While the guitar is my main instrument, one guitar-related bit of technology I’ve never really explored for my own musical projects is the looper pedal. However, I’m always impressed by the likes of KT Tunstall or Ed Sheeran who use this sort of technology in a live performance context and, even as solo performers, can create some brilliant on-the-spot arrangements.
I’ve looked at a few looper-type apps here on the Music App Blog including Loopy HD, LoopTree and Loopr and, in their own way, each provides an excellent way of getting into the whole ‘looper’ state of mind (and here’s hoping Loopy Masterpeice is with us soon). However, none of these really catches the essence of an old-school guitar stomp-box looper pedal.
Which is, of course, where Ostinator – an app from Living Memory Software that I reviewed here on the blog a few months ago – comes in. By design, this is not intended to compete directly with the likes of Loopy HD but, if you are just after a simple ‘record a loop/overdub a loop’ environment, then Ostinator could be suitable candidate.
Ostinator is iPad-only app, requires iOS8 or later and is a 15MB download. It includes Audiobus and IAA support and, at just UK£2.29/US$2.99, is unlikely to break the bank…. Anyway, further update to the app appeared on the App Store a few days ago taking the app to v.1.0.3. The update fixes a couple of technical issues concerned with setting appropriate input levels and the audio quality when saving in 16-bit format. Two additions are also included in that you can now choose between 16-bit or 32-bit when saving audio and there is now an option to apply a normalise function to audio when saving a loop.
Ostinator is perhaps a niche app but I do think it has some considerable promise. Here’s hoping that the Living Memory team get the support from users that’s required to keep the development process going forward. All that said, at UK£2.29, Ostinator is very much in the casual purchase bracket for those looking to dip a first toe into the world of live looping/sample triggering and, in that context, is well worth a look.