.

You can also assign colours and group clips.

8.2.Widgets

Widgets are controls that you can add to your project layout, and configure to perform any number of actions to control the session. This allows for a very deep level of configurability and customisation – you can essentially make your own user interfaces using widgets.

Each widget type has a large number of action triggers associated with it; a button, for example, has Press, Release, Toggle, Double-Tap, Long Press, Two-Finger Tap, Swipe, and so on. A dial also has a Value Change trigger, in addition to Press, Release, Double-Tap and Two-Finger Tap. Each on-screen element, therefore, can trigger a large number of different actions depending on gesture, providing for very space-efficient control schemes.

You can define a single action per trigger, or a number of actions which can be performed in a sequence.

You can also trigger widgets via a MIDI controller, so you can mirror your on-screen layout on a MIDI controller of your choice. You can even trigger widgets from other widgets, to create complex functionality, and even libraries of functions.

Widgets can have labels (with support for emoji), as well as different colours.

The remainder of this section will describe the different types of widgets currently available; more widget types will be coming soon (see the roadmap for details). See also the available actions which can be triggered from widgets.

8.2.1.Buttons

Buttons perform actions on press or release, as well as supporting a number of other gestures.

Create a button on the canvas with the  toolbar button in the canvas editor.

You can configure a button to, for example, enable an effect on press, and disable it on release, or set a send to 100% on press, and gradually ramp it back to 0% on release. Or you could set up a number of buttons to act as scene launchers, each set to trigger a particular set of clips. A button could perform a cross-fade between one set of clips and another, with a configured interval. Or you could set a button to load the next project in a set.

Buttons provide the following triggers:

  • Press
  • Release
  • Hold/Release – for boolean actions
  • Toggle – for boolean actions
  • Double-Tap – note that double-tap actions will delay other taps, as the widget waits to see if any tap is a double-tap.
  • Long Press
  • Two-Finger Tap
  • Swipe (any direction)
  • Swipe Up
  • Swipe Down
  • Swipe Left
  • Swipe Right
  • Long Swipe (any direction)
  • Long Swipe (Up)
  • Long Swipe (Down)
  • Long Swipe (Left)
  • Long Swipe (Right)
8.2.2.Sliders and Dials

Slider and dial widgets perform continuous value actions as their values are adjusted, and their visual state updates to reflect the underlying action values.

Adjust a slider or dial’s value by dragging up and down, or left and right for horizontal sliders. For finer control, move your finger away from the dial.

Create dials on the canvas with the  toolbar button, and sliders with the  and  buttons.

Dials provide the following triggers:

  • Value Change
  • Press
  • Release
  • Double-Tap – note that double-tap actions will delay other taps, as the widget waits to see if any tap is a double-tap.
  • Two-Finger Tap

 

8.2.3.X-Y Pads

X-Y Pads give two-dimensional control over a pair of continuous value actions.

Create an X-Y pad by tapping the  button on the canvas editor toolbar.

Loopy Pro provides a configuration screen to map an X-Y pad to a loaded effect. Once you add an X-Y pad, its configuration allows you to choose an effect, and then select which parameters of the effect are controlled by each axis.

You can configure an X-Y pad to operate in two modes: Always On, or Hold. In Hold mode, the effect will be enabled on touch, and disabled upon release. You can tap the  button on the pad to lock or unlock the pad temporarily.

You can also customise an X-Y pad’s actions to perform any continuous action you like. You could, for example, use an X-Y pad to send a pair of MIDI CC messages to some external MIDI gear, or an AUv3 Audio Unit.

In custom mode, X-Y pads provide the following triggers:

  • X-Value Change
  • Y-Value Change
  • Press
  • Release
  • Hold/Release – for boolean actions
8.2.4.The Clip Slicer

The Clip Slicer/Button Grid is a special widget type – the first of many to come – that provides an interface for a specialised clip function.

Create a Clip Slicer/Button Grid by tapping the  button on the canvas editor toolbar.

Configure the Clip Slicer with an individual clip, and it will allow you to play individual slices of the clip using the pads, either divided by transients in the clip, or divided evenly across the clip.

You can configure the Clip Slicer for various sizes, from 4 pads up to 24; turn on or off Hold to Play, and customise the quantisation, so that segment playback is synchronised with the timeline.

You can also put the button grid into custom mode, and completely customise the behaviour of each pad. Each pad offers PressRelease, and Hold/Release triggers.

8.2.5.Labels

Labels allow you to add text to your project’s canvas. You can change the font size, weight and colour, and longer content will word-wrap, and scroll if the label widget is smaller than the text, which means you can also use labels for longer passages, such as lyrics or set lists.

Add a label to the canvas by tapping the  button on the canvas editor toolbar.

By default, labels are non-interactive and can be overlapped on top of other canvas elements without interfering with their function. But you can also add actions to label widgets, just like buttons.

Label widgets provide the same set of triggers as button widgets:

  • Press
  • Release
  • Hold/Release – for boolean actions
  • Toggle – for boolean actions
  • Double-Tap – note that double-tap actions will delay other taps, as the widget waits to see if any tap is a double-tap.
  • Long Press
  • Two-Finger Tap
  • Swipe (any direction)
  • Swipe Up
  • Swipe Down
  • Swipe Left
  • Swipe Right
  • Long Swipe (any direction)
  • Long Swipe (Up)
  • Long Swipe (Down)
  • Long Swipe (Left)
  • Long Swipe (Right)

 

8.3.Pages

You can create any number of separate pages for your project, and switch between them using the page selector on the main screen, or via an action, from a button or MIDI controller.

Create a new page by tapping the  on the page selector, or long press to determine how the new page should be created:

  • Copy, to copy the current page elements to the new page.
  • Copy With Content, to copy the current page elements, including clip content, to the new page.
  • Blank Page to create a blank page.

After you make a selection, new pages will be created the same way until you make a different selection.

Long press on a page label in the selector to delete the page, or to rename it – you can use a single letter or number, or an emoji, to represent the page.

Reorder pages by pressing then dragging.

Pages can behave purely as an extension of the canvas, or as actual content containers. With page actions, you can switch all loops on a page on or off, or solo an individual page, to behave like scenes of clips.

8.4.Assigning Colours

Assign colours to clips using the Colour Editor by tapping the  button on the editor toolbar.

Select a colour from the colour swatch at the bottom, and then tap or drag your finger over tracks to assign that colour.

You can add new colours by tapping the  button to the right – these will automatically appear in the mixer. Loopy Pro will add new colours in an order that attempts to maintain the maximum visual distinction between colours, and will keep them ordered by hue.

Colours which have been assigned to clips will be displayed with a grey bar above the colour swatch; empty colours have no grey bar.

Long press on a colour swatch to delete that colour.

Colour Settings

Tap  on the selected colour swatch to edit the settings for that colour – you can access the same screen by opening the menu at the top right of the screen and tapping “Color Groups”.

Here, you can rename the colour and, just like the clip detail screen, edit the colour’s parameters: volume, balance, pitch and speed. You can override the global clip settings, by turning on the switch beside “Playback Settings” or “Recording Settings” override.

You can also set up clip Follow Actions in conjunction with Loopy Pro’s powerful actions system to perform actions when certain clip events occur, and to implement sidechaining with the Amplitude Envelope follow action.

And you can configure clip gestures here, which will override the global settings. You can configure the actions which are performed when you tap, two-finger tap, long press, or swipe or long swipe in any direction.

9.Creating Song Sections

Loopy Pro provides a number of different ways to define groups of clips, for near limitless customisability in defining song structure.

Play Groups

Play Groups are the most straightforward grouping mechanism.

Create and configure Play Groups by opening the canvas editor by tapping the  from the main screen, then tapping the  button to open the Play Groups editor. Here, you can drag loops together, or drag a rectangle around a set of loops, in order to create groups.

Tap a loop that’s in a Play Group to open the settings for that group. You can configure a group so that starting or stopping any loop in the group will start or stop all the other loops, or so that only one loop in the group will play at a time.

You can make groups mutually exclusive with each other, so that starting one group will stop the others.

Actions

You can also create your own completely custom groupings by using actions.

For example, to create a clip/scene launcher layout where loops in rows play together, you could create a column of button widgets, each bound to a solo action, with the clips in each row targeted, and “All Loops” set as the Solo Context. You can see this configuration in the “8×8 Scenes” sample project provided with Loopy Pro.

Scene launcher action configuration

You can also create button widgets bound to the play action, with an arbitrary selection of clips, to create any kind of sectioning you wish.

Follow Actions

You can also use clip play/stop Follow Actions to trigger play/stop actions on other clips whenever a clip is started or stopped.

10.Actions

Loopy Pro’s powerful actions system provides for endless customisation of project layouts, and deep control via MIDI controllers.

Everything in Loopy Pro can be accessed via actions, which you can attach to on-screen widgets, like buttons and dials, or bind to triggers on a MIDI controller. You can assign actions to gestures, or to Follow Actions.

Actions include controls for clip playback and recording, and audio parameters like volume, balance, pitch and speed. There are actions to adjust effect parameters and sends, play and stop the master clock, adjust input gain and enable/disable inputs, change tempo, and much more.

With actions and widgets, you can essentially make your own audio production apps within Loopy Pro – effortlessly – and with a MIDI controller you can build your own looping setups, to suit your individual style.

10.1.Action Types

Actions come in a number of different types, and are suited to different purposes:

  • Impulse actions are triggered once and have no state; they are used for things like clearing a clip, initiating a parameter value change, or triggering a scene.
  • Boolean actions have an on/off state; they’re used for things like enabling/disabling an effect, or toggling mute for a channel.
  • Continuous actions have a numeric value; they’re used for an effect parameter, or a volume fader, or a send knob.

Depending on the control, different actions will be available. A dial widget will allow you to bind continuous actions to it, and a button’s Press action, or a MIDI Controller Program Change trigger will only allow you to bind Impulse actions, while a button’s Hold/Release trigger will accept boolean actions.

The remainder of this section will describe all the actions currently available within Loopy Pro. This list is likely to grow as Loopy Pro develops further.

10.1.1.Clip Actions

Actions that operate on clips.

Clip Selection

Loopy Pro provides a set of “Select” actions which control on-screen selection of clips. Selected clips appear on-screen with a white dot, and can then be used as an action target, allowing you to use the same action on whatever clip is selected.  There are actions to select the next and previous tracks, in left-to-right, top-to-bottom order, as well as actions to select tracks to the left, or right, above, and below.

Targets

The following targets are supported by clip actions:

  • One or more specific clips
  • Next Tapped Clip – Loopy Pro will prompt you to tap a clip on-screen when triggering the action
  • Last Tapped Clip – The last clip which was tapped on-screen, or selected via “Next Tapped Clip”
  • Selected Clip – The clip which is selected (see “Clip Selection” above)
  • All Clips – Every clip in the project
  • Specific Color – All the clips in a specific color
  • Next Selected Color – Prompts you to select a colour on-screen when triggering the action; action will then affect all clips in that colour
  • Last Selected Color – The last colour that was selected
  • Colour of Selected Clip – All the clips that have the same colour as the selected clip (see “Clip Selection” above)
  • Color of Next Tapped Clip – Prompts you to select a clip on screen when triggering the action; action will then affect all clips with the same colour
  • Color of Last Tapped Clip – All clips of the same colour as the last clip that was tapped on-screen or selected via “Next Tapped Clip”

Following is a list of all clip actions:

Play/Stop

Start or stop a clip playing.

Parameters:

  • Action – whether to toggle playback on/off, depending on current state; always play, or always stop
  • Quantization – how to synchronise start/stop with the master timeline: Default, None, Master (synchronise with the master clock’s cycle), Loop (synchronise with a specific loop, context-dependent), Custom.
  • Fade In/Out – whether to apply a volume ramp in or out
  • Respect Play Groups – when acting on a clip that’s a member of a Play Group, whether to perform Play Group logic
  • Loop vs Play Once – when acting on a loop, whether to start the loop playing continuously, or play through once, then stop
  • Record If Empty – if a clip is empty when the action is triggered, whether to begin recording
  • Record Setup – If Record If Empty enabled, defines the recording configuration
Solo

Stop other clips playing when a clip is started, with a configurable context defining which other clips will be stopped.

Parameters:

  • Action – whether to toggle solo, depending on current state; always solo, or always un-solo
  • Solo Context – the context that defines the other clips that will be stopped as part of the solo: Color, or All Loops.
  • Quantization – how to synchronise start/stop with the master timeline: Default, None, Master (synchronise with the master clock’s cycle), Loop (synchronise with a specific loop, context-dependent), Custom.
  • Fade In/Out – whether to apply a volume ramp in or out
Mute

Silence a clip’s audio output; clip may continue playing, but silently.

Parameters:

  • Action – whether to toggle mute, depending on current state; always mute, or always un-mute
  • Ramp – duration over which to mute/unmute; a fade will be applied over this duration
Record

Start or stop recording a clip.

Parameters:

  • Action – whether to toggle recording, depending on current state; always start recording, or always stop recording
  • Use Default Settings – whether to use the settings defined at the applicable level (clip, colour, or global), or override these settings
  • If Clip Has Audio – what to do if the clip is already recorded: Do Nothing, Toggle Playback, Play If Stopped/Overdub If Playing, Overdub, Rerecord)
  • Other settings – see the record section in Clip Settings for details.
Adjust Parameter

Adjust volume, balance, pitch or speed for one or more clips.

Parameters:

  • Parameter – the parameter to adjust
  • Action – if trigger is impulse, whether to assign a specific value, or nudge the value by some amount
  • Value – if trigger is impulse, the value to assign/nudge
  • Ramp – if trigger is impulse, duration over which to apply the change. A smooth ramp will be applied.
  • Minimum Value – if trigger is continuous, the minimum value to assign, at the lower end of the  controller’s range
  • Maximum Value – if trigger is continuous, the maximum value to assign, at the upper end of the  controller’s range
  • Controller Input Start – if trigger is continuous, the incoming controller value to treat as the lower end of the range. Incoming values outside this range will be clipped to the given bounds.
  • Controller Input End – if trigger is continuous, the incoming controller value to treat as the upper end of the range.
Clear Clip

Clear all audio content from a clip.

Parameters:

  • If Recording: What to do if the clip is currently recording: Stop Recording only, or Clear Clip.
Merge/Move

Copy or move the audio content from one clip to another, mixing audio with the destination clip

Parameters:

  • Clear Source After Merge: Whether to clear the source clip once merge has completed (i.e. move, rather than copy)
  • Play Target: Whether to start the target clip playing, if it is stopped
Multiply Clip Length

Extend the length of the clip by a factor of two.

Parameters:

  • Pad with Silence – whether to extend the clip by padding with silence, instead of repeating the clip’s audio
Divide Clip Length

Truncate the length of the clip by a factor of two.

Show Detail Screen

Open the clip’s detail screen.

Select

Select a clip (see “Clip Selection” above).

10.1.2.Color Actions

Actions that operate on colours.

Play/Stop

See Clip Play/Stop, above.

Solo

See Clip Solo, above. Note that this action operates on the clips of this colour, and starts/stops the clips as required. This is a different action from Mixer Solo below, which operates on the mixer channel strip.

Mixer Solo

Solo or unsolo the colour channel in the mixer.

Parameters:

  • Action: Whether to solo/un-solo based on current state; always solo, or always un-solo
Mute

Mute the output of a colour.

Parameters:

  • Action: Whether to mute/unmute based on current state; always mute, or always unmute
Adjust Parameter

See Clip Adjust Parameter, above.

10.1.3.Effect Actions

This section coming soon.

10.1.4.Widget Actions

This section coming soon.

10.1.5.Page Actions

This section coming soon.

10.1.6.Session Actions

This section coming soon.

10.1.7.MIDI Actions

This section coming soon.

10.1.8.Audio Source Actions

This section coming soon.

10.1.9.Bus Actions

This section coming soon.

10.1.10.Controller Actions

This section coming soon.

10.2.Follow Actions

Use clip and colour Follow Actions to perform actions when certain clip events occur. For example, you can configure a clip to turn on an effect when it begins recording, and turn off the effect again upon record end. Or you can make a clip start another clip playing when it starts. You can even make chains of clips that start each other playing in turn, one after another.

You can define Follow Actions at both the clip level, from the clip detail screen, and the colour level, from the colour settings screen.

The following events are defined for Follow Actions:

  • Begin Record
  • Finish Record
  • Play
  • Stop
  • Clear, and a special follow action:
  • Amplitude Envelope
Amplitude Envelope Follow

Loopy Pro provides a special Follow Action – Amplitude Envelope – which allows you to specify continuous value actions which map to the current clip volume as a clip plays.

You use this to implement sidechaining, where a parameter is controlled by an amplitude envelope. For example, you could configure an Amplitude Envelope on a colour representing your drum loops to drive the volume fader on a different colour for synth pads, for a sidechain compression effect.

11.Controlling Loopy Pro with MIDI

This section coming soon.

11.1.MIDI Learn

This section coming soon.

11.2.Adding Bindings Manually

This section coming soon.

12.The Sequencer

This section coming soon.

12.1.Creating a Sequence

This section coming soon.

12.2.Automating Sessions

This section coming soon.

12.3.Timeline Looping

This section coming soon.

13.Managing Projects

This section coming soon.

13.1.Exporting

This section coming soon.

13.2.Save Points

This section coming soon.

13.3.Using Folders

This section coming soon.

14.Session Recording

This section coming soon.

15.Using Loopy as an AUv3 Audio Unit

This section coming soon.

16.Settings

This section coming soon.

16.1.Clip Settings

The Clip Settings screen allows you to set the global configuration for clips – these can then be overridden at the colour, clip, and action level, if necessary.

Clip Settings are divided into four sections: Playback settings, recording settings, audio settings, and gestures.

The following will describe each setting in detail.

Playback Settings

The following settings define how clips play and stop. These can be overridden for particular colours and individual clips, as well as for individual playback actions.

 Play/Stop Quantization

Configure the synchronisation intervals at which loop play and stop events occur. None: Play and stop loops immediately, with no delay. Master: Play and stop loops in sync with the current clock master cycleLoop: Play and stop loops in sync with the top of the specific loop. This is context-dependent – when stopping a loop, for example, it will stop at the end of the loop being stopped. When starting a loop playing, it will sync with the longest currently-playing loop, if there is one – if not, it will start immediately. Custom: Define a custom sync interval. Default value: Loop

Phase Lock Loops

Keep loops synced with the timeline, even when they’re not playing. When Phase Lock is on, the position indicator of stopped loops will continue to move around the loop; when the loop is started again, it will start from that position, rather than from the start of the loop. Note that if you turn off Phase Lock, then Play/Stop Quantization determines how loops will be synchronised with each other, as this dictates the start synchronisation. Default value: On

One-Shot Quantization

Configure the synchronisation intervals at which one-shot playback begins. None: Play one-shots immediately. Master: Synchronise one shots with the clock master cycleCustom: Define a custom sync interval. Default value: None

Hold to Play One-Shots

Whether to only play one-shots while holding. When this setting is on, releasing a one-shot will stop playback. Default value: On

Time-Stretch One-Shots

Whether to perform time-stretching on one-shots while changing the tempo. Never: Keep one-shots at original playback speed. Always: Always update one-shot speed to match tempo. Auto: Decide based on length of one-shot – only one-shots longer than 4 beats will be time-stretched. Default value: Auto

Fade In/Fade Out

The interval over which to fade in and out clip playback, rather than starting and stopping immediately. Default value: Off

Record If Empty

Whether to begin recording empty clips when triggered. If you disable this setting, tapping a clip or triggering it via an action/MIDI will have no effect. With this setting on, tapping an empty clip will begin recording. Default value: On

Pause Clock When Idle

If you stop all loops playing in a session, the clock will be paused until you start a loop playing again. Default value: Off

Recording Settings

The following settings define how clips record. These can be overridden for particular colours and individual clips, and can be customised for individual record actions.

Retrospective Recording

When this setting is on, Loopy Pro is continually recording into a buffer, set by the current clock master cycle length. When you trigger recording, this buffer is instantly copied to the triggered clip, allowing you to capture a loop after the fact. The audio that will be recorded depends on the Retrospective Quantization setting. Default value: Off

Retrospective Quantization

The quantisation interval to use when triggering Retrospective Recording. Immediate: Capture the immediately-preceding audio, regardless of position in the current cycle. Quantized: Capture the last cycle, aligned with the clock master cycle. If recording is triggered shortly before the start of a cycle boundary, Loopy Pro will capture the current cycle, continuing recording the live audio until the cycle is complete. Default value: Quantized

Auto Count Out

When this setting is enabled, loops will record for the Count Out Quantization interval, and then stop recording automatically. This allows you to record loops of a pre-defined length without needing to manually end recording. If you disable this setting, clips will continue recording indefinitely, until you stop recording, and Loopy Pro will select an appropriate quantised length for the clip, if Length Quantization is enabled. See Pre-Set or Free Loops for further discussion. Default value: On

Count In Quantization

The synchronisation interval for beginning loop recordings. None: Start recording loops immediately. Master: Wait until the beginning of the next clock master cycle to begin recording. Custom: Define a custom sync interval. Default value: Master

Count Out Quantization

The synchronisation interval for ending loop recordings. None: Stop recording loops immediately. Master: Wait until the beginning of the next clock master cycle to stop recording. Custom: Define a custom sync interval. Default value: Master

Length Quantization

Whether to constrain loop lengths to multiples or subdivisions of a bar. Default value: On

Loop Audio Threshold Recording

When on, loops will wait for the input level to cross the defined audio threshold before recording starts. You can use this facility to “arm” a loop in advance, which will only start recording when you begin playing. Default value: Off

One-Shot Audio Threshold Recording

When on, one-shots will wait for the input level to cross the defined audio threshold before recording starts. Default value: On

Audio Threshold

The audio threshold to use for Audio Threshold Recording.

Record Intro

When enabled, Loopy Pro will begin listening immediately upon starting a record count-in. If the audio level crosses the threshold, recording will begin immediately, and the audio will be recorded to a special “intro” section of the loop, which will play back when starting the loop playing. This setting requires Count In Quantization to be enabled. See Intro and Tail for further discussion. Default value: Off

Record Tail

When enabled, Loopy Pro will continue recording for a short time after loop recording ends. Recording will continue until Loopy Pro detects that the audio level has dropped off. The audio will be recorded to a special “tail” section of the loop, which will play back in the second and latter repeats of a loop, and when the loop is stopped. See Intro and Tail for further discussion. Default value: Off

Simultaneous Recording

When enabled, you can record multiple loops at the same time. If disabled, when you start additional loops recording while a loop is already being recorded, the additional loops will enter a record queue, and each loop will be recorded one after another. Default value: Off

After Recording

Configure how a loop behaves after its initial recording has completed. Play: Loop will begin playback immediately after recording. Stop: Loop will be silent after recording. Overdub: Initially begin overdubbing, for recording additional layers. Default value: Play

Wait for Playback

With this setting enabled, when the clock is paused and you start a loop recording, Loopy Pro will not begin recording until you unpause the clock. If this setting is disabled, Loopy Pro will automatically unpause the clock and begin playing when you start recording. Default value: Off

Auto Loop Detection

When enabled, Loopy Pro will automatically detect and trim the first loop of a session, allowing you to create tight, well-timed loops without having to be precise with the record start and end timing. See Automatic Loop Detection for more discussion. Default value: On

Auto-End Detected Loop

With this setting enabled, Loopy Pro can automatically detect a loop of the given length, end recording and begin playback, allowing you to record the first loop of a session entirely hands-free. You must first set either the master cycle length or a clip’s pre-set length, and it’s recommended that you also set a rough tempo to assist accurate detection. Default value: Off

Audio Settings

Set the default output channels for clips here. This can be overridden at the colour level.

Gestures

Configure the on-screen gestures for interacting with clips here. You can assign your own actions for Tap, Two-Finger Tap, Swipe, Swipe Up, Swipe Down, Swipe Left, Swipe Right and Long Swipe. These gestures can be overridden at the colour and clip levels.

16.2.Colour Groups

This section coming soon.

16.3.MIDI Control

This section coming soon.

16.4.Synchronization

This section coming soon.

16.5.Metronome

This section coming soon.

16.6.System Settings

This section coming soon.

17.Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I use my AirPods/other Bluetooth audio gear?

This is a quirk of Measurement Mode, a feature that Loopy Pro’s echo cancellation requires. If you turn off echo cancellation, Loopy Pro will also turn off Measurement Mode, allowing access to your Bluetooth hardware. Open the mixer, tap the microphone icon at the top of the hardware input channel strip, then turn off the switch beside “Echo Cancellation”.

Why does the speaker go quiet when I start screen recording?

Another Measurement Mode quirk, I’m afraid. See immediately above for instructions to disable echo cancellation. Note: you will lose the benefits of echo cancellation, so it’s important that if you plan to record from the mic that you use headphones, or external audio gear.

18.Troubleshooting

This section coming soon.

19.Getting Help

19.1.Reporting Crashes

If Loopy Pro or another third-party app is crashing, and dumping you back to the home screen, it can be very helpful to see the associated crash log so that I or the developer of the third-party app can fix the issue. While we may get anonymised versions of these in a big lump, it can be difficult to tie certain events to individual crashes, which is necessary for nailing a bug.

If you’re up for it, finding and sending me a crash log can go a long way towards solving the crash. Here’s how to find and send them in:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Find Privacy, then Analytics, Analytics Data
  3. Look for entries with the app name (i.e. Loopy Pro, or Loopy Pro AU, if it’s Loopy Pro or its AUv3 that crashed), with the date/time that matches when you saw the crash. Note that any entries with “wakeups” in the name aren’t actually crashes, but another kind of log that isn’t much use for diagnosis: Ignore those ones.
  4. Select the entry, then select all the text by holding your finger at the top, then dragging the blue handle all the way to the bottom.
  5. Tap “Share” on the callout that appears, and then paste the contents into an email to [email protected]

19.2.Known Issues

Here are a few late-breaking issues which I will address very shortly:

  • Exports from sequencer don’t include all FX
  • There may be small audible glitches when recording AUs while running at non-device-native sample rates, like 44.1kHz. Switch to 48kHz for now.
  • Text widgets are a little finicky to work with still, and need multiline (until then, Loopy will interpret two spaces as a newline)
  • Play Group backgrounds look a bit weird with square loops
  • When doing a sequence recording, segments may pile up on top of one another

20.Loopy Pro Roadmap

Here are some of the additional features in the pipeline. Note that this is only a partial list – Loopy Pro is likely to continue to develop for years, and new ideas are constantly coming.

  • Reverse, Tape Slowdown
  • Beat Repeat
  • Record modes: Insert, Replace, and feedback/decay control
  • One-Shot/Slicer retriggering on hold
  • Crossfade
  • Further Launchpad support
  • MIDI Looping
  • MIDI actions to switch AUv3 presets
  • MIDI actions to adjust instrument AUv3 params
  • Drive MIDI Learn system from AUv3s
  • Cross-project transitions
  • Multi-channel in and out in AUv3 mode
  • MIDI out in AUv3 mode
  • IAA/AB support
  • AUv3 sidechain support
  • Soooo much more

Still got questions?