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Re: Loopy 2 critical feedback

> Great work on Loopy2... I concur with the others on design, looks very 
> nice, as does your site.. for my day-job, my interface design is 
> somewhat simerlar to yours...

Thanks heaps, Mark!

> Recording first loop is great no problems... now for me, hitting with 2 
> fingers for overdub was a bit tricky, as I hav big fat fingers, and 
> sometimes it registered as a one finger, and muted. I suggest keeping 
> the circular radar indicator, useful and cool, but increasing the hit 
> area to a boxed area around each circle. you have at lease 5 mm either 
> side and thats a huge increase of space in which to hit. 

Ahh yes, the 2-finger gesture - this is something I've struggled with for 
a long time, trying to find a good solution. I tried various other 
arragements and gestures, but everything else that I thought of had bigger 

It occurs to me just now that perhaps a viable solution might be to assign 
control schemes, depending on how you use the app. Perhaps an 'overdub 
prime' mode, where you hold to bring up the track menu, then tap an option 
to toggle arming. Armed, a tap punches in/out. Not armed, tap 
mutes/unmutes. It basically trades gesture simplicity for a slightly 
longer control route to switch modes.

Another option is to reverse the gestures, so tap punches, 2-tap mutes.

Or, perhaps I could replace the loop delete gesture (flick down), with 
mute. So flick down once to mute. Flick down again while muted, the delete 
confirmation shows. Flick up while muted, the track unmutes. A little 
unwieldy for some, though.

Incidentally, the hit area for the 2-tap is the entire screen surface - it 
just triggers the closest track to the midpoint between fingers. The only 
thing is that there's a threshold distance between fingers, beyond which 
the geature's interpreted as two concurrent single taps (so you can 
mute/unmute two tracks at once). Perhaps the threshold needs adjusting?

> I didnt like that to multiply I had to hit a second time before the 2 
> fingered hit for overdub. I would rather have multiple loop overdub as 
> the default and have a one or two fingered hit to close the multiplying 
> overdub. (maybe you thought that was dangerous?)

I suspect we may have different concepts of the multiply function, or I 
misunderstand you - currently, all the clock manipulation controls (x, /, 
+, -, and 1) do is adjust the length of the master clock, which serves as 
the template length for *new* loops.  It doesn't actually modify existing 
loops, as the idea is that you're left with loops that can be different 
lengths, even across overdubbing.

So, to take an existing, say, 2 bar loop and overdub 4 bars onto it, you'd 
multiply the clock to 4 bars, then record on a new loop, then optionally 
drag the new loop onto the other one to end up with a 4 bar composite.

The alternative is to have the multiply/etc controls affect the 'selected' 
loop, but that introduces an entire new modality that I'm not particularly 
comfortable with, as I think it would clutter the interface and introduce 
significant complexity.

> I thought that the slightly dimmed loop-dot was too subtle an indicator 
> that the track was muted... go for red overlay on the whole radar 
> circle... then I have an overview of whats I have to unmute with one 
> glance.

A fair point - I'll have a play with the design. Perhaps dim the track 

> (UNDO IS COMING RIGHT? Not shaking please... what if its mounted on 
> somthing, or if you shake accidentaly.. remember were musicians... 
> moving mi ass!)

Oh, yes indeed =) Actually, I'm quite excited with the plan for this - 
you'll be able to flick through each loop's history by flicking left 
(back/undo) and right (forward/redo) on the track, and the selected 
version plays live. So aside from undoing mistakes, you can use it to, for 
example, build up a loop then progressively pull the layers back off (and 
put them on again). Or, record once, delete and record again, and be able 
to flick between multiple takes.

> Now being able to multiply is one thing, but inserting and deleting and 
> replacing are the next step here... 
> Personally I would skip insert, but you need to be able to delete and 
> replace. 
> Both of these functions should be available in unquantised and quantised 
> versions. now really to delete or replace (just to clarify, a replace is 
> a kind of delete where you are recording new material while deleting the 
> original) one needs very accurate control over WHEN you do this, because 
> you often want to take out a tiny click or fart sound that ies somehwere 
> in your loop, and to do that a quick touch on and release off would be 
> best however that gesture you already use for record and mute (ok not 
> exactly). maybe you can ARM delete/replace with a button to change your 
> gesture from mute to delete.

Not being a looper myself (or intimately familiar with the terms), I'm 
afraid I'm going to sound a bit dense. But, it sounds like replace is 
similar to the decay/feedback overdub mode I'm planning, but with a fade 
duration of 1 loop (and same with delete, but without making any sound). 
I'm hoping that'll be adequate (maybe with a control scheme setting that 
lets you trigger record by holding the track, I guess).

My goal is to provide useful functionality without cluttering up the 
interface with 10000 buttons, so it requires a ruthless refusal to 
implement some things, and a fair bit of creative interface design to make 
stuff available but not oppressive. So, forgive me if I sound dismissive 
of anything =)

> the quantise/unquantise feature is important. As finger technique on the 
> iphone is iffy, its unlikely that you can be beat acurate with your 
> clicking... but by forcing your deletes or replaces to divisions of the 
> beat (8ths 16th) you open up for some cool in synch glitchy rhythm 
> stuff... This feature I have yet to see on any iphone looper app yet... 
> so how would this work?
> OK the unquantised replace works, as just said, by you touching and the 
> recording starts and when you release it ends.
> The quantised version works by choosing the quantise division (or lack 
> of )  NONE, 3, 4, 5, 8 and16 should be MORE than enough, then as you 
> finger hits the recording waits til the next division of the beat, as 
> you release, it again waits til it reaches the next division of the 
> beat. so a quick hit, would add one segment.

I think this should be fairly easy to make work. Actually, the quantise 
functionality you describe (I call it 'count in/out', because it's 
normally used for multiple-bar durations) is already in Loopy 2, but 
instead of hold/release to trigger, it's tap toggled.

One possibility to make this work is to use the track menu to activate an 
'overdub touch pad' on the track, which incorporates a hittable area you 
hold to overdub, and a quantise duration setting. So, to do a glitchy 
quantised replace, you'd activate overdub decay mode with a fade delay of 
1 (via the track menu), then bring up the track touch pad, set the 
quantise duration and hammer away (to 'delete', you'd just be silent). 
What do you think?

> By the way, I found a bug, it seems to function a bit wrong after it has 
> been closed and then re-opened. I needed to properly close the app (long 
> press, click the red dot) for it to work properly...

Interesting. Could you be more specific on what goes wrong?

> For now that ends my report, but you should also take some inspiration 
> from (if you havent already, which I think you have matey) from Proloop 
> from Autodesk. The feature of being able to use one loop to modify 
> another via ring modulation is awesome... 
> As it stands, tis a great tool, but probaly most of use to the vocal 
> looper... the 2 fingers thing is the biggest drawback because it 
> immediately makes it a TWO HANDED looper, and if you are playing an 
> instrument, (one handed instrument).. but with it mounted on something, 
> it becomes more possible.

Thanks heaps for the feedback, Mark, it's been most interesting. I'll have 
a think about what I can do better for instrument-bearing loopers. And 
I'll have a peek at Proloop (which I haven't taken a look at yet, actually)

I can't promise I'll implement the other stuff (because I want the app to 
remain available to general audiences, as well as the hardcore, 
button-lovin' types), but I'll most definitely have a think about what I 
can do.

Thanks again!