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Re: Vortex queries


I'll put a transcription of the looping specific stuff from the manual
addendum that only I seem to have here on Monday, in the meantime I'll
give you some general VORTEX thoughts which may or may not help since
I've only owned the unit for a bit more than a month.  The looping 
specific stuff, especially in the manual addendum are rather complex
and specific where my stuff tends to be more general.


> WARNING: This is a post regarding the Lexicon Vortex, and is not 100% 
> loop-related.  Those easily offended by non-topicality are advised to 
> delete now or suffer the consequences!

The device loops in at least two of the programs, I'd say it's on topic.

1946 ms is nearly two seconds of recording time, David Torn said it was
a good place to start so it's good enough for me.

> Anyway, I'm posting here since there's been much discussion regarding
> Vortex on the list as of late.  I snatched one up at the legendary Guitar
> Center "Trying Not To Lose Our Shirts Over This Fringe Technology"  $150
> sale.  (When I went in to pick it up, the guy at the counter grabbed one
> from atop a very large stack of Vortexes and quipped, "So how many do you
> want to pick up today?")

Heh.  In a way I wished I'd picked up another since I'll probably shelve
the SGE I have (well, I may keep it just for the compression, EQ and
harmonic exciter but it's heavy [to carry] and I'm not sure I want to 
keep it around just for that - half the fun of the Vortex is the dynamic
control [like a fine tube amp] and a compressor just quashes that kind
of fun, plus the Vortex audio quality is significantly better than that
of the SGE, putting the SGE at the front end just "coldifies" the sound
[sucks the warmth out]).

> At any rate, I'm not entirely conviced of the unit's possibilities.  It's
> very nice sounding, but a lot of the distinctions between different
> effects seem to be along the order of different sorts of delay tap
> patterns and so forth -- pretty subtle things that would sound 
> in a headphone studio mix, but not so useful in a more 
> application.  

Use the fractal, duo and shadow (shadow is more like a long tape echo patch
than anything else) programs for looping porpoises: the fractal B program 
especially interesting in that if you play a broken chord (or sound the
individual notes that comprise a chord individually) you'll find that it 
starts feeding on itself and the notes sound faster and faster until
you have a chord that comprises the notes.  It's a neat effect for human 
voice and guitar.

I've used duo to create pseudo King Crimson discipline interlocking 
guitar parts.  Dynamic control can be a help and hindrance here.
Experiment.  Drums with this can be kind of disorienting but cool
with the tap tempo.  If you have a drum machine, you need the tap
tempo feature to give you on the fly polyrhythms that do not sound

Since I don't have an echoplex yet, this is my main looper for now.
I'll probably use it as a treatment inducer for loops I create on
the big boy when I get one.

(Does anyone have a phone number and/or contact person for Nadine's
music and do they ship?  A $500 echoplex I could deal with.)

How do I control this Vortex thing anyway?
Well, the first thing you need to do is use the knob on your left (I forget
how its labeled as it's not here in front of me, it's the one directly to
the right of the input level control) and adjust your mix and echo effects
levels properly for looping, which will vary if you're using it instrument-
to-mixer-to-amp or in the effects loop of a mixer - the manual has a bit 
regarding this.  

The way the unit comes stock where your instrument is very prominent in 
mix and the effects can be too subtle... I've mentioned that I want a live,
swirling whirligig frenzy of sound when I play, so you might want to up 
ante with regards to the echo level in the mix.  There's also a mix 
that allows you to adjust the instrument/effect ratio.  

These have been key for me to making more prominently noticeable loops,
or to have a instrument prominently audible on top of a loop.

Also, the knob is expression pedal controllable so that's real nice too.
But I'm not sure what kind of expression pedal I should get or what's
available.  Suggestions anyone?

But I should talk about the dynamic control:
As an example, if you use the choir-B program and strum and open E chord
and then silence your guitar strings, you get a heavily effected afterimage
with the delays - you probably want to make that swirly effectoid stuff 
forward somewhat.  If you hit the strings harder, the effected image 
louder.  The dynamic control is the key here.  When looped, the dynamic 
control becomes a very interesting aspect of this.

> There are one or two wonderfully hideous things I've run across 
> (ring-mod and envelope-detune), but I'm wondering just how deep 
> the thing is. 

It looks like a petri dish that happens to be a very deep ocean
when you jump into it.  I'll show you on Monday.

> So if any Vortex users would care to share some editing/operating tips,. 
> I'd be most grateful.  At the moment, I'm not sure if I'll hang on to it
> or take advantage of GC's return policy.  Even at this cheap of a price, 
> don't know if it's worth it for two or three cool effects. 
I'll be forwarding more practical and useful info on Monday...

> So please offer some hints if you have any, preferably by e-mail so as to
> avoid taking up more bandwidth with non-topical material. 

It's on topic, trust me!

> Thanks very much, and sorry for the non-loop content,

It's on topic!

> --Andre

Todd Madson

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From: The Man Himself <altruist@shoko.calarts.edu>
To: loopers-delight@annihilist.com
Subject: Vortex queries
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