Loupe 2 Release

After a long wait and several delays – one of which was caused by the addition of a delay mode, ironically – I present Loupe 2.

What is Loupe? It’s a Reaktor ensemble that assigns freeform sections of a sample to different MIDI notes and allows them to be pitched, reversed, resized, filtered and enveloped individually. The incoming MIDI notes do not repitch the sample directly , but you can manually adjust each slice / key’s tuning to create more complex melodic variation out of your source sample.

It works fantastically well to transform and remix a five to ten second musical phrase, a beat loop, a few seconds of a full song, or even a field recording of a drunk guy swearing at a lamp post. There is music lurking everywhere, sometimes in other music, sometimes in the notes between the notes, in the hissy crackle of decaying note tails on old vinyl samples, and Loupe will help you find it.

There are slice copy and paste buttons, so you can create slices with small variations on different keys or in different octaves. This video provides an introduction to Loupe in general as well as the new features in version 2:

Update May 8, 2013: Loupe 2.0.1 now has a per-slice “single shot” option so a slice plays only once even if you hold down the note. This is much more useful for sliced beats especially. I’ve added a few snaps to showcase the one shot feature.

There is also an improved button style for both the “reverse” and “single shot” controls – just click on ’em instead of clicking and dragging.

Also, I’ve added an envelope to the slice animation, so the markers fade in and out with the envelope. It’s a subtle difference but looks pretty snazzy.

I will have more info and demos soon regarding the new features but I wanted to get this update out to the user base ASAP. Download links have been updated and the Loupe 2 password you received will decrypt this update. Enjoy!

It is super CPU friendly! On my 4 year old Core 2 Duo iMac, it uses around 6% CPU with four voices – that’s 6% of one core, mind. If you want to use more voices, just adjust the instrument properties tab, but I find four is a nice balance since sampled material tends to be timbrally rich to begin with and you probably don’t want too many voices playing at once.

Loupe 2 improvements

  • Autoslicing function – set base note, number of slices, and hit the slice button to automatically map sample segments across the keyboard. Works great on beatloops as well as melodic material!
  • New GUI with color coded per-slice parameters and polyphonic slice markers mapped across the waveform display
  • Visual feedback showing the effect of position LFO
  • Improved slice reverse function
  • Delay mode: slice parameters, repitching, slice areas, filter, reverse and envelope can be mapped to live audio, with buffer freeze features
  • A one-knob “clarify” control rolls off the bass and boosts treble so your samples sit better in the mix
  • MIDI mappable per-slice fine start and length controls allow you to fine tune slice position from a MIDI controller without reaching for the mouse
  • A new Hold control sustains struck notes, freeing your hands to perform with the global controls
  • TouchOSC iPad template is included in the archive
  • Improved slice position LFO and other small tweaks and bugfixes

First of all, it looks nicer! I don’t know about you but to me looks matter and I find I use a tool more if it’s visually appealing. The controls have been rearranged into more logical groupings.

There is a new autoslice feature. Select a first note and a number of slices and Loupe will slice the sample into that number of slices and assign the slices to that note and the subsequent notes going upward on the keyboard. Let’s say you create twelve slices from middle C upwards. If you then slice from the C above middle C upwards in 16 slices, the previously sliced middle C range will be undisturbed. The “set all” controls below the per-slice parameters have also been modified to only affect the currently selected range. Note: in the presets in Loupe 2, I’ve used the the 16 notes from middle C upwards.

Naturally, you can still assign freeform loop segments by dragging on the waveform with the mouse. There are also fine start and fine length controls that are easily MIDI-assignable – after slicing a wave into even chunks, you can use a MIDI (or OSC) controller to play one note after another and fine tune the per-loop position and size from your control surface.

The reverse control now reverses the exact current area of a slice, instead of flipping over to the area prior to the current slice area. I find this is more intuitive and is what users expect from a reverse control. It also works a lot better with drum loops. Why didn’t it work this way in the first place? Mea culpa, gentlemen, mea culpa.

There is now a “clarify” control that drops the bass and boosts the treble, a one gesture EQ effect that I often use to help a sampled musical phrase fit into a new track and stand out without muddying the mix.

Another HUGE change is the new delay mode:

There’s also a number of small bugfixes and enhancements – little persnickety things I discovered as I overhauled the instrument – as well as new samples and presets, though if Loupe is the kind of instrument that appeals to you, you will certainly want to import your own samples and create your own sounds. Loupe is a creative tool, not a rompler. If you have a few gigabytes of field recordings and choice vinyl and tape samples, have I got the tool for you…!

Loupe 2 can be yours for $20 USD. Buy Loupe 2 now by clicking here:

Add to Cart

The encrypted archive for Loupe 2 can be downloaded here. When you buy, you will be emailed a code to unlock the archive. Please provide a valid email address!!

Loupe 2 is a Reaktor instrument and requires a full installation of Reaktor 5.8.0 or newer. It will not work with Reaktor Player.


Loupe 2 with its major new features is a separate instrument from Loupe 1 and it won’t be a free upgrade to Loupe 1 users. I am however introducing an amnesty period – if you bought Loupe anytime from September 2012 until now, you get Loupe 2 for free. Please be patient as I send out updates.

Now, what about my other sampling instruments – Mirage and Paramdrum? Am I going to upgrade them to “version 2” with major new features and charge again? No, but I will be reskinning them with the new look, plus a few minor tweaks, as point releases in the near term.


Special thanks to Felix Petrescu of Makunouchi Bento for his invaluable assistance beta testing as well as acting as a software muse, pushing for features that have made Loupe a better instrument.

Mac users: I’ve been getting complaints from people using Stuffit Expander to decrypt the Loupe 2 archive. In my humble opinion, Stuffit Expander is five pounds of shit in a two pound bag. To open a password protected RAR file use one of these:

http://wakaba.c3.cx/s/apps/unarchiver.html (recommended)

Forgot to add: Loupe 2 comes with TouchOSC support – a template is included in the package. Set up bi-directional OSC,  and selecting a slice in Loupe updates the controls on the iPad which is… pretty cool.

Loupe 2.0.2 bugfix now available – corrected a problem with auto-slicing where moving the slice # control after slicing would change the sample position.
  • Quinn

    Loupe 2 is really amazing!

  • Alex Macpherson

    Hey is there a PDF for this, I’m having trouble loading my own loops? Thanks!

  • Cecilia Brown

    Hey Pete!
    Any change of show how the touch OSC actual works or how to set it up……. I’ve never been able to make my function yet. Thanks a tonne!

    • Hi Cecilia, it’s a little tricky because it requires both MIDI and OSC to work properly. Are you on Mac or Windows?

      • Cecilia Brown

        Hey Pete I’m on the latest Mac!

        • First thing is to get the MIDI connection going between your iPad and Mac:



          …then you ought to be able to send notes from the touch pads at the bottom of my Loupe 2 layout.

          • Cecilia Brown

            Ok I’ll have a go tomorrow!

          • Cecilia Brown

            “Bidirectional OSC and WiFi Midi must be enabled”?…. Sorting this out is more time consuming than looking for rocking-horse manure….

          • Hi Cecilia, I’ll try to clarify. The MIDI is necessary to trigger notes from the TouchOSC template. This is unidirectional – MIDI doesn’t need to go in the other direciton, from Reaktor to TouchOSC.

            The OSC signals, on the other hand, need to be bi-directional in order to have TouchOSC update its controls to reflect the Reaktor control settings of the last note / slice that was triggered. So TouchOSC needs to be set up to send to the IP address and port number that Reaktor is receiving on, and Reaktor needs to be set up to transmit OSC to TouchOSC.

            There’s more info here on creating the OSC connection:


  • Rpm

    How does this compare to the mangle vst?

    • I’m pretty sure The Mangle doesn’t have an FX option for routing live audio through it. Also, since this is Reaktor you can pop the hood and modify it yourself.

      Also, I’m not sure but I think with The Mangle you can’t have each keyboard key assigned to a different sample slice with its own filter and envelope settings. I could be wrong about this… I bought The Mangle a while back but haven’t used it much. I do recall it has 8(?) sample slots with individual settings for each.

      • rpm

        Thanks for the explanation. Both look cool, I just got Reaktor so once I understand a few basic things, I’ll probably get either one.

  • Greg Killmaster

    I really love Loupe 2. The only thing I wish could be added is the ability to change the speed of the triggered samples, especially in grain delay mode. Would this be possible in a future update?

    • Hi Greg, are you talking about the way granular synthesis and timestretching traditionally works, by traveling more slowly through a sample and playing overlapping small slices? I’d like to do something like that in an update, to combine the capabilities of Loupe and Mirage.

      This will require moving the instrument(s) to the new Reaktor 6 table framework, which would enable finer-grained control (pun intended) over sample position and grain overlap. IMO the table framework is a bit immature at the moment though. In particular, the CPU usage is abominable. We’ll see how things develop in the coming months.

      So to get back to your question – yes, it’s possible, but won’t be a quick fix.

      • Greg Killmaster

        Yes, that is what I was referring to. Thank you for the explanation! Looking forward to what you might come up with in Reaktor 6!. I really do appreciated how your ensembles do what they are intended to do so well so thanks for the consideration!

  • James

    Hi Peter,

    Quick question – is there anyway that pitchbend, a glide/portamento function, or a pitch enevlope can be added. i am very new to reaktor and just watched a video on how to add a pitch bend to a device, but my attempt was unsuccessful – if that would be easy for you to do, it would be great to get some sort of update on this. Or if you could send over a modified verison of Loupe 2 that has this features for me I would be willing to pay for it.


    • IIRC the grain cloud module only reads the value at the P input when the grain retriggers. What I could do is set up something to send quantized 16th or 32nd note retriggers when the pitch bend is engaged. That would yield sort of a “squarepusher” robo-repeat sound on pitch bends. Would that be usable?

      • James

        Hey Peter,

        Thanks for the quick response – and sorry for getting back a little late! I actually ended up messing around with Reaktor quite bite (I had very little experience previous to this), and tried adding in a pitch bend, glide effect, and a pitch envelope. I was able to add in rough versions of a glide and pitchbend, but struggled with the “grain re-triggers” that you spoke of. I was unsuccessful with my attempts to add a pitch envelope.

        Essentially what I am looking to accomplish can be found in vocal sample solo in this song:


        What makes this vocal sample solo unique is that there are multiple vocal samples within in that have a glide affect that seems to be tied between the different samples.

        Here is how I am guessing they achieved this affect:

        • They took a vocal loop

        • They chopped the vocal loop

        • They pulled the vocal loop into a sampler

        • They applied a time shift and a formant shift to the samples

        • They mapped out the different slices of the vocal loop to different keys on the sampler

        • They either applied a:

        Glide – if a glide was used they would have needed to map out the different samples logically according to the pitch of the sample and the pitch of the keyboard

        Pitch Bend – They could have used a pitch bend to mimick a glide affect as they went from sample to sample. IE a pitch bend up affect was used to transition from a low to high samples and the inverse was true for a high to low sample.

        Pitch Envelope – They possibly could have used a pitch envelope and applied some kind of logical modified to it that would understand the relative key position or pitch relative to the other vocal sample that was played before? This seems unlikely/impossible though.

        I have looked at a bunch of different samplers (kontakt, machfive, iris, tx16wx, Ableton M4L devices, Ableton’s sampler and simpler) and I have not been able to achieve this sound. The closet I have been able to get is in Kontakt. I have not happy with the Kontakt solution since the process is slower than it needs to be and the basic Kontakt sampler can be a pain to work in. If there was a Loupe for Kontakt this could possible be a great solution…

        So with that extremely detailed and probably boring post, I am wondering if you have any ideas on how this could possibly be done in Loupe 2.02 or Kontakt if you are familiar with other Native Instrument products. I am by no means a computer programmer, but I have become pretty familiar with samplers as a result of this journey to achieve this vocal sample solo affect…so if you would like to talk more or share ideas back and fourth on this let me know.

        • Hi James, thanks for the long and detailed post, actually! It’s cool seeing someone else’s “trail of bread crumbs” in the sampling domain. What I actually think is going on here, is that the melisma (pitch glide) is baked into the vocal performance and there’s actually less processing and instrument-playing than you might think… I’d guess that Ableton’s clip warping is involved, though you can also do similar things in Reaper and other DAWs that have time stretching and pitch shifting modes.

          On the other hand, the ability to play something like this live and really shred on it rather than modifying a performance would be awesome. Quite possibly you could get close in Reaktor by using the pitch former sampler module. Try the PitchFormer sampler by James Walker Hall in the user library, part of his sampler pack, and play with the settings.

          Unfortunately I don’t think Loupe is well suited for this as each key/slice has individual pitch settings and it doesn’t play like a typical keyboard instrument. Kontakt, possibly, though it might require some custom KSP programming to really nail it.

          • James

            Hey Peter,

            Thanks again for the reply! Interesting thought on the pitch bend being in the original vocal performance and the possible use of clip warping..that makes a lot of sense. I will look into PitchFormer. Thanks again for making Loupe – even if it won’t work for this specific use it still is a great and unique sampler!

  • Kevin Halloran

    hello, Loupe 2 is excellent. I’m trying to use delay mode as an effects insert in an audio track for Logic X, but unfortunately I can’t figure out a way to get the ensemble to receive midi notes. Does anyone have ideas. I suppose I may have to use reaktor in stand alone mode.

    • Hi Kevin, I unfortunately don’t have access to Logic but I can try to troubleshoot… can you route audio from one track to another in Logic? You might need to do that if audio tracks can’t accept MIDI note input.

      Another possibility is routing MIDI through the Logic “Environment”. Not sure if that will let you send to an effect though.

      There’s a Logic subreddit here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Logic_Studio/

      Sorry for your ordeal! I’ve had the same headaches in Ableton. This is why I like Reaper – there are no silly rules about what can or can’t receive MIDI or audio, and you can pretty much send anything anywhere.

  • Matthew Thurgood

    Hi Peter. I’m a huge fan of Frame but really need the additional features provided by Loupe 2. Please could you confirm that Loupe 2 is fully compatible with Reaktor 6? I did read your statement above (“requires a full installation of Reaktor 5.8.0 or newer”) but just wanted to check before purchasing. It looks/sounds superb. Many thanks.

    • Hi Matthew, it works fine for me in the current version 6.2.2 and I’ve had no reports of any problems.

      • Matthew Thurgood

        Thanks for getting back to me. I’ve just spent about three hours playing with Frame 3 in Reaper. Creating track envelopes for Position, Length, LFO Freq/Amp etc. and then randomizing them using Padre’s LFO Generator (from the SWS extensions) yields some mind-blowing results from even the most basic material. Not truly “random”, of course, because they are envelopes but infinitely tweakable and, most importantly, a ton of fun. I’m just waiting for some payments to clear and then I’ll be purchasing Loupe 2. Cheers!

  • dbwest

    I made something like this in Max/MSP years ago for a class and was so sad I lost it. Buying this now!