v3.0

PLEASE NOTE: This software was designed for XP and no longer supported.

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Overview

Loop Horse is a media manager specifically designed for organising and bulk copying files. Files can be ‘auditioned’ and then cued up for copying in one go. The files can be copied from multiple locations on your hard drive, external media or in zip/rar archives. Files can be cued up and copied from any destination as long as they are present on your system. (Files on removable media must be in the drive.) Files can also be dragged straight to existing folders using custom shortcuts.

The tool is useful for music producers who use loops and samples in their compositions. Ever find yourself copying a whole bunch of samples from a sample CD or magazine cover-mount to your drive, that you hardly ever use? Ever copied a folder of 100 bass drums, just in case? Save valuable hard disc space and search time by auditioning the files and only copying the ones that sound viable. You can also check the recording quality, bit rate etc.

Maybe you just want to make up a new compilation for you portable MP3 player! Loop Horse will calculate the overall size of the files waiting to be copied.

The software includes basic WAV loop editing & BPM calculation. Files without BPM information can be renamed with the additional info. Files can be accurately cropped and exported to create a perfect loop.

Users of FLStudio will be able to access samples in ‘zipped’ project files. Files can be cued up for copying from multiple archives. The software comes with the freeware version of ‘unRAR’. Most archives in the rar format can be accessed from within Loop Horse.

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Features

New for version 2

New for version 2.1

New for version 3.0

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Getting Started

When you start Loop Horse any previous project will appear. If the software or your system crashes, in most cases, Loop Horse will have backed up your project and it will appear on restarting. To start a new project, go to the ‘options’ menu. You will always see your last project until you choose to start a new one.

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Adding Files For Bulk Copying

There are two ways of working in Loop Horse, both easy to use. You can choose to drag files directly to folders (see Folder Shortcuts) or you can build a list of files that can be copied in one execution. Just click on the file you want to audition, right click and select 'add' or drag the file to the 'copy list' if you like it. If you decide later you don’t want certain files, they can be removed from the copy list by right clicking and selecting 'remove'. It may be that you’re looking for the perfect drum loop. Why not line up all the tracks you think are possibilities and then whittle the list down.

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Copying Files

Before copying, a destination folder must be chosen. Select ‘set destination'’ from the menu bar and choose an existing folder or create a new. Win98 users can right click on the file window to create a new folder.

There are three kinds of copying available from the ‘options’ menu:

  1. Default copy. This will not copy a file if a file with the same name already exists in the destination folder. You will be informed which files have not been copied.
  2. Automatic rename. If the file name already exists in the destination folder, this will rename file being copied with additional numbers in the title.
  3. Overwrite. This will overwrite files, without a warning prompt.

When you’re ready to copy………..pull the lever!!

A word about 'Trash List': All source files can be permanently deleted after your copy. This process will ignore any files that are READ ONLY. A list will appear after trashing, of the files that failed. If the files are not on CDROM or write-protected medium, you can alter the properties of the files and try again.

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Folder Shortcuts

Loop Horse lets you bookmark commonly used folders. If you click on the shortcuts tab on the top bar, you see a page of 10 folders. Right click on a icon to assign an existing folder to it. (e.g. the folder that contains all your nose flute samples) Now, you'll be able to drag any nose flute sample directly to that folder. If you click on the icon with the left button, you'll be able to examine and manage the contents of that folder. You can have as many folder shortcuts as you want, split into pages of 10.

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Accessing Archives

Loop Horse lets you select files from archives (zip & rar). After double clicking on an archive file, the browser becomes one window and displays the contents of the file. To close the archive click the button on the bottom right of the window or from the options menu. If you are viewing an archive in an archive, you can return to the parent folder by clicking the button on the bottom left of the window.

If you add files from the archives to the 'copy list', a temporary copy of the file is made. These files remain in the Loop Horse directory until a new project is started. This means archive files do not have to be present at the time of copying.

Renaming files

Copying files from different locations may mean you have some files with the same name. Loop Horse gives you the opportunity to rename files before they’re copied. This means the source file will remain unchanged while the destination name will be whatever you’ve specified in the ‘copy list’.

To rename a file:

  1. Select the file you want to rename in the ‘copy list’.
  2. Right click on the file.
  3. Select ‘rename file’ from the menu

You will not be permitted to rename the file if the name you choose is the same as any other file in the list. The file extension will be added automatically. For reference, the original file name will always appear in the information window.

You can also rename files on your hard drive from the right-click menu.

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Buffered Playback

On some systems playback from a CDROM can be a bit….jerky. An option has been provided within Loop Horse to buffer the audio/video files on playback. The option is available from the ‘options’ menu. You will have to a wait a bit longer (depending on how big the files are) for the files to start, but you should experience perfect playback, giving you a better idea of the usefulness of the file.

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BPM calculator

If you use audio loops in a sequencer, you may find the BPM (Beats Per Minute) calculator useful. Not all loops come with the BPM info in the file name. If you want to use the calculator you’ll need to know how many beats are in your loop.

  1. Play the loop
  2. Count how many beats are in you loop. (This will be the beat you tap your foot too and usually indicated by a bass drum in drum loops)
  3. Open the BPM calculator from the ‘copy list’ menu and enter the number of beats. (Or from the right-click menu in the browser window.)
  4. You’re then given an accurate and rounded result.
  5. You can now choose an option for adding the info to the filename.

Some files are easier to count the beat in that other. Styles like DrumN’Bass can sometimes be a pain!

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External Editor

From the ‘options’ menu it is possible to associate external applications with particular types of file for editing. You have the option to associate an editor for audio, midi and video. To make the associations:

  1. Go to the ‘options’ menu.
  2. Select ‘Associate external applications’
  3. Browse your hard drive for the appropriate application.

To launch the external editor, right click on the file in the browser window.

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Internal Editor

If you want a quick way to edit loops of 30 seconds or less, Loop Horse provides you with an internal loop editor, accurate down to a single sample. This editor will only work with WAV files.

To open the editor, go to the browser window and right click on the file you want to edit and select ‘open in internal editor’.

  1. The Loop Editor window will open with your selected file loaded.
  2. Adjust the start and end point with tools available
  3. Export your edit to a WAV file by clicking the tick button.
  4. Close the Loop Editor and add your new file to the ‘copy list’

Files can be cropped by:

‘Crop Memory’ is a good way to mark multiple regions of a file. Here’s an example:

  1. Assume you have a loop that contains various bars of a similar style, but you can’t decide which bar is best.
  2. Crop the first bar and then add this to the memory by giving the crop a name for reference and hitting the ‘add to crop memory’ button.
  3. Repeat this for every bar you want to consider.
  4. By clicking on the entries in the list, crops can be compared and exported as required.

Moving your mouse over the controls will cause help information to appear in the right of the top bar.

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Troubleshooting

Why won't my files rename?

Make sure the files you are re-naming are not 'read only' or on write protected media. Use the File Properties option available from the right-click menu to check.

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What’s the scope for and why doesn’t work?

The scope next to the playback controls gives a visual representation of audio playback. It will only work if you have the internal mixer set as the input source on your soundcard. This setting can be changed in the 'options’ menu. Remember, changing the input setting may have an effect on other software on your system. If you use a webcam you may need to return your input setting to Mic after using this software.

The internal editor takes ages to loop and export!

This should not be a problem on most systems. If you have a slow machine or not much RAM memory, the internal editor may struggle when loading samples to the memory.  Although files are limited to thirty seconds, high quality files will use more resources.

I need more help!!!

Go to the software support forum at  www.zealey.co.uk for more help.

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System requirements

This software exploits elements of the Windows® operating systems using MCI. An up-to-date version of DirectX® is required. A system with a fast CDROM drive is best running, Windows98/XP. The more powerful the processor and the more RAM you have will give better performance!!! If you are accessing large archives, a good size chunk of temporary hard disc space will be required.

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Credits & contacts

If you want to show your appreciation for this software, please visit the site and buy some music.

This software maybe distributed in commercial ventures, without cost, with prior consent from the author.

‘Loop Horse’ By John Zealey http://www.zealey.co.uk

Unzip component & code by Gif Sistemas & Mark Adler – Infozip.

CallDll, Binary & Common Dialogue components by Third Eye Entertainment http://www.3ee.com.

MP3info OCX control by BlackLight.

Xcap OCX control by Alessandro Valenti.

unRAR (freeware version) by Eugene Roshal.

DirectSound2 object by Tigerworks www.tigerworks.co.uk

Windows ® and DirectX® are registered trademarks of Microsoft® Corporation.

Special thanks to users of the K-V-R forum for suggestions and advice.

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