Introduction to Loopy Pro

From Loopy Pro Wiki

Welcome to Loopy Pro, the ultimate live-looper, sampler, and plugin host for iOS (and soon, macOS). Loopy Pro is designed to offer musicians, producers, and performers an intuitive and powerful tool for creating music on the go. Whether you are a solo artist, a band member, or a DJ, Loopy Pro provides all the features you need to produce high-quality loops and tracks.

Key Features

  • Live Looping: Record and layer multiple loops in real-time, perfect for live performances and spontaneous creation.
  • AUv3 Hosting: Integrate and use your favorite AUv3 plugins directly within Loopy Pro, expanding your creative possibilities.
  • MIDI Control: Full MIDI integration allows you to control Loopy Pro using external MIDI controllers, making it ideal for hands-free operation.
  • Customizable Interface: Tailor the interface to suit your workflow with customizable layouts and widgets.
  • Advanced Audio Routing: Route audio between different apps and devices seamlessly.

Getting Started

Starting with Loopy Pro is easy. Follow these steps to get up and running:

1. Download and Install:

2. Initial Setup:

  • Open Loopy Pro and grant any necessary permissions, such as access to your microphone.
  • Take the tour, and familiarize yourself with the interface, which includes the main screen, mixer, canvas editor, sequencer, and settings menus.

3. Creating Your First Loop:

  • Tap on an empty loop to start recording. Loopy Pro will begin capturing audio.
  • Tap the slot again to stop recording and play back your loop.
  • Repeat the process to layer additional loops and build your track.

4. Using AUv3 Plugins:

  • Open up the mixer screen, and tap on the "+" button to add an instrument audio unit to your project.
  • Expand the mixer and tap the "+" button in one of the effects sections to add an effect audio unit, either to one of the loop colours, the inputs, or the master output.
  • Select your desired AUv3 plugin from the list and configure its settings.

5. MIDI Configuration:

  • Connect your MIDI controller to your iPad via USB or Bluetooth.
  • Open the MIDI settings in Loopy Pro and map the controls to various functions, such as start/stop recording, changing loop lengths, and adjusting parameters.

6. Customise Your Project Layout:

  • Use the canvas editor to add or remove loops and one-shots, and add buttons, dials, sliders and other widgets to control your setup.

Learning Resources

To help you get the most out of Loopy Pro, several resources are available:

  • User Manual: Access the comprehensive online manual for detailed instructions and tips.
  • Tutorial Videos: Watch video tutorials created by the developer and other users on YouTube.
  • Community Support: Join the Loopy Pro Facebook and the Loopy Pro Discord for community support and discussions.
  • Feature Requests: Contribute to the development of Loopy Pro by submitting your feature requests on the Loopy Pro Roadmap.

Useful Operational Info

Useful information for getting up and running and information about some features you might want to know about:

  • Set Loop Lengths: Unsure how to set the lengths of loops you will record? This page should help.
  • Tempo Setting: Because the tempo is usually set by recording your first clip, no tempo is set when you first launch Loopy Pro or create a new document. If you plan to use a MIDI sequencer or AU that uses host tempo (for arpeggiation or delay times) before you record any loops, set the tempo in the tempo panel that you get by tapping on the tempo (which will be '--' when none has been set).
  • Count-In For First Loop: To have a count-in for the first loop, set a tempo in the tempo panel. Make sure that Count In Quantization is set to your desired count-in length. Make sure the metronome is on. There is also a Perform Count-In option in the global clock settings that performs a count-in when the transport button is used.
  • Copying and moving audio between clips: There are two ways to move/copy audio between clips: 1) drag/drop and 2) using the import/export icons in a clip's overview panel. The easiest way is to simply press on the source clip and drag to another clip to move the audio. To copy the audio, two-finger drag from one clip to another. You can start by using one-finger drag and place the second finger when ready to finish the copy. If the target clip already contains audio, the clips will be merged. To use the import/export method, show a clip's details windows, tap on the export icon and choose Copy. Show the clip details for the target clip, tap on the import icon and choose the clipboard as the source.
  • Idle Mode: A Loopy Pro innovation is idle mode. Loopy Pro frees up the CPU used by instruments and effects when it detects that they are idle and not being used. In many cases, this will allow you to have a set of synths and effects loaded that would bring other hosts to a halt. Normally, this happens seamlessly without your noticing. Instruments go idle when their channel is muted. Effects go idle when no signal is going through them. Disabling Idle Mode: There are times when you might not want an effect (particularly one that behaves as a synth or sampler or sequencer) to ever go idle. You can turn off the idling of that plugin by opening its window and long-pressing the On/Off/Idle label in the upper-right corner.
  • MIDI Mapping and Learning AU Parameters: MIDI map/learn AU effect parameters in Loopy Pro using the MIDI Control panel to add MIDI "bindings" to the effect parameters. This video demonstrates how.
  • Retrospective Looping: Loopy is always listening when the clock is running. When you turn on Retrospective Recording in the settings (it can be set in clip settings or color settings or for individual clips), tapping an empty clip will fill the clip with the previous cycle's audio. The amount of audio captured is determined by the master cycle length which you can set in the tempo/clock panel that pops up when you tap the tempo display. There are two retrospective modes, Quantized and Immediate. Quantized grabs the last complete cycle of audio. You have plenty of time after the cycle completes to tap a clip and capture a perfect loop. Immediate captures a cycle length of audio that ends at the moment you tap. If phase-lock is in, Immediate will "rotate" the captured audio to keep it phase-locked. A brief demonstration can be seen on YouTube.
  • Moving Projects Between the Standalone and AU Versions: Use the Loopy Pro standalone app's project browser to move projects between the Loopy Pro Folder and the Audio Unit Extension folder that appears in the project browser but which is not visible in the iOS file browser. See the Loopy Pro Manual for more information.
  • Sending MIDI To Loopy: When you send MIDI to Loopy Pro with virtual MIDI, use the Virtual MIDI In MIDI source to receive the MIDI.
  • Record on Press: Because release is more precisely detected than initial touch, Loopy normally uses the release moment to initiate recording. You put your finger down and remove it for very precise recording initiation. In the Gestures settings (accessed from the Clip Settings panel), you can turn on Record on Press in order for the initial touch to start recording. When this is on, actual recording starts immediately but the recording animation doesn’t start until the finger is removed.
  • Default Project and Templates: A project can be made a template by tapping the star icon in Loopy Pro’s save dialog. If there is only one template, it will be used when you choose New Project. If you want to use the factory default project in this situation, long-press New Project. If more than one project has been marked as a template, New Project pops up a list of the available templates. See Templates.

Requirements and Suggested Devices

OS requirement: iOS/iPadOS 12.0 or later

Suggested Hardware. Loopy Pro can run on any hardware that can run the required OS version. Loopy Pro can run well on some pretty ancient hardware if you are doing simple audio looping and don't need much in the way of AUv3 effects or synths.

What model iPad or iPhone you need depends on how you will be using Loopy. If you want to use a lot of synths/effects or synths/effects that are processor intensive, one needs a more capable iPad than if one is using fewer synths or less cpu-intensive synths or effects. Also, if one wants to run with effects and a very small buffer, a more powerful iPad helps (small buffers are more cpu-intensive).

For what it is worth, I use Loopy Pro on a 6th generation (they came out in 2018). I can use synths and effects but I am limited in the number of synths that can be running simultaneously and the number of CPU-intensive effects that can be on at the same time. The previous generation iPad is significantly less performant.

Supported Controllers

Any MIDI device or app with a virtual MIDI port can be used to send MIDI to Loopy.

Auto-Mapped Devices

Loopy Pro has built-in auto-mappings for some devices. Devices that are currently automapped are:

  • LaunchPad Pro MK3
  • LaunchPad X
  • LaunchPad Mini MK3 [not prior versions]
  • Akai APC-40 mk2
  • MIDI Fighter Twister

There was a report in July 2022 from someone on the Discord server that a LaunchPad Pro (original) worked with auto-mapping as well but that may not be accurate.

See also