Implementing a minimal asynchronous multitrack looper in hardware

There is a stereo version, but the other issues remain

Are you specifically looking for a self contained stand alone unit? If eurorack is an option you could implement something like this with an ER301 and Walk (or other interface).

The 301 has a pedal style looper unit, and you could have as many of them as you want running asynchronously. There are also a number of other styles of loopers and delays, and you could easily experience the with chaining them together or creating complex interconnections.


thanks everyone for the great suggestions… tons to think about and respond to here!

@n9n9n9 @andrew :: regarding click-free loop recording/playback in max: why not just use the grooveduck abstraction? this doesn’t require any third-party externals… has been working fine in the prototype looper of mine i linked to in the first post.

@Clarte @mzero i’ve been looking into the organelle and it’s actually not a bad solution – at very least for DESIGN A. at $500 it’s basically the same price as a ehx45000 and would be able to do asynchronous loops with level control for 4 tracks. no other peripherals necessary (and smaller than the 45000 to boot). just got done watching c&g’s video series on basic pd integration and it seems straightforward to access all of the front panel controls and display text from you patch on the oled screen. only limitations are stereo in only, no analog dry through, and lack of knobs/faders for more complex implementations. however, if external MIDI devices can be connected via usb and accessed in pd as you say, that can be overcome pretty easily. does anyone here have experience using external midi controllers with the organelle via pd? pretty straightforward?

@vals thanks for making me aware of bela, i’m fascinated by the potential there. need to read more into the pd/max gen integration (the latter seemed spotty based on the link you shared), but this is definitely something i plan to research more in the coming weeks. @papernoise you mentioned the possibility of visual feedback with bela. are there any examples of that you can point that make use of the digital i/o as visual display?

@bradfromraleigh the 4 dittos solution would be fine if you were using 4 sound sources each into its own looper. what interests me equally is being able to create 4-8 asynchronous loops of the same source, without repatching. for this reason, the ditto thing is not ideal.

@emenel yes, i’ve checked out the er-301 and have definitely considered it. the 4-in-4-out architecture is appealing and friends have demo’ed the looper unit for me. to be honest, i just haven’t quite gelled with it on an interface level. i’m generally not a fan of any kind of menu diving – especially for performance tasks like looping which i like to be as idiot-proof as possible. the whole menu system on the 301 vaguely reminds me of why i wanted to switch away from the computer into a hardware/modular approach in the first place.

This… Is not something I knew about. I will likely be applying this to all of my groove patches, thanks!

Matrix mixer > four dittos?

I agree, and for me the trick with the 301 is that the interface is really just for building. You’d use a controller module or external controller for performing. I use it with a Monome Walk and some other touch controllers. The interface is really not designed for performance… it’s meant to be setup how you want to play it and then controlled from outside. In that way it works really well.


Oh, one other thing that I didn’t see mentioned is an iPad. There are some amazing looper apps that you could use with an external controller and audio interface. Less cumbersome than a computer, more flexible than dedicated hardware.

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Yes Loopy is a great multitrack looper, can’t remember if it also works freerunning… but it should. The interface is a bit cumbersome to access advanced settings like loop decay, reverse, but it’s ok to work with.

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@papernoise I can code.

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This could actually become an interesting community project now that I think of it…
Though there’s several challenges that need to be faced. One is probably the hardware side of things, since looping with big buffers (long loops) and overdub might be complex, and the UI is the other aspect. It either needs a nice screen, or – even better – lots of LEDs
But I should add that so far this is just me thinking aloud…

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Synching loops- but at odd ratios might be another cool (optional) feature

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A proper looper intended to be used by diverse musicians with different needs and workflows should let you work with synced and free running loops and enable you to set a per-loop length. This is actually pretty well made on the BOSS RC-505 where each loop can be anything you want basically.

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maybe maybe maybe maybe new thing :wink:


I guess I can archive this then :smiley:

You know I’ve been banging the multi-channel-asynchronous-looper drum for a good many years now and this thought has given me hope


Not really, but I remember from the workshop that you can use the hardware inputs and outputs of the Bela from Pd (wouldn’t make much sense if you couldn’t I guess) so my go-to solution would be to build a PCB with a bunch of LEDs and use Pd to light those depending on what the patch is doing.

+1 for loopy. it does up to 12 loops (asynchronous or not). you can midi map a lot of the functions.
if you load it up as an interapp audio source in AUM (amazing mixing & routing app) you can route the outputs to separate channels of your soundcard.


sounds exciting - some kind of multitrack looper maybe in eurorack format with per loop lengths and per loop playback position control? a eurorack mlr…just speculating…is this new thing likely to be appear at the same time as w/?

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Kaoss Pad/KP3 has 4 separate loopers. Easy and straight forward for live use. MIDI in/out. I use it for looping and processing live vocals.

Go on, spill a few beans! :wink: