(continues from loop pedals introduction guide)
Nowadays everybody has a smartphone, and everybody know that they’ve become some kind of multi-tasking tool for a lot of our daily tasks.
But what about music? How can you use them beyond tabs and tuners/metronomes?
Actually, as a guitarist, you can use your mobile phone for recording your playing and therefore transform your device into a looper, even without a proper pedal or a loop station.
In this article we’ll see some apps that can simulate a loop pedal, but using a more portable device like your own smartphone and without having to use your pedals (that can be especially useful for acoustic guitar, for example).
LOOP PEDAL EMULATORS FOR YOUR PHONE
1. LOOPIFY (ANDROID)
We start with Loopify, a versatile app that despite being still in development (and available for downloads in early access version) is one of the most promising in this field: you have a nice amount of channels (4, 6, 8 or 9 different channels), with the possibily of merging more of these.
You also have some preset loop samples, and a metronome and countdown tool that can help you when you practice, helping you in training rhythmic and when you practice solos and riffs.
Another feature of this app is the presence of effects, that you can apply to input, outputs and in each channel, and you have:
- technical pedals (Gate, Compressor, Limiter and Filter)
You can also trim your loops and overdub them, saving the results as Mp4 or .wav and sharing them with friends.
In general, despite still being in development, this app is quite comprehensive and can give you some great tools, and is surely worth a try if you’re into loops and/or want to try something different.
2. LOOP PLAYER (ANDROID)
The Loop Player is a minimalistic app, quite straightforward and that can be used for other purposes beyond playing music (for example listening audio books and music).
This app allows you to record a song (or import it from your phone’s audio library and music) and let it play on a loop, helping you while you practice and play (it also has a “playback speed” feature that can be used for slowing the track if you’re playing it for the first times and want to approach a song with a slower tempo).
If you want a loop app – without any surplus stuff- then this app and its simple interface can be a good choice.
3. JAM LOOPER (iOS)
The Jam Looper App can record up to 4 tracks (8 in the paid version) and has a smart looping feature that makes it a great app for your playing (well, also for beatbox and beats, as well as vocal parts), and each track can be adjusted with the volume commands built in the app.
It has a good feature for exporting your tracks easily, and it has also effects that you can apply to your recordings, but only their paid versione of the app.
In general, this app is very intutive and easy to use, and can be good even if the quantity of tracks can be low for someone.
4. LOOPY HD( iOS)
The Loopy HD app is a multi-tool app that is premium (it has a 7 days free trial) but has a lot of different things:
- a live looper with overdubbit and editing options;
- a sampler
- a tool for clip launching;
- a scratchpad
- a sequencer and also an arranger;
- a mixer tool;
- an audio unit host, featuring built-in effects, synths and also many MIDI frequencers
- easy to use interface with widgets, different action systems and metronomes
This app has an initial price of 30$, with 12 months of updates included, and after those 12 months you can get the latest features with the “Upgrade” option for 19$.
It is definitely more costly compared to other options, but if you don’t want a simple looper but also a complete music toolbox then this can be a great app for your music production sessions.
5. FL MOBILE STUDIO (ANDROID – PAID)
FL MOBILE Studio is way more than a loop pedal, but despite being a premium app it can become your music production swissknife in your Android smartphone, as it can be used for audio recording and recording tracks as well as using presets and built-in effects.
You can also use a keyboard, synths, samplers, drum kits and beats, importing/exporting even with MIDI and exporting also in MP4, .wav, AAC*, FLAC, sharing songs with Wi-Fi with other devices or in the Cloud.
As said before, this is more for players that want a complete tool in their music productions and without having to search for a lot of different apps/devices for theis purpose.
CONCLUSION: MOBILE LOOP SIMULATORS FOR GUITARISTS
An app can be very useful, as we now take our smartphone everywhere thanks to their extremely wide usages, but using an app as a loop station emulator can have some downsides as well.
For example (and this is more of a common advice, rather than a downside) you usually have to use earphones while using them, because they can re-record your loops and make quite a mess, so in case you hear background noises and messy tracks you can try to record again without the phone’s speakers.
Another problem is that some Android devices can have some latency, that can be an issue in live playing, but if you want to use the apps just for recording tracks then you don’t have to worry, as latency can be a problem only if you need an instant feedback from your phone as you play (this problem is usually less common in Apple devices, that can be way better in live performances).