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EuanGMason

A good looping option if you have an Amplifi

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I recently purchased an Amplifi 150 with a shortboard controller, and after resolving a teething problem I am very happy with it. The range of tones is amazing, but you know this already. Anyway, I was initially disappointed not to have an on-board looper, but the USB socket came to the rescue. I connected my iPad via USB using an iPad camera adapter which comes with a USB socket. I had already been playing around with "Loopy", which is the best looper available for iPads and iPhones IMHO. Anyway, the short story is that no fancy setup is required. Loopy can immediately communicate in BOTH directions with an Amplifi after you plug in the cable. You can lay down a loop, then it will play back through your Amplifi while you lay down other tracks, and then you can sing & jam with your loops, switching sounds on the fly, with all the sounds of previous loops retained just as you want them. Loops can be of different lengths, so long as they are correct multiples of each other. All loops can be saved for later on your iPad.

 

This is by far the best option for looping with an Amplifi that I have found. I guess if you had a commercial looper with a footswitch that communicated via the USB then then that might be better, but for the minuscule cost of Loopy I'll put up with the need to place my finger on the screen to begin recording another track. Loopy gracefully allows you to foreshadow a recording track and it starts recording when the other loops come to the beginning.

 

Enjoy.

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If you want to control Loopy with a pedal such as a Beat Buddy, then so long as your pedal has a midi sync output you can.

Install "Midi bridge" on your iPad.

Connect a powered USB hub to your iPad using the USB socket that comes with the camera adapter, then plug in both the Amplifi and the Beat Buddy to the hub. You'll need the midi cable that is an option for your Beat Buddy and a midi to serial converter such as a Roland UM-1. Make sure the UM-1 is switched to "passive".

In Midi Bridge, make a connection from the UM-1 to Loopy.

In Loopy go to "settings", then "control inputs", and link both the UM-1 "start" and "stop" to "pause and restart" Loopy. Loopy will wait for a signal, so start the Beat Buddy, then use its stomp pedal to stop it. Stop Loopy, then press the Beat Buddy stomp to activate a start, make the link in Loopy by choosing "pause and restart", then save the binding, and do the same for a stop by pressing the stomp again, choosing "pause and restart" in Loopy and saving the binding. Loopy will remember this setup when you next start it up.

Now when you start a beat from the Beat Buddy Loopy will start playing after the beat intro and stay in time so long as the beats per minute and time signature are the same for both Loopy and the Beat Buddy. When the Beat Buddy stops, Loopy will stop. When you restart they'll be in sync. If, when you first get going, starting the Beat Buddy causes Loopy to stop, then stop the Beat Buddy, stop Loopy using the screen control and from then on everything will work properly. Loopy saves all time signature settings when you save a song, and so getting everything going again is easy.

You can have the Beat Buddy playing through a different Amp or into the stereo input of the beat buddy. Loopy records anything playing through the main input of your Amplifi but neither other loops nor other inputs.

Reading back over these instructions it seems complicated in prose, but it's all very logical and I didn't have to play around much to get the setttings right when I first connected everything up.

Enjoy your setup, and may the musical fairies grant you marvellous licks.

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Hey, this is amazing! I was thinking about buying a Spider Jam amp because I was ant looping and recording but this makes me want to try this idea with an Amplifi or Spider V 30 (think it'll work with that?).

 

Do you have a video of you doing this?

 

And are you saying that if I have a clean guitar setting on Amplifi and record my first loop on Loopy it will retain those settings, then for my second Loopy loop change Amplifi to distorted, Loopy will record the 2nd loop with distortion?

 

I.e., you. Can have a bunch of Loopy loops with all sorts of effects from Amplifi?

 

And if I record 6 tracks, they all play back through the amp? I could make a 6 part guitar song (each using different effects from the amp) and Amplifi would play them all back at one time?

 

Ie, Loopy is just like a pedal looper, except better because it works both ways via USB and grabs the effects of the amp?

 

If so ... awesome!

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Loopy records whatever effects you had on the first take. After that, Loopy behaves just like a backing input to the Amplifi. The USB connection means that it all works ligically, but you can't add effects after recording. All loops can be saved, which is nice, so you can prepare many numbers in your studio for a live performance.

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Yes, Loopy plays back all six tracks, and the tracks can even be played over different lengths. If your bass track loops over 4 bars, but your rhythm guitar loops over 8, 12 or 16, Loopy can handle that, so long as all other tracks are an integer multiple of the smallest loop.

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I can confirm that this is truly a great way to use loopy. You can select between the 4 amp presets (or change on the app via Bluetooth) to record different effects for different loops.

 

I have just bought Positive Grid's BT-4 midi foot pedal to control some of loopy's functions. You can actually do this with any cheap Bluetooth keyboard, and assign keys to functions like tap tempo, turning on/off the metronome. I find this easier than swiping through the weird menu system.

 

Does anyone know of any other amps that allow this 2 way communication between Ipad and Amp (Both a recording out and the ability to play the ipad's audio through the amp speaker.  Would the Spider V have this same option?

 

I find the inability to change/add FX on the AMPLIFI quite limiting. 

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I use Reaper, Amplifi TT as my sound card, Cool for playing over backing tracks off youtube etc...  also

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Hi Euan. Thank you for the article. I have just purchased Loopy and I’m not sure how to set up the USB connection that you mention. 

I have a chord with USB on one end and the other end will plug into my iPad.  I’m not sure where to plug the USB end into. Into as I don’t see a USB port on the back of my AMPLIFI 75. 

Your help would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Cheers, Tony 

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