How ALK Works

Using ALK is a three step process:

  1. Set up any Tracks you need for your performance, connect them to I/Os, and set any VST or AU plugins used. This can be done for a particular track using its Track Panel. For instructions on how to create a track, see Creating And Deleting Tracks, and for instructions on how to add and delete plugins to a track, see this section.
  2. Draw Loops represent the parts of your song in the appropriate track lanes. Loops come in two flavours:
  • Record Loop, which allows you to create loops representing parts of the song you intend to perform yourself, and create when clicking and dragging in Record Pencil Mode.
  • Play Loop, which allows you to create loops that refer to material – recorded during the current “take” – stored in prior Record Loops. Play Loops can play back the MIDI or audio data of any Record Loop that occurs prior to the current loop on the same track.
  1. Perform the song by hitting the Record Button. When you do this, the track time begins to advance. As the cursor moves over recorded loops, any signal, whether MIDI or audio, is recorded into the record loops clip object, allowing it to be looped during the performance through Play Loops later occurring in the track.

Of course, you won’t follow these steps exactly while your actually writing you’re songs. Instead, you’ll probably draw in little bits at a time, and perform them, bit by bit (using Lock Performances to allow you to concentrate on one thing at a time). The steps above serve to illustrate that, unlike production sequencers, the job ends with a gig rather than with an “Export As…” command!

The trick to using ALK is understanding that record loops represent areas to be performed in the future – that is, when you hit the Record button to engage Record Mode. So whereas a tape reel is an appropriate metaphor for traditional timeline oriented sequencers, for ALK’s the Arrangement View the more appropriate metaphor is a script – a recipe which controls the actions of the underlying, manual looper(s) throughout the progress of the song.

One of the advantages of being freed from manually triggering overdubs (not to mention MIDI looping) is that you can get a song off the ground much faster than with a traditional looper. The Arrangement View encourages you to be creative and allocate the most precious asset you have onstage – your concentration – wisely.

That way, you will rise to the musical nirvana of achieving a big sound, quickly, while remaining in the flow.