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Re: Free Looper coming with Tiger!

Hi Per-

At 04:03 AM 5/16/2005, Per Boysen wrote:
>I've been reading and drooling here for
>the last five minutes. Indeed very nice!

So I'm curious, can you tell me what about the feature set makes you drool?

For me it didn't seem very remarkable or innovative from the readme file, 
so I'm wondering what you saw that I missed. I don't have a mac that can 
run tiger to try this with at this time, so maybe you or others can help 
answer some of my questions below?

>It's able to take live audio input (mono or stereo) and record audio loops
>for immediate and seamless playback in an interactive fashion.

good, that's the basic looper function we expect.

Does it allow you to go directly to overdub out of record? (the usual 
question asked about every looper).

By this time, after so many years of discussion about Record-to-Overdub, 
any looper that fails to implement this feature from the start is really 
exhibiting some astonishing ignorance about the looper universe. I hope 
they didn't miss this!

>Currently,  AULooper supports up to four stereo loops.

multi-track, that's nice. like Repeater or DJRND3 or Bob Sellon's JamMan 
upgrade or various other software loopers. Well, in other words... not new.

As always, the important questions with multi-track loopers is, how 
intuitive is the user interface for live control?

Creating a multi-track looper is very easy. Creating a multi-track looper 
user interface is very, very, very difficult. Nobody has done it well yet. 
How did they do here?

>At any given time, one of the four loops will be selected.  Any of the 
>four loops may be selected at any time by clicking on the loop itself.

So you can't select more than one loop to control at a time? (i.e., pitch 
shift 1 and 4 but leave 2 and 3 alone, etc). I assume they all play 

>Once an initial loop has been recorded, the "Retro Record" command may be 
>used to capture audio which has just been played. Instead of requiring 
>musician to click on the "Record" button twice, once to indicate the 
>time, and once to indicate the end time.  The "Retro Record" button 
>indicates the end time of the loop, and the start time will be 
>automatically assumed to be one loop time in the past.

That's a nice function. It's a very old one though, originally from delays 
in the 70's. I've had people occasionally ask about this who were 
accustomed to looping with old tape delay loops from decades ago. It's 
possible in some modern loopers that have some sort of "Delay Mode" 
operation, but not as such an explicit function.

>* Undo (undo/redo for the last edit or record operation)
>     (undoable operations are: record, copy, paste, clear, divide, and 
> multiply)

is it multiple undo? Can it undo a mistake button press, or just a 
overdub layer?

>* Set Start (at the moment this command is received, re-defines the
>starting point for all loops)
>       (The "Play" command will then retrigger playback from this new 
> point in the loop)
>* Slip Start Time Ahead "<"   (Similar to "Set Start", but incrementally 
>nudges start time ahead for all loops)
>* Slip Start Time Behind ">"   (Similar to "Set Start", but incrementally 
>nudges start time behind for all loops)

They give a lot of space to discussing StartPoint manipulation. These 
functions have long been available in the Echoplex and the Repeater. It is 
a practical and useful function, but the fact is most people don't care 
that much or get very excited about it. Useful, but not glamorous.

Funny that they give it such a prominent place in the feature discussion, 
when far more important looping functions get little or no mention at all.

>* Resync (Sometimes when playing with the "Reverse" commands it's
>possible for the playback lines in the loops to get out of 
>synchronization.  "Resync" will selectively change the loop's start times 
>to match the current mix. Subsequent "Play" commands will then retrigger 
>playback at this rhythmic relationship)

Is this like a limited version of the ReAlign commands in the Echoplex? 
(hard to tell from the description.)

>* Pitch (global pitch control, additive with the individual loop
>pitch controls)

Does this pitch change affect loop length?

Usually people want two different things:
- pitch without loop length change
- pitch with loop length change (like tape speed control or old fashioned 
delay time control)

Which does it do, or does it do both options? How easy is it to control?

>There are also commands for editing the currently selected  loop:
>* Divide (divides the length of the loop by two, discarding the
>second half)

that's useful, assuming there are subsequent functions to operate on the 
divided cycles. What can you do with the divided cycles?

>* Multiply (double the loop length, appending of copy of the original
>     This allows longer overdubs on top of the originally shorter loop.

Is this a fluid real-time multiply like the Echoplex has, or the more 
limited approach to multiply found in the Repeater?

>* Copy / Paste / Clear commands for operating on the selected loop

This is tempting but vague. How is copy/paste applied in real time? How do 
you manipulate and control that as you perform?

>Clock Settings
>* Sync (Internal or Host Sync)     (normal default operation is
>"Internal" which allows the musician to control the playback transport; 
>"Host Sync" will syncronize loop playback with the host's timeline)

So I guess this would include midi clock through the host?

How accurate is the sync? I would imagine this area is very difficult or 
impossible to do well for software running on top of a non-realtime OS, in 
a non-realtime hardware system architecure. Has anybody tested it 

How does sync between the 4 loop tracks work? Do you have the option to 
sync them or not? Can any of them set the main tempo? (sort of like using 
BrotherSync in the echoplex?) If so, what sort of flexibility is there for 
setting relative lengths of one loop track versus another?

>* Tempo (once a loop has been recorded it's playback speed may be 
>with the "tempo" slider; the initial tempo is determined by the recorded 
>loop's length and the "beat length" of the loop which is assumed 
>to be four beats, but may be changed by the user in the edit text field)

so I assume this means it changes the length/tempo without pitch change?

So what about feedback control? They never mentioned that. Please don't 
tell me another looper has been created without feedback control!


Kim Flint                     | Looper's Delight
kflint@loopers-delight.com    | http://www.loopers-delight.com