look-ahead audio looper on iOS !!

edited February 4 in General App Discussion

I have heard people mention the idea of using Ableton Live to loop and save phrases without having to plan it ahead. I don’t know what it is called in Live, but from what I can tell there is no equivalent easy app on iOS that does this. Or is there?

The idea is an app that is constantly recording so you can just play freely and when you know you have played something great, just press a button after you finish playing the musical phrase and the app will playback what you’ve just played.

So first, some questions:

  • What is this feature actually called in Ableton? “Look-ahead looper” is the only phrase I’ve heard. Is it a separate plugin?
  • is there any other desktop app or hardware that does this?
  • is anyone aware of this type of app on iOS?

And second, I have actually found a way to build this now for iPad, with no new apps needed.
It works in an Audiobus session with Loopy as the output app, and I’m using MIDI designer Pro as the controller sending multiple MIDI actions to Loopy HD thru a “playback/record” toggle button.

It is a work in progress, only tested briefly but it’s perfect, syncs to Link, handles tempo changes, records 1, 2, 4, 8 bars (maybe more, I just haven’t tested further)

So I don’t have anything to share yet, but if people are interested let me know. I will build it properly and get it working.

Comments

  • No, I haven't heard of an app that can record loops in this way. Absolutely interested in this. This would be amazing for real-time music making, which is how I primarily use my Keyborg Battle Station. :lol: Seriously this would be a dream come true.

  • PS let me know if I can be any help in testing. I'm basically using my iPad to perform this way every day anyway.

  • Cool!

    Also just to clarify: this recording is in Loopy HD which is audio loops only, and not for MIDI playback

  • Absolutely interested, yes.

  • Roland fantoms can do that and called something like playback recording or so.

  • Could your workflow use midi recording? You might try ThumbJam
    Which has extensive midi bindings if I’m not mistaken or Infinite looper (Which is a little fiddlier in the interface at least)

    If not these then there’s a midi recording AU3 coming soon.

  • There are also tools like beatlookup (or something like that) used by artists like Moldover with continnous buffer recording and playhead manipulation mixing an infinite tape loop recording/overdubbing/resampling and scratch techniques. Not directly the same but another approach for those who use Reaktor or Max (where Ableton get the libraries for its own)

  • Looperverse has this built-in, but it’s tricky to use. Plus the app never gets updated.

  • edited February 4

    I’m interested too :) the Ableton feature is called Capture, when you press on a button midi clips are automatically created with what you lastly played. No audio.

  • Couldn’t be this part of the upcoming Photon? @midiSequencer

  • A proper phrase looper for live looping and performance? Hell yeah!

    Only four things I hope the first version has:
    Ableton link
    User end midi channel control
    Allow for use with midi controllers either by iOS App or external hardware
    Direct integration with Audioshare

  • Good stuff @Hmtx

    Would love to see screenshots of the Loopy/ AB3 & MD layouts used.

    Cheers for this.

  • @supadom said:
    Couldn’t be this part of the upcoming Photon? @midiSequencer

    Cool idea. Would be a nice feature for sure.

  • @jmarshallgtl it could be a mode for the AUv3 version of GTL...

  • edited February 4

    hello everyone!

    OK, this sounds like a tool people would use, I'll get to work on:

    • screenshots (coming soon)
    • full explanation (for anyone who wants to build this themselves)
    • Audiobus session (ready to load up in Audiobus and build your live set around it)
  • @SMKArtist said:
    A proper phrase looper for live looping and performance? Hell yeah!

    Only four things I hope the first version has:
    Ableton link
    User end midi channel control
    Allow for use with midi controllers either by iOS App or external hardware
    Direct integration with Audioshare

    :smiley: I can do all these but AudioShare. Loopy doesn't have any automated way to copy tracks out to Audioshare

  • Maybe a Lemur template that automatically controls Loopy HD and has some manual controls too? Should be doable.

  • edited February 4

    @rs2000 said:
    Maybe a Lemur template [...]

    MIDI Designer Pro, Lemur, MidiFire, TouchOSC, maybe others too. They could all be set up to do this. You just need a master toggle button that will send several specific MIDI messages to Loopy all at once.

    I found MIDI Designer to be really easy to program on the iPad, so I've never used any of the other options.

  • @Hmtx said:

    @rs2000 said:
    Maybe a Lemur template [...]

    MIDI Designer Pro, Lemur, MidiFire, TouchOSC, maybe others too. They could all be set up to do this. You just need a master toggle button that will send several specific MIDI messages to Loopy all at once.

    I found MIDI Designer to be really easy to program on the iPad, so I've never used any of the other options.

    Considering your naming, and you mention MDP, have you seen Dan’s video of this idea? I’ve hacked a few things in the past because I HATE the paradigm of hitting a button when you know you want to loop... that’s fine for those chorus/verse people that lack imagination and spontaneity 😜, but when you’re in the middle of a freeform jazz exploration (Tap rules!) you wanna say, yea, that was good...

    In my attempts, it was always a buffer loop or delay with zero feedback,pre set to say 2 bars. So it had that as a limitation. The trick was to have one control toggle off mute from buffer loop, send that to the real looper.

    But for some reason, it never worked or felt like it worked how I had it in my head.

    I can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with and try it out!

  • edited February 4

    I'll keep ya posted @MonkeyDrummer

    and yep, credit goes to Dan from MIDI Designer. thanks Dan! He made this video 5 years ago, he is so ahead of the curve.

    [disclaimer: i don't think Dan's video really adds to the iOS discussion as its more about setting it up in Ableton and doesn't apply to how to use MIDI Designer in this situation with Loopy]

    but if you want to make this sort of thing in Ableton, take a look:

  • @Hmtx said:
    I'll keep ya posted @MonkeyDrummer

    and yep, credit goes to Dan from MIDI Designer. thanks Dan! He made this video 5 years ago, he is so ahead of the curve.

    [disclaimer: i don't think Dan's video really adds to the iOS discussion as its more about setting it up in Ableton and doesn't apply to how to use MIDI Designer in this situation with Loopy]

    but if you want to make this sort of thing in Ableton, take a look:

    Yea, I could never get his approach to work the way I wanted in iOS. But I mostly tried to do it in AUM with delays. Never really thought to use Loopy as essentially a really long delay! That's kind of an eye-opening thought path there! And I see that Loopy can do loop fade which is really just feedback in delay terms... Shit man, you may have poked something! :)

  • edited February 5

    @MonkeyDrummer said:
    Never really thought to use Loopy as essentially a really long delay! That's kind of an eye-opening thought path there!

    Totally another topic for another day, but Loopy’s overdub/ feedback/ decay settings can actually function as a live delay effect. I’ve had a ton of fun with that one. ;-)

  • Whoa.

    Dude.

    Whoa.

  • I can’t believe it. This is actually going to work!

    Test 1 demo:

    Sorry for the sound quality, but what you are seeing is the insta-replay control in MIDI Designer enabling and disabling a 4 beat phrase in Loopy.

  • Making some more progress tonight

  • edited February 6

    I had a decent session testing this out last night and... well, I do think of my iOS music as a sort of game and with this looper working properly my music is very much changed. :#

  • Pretty freakin’ cool.
    B)

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