Archive for August, 2008

Introduction to Sooperlooper

Sooperlooper is a live looping sampler. It’s a great program! The main idea is to record and loop different audio samples in parallel. Already saved audio files can be loaded and looped as well. Many different features for recording or synchronizing make it a toy for long hours of playing around with. It interfaces with the jack audio connection kit, comes with ubuntu linux and, obviously, is free to download, copy and alter (GPL V2.0). Compiling the source is not as easy on ubuntu platforms (due to some package problems), I might post on that later.

Running slgui (the user interface comes separated from the actual looping server) a window opens with one (empty) stereo loop device and the jack master output (which is the input plus all active loops) is opened.

sooperlooper main window

sooperlooper main window

The main functions to start with are the record button, trigger, overdub and mute.  When recording is started the input is piped to that loop and recorded. Pressing record again the loop is played back (and looped) from the beginning.  Overdub starts recording over what is played back, mixing both together with a ratio defined by the “feedback” bar. When muted “trig” starts looping the sample, whereas “once” stops playback (of that loop) after the first round.These few functions give already a lot of fun. Using “undo” and “redo” to the left one can play happily with the first loop.

All this is nicely done when using a MIDI keyboard. In the preferences  one can make sooperlooper to “learn” MIDI events for different commands. With vkeybd (post) I arranged the main functions on the keys from 1-5 for the first loop and the rows below for others.  A detailed description of all functions is found on the website.

More loops can be opened and synchronized, more on that in a later post.

live audio effects – creox

For real time audio effects I found creox (website) to be a stable solution. It consists of 5 different effects (Phaser, Flanger, Echo, Tremolo, Distortion) which can be dis- and enabled in different orders of connection. Presets can be saved, although not changed (as of version 0.2.2rc2). Instead one has to save a changed set under a new name. Unfortunately it doesn’t have MIDI control so one has to click or change focus – strike key, which is a bit awkward in live situations. But the presets window can be detached from the main window.

When creox is set into play mode (SPACE key) it opens up one stereo jack input and one output port. Via the jack control it can be connected to any other jack port.

Concerning stability: starting up is the critical phase to my experiences. After setting creox into play mode it sometimes dies. But if it survives, then it is usually stable. I tried jackrack (website) as well, which is a more professional effect station for LADSPA effects, but it seems to be less stable. Since jackrack includes MIDI control it should be worth fiddling around with it. Maybe compiling it on my system helps or my hardware (about) is just to weak…??? Any comments/experiences appreciated.