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Re: Laptop live-looping in Numerology

On Oct 13, 2004, at 18:51, Griff Peters wrote:

> Hello Per
> What it is exactly that Numerology offers that Live 4 doesn't?
> I'm diving into Live with a somewhat similar meta-instrument concept 
> in mind.
> Thanks,

On a powerbook from Apple Numerolgy with three running looper plug-ins 
uses less CPU power that a similar set-up with Live 4. Num using 40 and 
Live 60 percent. And the developer of Numerology is much more 
responsive to wishes from users than Ableton can ever be, as Live 4 is 
addressing a broader user base that do not request "overdub recording 
into a loop" or external midi control of all parameters.

The general aspect of Numerology that attracts me is that it is so easy 
to set up all kinds of functions for a looping plug-in like Augustus 
Loop or...  well there are no more AU's so far. I used to loop with the 
Lexicon PSP42 on Windows and Mac VST but now I have to stick to AUs.

One example of a thing I've done both in Live 4 and in Numerology is to 
drive the tempo division of a beat synced gate from an midi expression 
pedal. In its upper position the pedal brings the gate to open for 
128th notes and at bottom it opens for 4th notes. Then there are all 
the triplets as well so you can do a kind of "beat tempo sweep" with 
your foot. The audio going through that pedal can be either the live 
audio (the instrument you are playing) or the looper output. I've tried 
both and they are like different instruments to play with. If you gate 
the input and loop the gated sound you have the option of all kinds of 
poly rhythmic effects when transposing the loop. But right now I'm into 
gating the loop output. And I'm using three Augustus loopers. So you 
need to find a function in the software that can both send data to 
trigger the gate and that can itself be externally midi controlled. In 
Live I had to create a row of midi clips with midi notes on the 
different rhythms and then I had to assign the clips to FCB1010 pads 
because there's no way to assign different midi clips to different 
values of a continues controller message. Then I had to enable OS X IAC 
bus because Live can not route midi streams to Return tracks. And I 
have to put the looper plug-ins on the return tracks because I want to 
use at least three parallel loopers and all of them has to be fed the 
same audio input, by the aux sends on the track that takes the external 
audio input. It's a little limited as you see. Too much workarounds for 

Then with Numerology there are already many kinds of "controller 
objects" that can all be connected to manipulate each other.  If I want 
the loop to jump on 16ths triplets between two octaves I just have to 
open a "controller sequence" and click the notes into it (Augustus Loop 
can be transformed by midi notes on midi channel 2). And for the "beat 
gate sweep pedal", with Numerology I simply have to map my pedal to the 
clock divider parameter of the controller sequencer that triggers the 

There is a limitation right now with audio in Numerology, though, and 
that is that you can only have four aux sends on each channel. This 
means I can put my instrument into the soundcard and go into Num over 
"input one" and then I have to send over all aux busses from that 
channel to get the live audio stream into the three loopers plus a 
reverb (the loopers then also sending to the reverb). The other 
channels will then use the aux 1-4 as inputs. But for me three loopers 
is just the perfect set-up.

The third thing I want to do with looping, that is also easy to achieve 
with Numerology, is to have foot pedals to transpose all three loops to 
match different chord changes. I have really not yet come up with a 
solution to do that in Live 4. When working with Augustus Loop you can 
program some button to send a relevant note number on midi channel two 
(for transposing) and split it to all three loopers. In Numerology i 
can just have "presets" of the entire group setup and address the 
preset from my FCB1010. Then I may shift around presets for different 
gigs/songs to improvise different chord changes for three running 
loops. That's the theory. ;-)  Now I just have to do it as well.....

So I guess I'll stay with Num for a while now. If not Logic 7 reveals 
itself to be a better host application for looping plug-ins ;-)

All the best

Per Boysen
http://www.looproom.com (international)
http://www.boysen.se (Swedish site)