In this guide, we would be doing a practical guide + a review of the Loopcloud application, the essential stuff you need to get started with loopcloud, searching, buying, and previewing samples in loopcloud, connecting it to your DAW and more useful nugget.
What is Loopcloud?
Loopcloud is a cloud-based sample subscription services application that provides vast and instant access to over 4 million royalty-free sounds from Loopmasters’ exclusive labels and Loopcloud Exclusive sounds.
A little misconception I would love to clear for those just beginning with cloud sample managers:
Cloud-based doesn't mean, the samples are stored in a real cloud, it means Loopcloud would be the one providing and maintaining the servers that house the sample libraries, freeing you from hardware maintenance (e.g, your laptop crashes), managing aspects, and also making collaboration easier (you can log-in from anywhere in the world with any devices and still access your saved sample library)
The way Loopcloud works is that users can purchase samples using points, this makes so much sense in that, you won't have to spend unnecessarily on samples you would never use, the way I work initially is buying a sample pack, and then previewing all of the content in the samples, after the preview, I would move the best ones into my favorite folder, with Loopcloud, you don't need to buy a full sample pack unless it is necessary, just browse, purchase, and start making good music, it is as easy as that.
I forgot to mention, it seamlessly integrates with your DAW project, and if you prefer, you can also drag samples into a personal library or directly into your DAW for production. If you have purchased sample packs from Loopmasters before, your content will automatically appear in Loopcloud after logging in.
Oh! I didn't mention you can also import your local samples to lower hard drive usage and accelerate your workflow.
One mind-bugging problem I thought I would encounter is the streaming capability, but I was wrong, with Loopcloud, compressed previews stream quickly over the internet and as soon as you download the files, the original full-quality uncompressed version is available, brilliant!
You can also download several free samples per day; with these, you can download any file marked as ‘FREE’ in the Loopcloud store.
Why use Loopcloud?
It saves time!
Long Anwer: It lets you search millions of samples from Loopmasters quickly, and on top of that, you can manage the sounds you have on your hard disk, think of the way you store your pictures to cloud storage, you can also store your samples to your personal Loopcloud account storage, and access it from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
Also, whatever you are previewing will be in-time, in-key, in a rhythm or arrangement of your choice, and with any effects from your DAW or Loopcloud applied. In short, Loopcloud makes finding, managing, and previewing samples fast and fun.
Enough of theoretical definitions, let's make do some practical walkthrough of the Loopcloud application, have you downloaded the Loopcloud application yet?
You can try it for free for 30 days or use the free plan to test it out (You get free downloads every day with the free plan), here are details of what to do to follow this guide:
- Create an account at Loopcloud
- Verify your account through your mail
- Download and install the software.
- Run the Loopcloud app, and log in.
Note: If you already have contents/sample packs on your Loopmasters account then you will need to wait while the library database is downloaded, this only happens once but you will have to wait for it to finish before continuing.
I will be using Fl studio as my DAW, you can apply the same steps to other DAWs too!
Getting Started With Loopcloud
Shoutout to the team at Loopmasters for providing free premium access to the Loopcloud application for this review.
Open the Loopcloud application, and you should see something similar:
Note: If you are just opening the application, you might have to wait for a couple of minutes for Loopcloud to download the necessary databases of your sound (this isn't an actual sound though, they are just tags, so, it would be faster)
Searching for Samples in Loopcloud
Searching for samples is pretty easy in Loopcloud, you just need to know the genre you are doing, for example, I am mostly making progressive house music, so, I'll be searching for anything related to that niche, so, I'll be starting with a loop.
To find a progressive house loop, I'll go to GENRE, select Progressive House, choose WAV as my default format (this way, you would be recommended HQ samples), and find my preferred loop, e.g "Percussion Loop", you would understand better watching the video illustration I did below:
You see how easy it is, the next thing is previewing the loops, what I love about this application, is that it compresses the preview, this way, you can ensure faster preview.
By default, Loopcloud would relevantly search for samples you've bought from Loopmasters when you are searching for samples in Loopcloud, and if you don't have any samples with Loopmasters, it would allow you to search and purchase any sound from millions of samples and thousands of packs.
You don't have to buy samples to preview them, all premium samples in the store have some additional noise (white noise mixed with some bird song). Once you've bought the sound with your point, all this noise is removed instantly.
Don't worry, you can still sort the free sounds, for example, to filter only free sounds, you click on the Free label as illustrated in the image below:
I wouldn't recommend the free plan for anyone serious about finding good samples, the Artist plan should be enough for beginners, and the studio plan is suitable for professionals, you can check the plans here: Loopcloud Plan
There is a little nugget I would love to share before we move on, it is the loopcloud Multi-Track section. You can play multiple sample loops or kits at once with the multi-track module, you can also mix tracks by using the gain slider to the left of each track.
There is also a m icon when hovering on the far right of a track, which will mute the track. I will show you a video sneak peek in a moment.
Please note that the number of available tracks depends on your subscription level - free subscribers will be limited to 2 tracks while paid subscriptions have 8.
Another useful nugget: If you want Loopcloud to return a better sample suggestion, remove the randomize search label:
Now, let's find some good loops:
The next phase is dragging the samples into the DAW, there are two ways you can go about this, the first way is utilizing the loopcloud application directly in your DAW which is a bit slower for me, and the second way is just dragging the samples in your Playlist area or Channel rack of your DAW.
I would go over both methods.
Using Loopcloud Application In The DAW (Fl Studio)
Open up your DAW (I will be using Fl Studio), and load an instance of the Loopcloud application. If you can't find the loopcloud application, you probably would need to re-scan your plugin list (I will show you how to do that in Fl 10, 12, and 20):
In Fl 10, go to Channels -> Add One -> More:
Now, refresh your plugin list:
In Fl 12: Goto Add -> Refresh Plugin list:
In FL 20: Goto Add -> Refresh Plugin List:
Now, load an instance of the loopcloud plugin in your DAW, and please make sure the Loopcloud application software is running, as usual, the below shows you a video illustration:
The drawback of this method is that you can't use multiple instances of the loopcloud plugin, say, you want to load sample A in a separate rack and the sample B in another rack, however, you can achieve that by dragging the samples from Loopcloud directly into your DAW as long as you've bought the samples.
Here is an illustration of how to do that in Fl Studio 12, but really, it is practically the same in other DAWs:
Note: You don't need the loopcloud plugin running in your DAW to do this
There are so many customizations you could do to your samples before dragging or integrating them into your DAW, for example, to control the volume of specific samples you would increase or decrease the volume knob, or you can double-click and change the volume. For example, loopcloud default is -4.0 decibels, so, I would change that to 0DB, this way, you can ensure you are starting with a normalized volume:
Change it and hit enter!
Alright, let's go over some of the advanced editing tools in Loopcloud
Tools and Advanced Editing In Loopcloud
Tools let you do some advanced customization to the current track samples, for example, you can drag, split, slip, mute certain regions, reverse, change patterns, and lots more.
I'll show you the essential ones you'll need back up with a video for illustration purposes...
The Drag Tool:
This is the default tool, and most of the time, it is basically what you need, with this tool, you can move regions, and make selections to delete or cut/copy.
You can also adjust the volume of a region by dragging on the decibel value in the center at the top of the region (the default value is 0.0dB).
The Split Tool:
This is next to the drag tool, and it is self-explanatory, it let you make cuts in regions, say, you want to chop up long sample loops.
The Slip Tool:
This is next to the split tool, you can change which part of the file is playing in that region with this tool.
The Mute Tool:
With this tool, you can mute individual region
The Reverse Tool:
Useful for reversing samples, say you want to reverse uplift fx to downlift fx, you get the idea right!
These are all the essential tools, but there are more, e.g the pitch tool and the pencil tool, but practically, the above is what you would most likely be using.
This is the video illustration for the tools I have covered so far:
This is one of the tools I love in the Loopcloud application, you can create and reshape a sample with the pattern mode, and it just doesn't leave you hanging with the customization, it comes with lots of presets suited for different sound sources such as Basses, Chord and Stabs, Hats & Shakers, Kick and more, I would show you how it works in a moment, but before I do, here are some info you should know:
- At start-up, the loopcloud editor is in auto-pattern mode by default. In auto mode, the loop length will adjust to suit the selected audio. Short one-shots will repeat every beat, and longer sounds will be fitted to the loop length.
- Loops are fitted using their BPM. If the loop isn’t correctly stretched, make sure that it has the right bpm set in the Properties sidebar.
- If you make any edits to the loop, including changing the loop length, the editor will exit auto-pattern mode. This means you can select alternative samples and hear them with the same edits applied. This is useful for finding the perfect sound for your record.
Having cleared that, here is a video illustration of how it works (I'll be showing you how to get started with the pattern by using a preset, and how to save a pattern):
Note: I would be writing lots of guides related to Loopcloud, watch out.
I hope you find the review and the practical aspect interesting, leave a comment if you have a question, and or if you want to point out one or two stuff I am missing.