LOOPTROTTER Hear The Difference
Looptrotter is a young Polish company working under the helm of chief designer Andrzej Starzyk which has spent the past 10 years researching and developing ideas that would form the basis of Looptrooter’s approach to studio equipment.
Passionate about music and sound Looptrotter aims to develop original outboard providing analogue warmth and saturation by combining all the best technologies available to create truly versatile and easy to use units to stimulate creativity.
Ranging from mic preamps to summing mixers and compressors, all products by Looptrotter are centred around harmonic distortion and the musicality it brings to the perceived coldness of digital recording technology.
In this series we let you see and more importantly hear what Looptrotter’s range of products could add to your music.
The Looptrotter Monster is an extremely easy to use compressor with an interesting twist. In addition to the comprehensive compression circuit, it features a tube saturation circuit to add further colouration. Unlike traditional valve compressors which often use valves as the gain reduction element, the Looptrotter Monster uses the valve as a colouration, or harmonic enhancement tool.
The combination of FET compression and valve stage saturation offers a great way of bringing the sound forward naturally, emphasising details and re-energising the sound. The use of the FET transistor as gain reduction makes it very responsive to fast transients and generates low order harmonics. This is followed by the valve saturation circuit using Russian military-grade 6H2N-EB valves allowing to boost even order harmonics for further colouration. A Mix knob lets you blend the unprocessed signal back into the chain for even more flexibility with the sound.
Clearly the Looptrotter Monster was designed to provide a hefty degree of attitude to audio. In practice these circuits can gently warm up the source or push the signal into pure gritty saturation which will add character to any incoming signal from drums, vocals, or even entire mixes. In overdrive mode, the Monster will become a powerful ally to help you get a truly modern guitar sound with a lot of character, thickness and presence or a great way to add more heft to EDM synth lines.
But the Monster is more than just a grit box, and can be invaluable to impart the warmth heard on vintage recordings.
Find out more about the Looptrotter Monster stereo compressor
The Looptrotter Emperor is a hybrid unit mixing compression and distortion to recreate the colouration brought by tubes and tapes. At face value, the Looptrotter Emperor is a limiter but combined with harmonic distortion and pre-emphasis circuitry, the Emperor acts more as a versatile colour box that can be used for tracking or mixing. It comes as a single-channel 500 Series module or dual-channel 1U high rack unit.
Although the controls are easy to understand, the Emperor will take some time to get the most of, mainly because the distortion is always musical and never gritty, so unless high drive settings are used the overall sound will just appear louder. Spend some time with it however and you’ll start hearing the nuances and the differences between the different settings.
The Looptrotter Sa2rate is an easy-to-use dual channel distortion unit that was specifically designed to add valve-like colouration without the use of tubes. Despite featuring only two controls, the Sa2rate is actually extremely flexible and can be used to drive drums, guitars, and other instruments (including Tubas!) as well as an entire mix adding depth and life to projects that have been mixed "in the "box". Of course, it can also be used simply as a great distortion box.
The valve-like warmth it imparts reminds us of vintage tube consoles and tape recorders of the past. Sa2rate features no valves whatsoever and uses a clever circuit design to recreate valve like harmonic distortion with semi-conductors.
Give it a try and you’ll be very impressed by what distortion will bring to your music and how versatile this unit is.
Find out more about the Looptrotter Sa2rate
The Looptrotter Satur-8 adds Looptrotter’s love of harmonic distortion and applies it to that much controversial thing - a summing mixer. Most people looking for a summing mixer often seek them in the mistaken belief that they will impart an analogue character to the sound when in fact summing mixers tend to bring separation between channels adding depth and separation. With Satur-8, Looptrotters bridges that gap by incorporating saturation blocks for each channel to add thickness and a definite analogue colouration to the final mix
The Satur-8/24 can be upgraded to include 24 channels of saturation blocks by adding two Satur-8 EX expanders. Looptrotter’s distortion design here really shines but the combination of all the different channels and the mix sound bigger, thicker, rounder and more forward just by the use of the included saturation. In addition, the Satur-8/24 also features a Magic switch which makes the sound even bigger and wider.
The Satur-8 really does what people expect summing boxes to do which is to make the sound bigger, thicker, and wider or to sum it up (sorry), more alive!
Find out more about the Satur-8/24 summing mixer
The Looptrotter SAT 500 is a 500 series saturation module with some truly unique features. Based around low order harmonics, the SAT 500 can never sound harsh even when pushed hard. It may sound gritty at the higher settings but remains extremely musical.
In addition to the Drive control the SAT 500 features a Lo Safe function which prevents low frequencies from being affected by the saturation and works great on instruments rich in low frequency content such as a kick drum or bass guitar. Following the Lo Safe is a Band Split section with a 4-position switch which provides frequency points: Off, 400Hz, 2kHz and 4kHz. When activated, the SAT 500 only affects frequencies below the chosen frequency point and offers a great way of thickening the sound without affecting high frequency content which can sound harsh. Used on the drum buss the SAT 500 is great at bringing up the snare and Kick drum without affecting cymbals.
As you'll hear the SAT 500 does things that no other saturation module can do and can really bring instruments to life like nothing else. Everything sounds more vibrant, punchy, thicker... musical!
Find out more about the Looptrotter SAT 500