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Re: Looping progress???
On Saturday, May 3, 2003, at 04:48 AM, Geoff Smith wrote:
> Hi all
> I have been thinking about, how we all want our loopers to do this or
> that...... or wouldn't it be cool if ... i.e. more options to sound
> like more things.....
I kind of feel like the opposite is true for myself. I'd be totally
happy with a looper that has the sound quality of the EDP, the stereo
nature of the Repeater and the functionality of the JamMan... which is
a pretty basic looper by EDP or Repeater standards.
Where I get off is in what you put *in* the loop. The sonic choices
(which can be loop features such as the Repeater's pitch and time
stretching or the EDPs slice and dice features [if it could only
Julieanne!]) are what interest me. For me the looper is the canvas. I
want it to be good quality and a big size so I can get the most out of
my paint, but I want it to be fairly "blank". Not saying it should be
like this, but for me that's what I dig. I think a looper should be
simple enough so that it's really the last thing you're thinking about
when you're making music. I think this is one of the big draws of the
DL4 and it's big sibling the EchoPro.
> Which leads me in some sense to think...
> With the advance of digital technology making looping achievable in
> most musical contexts, so the character and individuality of looping
> has been obsorbed into a bigger picture. DigitalLoopers can now do
> structures like verse chorus verse chorus repeat, in a way that it
> would be problematic with analogue equipment. This removal of these
> limitations has seen a sense of a loss of individuality of the sound
> of Live-Looping with a gain in its
> flexability and integration.
> I.e. looping can now be made to sound like other forms of music
So you need to ask your self the question: Does your technology inform
your sound, or does your sound inform your technology? Or is it a
feedback loop between? When I listen to older pop music I often think,
"Oh yeah, there's that DX7 patch..." or something like that. Good
music then brings me to a place where I'm lost in the music and no
longer listening to the technology. Poorly made music often relies on
the gimmick of a new sound and has little else. It's a trap we've all
got to avoid.
> However there are exceptions like Andre Lafosse etc. who are creating
> a new aesthetic out of looping as opposed to simply emulating another
> musical process....
There was a thread a while back that I started about the differences
between using your looper as a "processor" or in a more passive way.
Both techniques are indeed valid and it's just a matter of choice for
the musician. If you hear something in your head that your Repeater
can't do, you'd better buy an EDP and visa versa. I've heard both
great and horrible music come from both. What Andre does could be (and
has been) done with traditional post production editing. What makes it
cool is that he's a great musician and it allows him to make those
edits to his loops live. Does that ability to do the glitch/insert
technique live in real time inform the kind of edits he's doing? My
guess would be: Yes so in that way Andre has been creating a new
aesthetic. In a similar but more subtile way I use the Repeater's
effect loop to post process my loop while leaving my direct input
untouched (until it's first loop iteration). Most people are probably
not even aware I'm doing it but when the loop I hear isn't exactly like
what I played into it, it can't not influence what I'm going to play
next, and therefore the "feature" of this piece of technology has
allowed me to create music that I wouldn't normally have made without
it. Much in the same way I couldn't play the music I play without
amplification. I heard that Bing Crosby was the first baritone singer
in pop music because before microphones and amps you had to sing in a
high pitch to cut through the band. Very interesting IMO. I've always
loved how Laurie Anderson can have a carcophony of sound around her but
at the same time get all intimate by "whispering" in your hear.
> Both positions are valid and a sign of how versatile a tool looping
> has become. Its maybe a question of as a looper do you seek to create
> a new aesthetic or simply to have the option to emulate many
> previously used aesthetics, like sequencing, multi tracking etc.
Sure, sequencing and multi-tracking were all previously used, but
loopers allow you to do it *live* which is really what interests me.
There's nothing I do with my Repeater that I couldn't do with Digital
Performer, but the Repeater allows it to happen in real time and those
types of techniques really do have an effect on your playing. Similar
to the difference between recording a dry signal and then putting
effects on it later or doing the effect live. Common sound engineer
wisdom says put the effects on later, but I say "hogwash!" How that
effect changes your technique is what it's all about... well not all.