Loop collage — a six-layer overdubbing looper and remixer

Loop collage allows you to “overdub” by syncing six individual loopers; the layers of the loop can be multiples or divisions of the original loop (or you can freely record unquantized loops).

The layers can also be recorded over, allowing for a redo functionality (no undo; sorry, didn’t want to mess with the overdub function of the looper just to gain access to the reset button).

Once the layers are recorded, they can be pitched, reversed, and muted. And if you want to stop there — fine, this patch is a perfectly functional utility looper, with a feature a lot of people want.

But there’s a lot more: inspired by musique concrete, I really wanted something where I could take loops and create montages with them, so there are a number of additional features that remix the loops in predictable and unpredictable ways.

You can select the loop density, which will determine randomly how many layers are playing at that time, based on clock divisions. Or you can modulate the play back with a number of waveforms: rather than modulating the loops themselves, this modulation determines which loop is heard, allowing you to build rhythmic patterns from the loops. These two features can be used in conjunction with one another as well, and each can be individually divided based on the master clock.

There’s also a tremolo, because it was easy to add a tremolo.

The patch passes audio in stereo, but the loops are summed to mono, and their output is dual mono.

Here’s an example of an early version of the patch being used to create a rhythmic montage (I had been listening to a lot of Steve Reich): https://soundcloud.com/chmjacques/treter


Left, latching — record a loop; for the first loop, which sets the base clock, the recording will begin and end when the stompswitch is released; for subsequent loops, which are based on the clock established by the first loop, the stompswitch will release once the next clock has been reached

Middle, momentary — select which loop to record; when a layer is recorded, it will automatically cycle to the next layer but you can move back to re-record the layer if you’re unhappy with it (redo)

Right — unquantized recording — if you want to get a little less predictable with the remixing features, you can record unquantized loops (not tied to the clock)

A note about recording:

Once the master loop is recorded in the first track, if you want the subsequent loops to be synced to this time, you need to wait for the pixel in the top right corner to begin beating in time with the loop. This may take a few passes; be patient; practice your overdub. (I ran out of CPU, but it’s something I’ll try to improve on in any subsequent reivisions.)

In its default, the looper will record in multiples of the master clock. However, there is a clock divider (it has been *starred*) which will allow you to record in different clock divisions of the master loop length. Using this, you can create quite evolving but related patterns, if you want.

Front page:

Loop controls:

Each loop has is own column with an indicator of its nature, a pitch control, a reverse button, and an “on” button (when “off” the loop layer is muted). Additionally, each of the indicators (a UI button) can restart playback of the loop and open that loops VCA (so, if all of the loops are muted, you can use these buttons to manually control playback — yet another remixing option!)

There are two additional controls that determine how loops are recorded:

At the top, next to the timing pixel, there is an “Immediate rec” button: What this means is that you can begin recording, without having to wait for the master clock to return to its starting position. Provided you have waited for the pixel to begin flashing in time, these layers will be synced to the master clock, regardless of when they begin.

In the bottom right, there is a white button: “MIDI clock.” This will cause the initial layer to be recorded in time with an incoming MIDI clock. Note, however, that all subsequent layers will be recorded in time with the internal clocking set when the initial layer is recorded.

There is also a control to set “Loop level.” This is a master volume control for all the loops.

Remixing controls:

Loop density: Using the *starred* clock divider as its clock, each loop has a random chance of playing. When the density is set at 1 (default), all of the loops play. When it is set at 0, none of the loops play. Between represent random chances that any given loop will play during that clock cycle. You can bypass density, rather than setting density to 0, if you want to use the modulation controls.

Modulation: First, when you start the patch, tap the waveform select UI. This will “wake up” the sequencer which selects between the waveforms. The waveforms modulate which loop is being played, with options for random, ramp, triangle, and sawtooth. When ramp is selected, loop 1 will play, then 2, then 3, etc. There is a clock divider on the front page that allows you to set the clock division of the modulation. By selecting clock divisions that are at odds with the number of loops, such as 7/3, you can create very interesting patterns. The currently selected layer (using the middle stompswitch) sets the depth of the modulation.

Loop density and modulation can be used in conjunction with one another as well.

Finally, there is a tremolo.

I figured I already had a selectable LFO. So this uses the same LFO used to modulate replay, but if you just want to add a tremolo to your loops, the option is there and can be a quite nice way to add a bit of movement.

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  • Modified: 3 weeks ago
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