I’m no musician, not even close. The last time I actually played a real instrument was years and years ago, and although I can easily play little tunes on both piano and guitar, it’s a far cry from knowing how to make music. To me, composing is a complete mystery, and making up even a tiny, simple song seems like an impossible task. Turns out there’s an app for that too, and it’s not as impossible as I thought.
Loopseque Lite is featured on our Best of iPad Apps page, but seeing it’s a music app, I never gave it a second glance. In my experience, music apps are either way too complicated, or too simple to really let you create something. After finally trying out Loopseque, I can tell you it’s neither of those things. If you’ve always wanted to create your own little piece of music, but didn’t have the know-how, patience or tools to do it, you’ve come to the right place.
What Is Loopseque?
Don’t freak out, the screenshot seems complicated. In order to create music samples in Loopseque you don’t need to read notes, you don’t need to know chords, you don’t even need great musical hearing. Musical knowledge will sure help, but it’s certainly not a must.
You start with four colored wheels – red for drums, yellow for bass, blue for percussion, and green for lead. The app plays the sample off each circle in a loop, and you can see exactly which part of the circle is played at any moment by following the highlighted bar. Highlighted parts are played, dark parts are not played, and dotted parts are played every other round.
As you try highlighting different parts of each wheel, you’ll find that each one contains different instruments, such as different kinds of drums on the red wheel, etc. These are the main principles you need to know about Loopseque.
The app also comes with a nice tutorial which includes six detailed lessons about every screen.
Before reading on, it’s important to stress that you’re not going to be composing masterpieces with Loopseque. As you might have gathered from the introduction, Loopseque is more of a sample maker than anything else, and that’s part of what makes it so easy to use. So yes, it’s not exactly GarageBand, but it can definitely yield some interesting music.
You can start by randomly highlighting sections in your wheels. The app automatically plays the loop, and you can hear what your creation sounds like. You don’t need to highlight many sections, even something like this already sounds like a nice enough sample.
When you start, you can either use the demo that comes with the app and build on that, or start your own project from scratch. Note that when using the Lite version, starting your own project will overwrite the demo, so you might want to take a close look at it before starting one of your own.
The cool thing about Loopseque is that you’re not limited to just these four wheels. You can create many versions for each wheel, and then mix and match to create endless different samples. All you have to do is tap a wheel and move it into the center. Tap the matrix button on top to access the wheel matrix.
After you’re happy with your basic beat, you can start playing with further options. Tap the volume button on the single wheel screen to individually control each wheel’s volume and create your own balance between the different instruments.
The app also includes a sample editor where you can control volume, pitch, playback direction, start and end points for each sample, and more. In the FX screen, you can add sound effects to your sample, create repeats, play with reverb, and more.
The Lite vs. Full Version
Loopseque is a simple app that requires no real musical knowledge, but it’s nonetheless a powerful tool that can be used to create good samples easily. The Lite version, which is completely free, is great if you just want to play around with the beats. You can enjoy the ability to create something that actually sounds good without being a professional or even knowing what you’re doing.
But the Lite version is limited when it comes to saving your creations, uploading your own samples, etc. For that, you’ll need the full version, which costs $5.99. Not cheap for an app, but if you’re into creating samples and music, it might be a worthy investment. In any case, I recommend that you play around with the free version first to get the feel of it.
Loopseque is an iPad app, and while an iPhone version does exist, there’s no free edition of it to try. If you want to create music on your iPhone, check out Tim’s post on Figure – a fun music app for iPhone, and these 7 free apps to make music on your iPhone
All in all, Loopseque Lite manages to combine a beautiful interface with surprising simplicity, and without fully understanding what I’m doing, I managed to create some pretty neat beats I was proud of. Do you know any other apps that do this? What do you think of Loopseque? Tell us in the comments.