Loopy Live Looper for iPhone and iPad Audiobus Record Length Trigger

2013-10-19 17.11.12

[Alchemy Mobile Studio + Loopy HD]

Live Looping app Loopy/Loopy HD allows you to change the duration of the loop you’re about to record using the bottom button in the Audiobus connection panel shown in the picture above. This is great because you can change loop durations on the fly in other apps. However, it doesn’t work with all apps…

…only supported in apps that are running an updated version of the Audiobus SDK (it’s a new feature of Audiobus: animated triggers). So, some apps that haven’t been updated in a while won’t show it. Hopefully that number will diminish over time, as they need to update to be iOS 7 compatible anyway!

Michael Tyson – Loopy Developer

This makes improvising with Loopy much easier, as you don’t have to constantly switch back to Loopy, and hunt through it’s settings panel, to change the duration of the loop you’re about to record – a common task when performing with loopers. This has made it difficult to use the app, but now that it’s not necessary I can see the iPhone becoming a legitimate portable looping platform for guitarists - which is crazy because you can literallyperform, anywhere. Live loopers are like instrument on their own – it takes some practice to be able to use the controls fast enough, and record your loops at the same time, but you really can perform with Loopy!

I’ve also found that this works with JamUp Pro, NLog MIDI Synth, Cassini for iPhone, and Modular Synthesizer.

Loopy for iPhone:

Loopy HD for iPhone and iPad:

Use MIDI Designer Accelerometer to Control Synth Parameters

Here’s a cheaper (if you already own an iPhone) alternative to something like this

This is a super fun way to perform / control different parameters in Ableton/whatever DAW you use. It’d be cool to take this live, however the latency (caused by WiFi, not the app) concerns me. Wifi is generally a bad medium for MIDI as there are so many other things that could be go through your network to slow it down. However the thing about Wifi is that a LOT of the latency has to do with the extra hop to the router. If you do an ad-hoc network, it’s mostly awesome. Latency is possible, but it’s almost never noticeable unless you have a large amount of interference. Hopefully we’ll see full Bluetooth MIDI arrive on iOS soon, in the meantime, this is still a pretty neat way to jam with your iPhone.

To set it up, add a control in MIDI Designer and double tap it to open its settings, go to Advanced tab > Accelerometer:

MIDI Designer iPhone App Accelerometer 3d midi fighter post

Assign a parameter in the synth you’re controlling to X and Y. You can also pick upside up or upside down to control up to 4 parameters – flip your iPhone upside down and you’ve got the other 2 controls. The accelerometer in the iPhone has pretty darn impressive precision, I’ve gotten some good results.

See Also:

Virtual MIDI & Use With Other Apps - With Virtual MIDI, you can control parameters inside other synthesizer apps using Virtual MIDI learn.

Street Performing With Your iOS Device – Guitarists, Keyboardists, Synthesists

If you think about it, your iPad or iPhone is the perfect street performer companion. Guitarists, you’ve got loads of amps and effect pedals on your phone with JamUp Pro XT – and a Audiobus to stream your guitar into a looper like Loopy HD (both highly recommended apps). If you’re a keyboardist, you’ve got unlimited sound possibilities from all of the synthesizer and sampler apps like BeatMaker 2 and Magellan, all on a super portable device you can take with you anywhere. There’s no need to bring expensive keyboards or amps, all of the sound can come from your iOS device, and your gear (amplifiers aside - solution) can be powered by your iOS device – even with your iPhone! Here’s a guide to the some apps and gear you can use to start perform with your iOS device on the go!

Note: On iOS 7, you can connect USB gear to your iPhone via the Lightning USB adapter OR with the iPad Camera Connection Kit + Lightning -> 30 pin adapter. If you have an iPhone with a 30 pin port, you can directly connect the iPad CCK as well. See this tread on the iOS Musician Forum to see what gear readers have successfully/unsuccessfully connected to their iPhones without needing a powered USB hub.


Roland Cube Street


The Roland Cube street is a battery powered (6 x AA, maximum 15-hour continuous use) portable amplifier ideal for the job. It has dual-channel architecture with guitar/instrument and microphone/line inputs, and a stereo aux in for plugging in an iOS device.

Portable, iOS Device Powered Keyboards

M-Audio Oxygen 49


This is a pretty large sized keyboard that can be powered by just your iPhone or iPad. A 61 key version is also available but I do not own one so I can not confirm (can you?) that it works with out a powered USB hub. Anyway, thanks to MIDI Learn, you could connect MIDI controllers and assign knobs inside your synth apps to the knobs on your controller to improvise with. If you play guitar too, loop your guitar and tweak a synth over it.

iPad Stands

If you need to use your iPad while you’re performing, an iPhone/iPad stand might not be a bad idea:

iPad – Tablet Adjustable Stand
Talent iCLaw Mic or Music Stand Holder for iPad

Pocket Lab Works iRiffPort Guitar Interface

I recommend this guitar interface over others because it has an attached guitar cable – one less piece of gear to cary around. Also: the iRiffPort also has an extra headphone output on the end that plugs into your guitar which is GREAT for practicing with headphones on as you don’t need to constantly be hunch over your iPad.

IK Multimedia BlueBoard / AirTurn BT-105 / BT-104


These Bluetooth pedal boards are great. Especially for street performers – no wires. You can assign the pedals to control different things in Loopy and JamUp via MIDI. If you already have a MIDI din pedal board, check out the iRig Pro. It’s a audio (guitar + XLR) and MIDI din interface for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Your MIDI controller may require an external power source, nothing a portable power supply can’t fix.

iPad Camera Connection Kit / Thunderbolt > USB Adapter

ipad usb lightningbolt port

Keyboardists, connect USB MIDI keyboards or MIDI Din gear via USB DIN adapters. If you’d like to connect a MIDI controller as well as a guitar, check out check out the iRig MIDI Interface from IK Multimedia. With it you can connect a MIDI DIN controller as well as a guitar/XLR input. Ideal for connecting a MIDI foot pedal board to control your guitar guitar effects / a looper app…..


JamUp Pro XT 

First of all, JamUp has the best tone available on iOS. No questions asked. You can assign it’s amps and FX to the pedals on the AirTurn / BlueBoard / Core MIDI compatible pedal board.


If your pedalboard has an expression pedal, you can assign it to the output volume, wah pedal, and pitch shifter FX. You can also switch presets, control JamUps built in tempo clock, sampler, and music player (from the built in music app):

jamup midi control

Loopy  & Loopy HD

If you’re looking to loop your guitar in your performance look no further than Loopy HD (review). Paired with Audiobus, you can stream your guitar into Loopy and improvise over your recorded loops. Clock synth Loopy with a drum machine app like Funkbox and now you’ve got drums, too. Loop some guitars and have a jam session over a drum beat!

You can also assign the pedals on the AirTurn to control Loopy for hands free control over the app…




Street Performing Tips

Street Performing is all about location and having a clever act, if you’re in the right place at the right time doing something that makes your audience smile, like, say, looping your guitar and sequencing drumbeats all on your iPad to improvise / sing over, your audience will practically throw money at you. Another great thing you can do is talk to other performers to see where/when they’ve had/haven’t had success. Good luck!

Inter-App Audio

Inter-App Audio has arrived! You can find a list of compatible apps here.

iConnectMIDI 2+ Connects The iOS And Desktop Production Worlds

Your iOS and desktop production worlds are about to get closer. Have you ever wished that you could continue using that cool synth patch you came up with on your train ride home in your desktop DAW because you don’t want to finish the entire track on your iPad, but realized there’s no VST equivalent to the your synth app? Well, now you can continue using the app with your desktop DAW in the highest audio audio quality thanks to…

iConnectMIDI audio passThru

More on Audio passThru Technology here. Oh ya, it’s a MIDI interface as well so you’ll be able to connect your MIDI controllers too. How amazing is that? Finally, iOS and desktop are united – it will almost be as if your music apps will turn into desktop VSTs!

Video: Live App Mixing With Auria – Even Closer To VSTs On iOS

This video from John Walden of The Music App Blog shows how you can really use VST like apps in the Audiobus effects slot. I made a similar video using BeatMaker 2 in the output for effects, but with Auria you can send Auria, into anoher app, and then back into Auria! Awesome!

Auria for iPad on the
Auria LE for iPad on the
AudioReverb for iPhone and iPad on the

Zivix PUC: WiFi MIDI iOS Solution

MIDI on iOS, is now wireless, if you’re under a WiFi connection - it would be great to see a similar product using Bluetooth. WiFi is nice, but being able to take your use external gear in other places would be even better. The PUC does only a MIDI DIN connection, so you might need a DIN to USB adapter, but problem with on the go music making with external MIDI gear has mostly been with what goes into your device.

Thanks to reader DJ for pointing out that the PUC only supports out, and reader Ryan for pointing out that it does not power USB MIDI keyboards.

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