Whoa. Ringleader over on the Loopy forum made an incredible suggestion I wanted to share with you verbatim:

Maybe a sequencer track type that could be added as an option on the design screen just like any other track? Maybe include both a “live” and more manual “step” way of configuring the sequence.

It would be cool if the sequencer track(s) could be pre-configured and saved in a song’s session template, then live record the audio to the same track locations as set in the sequence, so the main song format is all pre-set but all of the audio is still recorded live per performance.

Or choose to put the entire song on rails where you use one midi button to step through all of the pre-set sequenced steps which would take care of all the track managing for you! Or maybe this is all already possible in the new binding configuration you’ve already developed…

…and then the pièce de résistance:

If the sequence track behaved like any other track type and is located on the workspace, then it could use other track options (such as having a group of sequencer tracks where only one plays at a time) and be easily accessible and provide some live automation control for people who don’t use midi bindings.

Since Loopy MPE is now essentially a multi-channel/track DAW, and tracks aren’t all being combined and dumped into a stereo output, having the tracks sequenced would allow you to build song parts separately on different tracks and have them play back as added/removed musical layers. Add the shaker and layered vocals to the last chorus only. Add that quirky ambient intro guitar solo behind the second verse but not the first. A sequence could make this type of stuff easy to do in a live setting without tap dancing and greatly remove the number of buttons required on a midi controller, while still providing a level of spontaneity that baked pre-recorded tracks do not.

Regarding the other control options (faders) you are planning to add to the workspace, maybe those could be automated too so that effects could also be controlled by the sequence. The sequencer track could be the solution that takes live looping to an entirely new level – allowing one to focus more on the performance and audience instead of managing the looper. Powerful stuff!

How cool would that be? A gold freakin’ star to Ringleader.

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Here’s a look at my many failed attempts to figure out audio routing in Masterpiece. Tricky business! Feedback welcome.

I mentioned Sebastian Dittmann; he’s @dittsn on Twitter.

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Here’re some of my favourite new suggestions from people:

  • Tristan Maduro proposed clip-based automation (which are stored and play back with the loop, as opposed to on the global timeline).
  • Lushr proposed iterative, looping takes, where you continually record over and over, and then pick the best takes from those recordings.
  • Oliver proposed on-screen controls to send MIDI CCs out to other devices and apps.
  • Cimon and CPRophy suggested effects that feed back into track input, for some twisted track degeneration.

I’ve also had heaps of requests for loop slicing and manipulation, which sounds cool. Might need to be a separate app, though (although with iOS 8’s extensions, it’d integrate really nicely).

Finally, my favourite entreaties have been to maintain Loopy’s usability and simplicity in Masterpiece. People have complimented the ease of use factor in Loopy, and a few have emailed me to urge caution; not to overcomplicate. That’s priority number one for me: there’s no point having a tool with a billion widgets, wodgets and thromdimulators if it’s a chore to use.

I’ve asked those voices of restraint to help keep me in check during this design stage, a request which goes for you guys too! I do have a tendency to run headlong into complexity, as you’ll see from my rather catastrophic audio routing mockups next week, so I’d appreciate the feedback in the weeks to come. Be brutal (lord knows, Sebastian will be ;-)).

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Right! Now you’re up to speed – here’s the final introductory walkthrough. Next week, I’m putting you lot to work! Stick around!

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Here’s the second part of this week’s walkthrough! What d’you think?

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First walkthrough: App overview and design mode.

Come back tomorrow for more.

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Wow. Some great suggestions coming in already! I have a big Evernote document full of notes.

Some of my favourites:

  • Larry Seyer over on the Loopy forum suggested putting together a bunch of pre-configured templates to match the functionality of existing looper hardware, to make transitioning over to Loopy really easy.
  • I’ve heard a number of variations on the theme of loop splicing: Tobias Rauck (a.k.a. obiwahnkentobi) proposed splitting loops into segments and muting/unmuting each segment, and even time-offsetting them. That was echoed by Tickletiger on the AB forum, who proposed a ‘cake cutter’ interface which splits loops into equal pieces, then lets you slide them in and out to adjust amplitude, or even remove them altogether, time-stretching the other slices to fit.
  • I’ve also heard a really good suggestion by Oliver Imseng about audio quantisation with transient analysis and warp markers.
  • Wally over on the Loopy forum wrote a good summary of the two kinds of track groupings that folks are going to want to use.

Keep it coming!

More for you tomorrow.

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The journey begins. Stay tuned.

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