There’s no easy way of classifying the best software for making guitar loops. This handy list will guide you through some of the most well-known DAWs. It also includes hidden gem apps and plugins to get you everything you need in terms of guitar looping. Read on to find out more.
Mobius: Best Free Software for Guitar Loops
Mobius is a fantastic free plugin. It’s really got everything needed for anything you might want to experiment with. Although the website suggests using a MIDI keyboard, you can actually adapt it for guitar too. Mobius uses samples. Therefore, it’s easy for a guitarist to quickly record a lick or riff and modify it to their heart’s desire. In this way, it helps cross the threshold between classic guitar playing and altering their sound with production.
Mobius has an interface which is clean and easy to decipher. The designers have laid all different options across the top. And, with only two colours, black and icy purple, it’s not too complicated to look at. With eight different channels for audio recordings, you can layer loops and see how they interact. Mobius strips its technological features back to the basics. It has options to record, overdub, reverse, and speed control, but this also forces guitarists to become more creative. You can download Mobius by clicking here and opening their own website.
Best Software for Guitar Loops if you already own Ableton Live: Looper – built in Ableton effect
Everyone’s heard of Ableton Live, but it would be a crime not to include it on this list. Ableton’s live mode allows musicians to break out of the constraints of a timeline and edit things holistically. This is great for musicians who don’t compose in a linear way. It also helps get a broader overview of your track and how loops fit into it.
So why is Ableton so great and why does it deserve a place on this list? Ultimately it is highly flexible and offers a unique position between analogue and digital. Its unique pad-based play-station means multiple loops can be played over the top of each other. Instruments can also be looped live in this way.
Ableton has a complex system of add-ons and upgrades. However, the plus of this is that it allows musicians to choose exactly the things they need and nothing more. However, Live 11 intro begins at 99 USD and requires Windows 10 or higher, or MacOS 10.13 to 12.
We are excited to announce the arrival of Live 12, and we couldn’t update this list without it. Live 12 doesn’t really offer anything new in terms of looping capacities, but there is something great we think it does specifically for guitarists: its tuning systems feature.
Ok, this is great for guitarists and if you’re deciding between Ableton and any other feature, it could be a deal breaker depending on how much you like composing. The tuning systems feature of Ableton democratizes unfamiliar tunings so guitarists can easily experiment with sounds outside the classic EADGBE, or, standard tuning.
In addition, you may not have known Ableton has its own interactive Learning Music site. The new feature is billed to work in tandem with this, involving compatible software that will allow you to transport data from one to the other and transfer what you’ve learned about tunings into Live 12 so you can continue working on it.
It may not strictly relate to the looping feature, but if you want all your tech in one place, it may be worth converting to Ableton just for how friendly it is now to guitarists and composers who want to explore other tunings. We’re seriously impressed with the thought that has gone into this feature because this kind of composition is not often catered for in guitar software. So now, if you want to make loops in medieval church modes, or even a custom tuning, there’s nothing stopping you.
On the surface, compared to some of the options on this list, Microsoft’s Loop Studio isn’t much. This app, available for handheld devices only, strips things really down to the basics. It has a clean and simple layout with nicely designed square pads and tracks to sort out your samples. It also has the option to loop both pre-recorded instruments and to record directly into your phone.
So why does Loop Studio make the list? Loop Studio is exactly what you want on your phone whether you’re in a jam session and need to capture a particular moment. That way, you can see how it sounds in various forms – it’s also perfect for when you’re on the go or simply don’t have the time to sit down at a computer or with more complex software.
Loop Studio is a perfect place to find your sound and store ideas. In this way, it works in a similar manner to Apple’s voice notes feature. For such a simple app, it really does a lot. For this, it has deserved a rightful place on this list.
FL Studio: One of the Best DAWs for Guitar Loops
Like Ableton, almost everyone has heard of FrootyLoops studio. So, what’s the difference between them in terms of looping software and which is better for guitarists? Many find they both lend themselves more to electronic music. However, because of this, they excel at making looping easy to master. As a result, both FL Studio and Ableton deserve a place on the list. However, how do they really compare?
For the purpose of guitar loops at least, FL Studio is more like a traditional DAW. Yet FL Studio really comes into it’s own when you investigate the guitar loops packs it has. Depending on your preference, these can be more creative than those found on Logic. It’s also stellar for combining your guitar loops with some of its beat-making features, and generally offers a creative playground for guitar looping experiments.
Loopmix By Audiomodern: BEST for mixing genres
Although you may be a guitarist, there’s no restrictions on just guitar-based music. Ultimately, you may want to fit your playing into genres as diverse as pop, lofi, or hip hop.
We’ve chosen Loopmix by Audiomodern as one of the best bits of looping software to do this as it perfectly bridges the gap between just playing guitar and taking samples of it, and creatively recombining those into sounds to suit a variety of genres. Even modern indie and synthpop use this approach effortlessly, so if you’re making any kind of music that uses a hybrid of electronic instruments and guitars, Loopmix is a huge plus.
Loopmix uses AI intelligently to take your samples of guitar or any other sound and recombine them into endless permutations.
It’s billed as a ‘creative loop remixer’ so it’s not just a loop software but also a tool to expand your horizons. The fact is, as the AI remixes your loops, you can begin to see your own playing in a new context which is great if you want to adapt your style to different genres or projects.
You can check it out on the Audiomodern website here. Loopmix comes at 69 EUR but there is a free trial for both Windows and Mac. In addition, it comes as a much cheaper iPad app at just under 15 USD.
LoopyPro: A Futuristic and Highly Intutiive Looper
LoopyPro is easily one of the most aesthetically pleasing bits of software on this list. One bonus point of its appearance is that it allows you to have an overview of everything going on. In addition, the demos on the LoopyPro website easily walk you through how to balance all the different options. It’s really thorough with all this amazing bit of kit has to offer.
This smart app is available for your iOS devices as well as for your macOS computer. LoopyPro may appear at first glance to be more suited to synths and drum pads. However, it works perfectly with riffs, laid-back solos, or additions from your six-string in an otherwise mostly electronic track. In fact, as many YouTube tutorials show, it’s popular with guitarists. It has a great ability to track multiple fiddly licks and riffs. It really lends itself to more complex styles of playing!
As a sampler, sequencer and DAW, in addition, this is actually a really powerful bit of software. It is well worth checking out if you need an alternative to Logic X Pro in favour of something more intuitive.
SooperLooper: An Honourable Mention
We’ve listed SooperLooper as an honourable mention. It’s not necessarily as easy to use or set up as some of the others. It requires JACK, a sound server API which lowers latency in connections between applications. In addition, SooperLooper isn’t available for Windows. Their website actually suggests Mobius (listed first in this article) as a similar alternative for those working on PC.
Nevertheless, SooperLooper is a pretty great loop station. It’s discrete and you can easily keep it as a small window on your desktop. The website does recommend that it works best with hardware in addition, such as MIDI foot-pedals. However, for an already-equipped musician who is confident with both software and hardware, SooperLooper is definitely a candidate. It’s a very unobtrusive loop station, and can quickly become a part of the furniture on your desktop.
Final Thoughts: A Rundown of the Best Software for Guitar Loops
Loop stations and looping software offer a lot of potential both for quick and flexible composition. However, it can be hard to tell which one suits your style of music best. Nevertheless, this list contains some of the best and most easily usable options out there. Now the only thing left is to experiment, play around, and remember to have fun.