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There are more and more software sampler in our DAW stations, but they are often very expensive (Battery, Kontakt for example). Nevertheless, there is a very correct alternative for the poor musician: Loopazoid.

Description of the beast

Loopazoid has had a rather nice interface since the 1.22 update, that's clear and clean, well organized, we can work here in good conditions! :-) There is no problem when beginning, because the passage of the mouse on the elements that compose its matrix makes appear an explanation. Useful!

The main matrix is composed of 48 pads by which stereo or mono samples are managed. It can import .wav and .aiff, 8 or 16 bits files. On the right, the mini-mixing board : 1 volume fader, 1 pan, 4 stereo outs, 3 mute groups.

Using it

Loading a sample is very easy, CTRL + Click on a pad, listening to it with a simple click. With my Delta 1010LT, I have no latency, I even surprised myself playing in rhythm! (My index finger is very strong!)

Assign a sample to a key of your keyboard can also be done easily thanks to the virtual keyboard. Note it is possible to put as many sounds as you want on the same note, the sounds are piled up on each other, respecting your settings in the mixing board. Let's torture sounds!! This appears to be very handy for the sound of a kick for example, thanks to the mixing of several sounds. Until this point, nothing very unusual, but Loopazoid proposes some functions which are very handy, and essential!

The playing of the samples can be inversed (of course they can be played in the right way!) with the assign to a different key: in the right way on C1, in the wrong way on C#1 for example. We can thus avoid to process it in another software, and save place on the hard drive. Using it, I was wondering how I could do without this stuff!

We also have three mute groups. What? Whatszis? Well: a sample is played on the whole, that is to say a 2-measure groove will play 2 measures then stop, but it won't play in loops (what a pity!). On the other hand, we can tell it to stop by associating it to a mute group. This function is essential for HiHats sounds for example, if you want a realistic sound between open HiHats and closed one! Do you follow me? This function allows to cut the sound by pressing the key itself or another one in the same group. Very handy, especially because there are three different groups which are managed independently!

Finally, we have 4 stereo outs, which are obviously present on the VST mixing board. We thus can use the VST or DirectX effects plug-ins to put the finishing touches to our bank, or torture it! We can of course save all the stuff, in a proprietary format ".lpz". This works pretty well, we can find everything at its place at every new session. As the samples are saved with the bank, it is better to place everything in a special folder, or to re-organize the "samples" folder to avoid mess or files on two places in the computer...


To conclude, I would say that this sampler is ideal for big "sound effects" sound banks or as a "pure" sample player (to play loops or so...). It is ideal to have all the samples to hand with a simple click. Its functions are useful enough in many situations without needing a bigger sampler. I would have preferred it could import Soundfonts, and more audio formats. Unfortunately it cannot mange the multi-layer, which is not handy to simulate instruments, where different velocities are important for the sound restitution. It is technically possible, but hard to play on a keyboard: imagine a low E of a guitar which would be spread on several keys of the keyboard! Not very handy with a drum kit, especially for those who use the traditional GM. We will so use the basic velocities of the keyboard, except if you program with the mouse.

But I'm quibbling, because its price is more than attractive considering its many functions. Moreover, we can now find on the internet sound banks to download! Even professionals should find useful the 225ko (incl. the manual!) to download on Dash! It is free! I've already done the cheque!

Cédric, on the 19-02-2003

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