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Re: feedback differences

>       I like the way dynamics affect feedback in the Vortex. When I
>play loudly the older material is completely replaced, but if I play
>softly it is simply layered on top of the older material. This is very
>convenient and intuitive since it allows me to make much more
>spontaneous compositional decisions without having to fiddle with an
>expresion pedal.

Ah yes, I see. I guess before I thought you were talking about the
boomerang's feedback control, when you were actually talking about the
vortex. Seems like a pretty interesting effect, feedback modulated by input

In general, that sort of parameter modulation is something that is little
explored in effects boxes. Having some aspect of the effected output
controlled by some aspect of the input really opens up a lot of
possibilities. It would make flat effects much more musically interesting,
in my opinion. Using level like the vortex is only one way, and a pretty
simple one.

At g-wiz, we were working on the idea of timbral modulation, where some
aspect of the way a note sounded was used as a control input. An example
might be a sax player overblowing a note a little bit and using the
resulting degree to which the note's harmonic content changes to add more
flanging or something. Or to use the difference in sound between plucking a
nylon string guitar with the fleshy part of your thumb and plucking it with
your nail to control the high frequency damping in a reverb patch.

This sort of control turns out to be quite natural, because musicians
already use all of these techniques to control the way "normal" notes sound
on their instrument. It's an area of expressive possibilities that hasn't
made it to your garden variety effects device. Mostly because it's really,
really hard to do!

> I usually play standing up, and as you can imagine, am not able to use
>more than one foot-pedal at a time. (Sometimes I wish I could grow a
>couple of extra feet just for this purpose ;)

don't we all! I guess one advantage of looping is you can record something
first, and then twiddle knobs as the loop repeats!

Every year at NAMM there is at least one company with some variation on
attaching light sensors to something so that other motions can be used for
parameter control. Maybe you could try that? My favorite remains the
headstock wah-wah, where the wah sound opens and closes as you move the
guitar neck up and down. Perfect for the 70's era stadium-rocker moves!

For some reason these companies are never there the next year....ideas
whose time has not quite arrived perhaps....

Don Buchla is the champ for optically controlled instruments. His Lightning
is pretty amazing. I hear he's working with E-mu now on some sort of
optically sensed drum pad, which will probably make the korg wavedrum look
like a toy.....

>Having control over feedback with a pedal is fabulous, but being able to
>control it through your playing (dynamics) is equally delicious.

Unless you want to add loud notes with the feedback up.....


Kim Flint                   | Looper's Delight
kflint@annihilist.com       | http://www.annihilist.com/loop/loop.html
http://www.annihilist.com/  | Loopers-Delight-request@annihilist.com