Devine Machine Cycler: the next-gen live looper?

Cycler: collaborate in person or over the internet.
Cycler: collaborate in person or over the internet.

NAMM 2010 was a bit of a disappointment when it came to new software releases, but fortunately, Devine Machine does look set to deliver something substantial in the form of Cycler.

Designed to be "the missing link between hardware loopers and modern audio applications for live music", as you can see in the above video, this standalone app and plug-in could turn out to be a bit of a game-changer for computer-based collaborators.

Here's why Devine Machine thinks you should be interested:

- Performances in Cycler are different from any other live applications. Special features (scene recalls, 'one-knob-FX') have been set to ease the live manipulation of the 16 loopers and the huge number of effects, without loads of MIDI controllers.

- Two users can use Cycler simultaneously on the same computer with 16 loopers each, or can also collaborate remotely and exchange project modifications across the net.

- Cycler features a slice sequencer: record a sound, and Cycler will sequence it immediately. Depending on the nature of the sound you record, the project nature will change radically. The musical possibilities are endless.

- Sequence editing is very simple, you have several edit modes, and you can record the sequence via MIDI. Editing can also be done live via specific functions.

- Cycler can stream audio files: say you have some songs ready and want to perform some parts of the song on stage. Simply bounce your tracks, load them in Cycler, route them to different outputs if needed, and set the BPM. Cycler is now synced to your song and you are ready to perform. You can also reload your song with MIDI controllers.

That's certainly enough to get us taking notice - if you want the full feature list, it's over the page. Cycler will be released in Spring 2010 (price TBC) as a standalone app and VST plug-in with ReWire and Receptor support. VST plug-in hosting is also on the road map.

Cycler feature list:

* Comprehensive interface
* MIDI learn for all functions
* Record/overdub
* Replace
* Quantized instant record modes
* Feedback
* First loop quantize (audio detection)
* Infinite undos
* Multiply loop length
* Divide loop length
* Post FX instant stereo resample (tweak the loop and hit resample)
* Fast Init
* Reverse
* Backward
* Level
* Pan
* Mute
* Start/set start/stop
* Mono/stereo loopers modes
* Any looper length from one 8th to 8 bars
* Free looping time (unsynced loopers)
* Odd time signatures
* Slice Sequencer : record a sound and hear Cycler sequence it instantly
* One shot play of recorded slices
* Live and screen editing over pitch, level, slice length
* Sequencer MIDI live record
* 960 per quarter note sequencer precision
* Expandable sequencer edit size
* Quantize grid (odd division available)
* Metronome
* Multiple outputs
* Effect multiple routing
* User level
* Master level
* Audio files streaming synced with loopers
* Background saving via MIDI
* Software monitoring with effects
* Hardware monitoring (latency compensation)
* Project manager with Name/BPM/Date and preview
* Project loading via MIDI
* Project export to another computer
* One-Knob-FX feature: control 250 effect knobs with only 5 controllers
* Variations recall : mixes/effects/sequences/mute scenes in one click
* CC, note, program change, pitch bend and typing keyboard support
* All functions accessible on screen
* Fully skinnable
* Skin themes
* Syncable effects
o Chorus
o Delay
o Distortion
o Flanger
o Noise gate
o Pitch shifter
o Phaser
o Miniblocks (beat slicer)
o Tremolo (mono/stereo)
o Filter (low/band/high pass)
o Wah
o Reverb
* Pre/post FX switch
* Min/max value on FX MIDI learn
* 16 loopers for each user
* 2 users
* Shareable/cross-platform (Win/Mac) format for collaboration work on the same project over network (Special versions with more loopers and users available on demand)

Stay updated via the Cycler Facebook page.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.