Help Me Solution: iPad Sample/Loop Host with Clip-style Launching

Hello 'Nauts!

I am looking for a solution to a problem; I want to be able to host loops and trigger them to play from a MIDI controller. This would be very much like clips in Ableton. I am looking to add various rhythmic loops to my hardware setup. I no longer have my OT so I am looking to my iPad or a small formfactor computer running Ableton for a solution. Ideally, I would use the iPad.

For the iPad solution I have:

  • 11" iPad Pro 2nd Gen.
  • MIDI Fighter Twister
  • UR44C interface
  • USB-Type C hub w/ PD and a laptop charger to feed it power for passthrough

For the Ableton solution I have:

  • 6th Gen. Core i5 in a small form factor PC
  • UR44C interface
  • MIDI Fighter Twister
  • Ableton 10 Suite with a default project and clips mapped to launch from MIDI Fighter

Problems with iPad:

  • Can’t find or am unaware of an app that I can host loops in and trigger them to sync on beat/bar
  • Every program I seem to find seems to miss one critical feature that needs a swiss army knife solution to work

Problems with Abelton:

  • I have this configured headless. When the PC is powered on, it logs in automatically, runs Ableton and an Auto-hotkey script sets Ableton to external sync. If the interface is disconnected or something pops up that breaks the script I need to use either Duet Display on iPad which is flakey in Windows and doesn’t work anywhere near as smoothly as its Mac counterpart OR setup a WIFI hotspot and use a VNC viewer OR buy a small 7" portable touchscreen to connect.

So, the iPad would be the best solution as it gives me all sorts of synth possibilities as well. The purpose of the iPad is to play long atmospheric loops and textures in the background AND play beat/bar sync’ed loops like shakers and rhythmic stuff I can’t do in hardware (no longer have OT or a sample player).

So, what iPad stuff isn’t on my radar that can achieve the above goals?

Garageband’s Loops is a no-go because you can’t externally clock it. Loopy HD doesn’t seem to let me load external samples. Beatmaker 3’s Scenes might fit but are more snapshots of patterns and less of clip-style launching. I can trigger atmospheric loops without issue as they don’t need to be sync’ed but shakers/rhythmic loops would need a scene per loop and that is a lot of setup and planning.

Long-winded but appreciate your time to read and present options :slight_smile:

Looks like loopy should fit your criteria, or did I miss something ?

So it can! A bit clunky importing loops but this might actually do the trick! Testing today. :smiley:

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Yeah, it’s a shame Koala doesn’t do timed triggering but the guy explicitly said he doesn’t want to implement it because he wants it to be more of a performance experience (if I remember correctly). I get it but at the same time 🤷

Zenbeats has a clip/loop launcher similar to abletons and it hosts auv3s so plenty of effects options

Zenbeats is Roland’s subscription service?

Looks like Loopy HD will do what I want. It doesn’t do synchronized launching but it does start the loop with transport and you can toggle the mute. Should cover what I need though the Zenbeats solution with effects etc. would be nice.

If Zenbeats does the trick you could always host it in AUM and add as many FX as you like.

I think Zenbeats is free and the upgrade with zc1 presets and to use auv3s is ÂŁ9.99

I cant remember price as i got a free upgrade while back

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I suggest checking out this thread over at the Audiobus forum:

For this to work you’ll need 3 apps:

EGPulse (sampler that can time stretch and has individual Auv3 audio out to Aum mixer)
LK (clip launcher, clips can be midi mapped, was built to be a Live control surface at first, can now do midi)
Aum (app mixer with nice routing capability)

The only downside i can see in all this would be that Aum has to be the tempo master.

How about using AudioBus3 (instead of Aum) to host the other two. Does that solve the sync issue ? I think Audiobus 3 will sync the hosted apps via Ableton link, and will also sync to incoming midi ?

Agree with @Mat_Mat - LK sounds like what you’re looking for to match a clip based approach.

You can slave Audiobus to external midi indeed, but you can’t do multi out from EGPulse in Audiobus unfortunately.

It’s always limitations with iOS, personally I’d prefer to let AUM be master au have the multi out from EGPulse.

if all you need is basic playback with some effects, blocs wave and launchpad, but its pretty basic and considered toyish by some.

I’ve used it live as part of other stuff because its so simple and the clips were pre-prepared (not soundpacks).

Audiobus 3 hasn’t been terribly stable on iOS 14. Certainly not using audio interfaces. You can nest AUM inside of AB3 but it’s not my favorite solution. One of those “swiss army knife” scenarios I referred to above. I wish AUM would just code it to be MIDI follower. It’s such a brilliant host.

Loopy HD meets nearly all requirements for playing loops. It doesn’t do per track sync’ed starting but you can just have your loops muted and bring them up as needed. It’s sole purpose is to play a few rhymthmic loops over my hardware setup. It would just be nice to launch sync’ed loops like Ableton clips.

I’ll give Zenbeats a look as well as read up on the Audiobus thread. There’s a solution that’ll fit my needs for sure. :slight_smile:

I have a MIDI Fighter Twist so the controller is covered :slight_smile: No LP needed! And yes, it’s just for atmospheric loops (no sync’ed start required) and shaker loops that I compose in Ableton (require sync’ed start). I love shakers over top of my stuff but I have no means of doing it to the style I like with my hardware. I have a TR8S but I’m certainly not going to dedicate 3 tracks to sequence the different articulations needed for nice patterns :slight_smile:

Loopy can have 12 tracks per project. Honestly, when I can perform live I wouldn’t be doing more than 1.5 to 2 hours and 6 shakers/rhythm loops and 6 static/noise/atmospheric loops would be loads to add a layer to the hardware. I’ll take a look a Blocs Wave. Appreciate the suggestion!

theres plenty of midi to link apps:

AUM will send midi clock if you dont mind your hardware being the slaves, which is how I run it now, but I am looking at the circuit happy clock:

Dat price doe :confused:

The tempo master one is a big issue for me. I don’t want the entire hardware side of things to be beholden to the stability of an iPad app. Going to try this setup regardless as the EGPulse setup looks like it would do precisely what I want. I have a MIDI Fighter Twister in lieu of an LP but it would server the same purpose. 64 note values spread across 4 pages. Also 64 encoders so I can modulate effects parameters should I choose to use any.

I could nest AUM in AB3 or try to see if AB3 stability has improved. As of the last update, it hadn’t though.

I tried Midi Link Sync and found it diabolically poor for my use case. Could not get it to provide a stable link tempo from external midi. Your mileage may vary. It’s very inexpensive, however, from memory.

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I have MIDILinkSync and sadly, it doesn’t support Link Start/Stop. It’s fine for sync’ing tempo but not transport.

I tell you, when AUM finally drops external sync I’ll be the happiest cat in town!

I also have an ERM-Multiclock so I’m set for clocking devices. I can live without Ableton link baked into it :slight_smile:

Launchpad is an app, not the device:

(does integrate with the LP device…unmappable to any other device so you would have to trigger clips on the ipad)