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>>the answer here is to use midi clock for syncing. It does work in the
>>current shipping version, although the upgrade that is not yet shipping
>>made huge improvements in this area.
>Does this only work for loops that are already recorded, or can I use the
>MIDI clock to create new loops that sync with the sequencer, as well?
Yes, you can have the sequencer generate midi clock, and sync to that. You
can set the length the loop will be in relation to the sequence tempo, so
for instance you can make your loop equal 8 beats, 7 beats, 3 eighths,
whatever. The echoplex, once it is synced, will stay locked to the
sequencer and not drift. This works reasonably well in the current shipping
software, and the not-yet-shipping upgrade has many improvements in this
To do it:
Set the sync parameter to "in"
Make sure you have the echoplex in reset, and midi out from sequencer is in
midi in of the 'plex. Make sure your sequencer is set to generate clocks.
Start the sequencer. It will send midi clocks, which the echoplex will
happily monitor. If you look at the display, you will see a little dot
flash at the sync interval. This interval is determined by the 8ths/beat
parameter, which basically tells the echoplex how many 8th notes will be in
the basic loop cycle.
Press record, the echoplex starts recording. (If you are using the quantize
function, its a bit different. I'll explain below) You have to wait until
after the clock starts to start record. Otherwise the echoplex doesn't know
its supposed to be syncing to something.
Play stuff, press record again. The echoplex will continue recording until
the loop is the appropriate length, end the recording automatically, and
Your loop should be in time with your sequence.
If you use the quantize function, which basically quantizes the timing of
your echoplex actions, the echoplex will wait until the next sync interval
to start its recording. This way your loops are not only the proper length,
but the beginning point of the loop is right at the beginning of the
measure in the sequence.
Hopefully that makes some sense. (its quarter to 3am, I'm a tad groggy...)
Play around with it, the practical experience will make it more obvious.
I use this technique for live type playing a lot, to sync my loops to drum
machines. One thing that is fun to experiment with is to use 8ths/beat to
set the meter of your loops to be different from the meter of the sequence.
So you can get 3 verses 4, say. One thing I've had a lot of fun with is to
take a two bar drum machine groove and record it into an echoplex that is
synced to it, with the echoplex's 8ths/beat set to 15, for example. So I
record 15 of the 16 eighths in the drum pattern, and loop that along with
the original. With the loop shifting one eighth each time through, the
simple little drum machine suddenly sounds remarkably creative!
Another thing to try is syncing multiple echoplexes together with different
8ths/beat, to get fripp-like multi loops going where the different loops
are related by some ratio.
Using the echoplex to generate midi clocks and control a sequencer is also
really fun. Basically, set things up the reverse of before. Sync=out, midi
out of echoplex to midi in of sequencer.
Hit record, play your thing, hit record again. The echoplex will then
generate midi clock and send a start-song message to the sequencer. The
sequencer should then start, in time with the thing you just played. I also
do this with drum machines, so the pattern comes in at the tempo I just
I showed Neal Schon how to do this and he went into his studio and riffed
away with his rhythm machine 8 hours a day, every day, for months. (writing
material for the upcoming Journey album that I'm sure you're all dying to
get ;-) ) Its real fun to have the sequence kick in with you like that. Its
just like having a real band, except they actually listen to the tempo you
set and don't mind if you make them start over 300 times while you refine
your guitar riffs.
Hope this gives you all something to occupy yourselves with....I'll
probably put stuff like this up on the web page when I get to it. Then we
can have diagrams and audio clips and such too. And feel free to share your
favorite techniques, I'm sure many of you have thought up tricks that never
occured to me....
Kim Flint | Looper's Delight
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