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Using Loopy Pro as a DAW? With Midi sequencing? And Automation?

edited March 11 in Loopy Pro

I’ve been looking into the possibility of using Loopy Pro as my main DAW. For me it’s basically just missing midi donuts, timeline automation, and multi out for AU audio sources.

So I’ve been working with ‘dummy’ donuts, a bit like dummy clips in Ableton Live (or so I’m told! I’ve never used Ableton myself). I’m using their play and stop follow actions to launch/stop and change pattern on 3 different atom 2 instances.
The blue donuts use a similar system, but are triggering hammerhead patterns for the drums.

For automation, I setup slider widgets for anything I wanted to automate, then used the same follow actions on the donuts to set initial values, using the ramp feature to slide to the values I want. It’s a little limited, but the action queuing system in Loopy allows you to do some fairly intricate automations.

All I do is press play at the start of this video. The Loopy timeline sequencer does the rest. By attaching everything to donuts, you can then use the sequencer to arrange your song. This is a very simple track, but with more dummy donuts and tracks you could do a lot more.

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Comments

  • Interesting workaround, greg! I currently export audio stems to BM3 to manage automation. Good thing is that full, native automation is on the roadmap, can’t wait ;)

  • @wawelt said:
    Interesting workaround, greg! I currently export audio stems to BM3 to manage automation. Good thing is that full, native automation is on the roadmap, can’t wait ;)

    Yep I can’t wait either! ☺️

    Midi donuts are on the way too apparently. It’s just such a great environment to work in.

  • This is awesome! Thanks for sharing your workflow—gives me ideas!

  • edited March 11

    Beautiful!
    Do you think it to be an ‘acceptable’ workflow or is it ‘too much work(around)’ for something that should be much simpler/more direct?

  • @prtr_jan said:
    Beautiful!
    Do you think it to be an ‘acceptable’ workflow or is it ‘too much work(around)’ for something that should be much simpler/more direct?

    Admittedly, it’s a bit of a faff, but acceptable to me in the knowledge that native midi sequencing and automation is on the road map ( @Michael 😉 ). I’ve been using AUM as a DAW with many workarounds for a while now, so my acceptable bar is pretty low!

    There’s also some benefits - you get a performance surface to play with, and you can record the donuts bit of your performance live to the sequencer. You of course get all the lovely audio looping and other loopy functionality too, and I find it a great environment for quickly recording ideas.
    I actually prefer the mixer and midi routing in Loopy compared to AUM, especially on iPhone, but I do miss that auv3 multi out support for mixing drums!

  • @gregsmith said:

    @prtr_jan said:
    Beautiful!
    Do you think it to be an ‘acceptable’ workflow or is it ‘too much work(around)’ for something that should be much simpler/more direct?

    Admittedly, it’s a bit of a faff, but acceptable to me in the knowledge that native midi sequencing and automation is on the road map ( @Michael 😉 ). I’ve been using AUM as a DAW with many workarounds for a while now, so my acceptable bar is pretty low!

    There’s also some benefits - you get a performance surface to play with, and you can record the donuts bit of your performance live to the sequencer. You of course get all the lovely audio looping and other loopy functionality too, and I find it a great environment for quickly recording ideas.
    I actually prefer the mixer and midi routing in Loopy compared to AUM, especially on iPhone, but I do miss that auv3 multi out support for mixing drums!

    Thank you!
    For now I am using Xequence 2 to sequence both the doughnuts (after MIDI learning them) and do the other MIDI sequence stuff. I quite like it but off course it also lacks in ‘wanted directness’ since you have to switch between Loopy and Xequence. One additional reason for me is that Loopy’s sequencer does not seem fully reliable and editable yet…

  • @prtr_jan said:

    @gregsmith said:

    @prtr_jan said:
    Beautiful!
    Do you think it to be an ‘acceptable’ workflow or is it ‘too much work(around)’ for something that should be much simpler/more direct?

    Admittedly, it’s a bit of a faff, but acceptable to me in the knowledge that native midi sequencing and automation is on the road map ( @Michael 😉 ). I’ve been using AUM as a DAW with many workarounds for a while now, so my acceptable bar is pretty low!

    There’s also some benefits - you get a performance surface to play with, and you can record the donuts bit of your performance live to the sequencer. You of course get all the lovely audio looping and other loopy functionality too, and I find it a great environment for quickly recording ideas.
    I actually prefer the mixer and midi routing in Loopy compared to AUM, especially on iPhone, but I do miss that auv3 multi out support for mixing drums!

    Thank you!
    For now I am using Xequence 2 to sequence both the doughnuts (after MIDI learning them) and do the other MIDI sequence stuff. I quite like it but off course it also lacks in ‘wanted directness’ since you have to switch between Loopy and Xequence. One additional reason for me is that Loopy’s sequencer does not seem fully reliable and editable yet…

    (if only Xequence’s MIDIfreedom and Loopy’s audiofreedom would merge :)

  • @prtr_jan said:

    @gregsmith said:

    @prtr_jan said:
    Beautiful!
    Do you think it to be an ‘acceptable’ workflow or is it ‘too much work(around)’ for something that should be much simpler/more direct?

    Admittedly, it’s a bit of a faff, but acceptable to me in the knowledge that native midi sequencing and automation is on the road map ( @Michael 😉 ). I’ve been using AUM as a DAW with many workarounds for a while now, so my acceptable bar is pretty low!

    There’s also some benefits - you get a performance surface to play with, and you can record the donuts bit of your performance live to the sequencer. You of course get all the lovely audio looping and other loopy functionality too, and I find it a great environment for quickly recording ideas.
    I actually prefer the mixer and midi routing in Loopy compared to AUM, especially on iPhone, but I do miss that auv3 multi out support for mixing drums!

    Thank you!
    For now I am using Xequence 2 to sequence both the doughnuts (after MIDI learning them) and do the other MIDI sequence stuff. I quite like it but off course it also lacks in ‘wanted directness’ since you have to switch between Loopy and Xequence. One additional reason for me is that Loopy’s sequencer does not seem fully reliable and editable yet…

    I used to use Xequence with AUM and Audiobus for a while and loved it, but always felt that disconnect too from switching apps. When Atom2 came out, I made the switch to just AUM, which was even better when the wonderful LK came out. (That piano roll editor in Xequence though 🤤)

    I did have some minor issues with the Loopy sequencer, but it seems pretty rock solid now. Once all the midi bits are hooked up and you just have to focus on the donuts and sliders, it’s really fun to play with.

  • @prtr_jan said:

    @gregsmith said:

    @prtr_jan said:
    Beautiful!
    Do you think it to be an ‘acceptable’ workflow or is it ‘too much work(around)’ for something that should be much simpler/more direct?

    Admittedly, it’s a bit of a faff, but acceptable to me in the knowledge that native midi sequencing and automation is on the road map ( @Michael 😉 ). I’ve been using AUM as a DAW with many workarounds for a while now, so my acceptable bar is pretty low!

    There’s also some benefits - you get a performance surface to play with, and you can record the donuts bit of your performance live to the sequencer. You of course get all the lovely audio looping and other loopy functionality too, and I find it a great environment for quickly recording ideas.
    I actually prefer the mixer and midi routing in Loopy compared to AUM, especially on iPhone, but I do miss that auv3 multi out support for mixing drums!

    Thank you!
    For now I am using Xequence 2 to sequence both the doughnuts (after MIDI learning them) and do the other MIDI sequence stuff. I quite like it but off course it also lacks in ‘wanted directness’ since you have to switch between Loopy and Xequence. One additional reason for me is that Loopy’s sequencer does not seem fully reliable and editable yet…

    Please make sure to report issues you encounter in Loopy’s sequencer to @Michael or in a post here or on the Discord server. It probably helps issues get prioritized if people report problems they encounter.

  • @espiegel123 said:

    @prtr_jan said:

    @gregsmith said:

    @prtr_jan said:
    Beautiful!
    Do you think it to be an ‘acceptable’ workflow or is it ‘too much work(around)’ for something that should be much simpler/more direct?

    Admittedly, it’s a bit of a faff, but acceptable to me in the knowledge that native midi sequencing and automation is on the road map ( @Michael 😉 ). I’ve been using AUM as a DAW with many workarounds for a while now, so my acceptable bar is pretty low!

    There’s also some benefits - you get a performance surface to play with, and you can record the donuts bit of your performance live to the sequencer. You of course get all the lovely audio looping and other loopy functionality too, and I find it a great environment for quickly recording ideas.
    I actually prefer the mixer and midi routing in Loopy compared to AUM, especially on iPhone, but I do miss that auv3 multi out support for mixing drums!

    Thank you!
    For now I am using Xequence 2 to sequence both the doughnuts (after MIDI learning them) and do the other MIDI sequence stuff. I quite like it but off course it also lacks in ‘wanted directness’ since you have to switch between Loopy and Xequence. One additional reason for me is that Loopy’s sequencer does not seem fully reliable and editable yet…

    Please make sure to report issues you encounter in Loopy’s sequencer to @Michael or in a post here or on the Discord server. It probably helps issues get prioritized if people report problems they encounter.

    I remember doing it on slack. Will check..

  • I also use Loopy pro as a daw.
    But instead of using slider to automate, I use Lk for the timeline both for notes and automation
    To assign midi mapping I use midi tool’s midi route.
    I think this is the simplest solution to use loopy as daw.
    The only thing I miss is au multi out and audio sidechain.

  • @Jeezs said:
    I also use Loopy pro as a daw.
    But instead of using slider to automate, I use Lk for the timeline both for notes and automation
    To assign midi mapping I use midi tool’s midi route.
    I think this is the simplest solution to use loopy as daw.
    The only thing I miss is au multi out and audio sidechain.

    This is what I do in AUM and it’s great. I love LK. The automation is definitely more capable.

    I did find myself craving a timeline though!

  • I also mainly still work in AUM
    Because of the difficulty to map internal midi source without using midi route and the lack of multi out.
    Hope loopy pro handle this soon.

  • I’ve been considering Loopy Pro as an iOS version of Ableton’s session view, to use for building loops which I can then arrange in Ableton itself.

    I think I just need to spend the time to come up with a template, but every time I launch LP I get distracted making music 😀

  • @Jeezs said:
    I also mainly still work in AUM
    Because of the difficulty to map internal midi source without using midi route and the lack of multi out.
    Hope loopy pro handle this soon.

    I find the midi routing in loopy is great. What do you use midi route for? I’ve heard other people using similar workarounds but I’ve never needed to for some reason, so don’t know what I’m doing different?

  • @gregsmith said:

    @Jeezs said:
    I also mainly still work in AUM
    Because of the difficulty to map internal midi source without using midi route and the lack of multi out.
    Hope loopy pro handle this soon.

    I find the midi routing in loopy is great. What do you use midi route for? I’ve heard other people using similar workarounds but I’ve never needed to for some reason, so don’t know what I’m doing different?

    @Jeezs said:
    I also use Loopy pro as a daw.
    But instead of using slider to automate, I use Lk for the timeline both for notes and automation
    To assign midi mapping I use midi tool’s midi route.
    I think this is the simplest solution to use loopy as daw.
    The only thing I miss is au multi out and audio sidechain.

    I’m also wondering why you need midi route in Loopy. Is it because you can’t map auv3 midi to Loopy actions?

  • @tahiche said:

    I’m also wondering why you need midi route in Loopy. Is it because you can’t map auv3 midi to Loopy actions?

    Yes, it's the only way with miRack to map midi to Loopy prop.
    Dunno why @Michael doesn't allow it, may be there's some technical issues.

  • @Jeezs said:

    @tahiche said:

    I’m also wondering why you need midi route in Loopy. Is it because you can’t map auv3 midi to Loopy actions?

    Yes, it's the only way with miRack to map midi to Loopy prop.
    Dunno why @Michael doesn't allow it, may be there's some technical issues.

    It is on the roadmap.

  • @gregsmith said:

    I’ve been looking into the possibility of using Loopy Pro as my main DAW. For me it’s basically just missing midi donuts, timeline automation, and multi out for AU audio sources.

    So I’ve been working with ‘dummy’ donuts, a bit like dummy clips in Ableton Live (or so I’m told! I’ve never used Ableton myself). I’m using their play and stop follow actions to launch/stop and change pattern on 3 different atom 2 instances.
    The blue donuts use a similar system, but are triggering hammerhead patterns for the drums.

    For automation, I setup slider widgets for anything I wanted to automate, then used the same follow actions on the donuts to set initial values, using the ramp feature to slide to the values I want. It’s a little limited, but the action queuing system in Loopy allows you to do some fairly intricate automations.

    All I do is press play at the start of this video. The Loopy timeline sequencer does the rest. By attaching everything to donuts, you can then use the sequencer to arrange your song. This is a very simple track, but with more dummy donuts and tracks you could do a lot more.

    Thanks for demonstrating! I’d been thinking about how to do a similar thing myself. I’ll have to revisit it on the weekend.

  • edited March 13

    I really hope we DO NOT GET MIDI timelines, but real midi donuts like in patterning, but with trigs. @Michael <3

  • @jollyDodger said:
    I really hope we DO NOT GET MIDI timelines, but real midi donuts like in patterning, but with trigs. @Michael <3

    +1

  • @Jeezs said:

    @jollyDodger said:
    I really hope we DO NOT GET MIDI timelines, but real midi donuts like in patterning, but with trigs. @Michael <3

    +1

    I don’t have patterning. What’s the difference?

  • edited March 13

    This is what a 18 step midi sequence donut loop looks like in patterning with modulation control sliders.

  • edited March 13

    @jollyDodger said:

    This is what a 16 step midi sequence donut looks like in patterning with modulation control

    Very cool and would suit loopy very well!

    Is it good for melodies and chords as well as drum patterns? Maybe we could have these AND piano roll donuts @Michael 😜

  • edited March 13

    My crazy request would be to keep the focus on live looping (midi) rather that a full daw. And with notes it guesses the scale mode(like the deluge), you set the root note and then you can trig midi filters to do normal stuff like velocity mods, probability and x-of-x loops, as well as extra musical midi filtering like shift an octave, chorus, inverse a chord, common tri-chords, arpeggios, gates, key change.. etc. (like a NDLR/squarp)

    i.e. the original loop is played live, not pre-programmed. Loopy has allways been super
    popular with practiced musicians for this reason.
    🔥🔥🔥

  • @jollyDodger said:
    My crazy request would be to keep the focus on live looping (midi) rather that a full daw. And with notes it guesses the scale mode(like the deluge), you set the root note and then you can trig midi filters to do normal stuff like velocity mods, probability and x-of-x loops, as well as extra musical midi filtering like shift an octave, chorus, inverse a chord, common tri-chords, arpeggios, gates, key change.. etc. (like a NDLR/squarp)

    i.e. the original loop is played live, not pre-programmed. Loopy has allways been super
    popular with practiced musicians for this reason.
    🔥🔥🔥

    That all sounds great, but we can have both!

  • @jollyDodger said:
    I really hope we DO NOT GET MIDI timelines, but real midi donuts like in patterning, but with trigs. @Michael <3

    I hope donuts simply record and playback accurate midi and editing not done donut style. Patterning is great for drums and simple step sequences. It isn’t good for capturing instrument performances or polyphony.

  • edited March 14

    @espiegel123 said:

    I hope donuts simply record and playback accurate midi and editing not done donut style. Patterning is great for drums and simple step sequences. It isn’t good for capturing instrument performances or polyphony.

    It’s not editing of midi notes that I’m proposing in a patterning style donut, but modulation, trigs and filtering. If I want to edit notes beyond velocity I would want to use a fully featured DAW, and definitely not live while I’m looping.

  • Today I tried dummy donuts group for switching patterns in atom2. Switching is working great (by sending midi PC to atom via follow action -> Send midi Message to target ; or by direct attach parameter „pattern” to fallow action in donuts).

    But I meet a problem: when I trigger clips, say yellow 1 play, and then immediately (without stop first clip) I trigger yellow 2, both are groupped with option to play only one at time, atom is stopped sometimes because clip yellow 1 is stopped when yellow 2 is triggered. This is huge problem, atom should stay in launch enabled, since yellow is still playing, only donut is different but color still is playing.

    I tried to use yellow group SETTINGS: even If always one of yellow clip is playing, atom sometimes disables launch button. And this occur randomly. Sometimes i can change clips and they play different patterns, but often pattern change, but launch button in atom come as disabled.

    @gregsmith do you meet such problem?

  • @szczyp said:
    Today I tried dummy donuts group for switching patterns in atom2. Switching is working great (by sending midi PC to atom via follow action -> Send midi Message to target ; or by direct attach parameter „pattern” to fallow action in donuts).

    But I meet a problem: when I trigger clips, say yellow 1 play, and then immediately (without stop first clip) I trigger yellow 2, both are groupped with option to play only one at time, atom is stopped sometimes because clip yellow 1 is stopped when yellow 2 is triggered. This is huge problem, atom should stay in launch enabled, since yellow is still playing, only donut is different but color still is playing.

    I tried to use yellow group SETTINGS: even If always one of yellow clip is playing, atom sometimes disables launch button. And this occur randomly. Sometimes i can change clips and they play different patterns, but often pattern change, but launch button in atom come as disabled.

    @gregsmith do you meet such problem?

    Something to know is that follow actions don't happen in the real-time thread so there can be up to 40ms (if I remember correctly) of uncertainty. Also, there is a recently reported bug that if triggers for one a time loops come in very close to each other (i think it is on the order of within 1/16th of a beat) that both clips will trigger.

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