loop length, interface

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KD Jones
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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:14 pm

loop length, interface

Post by KD Jones »

First off... this may be the most important piece of music software I own. IF it were capable of absolutely nothing else, its ability to allow the production of high-quality, evocative sketches of new ideas would be priceless. Oh... and freeing/causing me to build things I might not have tried otherwise. And not forcing me to sound like everyone else. And then getting the resulting ideas across to another person quickly, with this kind of quality... aaagggghhhhh... it's an enormous thing.

I know there are a lot of requests for features, and a lot more will come. Not to disparage any requests that have been made, but it always seems to come down to the same thing with any really good new software... it's great, I love it, but I want it to do everything.

I think this sort of thing has the potential of lessening the power of a piece of work like Thumb Jam. (I think history has repeatedly shown it happening.) The personality of this kind of work is a product of things it does AND doesn't do, and both obvious and unnoticeable factors in how it does and doesn't do them. What makes a workflow precious is a result of features AND limitations. And it's pretty obvious from the reviews that there's something magical about the way all of this combines in Thumb Jam. And I really, really, REALLY don't want to see that get lost.

That said, there are some things I'd like to see that I think might enhance the "personality" Thumb Jam already has in spades...

--- The ability to specify the length of the loop in some more predictable way. I've had a number of instances in which aspects of a performance are exactly what I want (or accidentally better than I'd wanted), and I end up with a weird loop duration... extra or missing beats.

--- The ability to force additional loops to the same length as a previous loop, or some fraction of a previous loop. For example, once I've got a 4 measure loop going, it would be nice to have the OPTION of being able to record a second part, quantized to the start of the first (or whatever) loop, for which recording automatically ends at the same length as the first part.

--- As an extension to the above... to be able to record a second part exactly 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 the length of the previous part... OR 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 LONGER than previous... OR 2, 3 or 4 times longer. (Even if nothing is played until the end of the loop. Having a lot of open space seems to mess with Thumb Jam's timing, and I've had to "trick" it by playing a few dummy notes at the beginning of an additional loop, using a very low octave which comes out nearly inaudible.)

--- I've experimented with making a metronome beat by simply hitting record, a single rim shot, and then stopping record. This does create a reliable beat I can use to time a longer loop. HOWEVER... all the loops that follow time themselves to the first beat I recorded (even if I delete it), and it's very hard to get the timing of the end and beginning of the loop to justify from that point forward.
SO... it would be nice to be able to choose which of the currently active loops Thumb Jam will "clock against."

--- Some ability to trim loops would be lovely.

--- Regarding scales, two things that would be nice:
/ Ability to preset a sequence of scales, and have a button somewhere to move forward/backward through them during performance.
/ Possibly a split performance screen capable of responding to two different scales, registers and/or instruments. (If not all are possible, scales would be my personal preference by a long shot.

I think those additions would be in line with Thumb Jam's current feel and magic, without making it into some 4-headed offspring.

And... needless to say, I think they should all be options. I really don't think Thumb Jam's "pure state" should disappear in the wake of any additional features. Some of the fiddling I've done so far has produced results I would not have expected, and with which I've been VERY pleased...

Thank you so much. I really do think what you're doing is huge.

- KD Jones

Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:53 am

Quote every feature request

Post by Tellurico »

Quote every feature request from KD Jones, I miss a lot some useful functions on loops (most of all the possibility to have quantize also stopping recording automatically when the above loop ends).

Thank you

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Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:25 am

Yes, I like many of those

Post by Jesse »

Yes, I like many of those suggestions as well, and will take them all into consideration for future features.

Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:24 am

I completely agree with the

Post by jorgren »

I completely agree with the loop feature requests. This app is mindblowing. I just get very frustrated when I try to create something with controlled timing that I can include in a song, and the above requests would fix that.

I would add one more small request: AudioPaste to drop in a new loop. That would completely solve the metronome problem with no further effort. Users could create their own beats in their favorite beat app, and just drop them in as metronome loops.

Last night I explored the Wifi interface and it's awesome!

I copied a beat loop from my PC into ThumbJam and it makes a perfect metronome. Finally, I'm able to practice my improvisations with a real beat at controlled BPM. Once I can record loops with predictable sync and length, I'll be all set to use ThumbJam clips in my songs.

I also created a new scale (oddly, it's not already in the Scala collection). It's called "In Sen:" C C# F G A#

Next I plan to create some instruments - another awesome feature of this app.

Thank you Jesse!

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Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:25 am

You can already use

Post by Jesse »

You can already use AudioPaste to get loops from other apps. It's just a two step process in TJ: after copying a loop in another app, in TJ go to Prefs->Copy/Paste and select Loop from the choice bar (Sample/Loop) as how to paste the audio... then hit the appropiate paste button (AudioPaste or generic paste). Now the loop will show up in the Loops->Load loop list with a timestamped name for you to load up as an initial loop.

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Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:08 pm

Yes. In keeping with the TJ +

Post by eMicBra »

Yes. In keeping with the TJ + Beatmaker theme from another thread, it's quite simple and convenient to create a short loop of a very simple quantized beat in Beatmaker and then paste it into TJ for use as a reference while you lay down other loops.

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