Secret Base Design has a new songwriting app for iOS called Aleph Looper. Aleph Looper will enables the user to capture musical ideas, and can provide the framework for songwriting, all in a single integrated app.
Aleph Looper expands on the idea of a looping app, allowing the user to quickly select different synthesizers, and loop the MIDI to each “with perfect synchronization.” Each of the instruments can have up to eight simultaneous loops. The loops can be of different lengths, each up to sixty-four measures long.
Developer Patrick Madden explains the genesis of the app: “I wanted to have an app that would let me sketch out song ideas (with conventional verse/chorus/bridge structure) quickly, so I designed [Aleph Looper] to fit into my song writing method. I like chords, I like chord progressions, and I even like lyrics; it felt like there really wasn’t an app [that] fit what I needed. I’m not trying to make an app that will put out a final mix — there are plenty of apps already trying to do that. Instead, I’m focusing on capturing ideas and the structure of a song, and then making the hand-off to full-blown DAWs relatively painless.”
Additional Aleph Looper features include:
- Internal SoundFont Engine. Built into the app is a SoundFont library with hundreds of instruments, and multiple drum kits.
- Inter-App Audio. Aleph Looper can host IAA-compatible synth apps.
- MIDI In and Out. The app recognizes MIDI from other apps, over Bluetooth connections, and from hardware controllers. Secret Base Design is the developer of Apollo MIDI over Bluetooth — the first Bluetooth MIDI solution for iOS. We’re also partners in the musicIO app, which allows both audio and MIDI to be sent over an ordinary iOS sync cable. The app is built using the excellent MIDIbus library.
- More that just loops. Built into the app is a loop sequencer — select different sets of loops for each section of a song, and the app will step through them automatically. You can build complex compositions, “so that your songs evolve and breathe.”
- MIDI Export. Aleph Looper will export a MIDI file for a song, which can be loaded into professional desktop DAWs.
- Keyboards and Pads. The app features a responsive piano-style keyboard — adjust note velocity by touching towards the tops of the keys, or choose among ten pages of programmable pads. You can quickly assign notes or chords to pads.
- Quantization and MIDI Latency. To lock down timing, the user can toggle on quantization, or leave it off. If you use external MIDI controllers, there can be latency in the MIDI messages — Aleph Looper can time shift to account for the delay of Bluetooth connections or WiFi. And if you use an audio-to-MIDI converter app like MIDImorphosis, latency compensation can “tighten up” the timing.
- All the standards. Aleph Looper supports Ableton Link, to simplify synchronizing the app with other Link-enabled apps. There’s full support for Inter-App Audio and IAA MIDI, and Audiobus too.
- Import and Export. Easily share projects using AirDrop, Dropbox, or email.
Aleph Looper uses the Ableton Link library, the Audiobus library, and the MIDIbus library. Internal sounds are from the widely-used SoundFont set by S. Christian Collins.
Another Secret Base Design app, Infinite Looper, is updating to 1.1, and is now universal:
Other Secret Base Design apps are also on sale, to mark the release of the new Aleph Looper app. Details on the Secret Base Design website.