Suger Bytes Looperator is an innovative step slicer and modulator VST plugin, but also an app for iOS. Looperator breaks up a sample or a live loop into 16 steps and offers six effect tracks for editing each step. In the standalone version, the presets for sequences and samples are therefore separate. However, both versions (computer and mobile) can be synchronized to a host at any time and understand MIDI.
When it comes to file sharing, Looperator doesn’t show any weaknesses. Whether via the Files app or iCloud, the importing and exporting of data is exemplary. The 70-page PDF manual in English is very well written and detailed. The only thing missing is a note that only parameters in Linear mode can be MIDI-fied. Because MIDI learn only works with the dry/wet fader and the track volume.
The basic operation of the Looperator is very simple. The sound source is broken down into 16 slices. These slices can then be edited using the six effect tracks. Effects are stacked from top to bottom. The editing order of the tracks can be rearranged at any time with a vertical “hold and drag” gesture on the name.
Steps are set by “tapping” and deleted by “holding”. Each time a step is set, a pop-up menu opens with 16 presets, four user-definable presets as well as random, chaining, and delete functions.
If a set step is tapped and the finger is moved horizontally (on the mobile app), the step is automatically copied in the corresponding direction. At the end of each sequencer track is a random button and the volume control and at the bottom is the dry/wet slider for the effect amount.
For starters, you don’t need to understand the meaning of all the menu icons to work with Looperator, as a lot of it is really self-explanatory. Always comes out with at least something interesting! 127 presets can be dragged and dropped into this list, which can then be called up via the notes C-0 to G-8. This very efficiently replaces a Pattern or Song mode. The list can also be saved separately from the presets, which is very useful for live performances.
What starts very simply with a 16-step slicer quickly becomes a comprehensive and fruitful romp and exciting experimentation thanks to the effects defined by the user. As a result, it is not even noticeable that Looperator only offers 16 slices, which is probably no longer up to date, because the app is just plain fun!
If Looperator is a very good plugin for using with your DAW, and a whole new dimension as an iPad app. The interface could not have been implemented better or more intuitively for the touchscreen interface. The controls are finger-sized and everything is within easy reach. Even the secondary menus, e.g. effect selection, etc., do not feel like much, but rather like an optimally implemented workflow.
With Looperator, the creative minds at Sugar Bytes have succeeded in creating another excellent effect plug-in with immense creative possibilities. With an excellent sound, remarkably simple usability, enormous flexibility, and 300 inspiring presets, the sound magic box skilfully secures a place at the top of the performance effects.
Sugar Bytes Looperator is available as VST / AU / RTAS / AAX for Mac OS X and Windows. For iPads running iOS 12 and newer, Looperator is available as a standalone and AUv3 effect. But there are some differences between the versions. In the standalone app, an internal or imported sample serves as the sound source and up to eight bars can be recorded internally and the recording can also be exported again.