Drawing features from a number of patches (Tesserae, JohannLooper), Loop Flux arranges four loopers, which can either be configured in an overlapping. quadrature arrangement or given randomly varying lengths to create rich beds of looped sound. Each of the four loops can be individually pitch-shifted, reversed, or muted.
Along with the core arrangement of loopers, there are a number of features to add texture and space to the sound:
First, pre-looper, the signal passes through a bit crusher and an aliaser, which can be employed to create lo-fi/tape texture. The loops themselves can also be modulated to provide vibrato, with options for a (slightly swung) sine, random value, or a sum of the two. Finally, the loops passes through a low-pass filter to shape the tone.
Before the low-pass filter, the loops also pass through a panning stage. There are two panning options: one uses a shift register to continuously cycle the loops around the stereo space; the other employs random panning for a less predictable outcome.
To further shape the sound, the loops have an envelope control, which ranges from (nearly square) to sine, smoothing off some of the transition artifacts from the recording process and allowing for different textures.
The sum total is an effect that does everything from weird rotary and tremolo sounds, to pitch-shifting and reversed signals, to quasi-tape splices and degraded audio snippets, to complex beds of shifting loops.
The effected signal path is summed to mono before returning to stereo (thanks to the panning stage); the dry path is stereo throughout.
A special thanks to my patrons on Patreon for their support: Rob Flax, Stepan Grammatik, brockstar, Mats Unnerholm, D Sing, Will Scott, drew batchelor, Miguel, Steve Bragg, Joab Eastley, Tomi Kokki, Mitch Lantz, Ben Norland, Daniel Morris, Roman Jakobej, Mark Crosbie, Steve Codling, Timothy Cleary, Soren Made, Ken Luke, Mike Ryan, Vilis Klavins, and Nick!
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Let’s look at controls!
Left, latching — toggles modulation on and off
Middle, latching — toggles between shift register-based panning and random panning
Bit depth — controls the bit crusher
Aliaser frequency — controls the aliaser’s frequency
LP freq — controls the low-pass filter’s frequency
Envelope shape — at 1, this is almost a square-wave, with a very slight attack and decay phase; as you lower the value, the attack and decay stages grow longer; when the control passes below .250, the shape becomes fully sinusoidal and as you keep lowering it below .250, volume begins to drop (which may be useful for compensating for the bit crusher’s gain)
Envelope off — bypasses the envelope control; loops will play without any amplitude shaping
Random panning — a grid block that will grow brighter if random panning is selected (see stompswitches)
Pan spread — controls the width of the panning; at 0, no panning occurs; at 1, voices are panned across the greatest range; in shift register panning, negative numbers will change the direction of the pans; in random panning mode, negative numbers will act the same as positive numbers (controlling the width of the pan)
Mix — wet/dry mix
Loop variance — when set to 0, all loops are the same length and record sequentially; as the control is increased, the range of looped sounds becomes varied acrossed a wider and wider range
Loop length — when loop variance is set to 0, this sets the length of the loops, with higher values corresponding to shorter loops; when loop variance is above 0, this sets the maximum possible loop length
Mod on — a pixel that will light if modulation is active (see stompswitches)
Mod rate — sets the rate of the pitch modulation
Mod depth — sets the depth of the pitch modulation (this ranges from subtle to sea-sick)
Sine or random button — when off, the modulation is a (slightly swung) sine; when on, the modulation is a random value
Sine and random button — when off, the sine or random button determines mod shape; when on, it supercedes the ‘or’ option and uses a combination of the random and sine mod shapes
Status light — red means recording, green means playback
On — when on, the loop’s audio is heard; when off, the audio for that loop is muted
Pitch — bidirectional and unquantized; negative numbers decrease pitch/speed, positive numbers increase pitch/speed (some helpful settings: .1 is one octave, .2 is two octaves, .42 is a fourth, .58 is a fifth)
Reverse — reverses that loop’s playback