I thought it would make sense to create an article to fully explain how to make loops ready to upload and share on looperman. There are plenty of common mistakes that people make when submitting loops and the majority of them are simple errors.
If you are planning on sharing loops here make sure you read and understand everything written here before uploading so that your loops dont get rejected and removed.
Some of the things I say here might seem obvious, overly fussy or pointless but you would be surprised at the types of things people upload or the things they get confused with.
How do I upload loops, I'm not allowed
Before you can upload loops your account needs to be updated to give you uploading privileges. By default we block everyone from uploading to ensure the quality of uploads is maintained and we dont end up with a load of junk.
Before you get in touch you will need to have done a few things .....
- You need to upload an avatar to your profile
- You need to add some information about yourself to your profile
- You need to read and understand this article
Once that's all done you'll find the link to contact me is at the bottom of this article.
Copyright, is this 100 % your own work ?
The whole idea of uploading loops to looperman.com is that other people can use them royalty free. We are not interested in loops taken from commercially released tracks, from loop packs either from online loop sites or loops that come bundled with your software.
The basic rule here is - If you did not create the loop 100% yourself dont upload it !
Taking a sample and running it through some filters, chopping it up and rearranging it does NOT make it your own work. Recording yourself playing the guitar, keyboards, drums etc is your own work and so is good.
Taking a file you think is royalty free from somewhere else and then uploading it here is not your own work and will see you banned. The same goes for taking files from sample packs. There are hundreds of thousands of users who will see your uploads and if its not your own work you WILL be found out, reported and banned from the site.
Uploading anything that has copyright problems will see your account suspended from the site and could even land you in legal trouble with the copyright owner. Its essential for you to understand the terms and conditions you agree to when using looperman.com.
If you're unsure dont upload.
Loops must be seamless, with no gaps at the start or end
One of the most common reasons for loops being rejected is the fact that the files do not even loop. Yes it may sound crazy but it happens every day. Just because something sounds good in FLStudio or whatever DAW you are using does not mean it loops properly as a file on its own.
The main reasons that loops end up with gaps at the start or the end is that you did not select the correct settings when exporting from your DAW and so the output file includes a tail containing the delay or reverb. Search Google for how to export seamless loops in your particular DAW.
Loops must be seamless, with no clicks or pops at the start or end
Another common problem is loops that have not been edited so that the loop without any clicks or pops. This happens when you the end and the start of the loop have different levels etc. Its easy to fix by simply fading the very last and first moment of the loop to zero. An example of where this would cause an obvious problem is a pad loop where the sound is constant throughout. Play your file in a Wav editor and you ll know if there is a problem.
IMPORTANT !!! use the correct export settings
The vast majority of problems could be avoided if you follow the notes in this thread. http://www.looperman.com/forum/thread/181213/exporting-seamless-loops-from-fruity-loops-fl-studio. If you dont export files properly they wont work and will be rejected.
Dont mix or layer different sounds / instruments
Another common mistake is that someone will upload for example a piano loop that has drums in the background. By merging sounds you have just made your loop far less useful to others. What happens if I love the piano sound but dont need the drums ? Your loop is no longer of any use. Another example might be, I love your loop but want a section in my track with just the piano. Again, its impossible to remove the drums so your loop is no good for me.
We all write loops that are meant to work together and this is the point but just dont save them out together. If you create a loop that has drums, bass, piano and guitar save each instrument out on their own and upload them separately.
Save your loops as 16bit 44hz WAV files
At the moment we only accept loops that are saved as 44Hz 16 bit Wav files. Saving your loops at other bit rates or sample rates will make them sound wrong after they are converted during the upload. In some cases this will cause the mp3 preview we create not work and your loop will be rejected.
How many bars should the loop be
Loops must be a set number of bars. By that I mean dont upload a file that is 3 bars when it should be 4. Loops are meant as building blocks and so they should all be of an equal or relative number of bars. Your 3 bar loop will not work with everyone elses 4 bar loops and so will be rejected. If you dont understand the concept or bars and measures in music then you should research this before trying to make loops as its essential for this to be done right.
If your file repeats after 4 bars then stick with 4 bars. To be fair always try and keep to 4 bars as the loops are easier for other to work with that way.
What tempo should I use
The tempo of your loop is up to you but there are a few things you should take into account when setting the tempo. Firstly keep loops to whole digit tempos. Dont use something like 122.56 bpm but instead record the loop at 120bpm. The other thing to think about is if your loop works at 100bpm dont upload it as 200bpm.
The reason I say keep the tempo to round numbers is that people will search for loops at set tempos and want to use them together with as little editing as possible. Do a search for loops already uploaded and take note of the common tempos used for certain styles and stick to those.
Pay attention to volume level or gain
Make sure you keep an eye on the overall volume level of your loops. Loops that are too quiet or too loud are not much use to people and tend to loose overall quality. You dont need to master loops as you would a track but at least make sure your loops volume levels are balanced.
Give your loops a good name
I know its hard to come up with names for every loop you create so just try and be descriptive when choosing a name. We reject any that are called loop1, loop2 etc . Loops with titles containing swearing will also be rejected. Remember people will find your loops by searching for things and our search is based on your title and description.
Give your loops a good description
The same applies here. It might be tedious to describe each of your loops but it means they get used more and make it easier for people to find them. In your description you could mentioned what you used to create the loop, the feel of it, the speed, is it fast, slow, mellow, crazy, happy, sad.
Dont use the description area to post links to your profile, facebook page, twitter account, try and sell things or anything other then describe the loop. Any files that do this are blocked and you no longer have access to upload. Loops with descriptions containing swearing will also be rejected.
Dont ask people to 'credit' you in any way for using your loops
When you upload a loop please dont expect or demand anything in return. The terms of the site are clear and you cant choose to set your own. It might sound harsh but it is meant as a way to keep things clear for anyone downloading files.
People often have loops rejected as they use the description area to request that people add a name to the title of their track if a loop is used. Apart from making people think there are some type of strings attached to using a file it makes no sense at all. Imagine someone who makes a track uses 10 different loops. The title of the track would be longer then the song.
What is acceptable though is to maybe ask that people leave a comment or a link to any tracks they make using your loop. For the most part this is how things already work and its a win win. You both get feedback and everyone is happy.
Put them in the correct genre and category
Again this should be a simple thing but so many get uploaded to the wrong place. Think about people searching for your loop and not what you created it for. Just because you love Hip Hop does not mean the loop you created is best placed in that genre. The same goes for the category, have a look at the options and choose the best one.
When a bass loop is NOT a bass loop
This might sound an odd one but think of this as the person who is searching for a bass loop. Random sounds made with Massive or similar plugins are not bass loops. A bass loop is made by a bass guitar etc and would form the bass melody of a tune. Since genres such as dubstep have arrived we have been overwhelmed with loops to the bass category that should not be there. You could argue that they are bass drops, bass synths, wobbles, growls or whatever and so I added a bass wobble category. Please save me the bother of moving them every day and do NOT add these types of loops to the bass category.
Here is a good thread that explains this in more detail.
Keyboards are not guitars
By this I mean that just because you have a patch on your synth called guitar it does not mean that you have made a guitar loop. Where possible avoid uploading loops like this. Obviously these days you can create any sound using VSTis so use your judgement. Its far better to have a guitar loop played on a guitar then it is to have a synthesised version.
Is it worth uploading ? Do we have plenty already
At the time of writing this there are over 30,000 loops uploaded. Its also worth asking the question is the loop I'm about to upload needed or worth uploading. Try and create loops that are a little different. Loops that are played with real instruments are always popular as apposed to holding down one key on a synth and recording the output.
For example, there are only so many versions of a four to the floor style kick drum loop or a basic kick kick snare hip hop loop. Another example these days would be a dubstep wobble bass loop. Its getting to the stage where anyone with the right VST can create a completely random sound and then upload them. We really dont need 1000s of ultra random noises just for the sake of it. Make sounds that are interesting and useful.
Always check loops in a wav editor before uploading
You should always use a standalone Wave Editor / Audio File Editor to check your loops before uploading them. If you do this it will become obvious right away if your file loops properly or not or if the the levels are too high or low.
If you dont have a Wave Editor go download Audacity. Its totally free and available for Windows. Mac or Linux. Once installed load your file and hit shift & play. The file will now play in a loop and you'll be able to spot any gaps at the start of the end of the file and hear and clicks or pops where the files loops. Until your file loops perfectly DONT upload it.
Ill write another article soon that deals with how to edit files to make them loop better.
How do I decide which loops to reject and how do I know
The tips I've already listed here in this article should keep you from having loops rejected already but as people still seem to get things wrong I wrote a post on how I check uploads and what I look out for.
Please take a moment to read this thread too and you may well save us both some time by recognisinig the problems I see every day and fixing them before I spot them.
OK, I've read it all and I'm ready to upload
Good stuff, hopefully that has just saved us both some time by avoiding all the problems people have when submitting loops. If you are happy you know what you are doing click here to contact me direct and let me know you have read this article and that your ready to upload loops. If you dont tell me you have read this and understood it all ill only send you a reply telling you to read anyway.
Let me know if I missed anything
If I missed anything out leave a comment and Ill update this article as we go along.
Useful tools for editing your loops
There are a number of great Wave Editors / Audio Editing Tools out there to help you get your loops perfect. Ill list a few of the Free ones here and put another article together soon that will list more.
Audacity (Mac/PC/Linux) : http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
Free Audio Editor (Win) : http://free-audio-editor.com/
Wavosaur (Win / Mac) : http://www.wavosaur.com/