A looper pedal with no buttons? looperEYE‘s designers wanted to combine the power and flexibility of a DAW with the compactness and comfort of a looper pedal. Physical switches are replaced by the combination of an integrated camera and advanced image tracking; your foot movements are picked up by the camera and then interpreted as commands for the internal engine.
LooperEYE can be used stand-alone, so it is not necessary to connect additional devices. Both inputs and outputs are stereo and the box runs at a full 192KHz and 24-bit. The dynamic range is 114dB.
The makers of looperEYE say that there’s no limit to the recording time or number of tracks. Sounds great, but I would still like to know what kind of storage medium is installed in the housing.
According to the product description, there is also an integrated synthesiser in both versions of the device that lets you play a number of different instruments. Unfortunately, this isn’t described in any detail and could be anything – even a cheap rompler. However, it can be accessed in many different ways via plug-and-play-capable MIDI devices, MIDI over WiFi, through the app or by assigning MIDI commands or MIDI buttons to the buttons of looperEYE.
Although looperEYE can be operated stand-alone, you will probably only exploit its possibilities to the fullest using the dedicated app running on a smartphone or tablet. It lets you visualise your loops, edit controls, save, export tracks, import, save sessions, configure the number of tracks and a lot more besides. You can even mix the recorded tracks.
As beautiful as these features may sound, I remain sceptical. Sure, the good old hardware loopers like the BOSS RC-30* or TC Electronic Ditto X4* may have their limits. But I can be sure that even after years stored in a cupboard they will have the same features, functionality and usability as the day they were released. What happens to looperEYE if support is terminated for the app? Would the device lose functionality?
For the camera shy (or people who prefer a more traditional interface) looperEYE’s makers have developed a second version with footswitches called the looperEYE-B.
The Kickstarter page says deliveries are slated for March 2020, with around third of the funding goal currently reached. Special deals for early backers are available: GBP 199 for the first 25 orders, then GBP 249 for everyone who wasn’t cool enough to back this early.