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Is this possible? live vocal loops, guitar loops/effects.

5909 Views 23 Replies Latest reply: May 9, 2012 3:19 PM by dingdangdawg RSS
  • dingdangdawg Level 2 Level 2 (455 points)

    Thanks. Well, to reiterate,I do not want to be tied down to a metronome or a clock, but need to be able to sync multiple loops together. So I need a "Master" loop, and "Slave" loop(s). For example, it the Master is one measure long, a Slave loop could be one measure long, or any multiple of one measure, depending on when you stop recording and "close" the Slave loop. If you then start the Slave loop later, it will always be synched up with the Master. This is the way my hardware loopers (Boss, Boomerang III, etc) work.

     

    But with Loopback, things are OK until I try to get two (or more) instances of Loopback to synch up and behave. It seems there is no concept of "master" and "slave" looping with Loopback, and that I can only "slave" loops to the Concert Tempo. Well .... If I set up my first instance of Loopback to "Set Concert Tempo to First Take" then the timing of the loop gets sloppy, especially if am trying to do precise looping. When this approach is used, I can get subsequent instances of LoopBack to synch to the first loop, but the inaccuracies of timing the first loop make this method unusable for accurate timing (at least the way I have it set up!)

     

    There are ways to "Group" Loopback instances, and I have also played around with this quite a bit, but this just seems to set the loop lengths the same for all loops in the Group, and they respond simultaneously to footswitch commands, and it doesn't seem to be useful for live looping if you want your loop lengths to differ in multiples of the Master loop length.

     

    CCT, I certainly could be missing something; there are many parameter variations that could be selected in each Loopback instance (where the first is the "master" and the second is the "slave" loop). I have tried too many of them to remember or list, but I thought I tried all of the logical ones after reading through the docs and experimenting. If you know of some things to try with specific parameter settings, I will certainly put some more time in on it, cause I would love to have it working for live performance!


  • CCTM Level 6 Level 6 (8,600 points)

    Hi

    dingdangdawg wrote:

     

    For example, it the Master is one measure long, a Slave loop could be one measure long, or any multiple of one measure, depending on when you stop recording and "close" the Slave loop. If you then start the Slave loop later, it will always be synched up with the Master. This is the way my hardware loopers (Boss, Boomerang III, etc) work.

     

     

    Well, in the Pic posted below, I have 3 slaved loops, all in sync to the Master (more later). They are different lengths, but (currently) the length of each is not set to be a specific multiple of the length of the 1st (Master loop), rather, the length of each is completely defined by when I stop recording the first pass on each slave. They are an exact number of bars (rather than say a 4 and 1/2 bar loop...18 beats... though they probably could be if you wanted). You can certainly have odd/unusual lengths if you want.

     

     

    dingdangdawg wrote:

     

     

    I can only "slave" loops to the Concert Tempo.

    Yep... (or have them "free-running"... I have not tried this)

     

     

    dingdangdawg wrote:

     

    If I set up my first instance of Loopback to "Set Concert Tempo to First Take" then the timing of the loop gets sloppy, especially if am trying to do precise looping.

    This can be tricky, and I do get a slight "glitch" in the Master loop as I press 'Record' to set the length and Tempo, but as the loop repeats there is no glitch in the loop itself. (All this without playing to a click... start playing, start the Master loop recording, set the length/tempo).

     

     

    dingdangdawg wrote:

     

    When this approach is used, I can get subsequent instances of LoopBack to synch to the first loop, but the inaccuracies of timing the first loop make this method unusable for accurate timing (at least the way I have it set up!)

    If you get the first (Master) loop length & tempo right, the rest of it works fine:

     

    In this pic, I have 1 Master (Left) and 3 sync'd Slaves (8 bars, 4 bars, 16 bars). They can be stopped & started independently as required, all in sync.

     

    4Loopbacks.jpg

     

    It can be done (unless I have missed the detail of your requirements?) :-)

     

    CCT

  • dingdangdawg Level 2 Level 2 (455 points)

    I really appreciate your taking time to put this together, and I will spend some more time with it over the next couple of days, as I really want it to work. I really need accurate, glitchless timing of the loops for live stuff.

     

    Before I dig in again, would you mind telling me the specific settings you used for both Master and Synched loops?

     

    For example:

         SYNC pop up menu settings

         SNAP TO pop up menu settings

         PLAY FROM pop up menu settings

     

    Any settings selected for the "gear" pull down menu on upper right of window? Such as:

         Set Concert Tempo After First Take (on or off)

         etc....

     

    Any Group selections used? Etc?

     

    I just want to make sure I am trying the right stuff, as there are a lot of variables!

     

    Thanks again, CCT.

  • stephen kemp Calculating status...

    Hi folk

     

    Well I've been doing live loop based performances for the last couple of years. I started with a hardware setup (including a Boss RC50) and ditched it all in favour of Mainstage hosting NI Guitar Rig and various fx for mic inputs. I use an FCB1010 foot controlller and korg micro thingy.

     

    But for looping, may I recommed you check out Mobius. Mobius is freeware, and is way more sophisticated and configurable than the loopback plug in. There is an active forum of users on the Circular Labs site for detailed questions. It will allow any combination of synced and unsynched loops, and the new version will also sync to Mainstage... I run it as an AU plug in.

     

    My setup has the odd glitch, but overall it's very stable & works... and it knocks the socks off my old RC50.

     

    Stephen

  • dingdangdawg Level 2 Level 2 (455 points)

    Stephen -- thanks for the recommendation and sharing your looping experience. I have similarly used an RC-50 then a Boomerang, and am currently using Mobius is my go-to looper, with a SoftStyle MIDI footswitch array. This has been working flawlessly for me, no problems running it in Logic or MainStage, or any DAW I have tried it with. And the creator of the software is very active on the product forum, and is constantly evolving the software. Very cool. You do have to spend time learning how to create scripts which dictate how the software reacts to buttons (direct MIDI calls), but with scriptability comes flexibility. For anyone using Mobius, please make an online donation!

     

    I have joined in on this thread because I wanted to see if LoopBack still has the timing problems I encountered in MS 2.0 worked out of it yet, to see if it might be a viable alternative. I'm always looking for the latest and greatest. The abiity to quickly create customized loop setups would be the main reason that I would consider switching, but not unless LoopBack looping proves to be reliable and precise.

  • stephen kemp Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Well Mr Dingdangdawg (is it Mr?)

     

    That's interesting to hear you're using a similar setup... if I may, a question: are you running it successfully under Lion? I have one setup on a 2009 Macbook Pro with Snow Leopard which is pretty stable: the odd audio glitch every 15 mins or so... but I live with that (the audience think it's just the way I play)

     

    But I tried to get the same setup working on a new Macbook Air under Lion and it's been a no-go - constant audio glitches and MacTimer Interrupt messages showing in Console, suggesting it's all too much for the processor - even though I only have, say, one short loop playing. My suspicion is that it's to do with the way Mainstage displays graphics and the lack of a dedicated graphics chip... but who knows.

     

    If you have a system working with Lion that would rule that element out of the equation, and I might be foolish enough to upgrade my Macbook Pro system...

     

    Stephen

  • dingdangdawg Level 2 Level 2 (455 points)

    You can just call me dingdangdawg, lets keep it informal. Its discouraging to hear about your problem with Lion/MS. I am running the latest version of MainStage under the latest version of Lion, but both are running on a 2011 Mac Mini Server. I am sure there are some major chip differences, but I don't have time to look 'em up. That must be the cause, though. Very frustrating that some users are in a world of hurt with their systems and setups, and others are happy as clams. I wish it was more predictable.

     

    I can say that I gave up using a MacBook 2.4GHz Core Duo with MainStage (due to CPU spikes and audio glitches) under Snow Leopard....thats when I decided to try the Mac Mini Server (2.0GHz quad core i7), which was bundled with Lion.

  • csimmons Calculating status...

    I really don't want to dis Mainstage, as it is quite a brilliant app for everything EXCEPT looping, unfortunately. I'm a beatboxer / live looper and I use quite a few different loop station devices, including the Boss RC 300, various iOS loopers, and mac-based software loopers.

     

    I've tried quite a few times to get Mainstage to work as a multi track loop station, to no avail. I honestly cannot recommend it for live looping. The best live looping software is by far Ableton Live 8. Ridiculously easy to setup, very stable, easy to map to any MIDI controller.

     

    Just as an example: I use my RC 300 as my "main" looper, have it tempo synced to Ableton Live (Live follows the MIDI Clock coming from the RC 300), which I use basically as a live remix machine, using various instances of Live's Looper plugin and iZotope's amazing Stutter Edit plugin. For my controller I use a Novation Remote 49 SL Mark II keyboard. I use only my voice; no instruments like guitars, etc. The entire setup took me literally 15 minutes to configure and check, and it's quite stable. I could have never done this with Mainstage. In fact, Live is so intuitive that I never have to look at the laptop screen in order to use it.

     

    If the Apple team ever made the Loopback plugin as easy to use and setup within Mainstage as the Looper plugin is within Live, I might reconsider using MS as a loop station.

  • dingdangdawg Level 2 Level 2 (455 points)

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I agree .... I have yet to get Loopback to provide tight timing for live looping applications. Too bad!

     

    I am currently using the Mobius Looper AU plug-in within MainStage. It is powerful and flexible, but does take some study and learning how to write some scripts to shape it into what you want. I do love it, but also wish Loopback worked as expected.

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