Review: Reflow Studio Loopfield
An app that could turn your Sunday afternoon strolls into granular composition sessions. You get some great results in minutes, all for a modest outlay.
Loopfield key features:
- Looping app for iPhone, iPad and Android
- Loops generated from field recordings or any audio
- Continuous recording of the surrounding sounds
- Loops generated from the recordings, automatically updated each four bars
- Four different real-time effects based on granular synthesis
- Import drum loops from iCloud, Dropbox, AudioCopy, AudioShare and more
- Amplitude envelope to easily shape the sound
- Sound export in WAV format
Loopfield is an app that takes field recordings – or any audio for that matter – and creates granular-type loops from it. You can then import beats to hear the loops in a more musical context and even apply a bunch of effects to take your sound to more extreme areas. Export the results and you potentially have a great little starting point for any composition on your phone. So is it any good?
First up, Loopfield is incredibly intuitive. You don’t really need to know too much about what you are doing in terms of timing, recording and looping, because a large proportion of all of that is taken care of. You choose whether to use your phone mic or not, and whatever you record in the outside world is looped to a defined length. We started with simply clicking our fingers and an otherworldly loop was instantly played back to us – that being the finger clicks applied to a range of effects.
These are Granular (with eight parameters to adjust), Split Pitch (with four parameters), Auto-pump Reverb (three parameters) and Simple Mangling (just the one). These are really the core of the app and where all of its distinct sound comes from.
You can adjust the magnitude of the effect across the loop with a touchable Envelope/Gate set of bars, which is very responsive.
Out of the main Effects tab and into the Sample Player area and you can add one of five styles of supplied beats – HipHop, House, Techno, Trap, and Breaks – to give you some context, and your loop will seemingly quickly settle in and sound cool. The real fun comes with importing your own beats and audio to go with the loops, which always offers something interesting.
And that is Loopfield’s strength: its ability to offer something away from the norm. It’s the effects that do it, and the simplicity of operation. We’d like to see more mixing features and effects, but we really like what this app is setting out to do.
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