Software Looping Programs (Standalone, VST, etc)

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Other resources:

Looping Tool Comparison Chart (Per Boysen)
Looping Tools (Looper's Delight)

Program Compatibility (OS) Format Description Price
Mobius PC/Windows Standalone or VST Mobius is a program for the real-time creation and manipulation of audio loops. It has functionality based on the venerable Echoplex Digital Pro with Loop IV software. It is not a complete emulation, but it does implement many of the Loop IV features, as well as a number of useful new features. Mobius is essentially 8 synchronized stereo EDP's with the ability to copy loops and timing between them. Extensive MIDI and computer keyboard control is available. Audio content may be saved to and loaded from files. Free
Livid Looper PC/Windows, MAC Standalone (also open source in max/msp) Free of charge and open source, Livid Looper was designed in Cycling 74's Max 5 visual programming environment. Users of Max 5 will have complete access to all the workings of the software to extend and change it as they wish. We hope you share your changes and ideas! Livid Looper is an Open Source software.
Free
Ableton Live PC/Windows, Mac Standalone Ableton Live 6 is the revolutionary music production software that allows you to spontaneously compose, record, remix, improvise and edit your musical ideas in a seamless audio/MIDI environment. Winner of countless industry awards, Live integrates loop-based and linear production methodologies—including unique virtual instruments and effects—together in a single interface for unparalleled creative freedom. New features in Live 6 include Movie Import, Deep Freeze editing technology, multicore/multiprocessor support, new and improved Ableton Devices, project management tools, and a comprehensive collection of instruments sampled at supreme fidelity. Live 6 is a complete music production system and also works perfectly with Pro Tools M-Powered. If you haven't experienced Live 6, you owe it to yourself to see what all the buzz is about. Your music will never be the same.
$500 US
SooperLooper Linux and Mac OS X, and any other platforms that support JACK Standalone SooperLooper is a live looping sampler capable of immediate loop recording, overdubbing, multiplying, reversing and more. It allows for multiple simultaneous multi-channel loops limited only by your computer's available memory. The feature-set and operation was inspired by the impressive Gibson Echoplex Digital Pro (EDP). When used with a low-latency audio configuration SooperLooper is capable of truly realtime live performance looping.

The application is a standalone JACK client with an engine controllable via OSC and MIDI. It also includes a GUI which communicates with the engine via OSC (even over a network) for user-friendly control on a desktop. However, this kind of live performance looping tool is most effectively used via hardware (midi footpedals, etc) and the engine can be run standalone on a computer without a monitor.

SooperLooper is currently supported on Linux and Mac OS X, and any other platforms that support JACK. The OS X package is usable with at least the 0.6 release of JACK OS X. Note that for OS X Tiger, you'll need to get at least version 0.7 of JACK-OSX.

Free (donation requested)
         
ELOTTRONIX XL PC/Windows VST VST plugin which emulates the famous Robert Fripp's effect called "Frippertronics": two Revox B-77 making a continuous loop. This enhanced version adds many new features: 80 seconds maximum
delay, Delay and LFO Pan now syncable to host, Biquad X filters, Tape noise generator...
Free
ELOTTRONIX PC/Windows VST VST processor which emulates the famous Robert Fripp's effect called "Frippertronics": Two Revox B-77 making a continuous loop
(2-8 seconds delay).
Free
Lexicon PSP 42 PC/Windows, Mac VST, DirectX, RTAS for PC; VST and RTAS for Mac OS classic and AudioUnit, VST, RTAS and HTDM for Mac OSX)

Lexicon PSP 42 is high-quality digital stereo delay and phrase sampler plug-in (VST, DirectX RTAS for PC; VST and RTAS for Mac OS classic and AudioUnit, VST, RTAS and HTDM for Mac OSX) based on the legendary Lexicon PCM 42 processor famous for its distinctive sound and unique concept. Lexicon PSP 42 has been carefully designed to accurately reproduce the flexibility and warmth of this renowned classic. This has been accomplished by incorporating precise tape saturation algorithm and a delay line operating with variable sampling rate which simulates physical properties of vintage tape machine delays. The plug-in has been designed with consideration to preserve maximum signal quality at every processing stage.

The Lexicon PSP 42 is capable of generating wide variety of delay-based effects ranging from tempo-locked feedback delay with high frequency absorption and tape saturation to flanging and phasing effects.
A flexible modulation section for continuous delay time and pitch control allows the user to add subtle animation or swing to the processed signal as well as to create unpredictable, alien sounds when pushed to its limits.
The freely adjustable delay line sampling frequency makes Lexicon PSP 42 a good tool for creating low-fi effects that sound smooth thanks to the superior characteristics of employed interpolation algorithm. Close attention has been paid to make the unit operate without audible clicks or pops.

PSP is the sole developer and manufacturer of the Lexicon PSP 42. Functionality and sound of the Lexicon PSP 42 have been approved by Lexicon. PSP is responsible for all customer support.

$149 US
Augustus Loop Power PC, Mac AU, VST Augustus Loop is an emulation of a tape-based delay effect, with some extra features to facilitate its use as a looping device. (If you're unfamiliar with the concept/genre of looping, pay a visit to www.loopers-delight.com).
The key features of Augustus Loop that make it more than just a big delay effect are:
  • Really long maximum delay (3600 seconds - that's one hour).
  • Tap length/tap record. You can set the loop delay time while recording your first phrase.
  • Virtual tape.
  • Multimode filter and saturation in the feedback loop.
  • Four feedback
  • Pitch and filter LFOs.
    Loop length can be set in terms of the host's tempo setting.
  • The plug-in can output MIDI clock messages to synchronise other applications to its loop.
$29 US
Loopy Llama PC/Windows, Mac VST It's a looper... Made to emulate the Jam Man or DL-4 - but also generate a click track so it could be used with a drummer live. It is designed to work with Plogue Bidule for live performance, but it can be used as a regular VST plugin as well.
The idea came after seeing a few Joseph Arthur and Howie Day shows...the things those guys can do with looping was facinating to me. But as they both gained popularity they played with full bands and left their experiments with looping behind them....there was no way for them to start a loop and have the drummer stay in time. 2 years later I finished the Loopy Llama. I've used it with drummers, but mostly for solo acoustic and vocal looping and as an interesting reverse effect for recordings.

It performs just like many looper hardware units on the market, but with a maximum loop time of 60 seconds. Experienced loopers will recognize "endpoints" mode - where you hit the record button to start recording, and again at the end of the loop. In the other 3 record modes, you determine the tempo before you play by entering it or tapping it in onscreen or with any MIDI foot controller. Once the tempo is set you no longer have to worry about hitting the record button precisely on a downbeat.

You can play along to the click track and turn recording on and off whenever you want. You can set the number of measures to loop using a program change or onscreen. In endpoints mode this means how many clicks the metronome will make during the loop you made. If you are recording, hitting reset once will "forget" what you played for one pass of a loop - so if you hit a wrong note you don't have to start over. If it not recording or you hit the reset button twice it will completely reset.

Free (donation recommended)
Ambiloop PC/Windows Standalone Ambiloop is a Windows software application that uses your sound card to create smoothly overlapping loops of sound in real-time.

How Does it Work?

Ambiloop basically functions like a multi-track endless audio tape loop or digital delay box with feedback. Simply set the desired loop time for a track (or use manual mode to set loop times on-the-fly) and press the record button. Incoming audio is recorded in real time for the length of the loop. Recording continues seamlessly as the loop repeats and the previously recorded audio begins playing back at a volume set by the feedback control. Or just grab a single loop on the fly with the Insert Record feature. Ambiloop will play up to eight tracks simultaneously. Loops can be slowed to half speed or played backwards and a multimode filter is available for non-destructive, realtime filtering. Loop begin and end points can also be edited non-destructively. See the features page for more features and information.
Free
AngstroLooper PC/Windows VST AngstroLooper is effectively a rediculously long delay, it partly emulates an old style tape loop system – but rather than trying to model something that it isn't, AngstroLooper is designed to be easy to use tool on a laptop while playing live.

Free (donation recommended)
Musolomo Mac AU

Musolomo lets you capture sound in an instant and play it back how you want it, looping, changing it's melody, rhythm and organisation. An unparalleled performance instrument or remix tool!

  • Sample, copy, and erase without the need to look at a computer screen.
  • Peripheral vision feedback design (the flashing border)
  • Record and play sync before and after play and record!
  • Revolutionary Digi Skip technology, allowing time-jumping
    Speedster inspired technology for timestretching to
    host tempo, re-pitching
  • Legato, Bo, Scratchet, tape speed and (the cool) Freeze
    Autolooper allowing very easy on-the-fly loop making
  • Play through modes great for 'break-downs'
  • Handy in-built help screen
  • MIDI-assignable
Free
Coldcutter PC/Windows VST The Coldcutter is a VST 2.0 plugin. The Coldcutter is designed to chop a loop into a number of slices or 'cuts' and rearranges them randomly in real-time according to a number of parameters. The current version of the Coldcutter was primarily designed for use with Ableton Live 1.5 but works with Cubase. It has undergone preliminary testing on Cubase VST 5.0 R4 and Cubase SX 1.01 on Windows 2000. Any information about compatibility problems with other hosts or versions of Windows gratefully received.

Free
Loopitch PC/Windows DXi2, VST Loopitch (name subject to change: suggestions accepted) is a long-period high-feeback looping machine, akin to continuous tape loops in "the old days" or digital Jam Man or Echoplex of today. Now all the Fripp and Torn wannabes out there can have fun with a MIDI controllable looper within a sequencing host!

Loopitch currently works as a DXi2 instrument under SONAR 2 (my only test platform!), and will likely play well with other DXi hosts. The VSTi version works identically via the FXpansion adapter, but is otherwise mostly untested in VST hosts.

Loopitch is considered an "instrument" (not merely an "effect"), as it needs MIDI information to control its operation: you'll need a keyboard with a sustain pedal to make it work!

Free
Freewheeling Linux (PC/Mac) and Mac OS X (PPC/Intel) Standalone FreeWheeling is an audio tool for live looping. It provides a highly configurable, fluid user interface for instrumentalists to capture loops in real-time. Free
Divine Machine PC/Windows VSTi

Born from the ideas of two music professionals who were unsatisfied with the current loop software, Devine Machine VSTi allows you to spontaneously and effortlessly explore the possibilities from loops you already own.

Hundreds of presets allow you to create variation on any loop with a single click. Drum mode allows you to have loops match precisely with independant control over groove, tempo, and score.

Devine Machine is a "Loop Workstation" using loops as input.

It follows a different type of paradigm which allows you to create interesting manipulations and textures from drumloops.

It is a VSTi product that offers a unique and innovative control over loop manipulation and performance for the stage or studio. It allows you to manipulate and jam on loops with a lot of control.

$249 US
Radial (by Cycling 74') Mac Standalone

Radial is a loop-based performance software with a beautiful and unique interface thoughtfully optimized for playing live or composing and designing in the moment.

Radial is based on loop channels represented by circular displays, each with its own performable multi-filter and pitch shifting/time scaling. Almost every aspect of the system can be configured for live performance, studio recording, or sound exploration, controlled from a variety of sources (control surfaces, MIDI, keyboard or mouse).

$149 (Packaged) / $139 US (Download)
LoopMaster PC/Windows VST LOOPmaster is the most intuitive multi-track real time loop recorder ever made. LOOPmaster is ideal to use both live and also to record multi-track loops that can be sequenced together with your favorite computer based audio sequencer or hardware sampler. For maximum flexibility, LOOPmaster comes packaged as a VST plug in. Download LOOPmaster and be recording multi-track loops in almost no time.

Use LOOPmaster live and enjoy the ease of creating multi-track loops and then tweaking them with the real time reverse and remix functions.

LOOPmaster can save all tracks of your loop with the touch of a button, so use LOOPmaster to make looped multi-track recordings.

LOOPmaster records loops of up to 1 minute long with up to 4 tracks. It also features overdub to record multiple passes on one track as well as reverse and real time remix of each track. LOOPmaster can be controled from a standard midi keyboard, a programable midi contoller, or a midi sequence.

$19 US (after 10 day trial)
Relofter PC/Windows VST Relofter is a Wave Looper/Mangler. It can Record from Audio Input (when Record Button is on) or Load Audio Files from Disk via Drag and Drop.
Free (donation suggested)
Kluppe Linux Standalone Kluppe is a looper software, built with live performances in mind. it runs under linux and uses jack for audio i/o. it is released under the GNU license. you can download, use and redistribute it for free.
Free
16 channel live sampling looper, live sampling "canon" looper (part of Audiomulch interactive music studio and VST host) PC/Windows Standalone AudioMulch is an interactive musician’s environment for computers running Microsoft Windows. Bringing together the popular with what has up to now been considered experimental, AudioMulch merges the worlds of mainstream electronica and electroacoustic sound composition to create a fluid sonic environment only limited by the artist’s imagination.

While many of the processes featured within AudioMulch are not new to computer music programs, it is the software’s ability to carry out these traditionally "studio" or "non-real-time" signal processing techniques in real-time that emerges as its major asset. With AudioMulch, music that has for so long been limited to the pre & post-production practices of a studio can emerge in a new LIVE and interactive context.

Through the essentially unlimited (only by the power of the computer) combination of a network of synthesis and processing contraptions, AudioMulch allows the user to extend their current audio processing capabilities or create new music within their computer without additional expensive software or hardware systems.

$89 US
KaiserLooper Mac Standalone Standalone looping patcher built in MAX/MSP; includes four seperate looping tracks, reverse, half-speed, half-speed/reverse, variable speed, transposition, feedback and loop length control, etc Free
G Audio by Yow Mac, PC/Windows Standalone

G is a collection of up to 16 modules. A module is composed of stereo sources (Looper, fmTone, VST instrument, Audio input, DJ player) and stereo effects (pitch, volume, granulator, ringmod, distortion, downsample, delay, two multimode filters, and up to four VST effects).

The Looper source takes a sound file from the built-in browser and loops it. The sound can be automatically segmented into up to 32 segments. These can be replaced with user-defined and stored segments. Audio input can be recorded and replace the current loop selections. The loop can be synchronized with loops in other modules with 1 click. Pitch can be scratched DJ-style using MsPinky vinyl on your record player.

$110 US
Logellloop by Philippe OLLIVIER & Cristophe BARATAY Mac Os X Standalone LOGELLOOP is a realtime looper. You can save the loops on the HD and modify the sound in realtime... We are now in beta tests and logelloop will come out during 2007.

With Logelloop, you can work the sound for each track, put it in memory or save it to the HD. Another goodie of the multitrack looping is the ability to erase each track one by one or playing each track at a different speed (even in reverse).


All logelloop's command can be accessed by MIDI controllers (note, ctl, pgm change), by a Wiimote or by the computer's keyboard. So, it is possible to control Logelloop even while playing a musical instrument.


You can also write your own Macro in a very simple langage who permit to accces each commands of Logelloop
Free
Crossfade Loop Synth Effect by Expert Sleepers Mac OS X 10.2.8 or higher (10.4.x recommended) VST Crossfade Loop Synth Effect is the same as Crossfade Loop Synth except you can record live audio to use as the sample, rather than just loading it from disk.
You can record continuously, even while playing back. This allows you to use the plugin as an extremely unusual and creative delay effect. For example you can have the delays played back at double the pitch/speed you played them. Or at double the pitch and backwards. Or as a chord. Or repeat the first beat of every bar... the possibilities are legion.

You can save the recorded sample to disk as an AIFF file for later use.

$10.00
LiSa X by STEIM Products Any G3 or G4 PowerMac Standalone LiSa © (Live Sampling) is a real-time audio manipulation environment that runs on any Macintosh computer running OS X 10.2 or higher. It is the continued development of LiSa v2.5 for OS 8.x-9.x. This new version uses the build in CoreAudio and CoreMidi drivers for high performance audio and midi i/o. This combination turns the Mac into a versatile audio sampling machine, able to generate up to 128 voices. Complete program control is possible via Midi, thus allowing the user to work with this system in a performance environment.
$187

 

VST Hosts

 

Program Compatibility (OS) Description Price
Xlutop Chainer PC/Windows Chainer is a multi-effect and multi-instrument rack for musicians and sound designers. It's a VST host that runs as a standalone application, VST effect and VST instrument.

Chainer allows you to stream the ASIO or VST input signal through up to 10 chains of VST effects so you can use your PC as a realtime multi-effect processor.

In addition Chainer enables you to play several VST instruments at the same time. You can layer several instruments to create complex sounds or you may play instruments on different MIDI channels: Chainer turns your PC into a multi-timbral sound generator.

To achieve very low latencies, the standalone version supports ASIO 2.0 compatible soundcards. A fast PC, a good ASIO driver and Chainer enable you to use your VST effects and instruments almost like real hardware devices.

It is possible to load up to 100 VST plugins per instance of Chainer, but since you can load Chainer in itself there is no actual limit.

The parameters of Chainer and also parameters of the loaded VST plugins can be controlled through MIDI control change messages or VST automation.

A bonus feature of Chainer is the ability to create multi-samples from your VST instruments in WAV and SF2 format for instant use in samplers.

$60 US
Plogue Bidule Mac, PC/Windows The brainchild of Plogue Art et Technologie, Bidule is a cross-platform application that is gaining recognition world-wide as the new standard in modular music software
$75 US
AudioMulch PC/Windows AudioMulch is an interactive musician’s environment for computers running Microsoft Windows. Bringing together the popular with what has up to now been considered experimental, AudioMulch merges the worlds of mainstream electronica and electroacoustic sound composition to create a fluid sonic environment only limited by the artist’s imagination.

While many of the processes featured within AudioMulch are not new to computer music programs, it is the software’s ability to carry out these traditionally "studio" or "non-real-time" signal processing techniques in real-time that emerges as its major asset. With AudioMulch, music that has for so long been limited to the pre & post-production practices of a studio can emerge in a new LIVE and interactive context.

Through the essentially unlimited (only by the power of the computer) combination of a network of synthesis and processing contraptions, AudioMulch allows the user to extend their current audio processing capabilities or create new music within their computer without additional expensive software or hardware systems.

$89 US
EnergyXT PC/Windows

EnergyXT is an ideal low-cost realtime VSTi / VST host

  • Modular MIDI and audio routing
  • Supports VST effects and instruments
  • MIDI CC automation of VST parameters
  • Full VST fxb/fxp support
  • VST multi-in/out inside energyXT
  • VST I/O configuration. 2 x mono can be changed into 1 x stereo etc
  • Polyphonic multi-mode arpeggiator with unlimited patterns including notes and control change
  • Chord component, each chord will trigger by a single MIDI key.
  • Multi-channel Audio Part component
  • Dynamic mixer with cc automation, up to 16 stereo ins and 15 stereo sends
  • MIDI envelope
  • Live recording of master out, with save to wav
  • Grab screenshots of VST's to use as icon's in main window
  • MIDI patcher, will split incoming MIDI data into key- and velocity zones. Use it to layer VSTi's and make fat sounding patches.
  • MIDI CH filter for multi-timbral MIDI routing

$55 US