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Looper block

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LooperControlMode.png

Available on which Fractal Audio products

  • Axe-Fx III: 1x.
  • Axe-Fx II: 1x.
  • AX8: 1x.
  • FX8: 1x.
  • MFC-101: yes.

X/Y and channels

The Looper doesn't support X/Y switching or channels.

About the Looper

The Looper is a dedicated effect block (FX8: global), providing minutes of stereo or mono loop time.

Device-specific specifications

Axe-Fx III

The Axe-Fx III provides more than 5 minutes of stereo loop time.

Axe-Fx II

  • Mono - 60 seconds.
  • Stereo - 30 seconds.
  • Mono with Undo - 30 seconds.
  • Stereo with Undo - 15 seconds.

AX8

  • Mono - 4 minutes.
  • Stereo - 2 minutes.
  • Mono with Undo - 2 minutes.
  • Stereo with Undo - 1 minutes.
  • Looper Control Mode is accessed using a F-switch.

FX8

The Looper in the FX8 has additional features. It's a "global" looper so it's present in every preset. It can be positioned in different locations.

  • Mono: 8 minutes.
  • Stereo: 4 minutes.
  • Mono with Undo: 4 minutes.
  • Stereo with Undo: 2 minutes.

Locations:

  • IN PRE.
  • IN POST.
  • OUT PRE.
  • OUT POST.
  • And it can be disabled, which decreases CPU load.

The location can be set globally (Global menu) and can be overridden per preset.

Parameters

Parameters table

Parameter Axe-Fx III Axe-Fx II AX8, FX8
Record yes
Play yes
Undo/Erase yes
Once yes
Reverse yes
Playback Level yes
Overdub Level yes
Half Speed no yes yes
Dry Level yes
Low Cut, High Cut yes

Threshold

Recording will not start until the input level passes the specified threshold, set by the Threshold Level parameter. If you press record, you will see the indicator come on and then turn off. This means it is waiting for input to start recording. Once you start playing you'll see the indicator come on and you are recording.

Quantize

Quantize will automatically chop your recording to the nearest 1/4 note tempo click. Recommended to use in conjunction with Threshold. Press Record, then start playing on a downbeat click. Press Record again to stop. If you stop slightly too soon or late it will automatically trim the recording to the length. Also, it will automatically start playback on the downbeat. So if you stop playback and start it up again later, it should always come back in on the beat.

Undo/Erase

Undo/Erase will remove the most recently recorded stack layer. If you're not in a mode with Undo, it doesn't do anything.

This requires CPU cycles during a brief moment. When used with presets with high CPU utilization, this can result in warnings or audible pops.

Dub Mix

"Dub Mix reduces the previous layer AFTER you add a new layer (press Stack then press it again)." source

CPU usage

Disable the Looper on the FX8 to save CPU.

Remote Looper control

Using foot switches

Go to I/O > Ctrl to assign the looper controls (such as Play and Record) to foot controller switches. Some functionality requires a latching switch, for other stuff a momentary switch is required. Walkthrough for the MFC-101.

You can also assign Looper Record/Play to an external switch, for easy access at all times.

MIDI CCs

  • Record: 28
  • Play: 29
  • Once: 30
  • Dub: 31
  • Rev: 32
  • Bypass: 33.
  • Half: 120
  • Undo: 121

The Axe-Fx III does not have pre-set MIDI CCs. These can be selected in the MIDI menu.

MFC-101: Looper Control Mode

The MFC-101 has a Looper Control Mode. This mode is enabled by pressing and holding the Reveal switch on the MFC-101. The MFC-101 will display "LOOPER CONTROL MODE" for two seconds and the red LED will be lit on the Reveal switch. This mode is disabled by selecting the Reveal switch on the MFC-101. In Edit > Setup you can select if this requires short or long pressing-and-holding. You can also disable Looper Control Mode altogether. MFC-101 Looper Control Mode Mini Manual.

The FX8 and AX8 also provide Looper controls.


LooperControlMode.png


Survive preset switching

The loop buffer will be erased when switching presets, unless Spillover is enabled. To survive preset switching, both presets must have the Looper, set to the same mode.

Using the Looper to tweak sounds

Use the Looper to dialing in amp tones. Place it before before the Amp block, and record a "unamped" guitar tone. Now keep playing it back while adjusting amp settings. You'll hear the differences in real time. Alternatively, use it to compare two sounds. Place it after the Amp block and record. Start tweaking. When you want to hear the original tone, play back the sample.

Assign the Looper a dedicated output

The multiple Output blocks and effects loops on the Axe-Fx III make it easy to send the Looper's output to a specific output for further routing and processing.

Panning the output

How to pan the Looper to one side when starting playback.

Axe-Fx III

"We completely rewrote the Looper. Over five minutes of stereo recording with undo." source

Overdubbing simply is accomplished by hitting Record again. There's no Overdub control needed.

The Dry Level parameter allows setting the Looper's output to 100% wet.

Behavior of Undo control:

  • Pressing Undo while recording undoes the last recorded layer.
  • Pressing Undo when the loop is stopped erases the loop data.
  • Pressing Undo during playback undoes the last recorded layer. Pressing Undo again (during playback) restores the undone layer. Subsequent presses toggle the layer on and off.

Behavior of Record and Once controls:

  • Pressing Record always starts a new layer.
  • Pressing Once while recording stops the loop.

Tutorials

More information

Wikipedia.

Troubleshooting

Can't hear the Looper on the FX8

If you can't hear the Looper, check the LOOPER LOCATION. It must not be set to NO LOOPER. If it is set to GLOBAL, check the GLOBAL LOOPER LOCATION (in the SETUP: GLOBAL menu) to ensure that it is not set to NO LOOPER. This may also be due to PRE/POST settings. If your rig uses only the PRE chain or only the POST chain, set LOOPER LOCATION accordingly.