Our How-Tos Section

Introduction

These short How-Tos for Beginners should give a jumpstart into uFXloops.
In the case that you need a more visual introduction, you can also use the link to all our Getting Started Section with the Videos. The most important thing is to understand that uFXloops is a 'Big' Toolset, in its combination so called Digital Audio Workstation, that needs some time to understand. However there are a lot of things around uFXloops to make life easier for You. As we think easiest learning is done with fun and by example, uFXloops comes with an In-App-Community. You only need to do one thing as the first (or second) thing:

Click on the Community Button in The App

Not only will this open a World of Sounds for You, but it will help in a great way, that you can download predefined samples, loops, instruments and projects and have full insight on how they were built in uFXloops, and you can use the In-App-Forum to look for answers to questions you might have, and post new questions.
By doing that it will become a matter of an hour or two until you become creative and have a lot of Wow-Effects in uFXloops.
Please take a bit of time, and in case of questions, feel free to ask them, either in the In-App-Forum or via Mail to our Support Mail-Address.

In case you prefer an illustrated PDF document, you can also read the Operations Manual also available in GERMAN now, which explains things in more depth.

And now...for the HowTos.

How to Start

The Soundboard is the center of your activities. Click on Projects. You see a list of projects. These are your 'Songs', and you can create new songs or play, edit, remix existing ones. Click on one project in the list and you are in the Soundboard. You see, there is a grid of so called 'Slot Buttons'. Click on one or several. And hit the 'Play' button on the lower left. If you do not hear sound, please check the volume settings for audio on your device.
Long-Click: For Edit options on list entries and Slot Buttons, you need to know one thing: Use the long-click. Stay with your finger on a list entry (like on a project name in the list) or on a slot button. This will open a context menu.

Important! Tool Mode and Music Mode

On the upper left in the Soundboard you see a Tool icon and a Music icon. The Tool icon is selected by default. and represents the mode for editing and quick listening to slots. It does not need any playback and recording controls, these (and the variant buttons) become available when you switch to Music Mode. So, if you have a project that you want to record - please switch to Music Mode first.

How to Mix

In The Soundboard In the Soundboard you see an orange Tab called 'Mixer'. Click it. Now you see your slots buttons in a list. You can adjust volume and balance for each slot. And you can use a master reverb and a delay effect and adjust the send level for each slot. You can switch between the soundboard and the mixer while playing.

How to create a first Song

On the Main Screen, click on Projects. Then choose +New Project on the upper left. Enter a name for the project and press ok. You will get an empty soundboard. Your task is now: fill the empty slots with as many beat patterns, one shots, sample loops as you like and adjust their playing behaviour. To edit an empty slot, just click it. To edit an already filled slot, long-click it, and choose Edit Slot Samples. Once you see the Slot Samples list, you can choose to add just a sample (a simple sound or loop), or to add a percussive or melodic pattern, which you can make on your own with a chosen instrument. You can later edit these slot samples via the shown icons for pattern edit and loop behaviour. And you get more options via the context menu, when you long-click on a name of a slot sample in this list (e.g. you could duplicate or delete it).
To get a full understanding of all the details and possibilities, like how you automate volume and balance, how you could transpose and octave melodic patterns, how you could exchange instruments, we strongly recommend the Operations Manual.

How to use playing variants

In The Soundboard on the lower right you see little buttons A, B, C, D. These are variant buttons which store slot button clicks for a time period. You can use these for playback of a complicated combination of slot button clicks. And you can record your own playing variants: Just select an empty variant button. You see a message that variant recording is active. Now click the slot buttons you want to start with. Then click on Play. And click the slot buttons how they should play in that variant. Once you are done, hit the (single) Stop button. And you will see the number of recorded bars besides the variant letter.
When such a variant button is highlighted, this means uFXloops will play the variant once you hit he play button. To enable the 'Freestyle' mode again, click the highlighted variant button. To delete a recorded variant, long-click the variant button. During Playback you can switch between recorded variants and jump in - out of variants this way.

How to use Parts

uFXloops Songs can be made out of six parts (like Intro, Verses, Chorus, Bridge, Outro, ..)

In The Soundboard In the Soundboard you see the song parts as the button row above the slot buttons grid. To create a new part, click on an 'empty' part button. uFXloops will ask you to copy all slots of the current part. During Playback you can switch between parts. uFXloops will keep that synched to the beat. E.g. when switching a part whilst in variant playback mode, the 'old' part will still be played until all current variant bars are played. Then the new part starts playing. uFXloops will visually switch to the new part about two bars before it starts. You can enable an earlier visual switch in the settings on the main screen.

How to record a song to an .ogg file

You can record your song as a live-recording in the Soundboard. First take care that no variant button is currently selected. If one is selected, press it so that it turns off. Then press the record button. You will see a message, that live-recording is activated now. Further a recording level knob is shown on top, which can be used for fading during the recording. Now select your start slots or a playing variant and press play, this starts your recording. You can now do whatever you want in the soundboard, e.g. part switches, a switch to the mixer tab for mixing, selecting or deselecting slot buttons and so on. Everything will be seemlessly recorded. When your recording should end, we recommend to use the 'double' (delayed) stop button instead of the normal one, or you can slowly fade out your song with the Rec. level knob and then press the stop button. Your recording will then be converted. You will find your live-recordings in the folder /Android/data/de.ufxmedia.ufxloops/ufxloops/liveRecordings on your SD card. You can also get a list of your live recordings when you long-click on a project name in the project list and choose 'Assign Sound'. In the next version we will introduce the 'Recordings' button on main screen again.

How to Record Audio (Sample)

When you want to record your own audio, e.g. your voice, you can do so in the sample editor. Click on Samples on the main screen, then hit the +New Sample button. On the bottom you see a record button. When you hit it, the audio recording starts. Press stop when you're done and you see the audio recording's sample data in the editor. You can also record with click enabled, but then you should wear headphones, so the click is not recorded. When done with editing, always Save your sample on Tab 'SampleData'. Once Saved, you are ready to use it in slots.

How to import own Samples

Again this is done in the Sample Editor. Hit button 'Import' there and choose your soundfile via the file chooser. You can also play it first. Choose good import options, for example we recommend Mono in most cases, because this will save a lot of memory. For big files, it may also be necessary to enter rough start and end time of the import.
In the sample editor, mark the beginning and end sample as needed and decide about the type of the sample. If it should be looped, time-shifted, and pitched, choose loop and determine the correct bpm and bars by looping it with click enabled and adjusting bpm and bars as needed. If the sample is a one-shot, choose percussive. If you can assign a melodic note, choose melodic and so on.
In the Sampledata tab, if the sample is percussive or melodic, please assign the correct note to it with the drop-down. Then Save. Now you can use it in projects. As you see, entering all this data for a sample is a bit of work, we decided to provide that community, and community - based sounds ready to download with the App. Each Community Sample has all the correct settings already made.

How to use samples in your own projects

At first you create a new project. Click on Projects, then on +New Project. In the popup enter a name like 'Test' or whatever you want and click OK. This can be changed later. A 4x4 Grid should be OK for most projects.
Now you see the soundboard with 16 empty slots. Just click any of them to start adding a sample into it. In the popup just choose if this should be a looped slot or not and click on edit. This will open the (empty) Samplelist for the slot, as later you could add more samples into a single slot. Click on +Sample, which will open the Samplechooser. Choose the desired sample and it is added to the slot Samplelist.
If you want to change the way the sample is looped, or adjust volume, balance, pitch, speed, I recommend to hit the Play Button first, and then click the sample in the list. This shows a screen where you make all adjustments regarding that specific sample. The advantage of playing it first is, that you will directly 'hear' your changes now.
When you're happy with it, save your changes and go back two times. Back in the soundboard, you see your first slot now. Click it and hit play. To change the slot, do a long click on it.

How to make Beat Patterns

I guess you read the previous How-To, so you already know how to fill and edit a slot in the soundboard.
To create a beat pattern, either long-click on an already filled slot, or click on an empty slot. If you don't see empty slots, this is because you may not be in edit mode of the soundboard. Then just hit the 'tool' icon on the upper left.
From the samples list, choose +Drums or +Percussion, for either a drums or percussion beat. This will open the percussive pattern editor. The first thing you need to do now is to load an instrument, via the button on the upper right. You can design your own sample-based drumsets or download from the community, but here you can only select from the ones you already have.
Once you loaded the instrument into the pattern editor, you see texts for the samples that have been loaded. Just draw your notes now, default settings is one bar with 16ths, which can be changed to your needs. Especially you are allowed to switch between quantize settings, e.g. to draw 32th and triplets and then switch back to 16ths.
Drumsets will further have two sections for drums and for cymbals. I would also recommend to make two different patterns for drums and cymbals, but you don't need to.
Play your pattern with the play button to test it, and fine-tune the velocity. When done, save it and go back. That's all.
To reuse the pattern as a template, you can also save as template and later load it again.

How to make Melodies and Chords

For melodies and chords you first need melodic instruments which you could create on your own or download from the community. There are howtos for both, if you first want to know how you get these. Once you have your instrument, it works basically the same way as for beats, that means you start editing a slot in the soundboard, and then you choose +Melodic in the Samplelist for the slot to open the Melodic Pattern Editor.
If you already created a beat, you know the basics, e.g. load your instrument first. But for editing there are a few differences now: Pianoroll is on the left. Scroll up and down to find the right octave to draw notes. You can draw long notes by sliding to the right on a note drawn.
You delete a drawn note by clicking on it again
When you hear a sound while drawing: good. If not, you might be out of the octave range for the instrument.
Choose the number of bars for the pattern with the wheel.
If you enable 'solo' checkbox, you can pitchbend by overlapping two drawn notes. The pitchbend time will be the area where they overlap.
You can up/down move the octave with the wheel.
You can also save as pattern template, for reuse purposes.

How to Download from the Community

Samples, Instruments and Projects can be downloaded from the Community.
In the corresponding list (samples, instruments...), if you see a login button just hit it. First time users will see a screen with further information about registering but you can also decide to do that later. This now enables a check box above the samples-, instruments- or projects-list called community-search. Enable it and you have access to thousands of sounds to listen to and download. The download itself is done in a service, the result is shown in the notification bar. Once you downloaded a sound, it will become available locally and you can directly use it. On the Samples list, you can further filter your local samples and the community samples:
Local Samples: filter if instrument and/or project samples should be shown.
Community Samples: Filter on the Sample Type.
Further you can combine the filter with a search.

How to create an own Drumset

To create your own drumset, just make sure before, that you have local samples for kick, snare, Toms, cymbals etc. To get these, you can use downloads from the community.
Then click on instruments, and choose Drums as the instrument section. Hit the +New Instrument Button and enter a name and description.
On the next screen simply add your samples for the different drums and cymbals keys by pressing the choose button for the note.
You can also switch to the Accented section of your drumset to add a second sound for the Accented version, this can also be drawn in the pattern later by turning on the 'Accented' button there.
You do not need to provide a sample for every note, just provide the ones you have and need later in your patterns.
Adjust volume and balance for each note of your drumset. E. G. Hihat sounds better balanced to the left.
When you're done, go back. You are ready to use the drumset now.
You can do that the same way for percussion instruments in the percussion section of the instrument lists.

How to make an own Melodic Instrument

Melodic Instruments are a little bit harder to build than drums, but the principle is the same. Have some samples ready which are long enough to be able to pitch them.
Then click instruments, Melodic, +New Instrument.
Enter the Name and a short description of the Instrument in the Popup
With the button +Add Samplenote, you start adding a melodic note.
On the next screen, you see several buttons. Start with the topmost 'Assign a Sample' and choose your sample on the next screen. Now you can check rootkey and assign a note range with the buttons noterange from, and noterange to. The sample will then be pitched to this noterange later in the Melodic pattern. For best results, you should use short noteranges of three semi tones, and more samples recorded with different root keys.
You can also try to find loop points of these samples automatically by turning on the 'looped' flag. You can also manually adjust them. This will allow 'endless' playing of a samplenote if required. For example for pads and lead synth sounds.
Once you are done with the sample note, accept the changes by hitting this button on the bottom. You should see the first samplenote of the instrument in the list now, and can continue with the second one and so on. Please take care, that noteranges of the individual samplenotes do not overlap.
Once you have added all your samples for the instrument, it's a good idea to note the noterange of the whole instrument in its description. It's ready to be used in Melodic patterns now.

How to Change / Edit things in uFXloops

Remember the nearly most important thing in uFXloops : Long Click Almost every edit function on every object, list entry can be reached with this.
Some special edit functions are worth to mention:

  • move, copy or delete a part: long-click a part button in the soundboard. When you copy a part, it is stored in the clipboard and you can transfer it to another project by going back, opening the other project, long-clicking an empty part button there and choosing paste. Only take care that the target project has the same or bigger grid size, otherwise you might lose slots.
  • Editing slots: long-click them. You can also move slots and copy them to clipboard to insert them in other parts or projects.
  • Editing or Exporting projects: Long-click the list entry.
  • The context menus will then show what you can do with them.

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