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Hello and such

Just thought I'd say hi to everyone, and make a little comment about 
looping technique.  I'm a guitarist, and I use a Lexicon JamMan for 
looping, as well as a Lexicon Vortex for lots of interesting loop-like 

The Vortex is a really neat little box.  Basically, it's just two 
delays, two modulators, and an envelope follower.  Lexicon gives a number 
of programs putting these effects in various orders, in heavily 
interactive ways.  Many programs feature cross-feedback for the delays, 
or series delays with feedback loops going from one delay to the other.  
Tempo is tapped in, like the JamMan, and the delay "time" is actually set 
as a fraction of the tap.  So it's easy to set up consistent polyrhythmic 
echoes with this thing.  Some of the programs also use the envelope 
follower to modulate delay feedback, either fading out old sounds as new 
ones come in, or modulating the volume of the echoes relative to the 
input signal.  In other words, it's the most dynamically responsive 
low-cost rackmount effect I've ever used.  Unfortunately, total delay 
time is limited to around a second.  But there are LOTS of cool things 
you can do with that!  I really like using the Vortex to build a short, 
complex atmospheric sound, and then feeding that into the JamMan and 
letting it loop and modulate. 

Here's a technique I use with the JamMan to get a more flexible, 
improvisational feel from it.  When I first got it, I tended to use it to 
start a loop, then punch in more layers.  But what I found was that 
things just got bigger and louder and bigger and louder.  It had a very 
one-way dynamic.  Now, rather than using the looping functions, I usually 
prefer to just use its delay function.  There are 16 delay feedback 
levels, controlled by the knob on the front.  Turn the feedback up high 
and start looping.  At 16, you effectively have infinite repeat.  As 
things build, you can turn the feedback down and let a loop fade, then 
turn it back up and add more to the loop while the older material floats 
in the background.  This makes for a much more dynamic and rewarding 
looping improv, I think.  

I just have two problems now... first, I don't get to do nearly enough 
looping.  I don't have a studio space safe from my two toddler children, 
and they like to play with knobs altogether too much.  The only way I can 
play is to go through my long setup process after the kids go to bed, and 
tear it apart before they get up in the morning. 

Second, I'm primarily an acoustic guitarist, not electric.  I don't play 
electric much and I'm not really comfortable on it.  Hopefully, I'll be 
getting a new acoustic with a pickup soon, and I'll see how that works as 
a tone source.  I rather like the idea of sending the warm, woody sound 
of an acoustic guitar through my effects and seeing what comes out!  

Maybe, if I can get my new guitar and build a safe studio space, I'll get 
better at this.  :}

By "beauty," I mean that which seems complete.
Obversely, that the incomplete, or the mutilated, is the ugly. 
Venus De Milo.
To a child she is ugly.       /* dstagner@icarus.leepfrog.com      */ 
   -Charles Fort              /* http://www.leepfrog.com/~dstagner */