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Re: How does Schon Sync?

On Tue, 19 Nov 1996, Matthias Grob wrote:

> >We've used a lot of live guitar loops (mainly
> >from the digitech 8-second sampler pedal),

> You are talking about only one machine, being in sync or not with the
> actual playing of the band, right?

The 8-second is the primary one, but also the 2-second digitech sampler
pedal, and some other sundry shorter delays.  But yeah, the
machine/machines being in/out of sync with the live band is where I'm
coming from, as opposed to Fripp/Eno style situation, where the loops are
the totality of the piece.

> >You can wind up with just truly bizarre counter-rhythms, strange
> >"accidental" harmonies, all sorts of essentially non-reproducible 
> >which add both a "seat-of-your-pants" excitment for us as performers, 
> It is certainly exiting for you, but how does a public think about it?
> Would'nt it be the nicest to be able to "play unexpected" and produce the
> clima of surprise within a synced rithmical order? (I may be totaly wrong
> here)

This is a good couple of questions, Matthias.  The first one raises more
issues than I want to get into -- any serious question of 
interaction deserves at least a post of its own, and is perhaps not
"loop-centric" enough to be on-topic for this list.

The second one I can come up with a more concise reply for:  Sometimes
yes, sometimes no.  It would be almost entirely dependent on the piece,
and what was called for in the context of the piece.  Out-sync (or
shifting-sync, rather) loops would be entirely inappropriate for a piece
by, say, Journey, but could be entirely appropriate for a piece by DJ 
My point really was just to say that out-sync loops aren't inherently
"wrong" musically (even in a rock context), but an equally valid
compositional element.

And really, isn't any repeating loop going to "sync" with the rest of the
music?  It doesn't need to necessarily fit into a strict time signature
quantization of time; say you're playing in 4/4; if you superimposed a
loop 5 beats long over top of it, the placement of the "downbeat" of the
loop will shift in relation to the rest of the music, in a regular and
repetative pattern.  It's not much of a conceptual stretch to dispense
with the need to make the loop fit "exactly" into a quantitized beat
at all at that point. (Though if someone really wanted to figure out that
some arbitrary loop was exactly 4.37 beats long, more power to them. :)

Correspondingly, can't the rhythm of a piece be created as much by the
totality of the looping and non-looping parts as by the "base" that
is being looped over?  I think its somewhat of a false distinction to
break the two segments apart.  (If the loop is serving as something more
than "ornamental sound effects", that is.)

> If you use "methods" don't they end up cuting down the space for the
> accidents? Probably depends on the kind of methods... give us some more
> hints!

I am going to pursue this part further, but right now, sleep has a higher 

Enjoying the conversation,
--Eric Cook                 ecook@mail.msen.com
  Gravitar-Guy              http://www.msen.com/~ecook/gravitar.html