Mark "Flood" Ellis UK
“On being presented with the Monster Compressor, I found it to be one of the most creative and easy to use, but also sounding great pieces of gear, that I’ve used in a long time. All of my co-conspirators love it. It can do so many things over and above normal compressors, it’s consistent, it’s well made, sounds great and it’s good fun.”
Agim Dzeljilji PL
Often in studio class devices the price to effectiveness ratio is not equal. We spend significant amounts of money for solutions which scarcely influence the sound. In case of Satur-8/24 it’s different. The effect I got during mixing with Satur-8/24 was mind-blowing. I could risk the statement that should I be in a lousy financial situation and would have to let go of my equipment, I would keep only computer, sound card and Satur-8/24. For many years I have been thinking about an analogue console. However the size of this solution and the possible cost of the mixer and its maintenance were discouraging. The ordinary summing units were also not attractive due to their transparent-debatable effect.
In case of Satur-8/24 the story is different, we instantly hear the influence the device exerts. It allows us to achieve significant headroom and splendid dynamics. We can also “overdo” the saturation, with no worries about any unpleasant distortions. The possible level of RMS we can get thanks to this device is stunning. The mixes are instantly “glued”. Satur-8/24 became my indispensable companion at work and I’m incredibly proud that it was designed here in Poland.
Elvin David UK
“I was first drawn to the Looptrotter by its looks thinking what on earth is this beast? It was apparent when looking in depth at the spec and features of what it offered that I had to get my hands on one, I have never looked back since! The material coming together from our forthcoming debut Album has really gained so much sonically from using the Monster in the tracking and production process, not only is its ease of use such a big plus point, it’s how it handles what you throw at it that stands out...literally beefing up our synths and drums with the turn of a few knobs... to be honest it’s hard to think how you could do without it, dial in your settings then use the true bypass to hear what it’s done to the signal with an a-b comparison...no contest.. I’ll have more of the Monster on everything please! I personally love to use the second boost function and use heavy saturation on our drums it just has 'that' sound! Looptrotter, you really have a future classic here.”
Adam Toczko PL
“In a long time Monster Compressor is the first piece of equipment that brings smile to my face every time I switch it on. This genious concept of combining a fast compressor with valve saturation module offers an incredible possibilities of creating the sound , from subtle compression and slight saturation to monstrous compression and distortion that are amazingly pleasant to the ear. It is even able to animate the software synths and their dirt. It’s a dreamed Holy Grail for breathing life into precise but lifeless digital world.”
Michał Eprom Baj PL
“Looptrotter is a device I’ve been seeking for a long time. Soon after I’d plugged it into my rig in Eprom Sounds I knew it would stay here. Now I cannot imagine working without it. It is my chief device for processing drums. The parallel FET compression combined with tube saturation offers incredibly wide tonal palette. Monster sounds powerful. It glues drums together like no other compressor and introduces a fair amount of positive dirtiness, that I frequently use. It provides also subtlety if needed. Step potentiometers give a great comfort of work and a recall option is a sheer pleasure.”
Eprom Sounds Studio
Rafał Smoleń PL
“Looptrotter devices found their way into my studio few years ago and have been inherent in my work ever since. Monster Compressor is a true ace among the universal tools, I use it both during recording of various instruments and on a mix bus. It’s wide application goes hand in hand with its distinct sound characteristics, and the signal passing though Monster simply sounds better. The inherent element in its characteristics is, my personal favourite, optional saturation module and the possibility of mixing DRY and WET signal directly in the compressor – you don’t need an analogue console to have control over balance with constant phase difference between the clean and processed signal! Whilst the EMPEROR is an amazing analogue limiter, that will saturate or distort anything you desire – from vocals to snares, preserving the musical character of the instrument.”
Paweł Marciniak PL
“I thought that after buying Distressors nothing could surprise me…I was wrong. Emperor managed to do that. Fat, juice and meat!!! I recommend heartily.”
Pawel Marciniak – the founder of Various Manx band, musician, sound engineer, music producer. The owner of Manximum Records Studio.
Andrzej Karp PL
“Some time ago I got a prototype compressor to test drive designed by a Polish engineer Andrzej Starzyk. Since I am a fan of local designs, I curiously inserted it in Pro Tools. After hearing the first sounds I knew I would not part with it lightly. The drums were strong and solid, Hammond got a subtle hoarseness and the complete mix was saturated and thickened. Thanks to saturation and compression Monster audibly colorizes the sound, and it’s not a gear for those that prefer sterile and clear sound, but it’s not dedicated to them either. Whereas those loving a sound rock music will become fast friends with it. Looptrotter Monster has already warmed the sound of few albums I made, even though it’s been with us for not long yet. I highly recommend it to all sound engineers and instrumentalists who value a strong sound.”
Eddie Stevens UK
“I think to truly get to understand what this unit can do one needs to step back from the obvious and wonderful face smashing distortion and just enjoy first a world class compressor, and then add subtlety (and then, of course, add more, and more, and maybe a bit more…). The machine is in fact a highly versatile creature, far more so than I at first thought, and I'm very happy to see his cheery yellow face in my collection!”
Aleksander "Mothashipp" Molak
"Monster is a tool that I most often use for dynamics processing. It's sound has a distinct character - very modern in a way, but also in accord with the retro style. It marvellously animates the guitars and analog synthesizers, it's absolutely irreplaceable in pumping up the ambience in case of "heavy" drum tracks, but also works great with subtle acoustic jazz. Mostly it is thanks to semi-modular design and the possibility to run parallel compression in the box. I'm happy you're there Monster!"
Bogdan Kondracki PL
“I suppose I might be the best equipped in Looptrotter gear producer in Poland. I have Monster, SA2RATE and SATurAMPs and I can’t imagine working without those. Looptrotter Monster saved my drums in numerous occasions, when they seemed beyond saving, making them sound powerful, sometimes I use it only for the snare, sometimes kick drum, but it works magic on a summing bus as well, then the option mix comes in handy, designed for a parallel processing. I use SA2RATE mainly for warming up virtual synths, they get a wonderful analog style and sound as if they were real analog synthesizers, it’s probably great for other stuff too, but it’s how I use it. When it comes to SATurAMP 500, well it’s my favorite Looptrotter device, I run all my bass and electric guitars, it makes the sound seem closer and harsh and it’s something I really like. If I want my vocals to sound harsh I use SATurAMP as well. I have two of those and think about buying some more.”
Robert Szydło PL
“I’m proud that we have such visionaries like Andrzej “Looptrotter Starzyk” in Poland. I use the devices designed and manufactured by him on a daily basis, mixing artists like: Mikromusic, Katarzyna Groniec, Ala Janosz, Joanna Kondrat,Marta Król, Beata Przybytek, Lora Szafran, Krzysztof Kiliański, Mateusz Krautwurst, Artur Lesicki, Marek Napiórkowski, Jacek Niedziela, Grzech Piotrowski, Kuba Stankiewicz, TGD, Mate.O, Quidam”
Jarek Toifl PL
This was the first I got out of the yellow devices. After two days I decided I keep it with me. There were two reasons, first…it sounds great, a bit different from any other compressor, in a limiter mode it reminds old EMI equipment, and this is the mode I keep using, when recording tracks, the valve in the device gives incredible possibilities of creation of any sound. The second reason is its versatility, even though it’s a FET compressor and this might suggest using it to process drums, vocals etc. it’s also perfect for the summing bus and add the kick to the recordings. If one seeks a good, colouring compressor with a character, which is also expected to be the work-horse, I highly recommend the Monster. There is no session without it for me.
This is the second device I had a pleasure to try, after Monster, when was still being tested before the release. Totally different sound than the Monster, but with equal character. It’s a limiter that can be used in many different ways, on tracks, groups of instruments and the summing bus, each time the result is superb. The link mode allowing to control both channels with only one set or knobs enables precise adjustment in stereo mode.
After years of work, there came a moment when I started to look for a summing mixer, to quit summing the signal within Pro Tools HD and few months later again I chose the yellow one…SATUR8, actually two of those to sum 8 groups of stereo. The choice was simple. I like the devices with character, which audibly process sound. It’s remarkable that the SATUR8 can be used as a summing mixer during mixing, but also on the insert of a preamp during recording. This results in the tracks being glued together right in the DAW, the drums sound powerful, but warm. It made me stop using the plugins emulating the sound of analogue tape or analogue consoles. No plugin gets even close to what this device can do, perhaps those are nuances, but for me recording 100 tracks in 96 Hz with the SATUR8 instead of using 100 plugins emulating the sound, results in not straining the computer and the lack of latency, and also much better sound and precision of such a large session, than when using plugins saturating the sound.
The preamp in 500 version unlike any on the market, again the small, yellow jewel delighted me with its precision, after turning it on I heard the same sound I get when using the Satur 8 before the mic preamp, exactly the character I like. Me and my colleagues did blind tests of about 6-7 preamps of the leading brands, and among the 3 best was always SaturAmp. The quality of sound is uncompromising, world class. It sounds wonderful with ribbon mics. The next thing that captivated me was distortion of the input of the preamp with the kick drum and snare, without using the built in saturation. Not all preamps can handle this, but this one gives a remarkable transient and superb sound of the drum even with the clipping light on. The output knob prevents the converter from clipping.”
Przemysław "Dred" Pietrzak PL
“My adventure with Looptrotter equipment began with Monster Compressor. I have heard many good things about those yellow devices before, but this was the first solid piece I had to do with. Ever since every rock mix I’ve done has its drums processed with it. I can imagine doing otherwise. The next thing I wanted to try, was SA2RATE, to add something nice to subgroups, but unfortunately Robert didn’t have a spare one for testing, so he offered the bigger version, which is SATUR8. Naturally it stayed with me. And again ever since each mix I do is being processed with this amazing saturator and then gets back to the stereo track. The sound you get this way, is lovely, colourful and with character. I have begun to save up for another 8 channels. The last thing I’ve had available for testing was is the preamp, Saturamp. It sounds fantastic, compared it to some most renowned preamps and it easily keeps up. What’s more, my respected fellow sound engineers, who debated with me about the best preamps, also pick this one for the TOP 3. Frankly speaking it scares me when Robert calls me to announce some new Looptrotter devices, because – Lord have mercy – they always stay with me after being tested. Monster and SATUR8 even made it to the logo of my studio.
I recommend Looptrotter equipment from the bottom of my heart. It’s definitely worth the money, and the sound you get with it make you smile broadly.”
Daniel Schindler & Riverside D/PL
Progressive Rock shooting stars Riverside just finished their current “Love, Fear and the time machine - Tour” with three sold out shows in their home-country Poland, with a total attendance of more than 5,000 people. The tour with 22 shows in 9 countries wasn’t only a musical highlight, but the live-sound also received fantastic reviews. Since the beginning of their career, the band travels with their own audio-equipment. Only the PA is provided locally.
For many years Riverside and their FoH-engineer Daniel Schindler rely on Looptrotter-gear to add glitter and spice to their live-sound.
Keyboardist Michał Łapaj: “The sa2rate gives my sounds and especially my analog keyboards and the Hammond organ the extra punch I’ve always been looking for. If you thought a minimoog is “in your face” already, check it with a sa2rate, that’s a different story.” Daniel Schindler adds: “I love the Monster, the past years I didn’t do a single show of any artist I’m working with without it, and I don’t intend to ;) The Monster is the ultimate weapon, it brings out every little detail that would otherwise get lost in a live environment."
On the current tour Riverside used two Looptrotter Monster for the Mix-Bus and Bass, as well as two sa2rate for analog and digital keyboards and a Channel Strip for Snare Top.
“The Looptrotter Monster is absolutely fantastic! We have used it in our last record for the mixing session having a great result!”
Jakub "Kikut" Mańkowski PL
“I had, and still have the pleasure to work on two devices from Looptrotter, SATurAmp and SA2RATE. Even if I wanted to I couldn’t speak ill about them. In my opinion the preamp is the most transparent of all I ever tried, amazingly sensitive, offering perfect control over all parameters, sounding superbly. SA2RATE having been turned on the first time, has been working constantly ever since. :)) It’s included permanently in the mastering workflow, it fantastically models the sound, rounds up low frequencies and smooths the sharp high frequencies. I use both devices currently on the albums by Sylwia Grzeszczak and Najlepszy Przekaz w Miescie and I plan on exploiting those heavily within the forthcoming months when working with Damian Ukeje, Sarsa Markiewicz, Bleax and other artists I record, mix or produce. I hope that soon yellow will dominate my studio racks. :)) “
“Looptrotter is a key brand for my Gagarin Studio. It breaths life to each and every sound that leaves the studio and is a kind of heart and soul of the facility. I was falling in love in practically every device of Andrzej’s design that I tested in my studio, often for many weeks in a daily work and studio jam sessions. I’m a happy owner of Monster SA2RATE and Emperor that I sort of got addicted to. Each of those saturates or compresses in a slightly different way. Simplicity, POWER, and this elusive something make them unique and their sound and drive are one of a kind. The yellow spirit watches over the analog sound, and everything that is run through those devices becomes distinct and vivid. SA2RATE wonderfully warms up the signal and is perfect for keyboards. Monster is a versatile device with many applications starting from just drums, which it shapes strongly and creatively, and ending with a whole mix. The Emperor watches over the whole situation and all of my clients appreciate it’s advantages. My recent discovery was the side chain option in Emperor – the power that appears within the low frequencies is indispensable in electronic or sample music that I often mix and master. Generally the Emperor is great for everything, also the vocals. Recently I have started to insert it after preamp… I highly recommend it for everyone loving the analog world…and wait for more.”
Jan Smoczyński PL
“Monster Compressor is a work horse that I use constantly in my studio, whether it’s a vocal or instrument track Looptrotter device does “better” everytime. Working with sound in the studio I’ve developed recording techniques with the use of many hardware processors, before I entered the DAW world, and Monster has been among my favourites. I especially value its option of mixing the dry/wet signal. The possibility of adding a bit of the strong “punch” in the sound to the clean signal, and within one processor is one of my favourites. I recommend Monster Compressor.”
Łukasz Mackiewicz-Krzos PL
“We are happy owners of two devices our of Andrzej Starzyk Looptrotter manufacture, that we keep in our studio, Monster and Saturator, and those are in the rare 16 channel version. Both devices are absolute must have in every mix. I use the Saturator on the clean signal before it enters the Studer console, what gives it the kick and sound as with SSL consoles. Monster is being used mainly as an additional saturator of harmonics and a compressor on a summing bus, where is fits perfectly animating the whole mix. Honestly speaking I can’t imagine working in the studio and getting the desired effects without Looptrotter devices.”
Przemysław Ziółkowski PL
“Monster Compressor not only subtly glues and refines the summing bus, but also allows free creation of individual sounds. I frequently spend long hours just playing with the controls, not being able to decide which sound I like best. I love this Monster.”
Łukasz Olejarczyk PL
“Monster Compressor pinpointed my attention from the very first minutes of the test…and after a while I knew I would not part with it. It is a very “musical” device, able to shape the dynamics in a very artistic way, and enriched with a saturation module gives additional capabilities and great fun :).
I use it both on individual tracks, groups or the summing bus – it works its magic everywhere.”
Lolek i Mynio - Enej PL
“We have no 30 years of experience in studio work, but we did test many devices, and when Looptrotter Monster and SA2RATE first appeared in our studio and we ran our tracks through them ….we never let them go In each piece of gear we firstly value musicality, the unique sound and simplicity and the Looptrotter devices meet our expectations in 300%!”
Przemek Książek PL
“Looptrotter SA2RATE is an extremely versatile device. It works perfectly both in sound engineering and post production. It makes the virtual synthesizers “gain more weight “ and become more present in the mix. However it also wonderfully refines the hardware synthesizers. I love to run Novation Nova2, Virus or Nord Electro through it. In case of sound design it works magic. If a sound or a sequence doesn’t seem to fit to picture SA2RATE is frequently the solution. The sound becomes more distinct and natural. I use SA2RATE in practically every production: when doing the sound for film (in ex. 1989), during film post production (in ex. Mundial, Gra o wszystko, Drużyna), and in music production, like for Kasia Łaska or Karolina Brodniewicz. For me this is one of the most important devices for sound design.”
Paweł Bartnik PL
MONSTER – my basic compressor in mastering. Yes compressor. Since the compression section in MONSTER is my favourite. I use it in various ways – from the subtle pumping emphasizing the dynamics in dance music till slight moving away and even choking the transient if the vibe of the music is somewhat smoky. MONSTER’s compression is highly musical, the audio material gains in content. The compression works magic on low frequencies – a subtle contour appears and they seem nearer. The absolute wonderful thing is the possibility of mixing the wet and dry signal. I rarely use the saturation in MONSTER, perhaps in 10% of all the projects. It results from the fact that I frequently work with the material which was “tubed” or “vintage” during the recording process – lots of crisp samples, often dirty bass etc. I usually add some saturation in a material which is overly smooth and polite. I like this saturation in small quantities in popular music without strong drums. It becomes warmer and wider. MONSTER is a very creative device for me, not just to deal with tasks, what I can see after usually long time that I spend working on it – I simply need to listen enough and think about it, which solution would fit best the given piece of music.
EMPEROR – it might seem surprising, but I still discover new possibilities of this device. Much results from the fact that I assumed at the beginning it was very simple . OK, the knobs look not at all complicated, but in this device each move makes a difference. I love it’s sound. It’s what drives me personally. Warmth but without “sludge”. It’s very dynamic and musical. I use EMPEROR as a limiter in mastering. It’s made for music. It doesn’t press and doesn’t bang. EMPEROR is lots of air.
“As a “sound passionate” I’ve read a lot about the devices created by Andrzej Starzyk. Additionally one day I learned that my beloved producer Michael Wagener also possesses “a yellow one” in his studio. That was too much for me :) I contacted Robert from MJ AUDIO LAB (LOOPTROTTER’s distributor) and after a…week we had Sa2rate in our StudioGim9 ;)
It’s capabilities has been presented numerous times on this website, by my fellow professionals. I do not aspire to measure with them neither in knowledge nor hearing. Most of them produced many recordings, me, just after leaving – forgive the expression – “guitar career”, and not wanting to let go of my passion for music, created a “recording place” for students in one of the public junior high schools in Bydgoszcz. Kids have the opportunity to taste the process of recording in a semiprofessional environment. What is important: in such “almost real” conditions all of the equipment is under quite an ordeal. (You wouldn’t think what a creative student can do with a heavy tripod for instance ;) ) The same trials apply for the Looptrotter gear each class. And luckily, despite serious experiments conducted by students, all works perfectly every next time :)
Now being serious: currently we have Sa2rate and two preamps SATurAMP 500. The fact that students immediately heard the difference in clarity and precision of recorded vocals and instruments proves this was what we needed. And the comfort of work became comparable to…Avatar Studios ;) There’s one more thing, maybe the most important: “humanity” in contact with MJ AUDIO LAB/LOOPTROTTER! That do I mean? Since the “recording place” I have with my students and for students is not a “professional facility” sometimes we’re being treated not seriously when talking to producers or distributors. However during our first conversation with MJ AUDIO LAB I heard: “wow, great idea, how can we help you?!” Thanks to them, our silly “recording place” is slowly transforming into a real STUDIO.
Oh, I almost forgot…I guess I don’t have to say what is our favourite colour in StudioGim9 ;)”
Paweł Pękalski PL
“Looptrotter Monster Compressor is an essential device in my studio. As a fan of rock sound, I’ve found a tool, which helps me to extract the character and essence of this genre. Monster is always applied to the drums group, adding the musical dynamics, the tube saturation allows to create individual timbres from subtle to more extreme ones. I frequently use Looptrotter Monster to “animate” the bass tracks, synthesizers, Hammond and to glue the whole mix. Monster is not transparent, however this isn’t an issue, it allows the more creative approach, the sound imagination decides on the settings. I use the very functional knob MIX to “spice up” the mix just the right amount. Monster is an individualist with its own sound character, and what’s more it’s stylish, solid and comes from Poland.”