Layer and loop your voice with 12 minutes recording time, unlimited overdubbing and multi-level undo/redo. Sing, beatbox and have fun!
About this project
Introducing the Loopa by Sonuus
The Loopa is the world’s first looper microphone. It works just like a normal microphone, but lets you record what you sing, replay it in a loop and sing over it.
With the Loopa you can build up layers of sound, controlling the looping and overdubbing using the controls on the microphone. This means that you are free to move around while you sing or perform and the control is intuitive because it is in your hands, where you are already holding the microphone.
We set out to make a great looper microphone, so we designed a really robust looper engine that would let you record, overdub, undo and redo, time after time. But we’re audio specialists, so we wanted the audio quality to be unquestionably brilliant. The result is a superb-sounding vocal condenser cardioid microphone with a built-in intuitive looper, and these combine to create a truly innovative product that is great fun to make music with.
We’ve tried and tested our prototypes: professional beatboxers, hiphop musicians, pop idols andenthusiastic children all love recording loops with the Loopa prototypes. With your help, we’d love to bring the Loopa to production and in return we’ll ship you the first Loopas off the production line, making you the world’s first Loopa microphone users.
How Does It Work?
If you like the nerdy details (and we do), this is the section that goes into the guts of the Loopa.
To ensure audio integrity, 24-bit converters are used and all audio processing is 32-bit floating point inside an ARM Cortex M4 processor.
At the core of the Loopa is high-integrity looper engine comprising the latest high-endurance BENAND (Built-in Error-correction NAND) flash memory from Toshiba and custom-designed software. The audio that you record in your loops is written to and read from the flash memory in a clever way that gives you instant responsiveness and an intuitive user interface.
Our novel software algorithms let you overdub your original loop an unlimited number of times, letting you build up layers of audio with minimal degradation. Multiple levels of realtime undo and redo are possible up to the maximum 12 minute loop time.
Who Can Use It?
The Loopa is aimed at everyone who enjoys singing and making music. There is no age or skill limit to having fun with the Loopa. The ages of the people who have tried, tested and enjoyed it so far range from children to seasoned musicians, with skill levels ranging from inexperienced enthusiasts to professionals, and musical tastes covering everything from beat boxing, hip hop, acapella, pop, folk and musicals.
Use the Loopa on stage, in the studio, at home, for practice and to have fun at parties.
We have concentrated on high-quality audio processing so professionals and amateurs alike are pleased with the sounds they create. The Loopa controls are intuitive, so within moments you can record loops, overdub, undo and redo.
The Loopa has been designed primarily for vocals, but we were blown away by how much fun a flautist had with it at NAMM 2016. If you enjoy making music, we know you’ll love playing with the Loopa.
Why We Need Your Help
We have worked non-stop for the last six months to create the working Loopa prototypes, and to finalise the looper engine, the user interface and the mechanical design. We’ve tested the prototypes and sent them to some amazing artists for them to test and we’ve been overwhelmed by their positive reactions.
The next step is manufacturing. We need to secure £36,000 to help fund the tooling and materials for our first production run.
This is where we need YOU.
We need you to help us bring the Loopa to production. You can do this by pledging and supporting our campaign and in return we will make you the very first Loopa users in the world.
The Loopa was dreamt up in a “wouldn’t it be great” moment, and we were so excited by the idea that the project was up and running within weeks.
The timing of this idea aligned perfectly with the availability of an exciting new BENAND flash memory part from Toshiba, the inventor of flash memory, that has built-in error checking and correction. This meant that we were able to dedicate more of the processor’s resources to the complicated processing required in the looper engine, making looping more responsive while also avoiding having to use an expensive, power-hungry processor.
The first two months of the project focused on developing a robust, high-integrity looper engine using the new BENAND part and our custom-designed software. We concentrated on designing an engine that behaves exactly as a user would expect and works reliably every time with no funnies, no errors, no unexpected blips.
In the following six weeks we worked on circuit boards, industrial design and the user interface. Using our office 3D printer we optimised the feel of the microphone and are particularly pleased with how nicely it fits your hand and how easy it is to use the controls.
We then had two weeks to 3D print and assemble prototypes to show at The NAMM Show 2016 in Los Angeles in January. The reaction at the show was simply amazing: everyone immediately “got it” and loved how it worked and how easy it was to use, then left with a smile on their face.
Since NAMM, we have been preparing the Loopa for production, making small tweaks to the circuit to optimise performance and to make manufacturing as efficient as possible. We’ve also been doing extensive reliability testing to make sure everything works correctly, and continues to work for years to come.
It has only been six months since we started on the Loopa, but it has been the most intense, exciting, involving and fun project we’ve undertaken.
We are a small British team of dedicated engineers, innovators and musicians creating products that we love. Between us we have many, many decades of experience in the music industry designing and building samplers, synthesizers, MIDI converters, MIDI controllers, FX, instrument tuners and guitar pedals.
We founded Sonuus Limited seven years ago and as part of Sonuus we have consistently delivered innovative, high-quality audio products that our customers love: the G2M, B2M and i2M musicport MIDI converters set the benchmark in pitch-to-MIDI conversion, and the Wahoo andVoluum raised the bar for what good guitar effect pedals should be.
Risks and challenges
The Loopa is now almost ready for production. The first two prototypes worked well and the second set of prototypes worked close to perfection. We are confident that the design, materials and software will work.
Although we’ve done extensive in-house testing, we now have several prototypes being road-tested by some of our artists to ensure any problems are ironed out before production starts.
Our team has lots of experience designing and manufacturing great products and we are confident we can deliver the Loopa. To manufacture the Loopa, we have engaged a respected, highly-experienced manufacturer that specialises in top-end microphones.
Because we are using high-quality components and not compromising on the audio processing, the microphone capsule, or the design, we need to do a first production run of at least 1000 Loopa microphones to bring component costs down and to pay for tooling. This is where your support will make it all possible. Support our campaign and we will put you on the list to be one of the first to receive a brand new Loopa and you can have great fun making Loopa music!