The Loop of the Tiger

Many great pieces of music come to us from a time when popular songs were the ultimate expression of artistic talent rather than mere technological achievements. That’s not to say that good songs are no longer written today; however, in my opinion music is consumed – and produced – nowadays in such a way that more often than not it ends up being ephemeral background noise. Do you remember the last time you sat down to just listen to music?

The Eye of the Tiger by Survivor is one of the songs that has survived the test of time (pun intended), though some will say that the movie this song was written for didn’t age as gracefully, but I digress. Its rhythmic intro is so catchy that even toddlers can perform it distinctly.

I chose The Eye of the Tiger for a demo video of one of the most frequently used Chronotron features: the ability to create loops. Keep reading if you want to go through some details, otherwise skip to the video below and enjoy.

Basic Operation

The Loop In and Loop Out buttons perform the same functions as in CDJ players: press the Loop In button to set the loop start point, and when playback reaches the point where you want to start over, press the Loop Out button to set the end point and begin looping. It’s really that simple.

The Loop button toggles looping on and off. Clear Loop removes both loop points, once you confirm you really want to do so.

Adjusting Loop Points

You can adjust the loop points by dragging them around with the mouse – or the finger, if you have a touchscreen. However, there are cases when you want to change their location more precisely. The Loop pane – depicted below – allows you to manually edit the loop points either by entering their position as text (more on this below) or by increasing or decreasing their location in 25ms steps.

Whenever you make changes and the Play loop end… switch is on, Chronotron will seek closer to the end of the loop so you can hear if the loop juncture sounds right, without waiting for the whole loop to complete. This comes in handy especially when creating long loops.

In the input boxes you can enter any integer number of hours and minutes, appended with “h” and “m” respectively, and/or any number of seconds with or without decimals places, optionally appended with “s”. For example, entering “200.5” is the same as entering “200.5s”, “3m 20.5s” or “3m 20.5”.

By the way, I hear you saying that it would be great if you could also enter a number of beats in there. However, in order for such feature to be useful some more automation will be required (as of this writing Chronotron has a manual beat detector), but it is definitely in my to-do list.

The Demo Video

Here is a short video showing how the Loop feature works in Chronotron. Be warned, though: a song may stick in your head for the rest of the day.

Questions and suggestions are always very welcome.

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