If you’re a fan of loop compositing instruments like Ultraloop from Twisted Tools, that run multiple loops at once, and provide a pattern sequencer to A, B, C, D, and so on through, to provide new loop possibilities, you’re about to be really excited. Properloop, from ShiftedRadio.com provides up to 10 loop playback slots that run simultaneously, while a pattern sequencer randomly, or sequentially plays snippets of each sample loop. In this article, let’s explore Properloop together and see if this truly will add some new, cool, beat-making spice to your life.
A Proper Introduction
This could be your new friend. It might just be mine. I love loop playback devices that composite multiple loops, like Properloop because of their ability to continually spit out new loops, from old loops. However, until recently, I didn’t have one that was Max for Live based. I had to load up Reaktor... which, I love, but why not keep it native, right?
Properloop comes along and makes my life that much closer to completion. It sports a killer step sequencer that jogs between the playback of 10 up to ten different loops and provides a serious set of effects that will make both musician and DJ alike grin like little school girls.
A Proper Investigation
Obliging the small, plain, black and white loop slots, within Properloop’s interface, I drop a sample loop in, almost wincing as I anticipate some kind of irritating message about a codec I have to install, or some nonsense. Thankfully, I am only given the pleasure of seeing a small waveform, bearing a striking resemblance to a certain loop that I just selected. And, trying some of the button presses that were shown in one of the best sounding, small developer walkthroughs that I think I have ever heard (seriously, you don’t hear birds chirping in the background, along with a ceiling fan), I find myself seriously jamming out.
Next, I started adding effects in the same way I was shown by John Bender in the walkthrough. And, they sound just as good as they do on the video. In fact, because they are my loops, the effects sound twice as good. It ends up turning into one of those 30–40 minute long jam sessions that was originally meant to be like 15 minutes.
The FX strip features all of the DJ/Glitch happy effects you’d expect. There’s, of course, Bit Crush, Stutter, a nice state variable Filter, a separate Comb Filter, a Delay and a Reverb. And, the best part is that they sound great and have enough original attitude of their own, rather than sounding like the generic versions of these effects that are on everything.
Both Filters actually have a really nice sound, and each filter has its own independent LFO that can run independently, or with the host clock. The Comb Filter is especially fun, with technically two LFOs. Set them both to Random waveforms, pull the Dry/Wet down, and your synth track is covered!
The Bitcrush has some serious balls, with a hint of analog warmth that I can’t quite explain. It sounds good, and really brings out the industrial in a track, if you know what I mean.
Apart from the effects and loop capability, the sequencer, it should be noted, has a ton of randomization features. Enough to get something very good coming out of your speakers, with very little work. This is quite rare for a device that comes with no documentation, no 1.2 GB of sample loops, and no 15 minutes of installation time. You can randomize the number of steps, step length, direction, rows, and several other thoughtful options. This really is a first-class device going for a price that should probably be a little higher. If you don’t have it yet and you’re a Max for Live DJ, or Musician, jump on it!
Pros: Slick loop composite/playback device with awesome effects and loads of randomization possibilities. Great walkthrough video.
Cons: Missing tips and descriptions for Information panel in Ableton Live.