Loopmasters just released the 5.0 updated version of their cloud-based sample service, Loopcloud. With a couple of new exciting features, including an MPC reminiscent drum sampler and synth/one-shot editor, there’s a lot to unpack. so in this independent Loopcloud review, we’ll unpack all the nuts and bolts of the service, along with user reviews and our own impressions.
Our Star Rating: 4/5
Loopmasters offers a great product with impressive samples to back it up. I certainly recommend any producer to give Loopcloud a try for its sample collection, storage benefits, or unavoidable sparks of inspiration.
- DAW synchronization: Speedy workflow equals more music!
- Embedded pitch/bpm warping: Another efficiency builder, reduces a sometimes intricate process to a couple of clicks.
- Free samples delivered every week: Not only do you get access to fresh sounds every week, but this serves as a constant flow of inspiration,
- Clears up hard drive: Not to mention, you never have to worry about losing your entire sample library. It’s nice that the service can be accessed from any computer or IOS device.
- User-Interface somewhat clunky: Although I wish the windows were more customizable, this is a minor drawback for all that Loopcloud offers.
- May be limiting for producers outside of EDM/Techno genre(s): The user library could certainly be expanded to accommodate more genres at the same level as electronic music.
- What exactly is Loopcloud?
- Why would you need Loopcloud?
- How Does Loopcloud Work?
- Best Features
- Our Impressions – What we think about Loopcloud
- Customer Impressions
- Final Thoughts
What exactly is Loopcloud?
Loopcloud has multiple purposes, but all are centered around samples.
The platform runs off a cloud-based model, meaning that all stored samples do not take up any hard drive space and are easily accessed with a stable internet connection.
Moreover, these samples are automatically cataloged and backed up by their cloud system, meaning that as long as you have your login, you can’t lose your sample library.
The cloud-based system also allows you to access your sample library across multiple devices, so if you’re switching back between a studio PC and laptop, you won’t have any issues picking up where you left off.
Within Loopcloud, you can browse for samples based on genre, instrument, bpm, and much more. Loopmasters sources many of its samples from popular labels and packs, allowing the user unlimited choices and the ability to really fine-tune a custom pack of their dreams.
The service comes with a built-in editor to adjust samples on the fly, with built-in pitch warping. Loopcloud connects directly with your DAW so that there’s no lengthy import/export process while you’re trying to get creative. In fact, with most DAWs you can simply copy and paste the desired file right into your workstation. Loopcloud also gives out 150 free samples weekly just for using their service.
Loopcloud has also integrated a free iOS app for you to access your sample library from your phone or tablet. The service allows you to easily edit previously compiled samples as well, even if they were not purchased through Loopmasters or while using the Loopcloud service.
Why would you need Loopcloud?
Loopcloud appeals to many different producers for a bevy of reasons. We’ll look at some of these reasons and see how it appeals to you.
First off, there are a ton of free, legitimate sample packs floating around the internet, but when you’re looking for a very specific sound, Loopcloud promises to make it really easy to find the sample that you’re looking for without losing efficiency or initial inspiration. There are also many ways to filter your search so that you hone in on what you’re looking for.
Speaking of inspiration, when using Loopcloud, you don’t have any choice but to be productive. Loopmasters claims Loopcloud is an instant writers-block eliminator, and they certainly live up to their assertion. The homepage is filled with tempting sample packs and preview window begging to be used. A couple of listens to Loopcloud’s diverse range of sounds, and there’s no doubt you’ll be ready to start creating.
The most distinguishing feature of Loopcloud is its ability to be accessed from anywhere and everywhere. There’s no need to lug around heavy hard drives or slow down your CPU because everything is embedded within the user library. In which case, Loopmasters Loopcloud is great for the producer who doesn’t have a lot of storage space. Moreover, Loopcloud also appeals to studio owners/engineers who may need to have access to a variety of different genres of music on the fly. You can certainly save money by using the service, as you will not have to purchase entire packs, you can simply pick and choose which sounds work the best based on the available previews.
How Does Loopcloud Work?
Let’s jump right into it! If you’re looking to just shop for samples, go ahead and open up Loopcloud (free for 30 days) and dive into their comprehensive library. The default home screen opens up the Loopcloud store, where you can search for new samples to add to your pre-existing kits.
By selecting any sample, the file is automatically placed into the in-app workstation and sample editing module located at the bottom half of the user-interface. Use these functions to source samples online between your iOS and PC devices.
How to use Loopcloud in your DAW
If you’re ready to make a full-blown track rather than simply sample shopping, open up your DAW and Loopcloud and get ready to work!
- Loopcloud should automatically route to your default plugin folder. If this is not the case, this can be updated in the preferences tab. Check to make sure that your DAW is supported- Most are (Abelton, Logic, FL Studio, etc.), but there could be something you need to alter within the DAW in order to get Loopcloud up and running.
- Open up the Loopcloud plugin within your DAW. By doing this, the Loopcloud interface will automatically open and will have access to your project information. Hence, Loopcloud conveniently warps all sample previews to your sample bpm and key. These can also be manually adjusted to your preference within the DAW or in Loopcloud. Loopcloud’s window can be altered so that it can be used alongside your software.
- While filtering through sample packs, you can click “randomize” to quickly shuffle up the sample moods you’re looking at.
- Once you find a sample that you like, you can drag and drop directly into your DAW. From there, Loopcloud downloads the sample. So then, and only then, are you using up hard drive space.
- If the sample is almost perfect, but not quite, use the sample editing tools integrated within Loopcloud. Here, you can chop up and rearrange as well as pitch shift. Loopmasters also built in a handy-dandy feature for pitch warping where you can simply select your key of choice and the software will analyze an alter for optimized results.
- Loopcloud’s sample editor also includes a couple of effects that can be added on before moving into the DAW, creating a couple of parallel processing type capabilities. Moreover, if there is only a certain section of the loop/sample that you desire, the loop range can easily be adjusted. In case you aren’t connected to your DAW for whatever reason, most files can be copied to your clipboard and pasted directly into an audio track.
- Loopcloud also allows you to add samples to MIDI patterns. Take a sample directly from Loopcloud, and put it within a sampler on your MIDI track- Voila! Your midi files are instantly revitalized with a fresh new sound.
The new patch comes with a couple of new bells and whistles to keep you making music. Here’s what’s been added, as well as the other general specs.
DAW Integration- Loopcloud is compatible with most DAWS and samples are able to be directly imported into your workstation, without even minimizing the project window. Loopcloud acts as a plugin that automatically detects your project’s bpm and key. The sampler allows you to create beautiful transitions by having the option to warp bpm by section. This automation is especially useful for DJ’s looking to have tight mixes. If you’re editing within Loopcloud, you can copy and paste your master track into your interface.
8 Track Editing- The sampler is equipped with 8 different tracks that can all be loaded with a different sample. This becomes particularly useful when building custom kits, or picking out a couple of sounds simultaneously. With this feature, you can ensure that all sounds selected sound good together and not just individually.
Tier-based subscription- Loopmasters offers 3 different subscription plans with varying amounts of points and cloud storage so that you can ensure that you are only paying for what you need. All three of the plans are super affordable, especially considering that your login follows you from device to device. Points can be used to purchase new samples from the sample store. However, Loopcloud gives you 150 free samples per week, so you may find that you don’t need as many points. Points also rollover from month to move with no limit. Every sample on Loopcloud is royalty-free, so you’ll never have to worry while creating music.
Cloud-Based- Obviously, the cloud feature is integral to this platform. Not only does this give you a plethora of options, but you save tons of valuable hard drive space that can slow down your workflow considerably.
Screen Preference- This seems like it wouldn’t make a huge impact, but small changes can add up to a big improvement in your workflow. The interface can be minimized to offer a split-screen view so that its embedded features can be used alongside your active project file.
Exclusive Sounds- Loopcloud offers a couple of packs curated by well-known artists and labels that are exclusively accessed through the cloud-based service.
New Features with 5.0 Update
Loopcloud Drum- Loopcloud drum is a drum arranger that makes it easy for you to make custom kits from anything in your loopcloud library.
Loopcloud Play- Loopcloud play is another sampler that can be used to create kits, but it is more for one-shot, synth, and pad noises.
Both Loopcloud Drum and Loopcloud play come with separate libraries of whole new samples that were not previously featured on the platform.
Our Impressions – What we think about Loopcloud
After tinkering with the software for a couple of days, I have a couple of thoughts on Loopcloud’s capabilities and accessibility to the everyday producer.
When you first open up Loopcloud, the first thing that hits you is the main store menu displaying all of the various packs available for purchase. I liked how each pack had a visual art component to go with it, and I can see this being very helpful for artists who need guidance matching up their brand with their sonic image.
All the sound possibilities were instantly inspiring, and you’re almost encouraged just to click on different sound packs to see how the visual matches up sonically.
Even upon the first download, there are no helpful “tips and tricks”, so you’d have to go to the online user guide for help should you need it, although most features feel pretty intuitive.
What we like about Loopcloud
Free Samples: Upon opening up Loopcloud, I received a welcome pack from Loopmasters with a ton of free, high-quality sounds. I’m definitely using a bunch of these in my next track, and I’m hopeful on Loopmaster’s promise to deliver high-quality samples every week, regardless of whether or not you are a part of the paid subscription tier.
Organization: I was able to upload my entire extensive sample library within a couple of minutes. The software automatically analyzes the files to determine the key and add subsequent tags. This feature definitely simplifies my workflow and makes finding pre-existing samples a walk in the park.
Built-in Editor: I usually like to manipulate all of my samples within Ableton, but I had a lot of fun playing around with the built-in presets of the editor. Any sample can be instantly chopped up and changed into a bass line, percussive pattern, you name it. It was super inspiring, and I’ll be using this feature a ton in the future. The preset also has a randomize feature, which makes it easy to experiment, especially if you have writer’s block. The editor also includes an effect section where you can add delays and reverb. By having these effects added to a sample before switching over to a DAW, you can create some unique parallel processing combinations, as well as save a bunch of CPU as your DAW won’t have to run as many effects in real-time.
DAW Compatible: The most impressive thing for me was Loopcloud’s ability to connect directly into my DAW, which is something that sets the service apart from other competitors within the cloud-based sample management world. When I was done playing around in Loopcloud’s editor, I copied and pasted my processed track into Abelton. I wasn’t taking up any extra CPU, and I already got the effects I wanted. If I had run Loopcloud as a plugin this process could be even more simplified, but I liked copying and pasting files just to create a separation between the two interfaces.
Auto-Pitch: Wow, this thing is powerful. Within seconds, the track is analyzed by Loopcloud and converted to the pitch of your choosing. It’s insane how this feature alone is free and available to everyone. In addition, I think this can be a helpful resource for anyone interested in learning a bit of music theory. When the pitch is corrected, a corresponding dial shows the number of semitones adjusted to achieve a particular frequency. This could be a great ear-training exercise as well.
Sample Quality: All the samples that I came across in the store seemed very high-quality and well thought out. I’m not super surprised since Loopcloud comes from Loopmasters, but this shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Sample Variety: Although the platform currently seems slightly skewed towards electronic music, it seems like the creators are working to build a diverse library. In the same place I find Techno loops, I can find Afro Latin jazz.
Sample Packs by Genre: The ability to search by genre, bpm, key, format, instrument, is super helpful. Genre, in particular, lends itself to be very useful for producers just getting started who need guidance in picking out what sounds fit for their desired sound. I like how when you search for a sound, you can select more than one filter in different categories so that you can really narrow down the results.
What we don’t like
There’s not a whole lot to say here, but there are definitely some ways in which the interface could be improved. Most of the suggestions are based upon aesthetics and organization, and not the power of Loopcloud itself and the quality of the samples.
Homepage Navigation: When you open up Loopcloud, you are brought immediately to the store. While I find this feature inspiring, the amount of surface area taken up by the store versus the amount taken up by the sample library and search features seem a little disproportionate. I think it would be helpful for there to be “scroll-over” tutorials/captions at least upon first use to get the user acclimated to the interface.
Customizing Windows: Along the right-hand side, there is a “top ten packs” section, which is interesting, but I wish it could be docked or even closed in order to make more space for the editor or sample library. It would be nice if the other windows/sections could be adjusted more to taste.
Genre Selection: Although it appears that Loopmaster is making a conscious effort to include more genres and producers, it definitely is mainly focused on electronic and techno samples. I’d like to see more of a balance and more genres added to even out the playing field for users.
More Editing tools: It’s nice that Loopcloud has up to 7 different tracks to use at once, but I think it would be helpful to be able to stack these tracks on top of one another vertically so that the user can see their files working together before leaving the interface.
The overall feedback for Loopcloud is overwhelmingly positive. Although some users expected more new features with the patch, the sample management software seems to have little to no negative feedback.
In general, Loopcloud is affordable, easy to use, and boosts productivity and creativity. It seems that the pitch and bpm bending feature coupled with the freeing of hard drive storage are the biggest pulls that keep customers coming back for more.
Some customers found it difficult to connect Loopcloud with their version of Pro Tools, but also saw that they could easily download samples and import them into the project files or copy/paste sound bites into the timeline. The cloud-based platform originally started out just as a way to manage samples and transitioned to adding in the sample store.
That being said, customers find the management side of Loopcloud to be flawless. It’s clear that the curators have tweaked Loopcloud for management optimization patch after patch and their work has paid off for most of its consumers.
A lot of reviews boasted a boost in creativity and said that the product helped out considerably with writer’s block. The diverse library and easily digested user interface made finding inspiring samples a breeze.
To put it plainly, I definitely think this product is worth a try for producers all across the spectrum. If nothing else, Loopmasters offers a 30-day free trial (what I used to test out the software) that gives you a bevy free samples and points to start playing around with. Even without purchasing loops within the sample store, I definitely felt inspired just by listening to some of the previews of the diverse library.
For these reasons, I give Loopmaster’s Loopcloud a 4-star rating. There wasn’t really anything glaring that needs to be fixed, I found the user-interface a little clunky and missed having an introductory “how-to”/show around the platform, but even there, I’m being picky.
Reviewed by: Kate Brunotts
Kate Brunotts is a producer/engineer/artist currently living in Brooklyn, NY. Out of her bedroom studio, she serves as a full-time freelance audio and content creator. Her work has been featured on a number of blogs and Spotify editorial playlists, and she strives to create art with purpose on a daily basis.
You can find her work here: Spotify