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Dig if u will my research paper Chapter 7

Chapter 7
Digital Playground
The 1980s saw digital technology make huge inroads into the making and
producing of music. The invention of the CD saw the first mass-market
digital form for the dissemination of music unveiled at the Salzburg
festival in 1980. The eighties also saw digital technology integrated into
Digital Delay
Although digital delays circuits were available in the 1970s, consumer
digital delays didn¹t become commercially viable until the 1980s, when the
cost of the components used to make these units reached a commercially
viable level. Looping became directly influenced by digital equipment when 
series of digital delay units (often called sampling delay) could do the
sort of looping associated with the Riley tape-delay set-up. Of these
digital delays the Lexicon PCM42 was perhaps the most popular for serious
looping. Originally designed by Gary Hall in 1981-82 Hall went on to
customize these units into looping devices of great potential. The Lexicon
in expanded form was capable of delay times that exceed 60secs, reverse
playback, pitch bend and had a pulse output that could be synchronised to
drum machines etc. The 1980s also saw the explosion of Digital sampling 
the Emu Emulator released in 1981 and then the first affordable sampler 
Ensoniq called The Mirage in 1985. It is interesting to note that the
popularity of the sampler lead it to be called the instrument of the 1980s
where as the Live-Looper (essentially a live sampler) never really took 
Lexicon made one further Live-Looping product the affordable Jamman 
in 1993 which was soon dropped due to lack of sales. Lexicon has since
refused to re-enter the Live-Looping market due to a perceived lack of
The significant advantage of digital units like the Lexicon PCM42 over
analogue tape delay was the ability to vary the delay time over a large
range of values. This was of great significance to Live-Loopers as
previously the delay time had been essentially locked to the physical
distance between the tape-delays record and playback head. Even with the
variable speed functions of the recorders it was still hard to get a wide
range of loop times from one physical set-up. Digital loop device¹s
portability and the instant accessibility of the features via foot
controllers allowed players to interact with their loops in a way that was
previously impossible. Hall also created a clock output to allow the PCM42s
looper to be synchronised to external drum machines and synthesizer
arpeggiaters. This represented an incredible vision on Hall¹s part. Using a
PCM42 a drum machine and a synthesizer Hall states, ³I had an amazing
playing rig that could build big multi-track layers of precisely locked
rhythm¹s and chordal parts which I would solo over.² This was before the
invention of midi and was therefore breaking new conceptual ground within
the field of music technology.
Users of the PCM42 read like a who¹s who of looping and included David 
Andy summers, Matthias Grob and Pauline Oliveros. Oliveros said this of the
PCM42, ³The PCM42 is a real performance instrument. It was possible to
change delay time with foot pedals, which allowed the bending of delayed
sounds. (Not easily accomplished with tape delay.) Other functions included
mix control, feedback and capture could be accessed by pedals as well.²
Oliveros would go on to transform the PCM42s into the Expanded Instrument
System where multiple PCM42s were controlled via a digital interface (a
Macintosh computer running MAX software). It was Oliveros¹s intention to go
beyond the physical limitation of what could be achieved with a foot
controller. The result of this can be heard in her piece called ŒThe
Lightning Box¹ for four performers.
The Paradis Loop Delay
The next significant development in digital looping happened in 1991, with
the release of Matthius Grob¹s Paradis Loop-Delay. Grob had this to say
about his creation ³When building my machines my aim is to make them more
musical than logical, giving you intuitive access so that your creativity
may flow.²  The Loop Delay¹s advanced synchronisation facilities allowed 
user to sync up multiple units to each other, allowing multi-track looping
in the digital domain. It also had several new functions such as insert,
multiply and undo which greatly increased the options for live-composition.
The Loop-Delay was eventually licensed by Gibson and became the Echoplex
Digital Pro (E.D.P.) and is still some 12 years after its invention, the
most sophisticated hardware Live-Looping device available (The user list of
the Echoplex reads like a who¹s who of Live-Looping).
The designers of the E.D.P. have also been responsible for many of the new
aesthetic developments in Live-Looping. The innovative contemporary looping
artist Andre Lafosse talks about Kim Flint (one of the Echoplex designers)
as being the biggest influence on his music saying,
Kim was talking about granular looping and modern dance/DJ culture as key
influences on his E.D.P. concepts years before I finally got around to 
those principles to find my own voice on the Echoplex.  As far as I'm
concerned, Kim's my biggest looping influence - because he challenged 
to go beyond ambient Frippertronics, and because he laid the necessary
technical foundation in the EDP for me to find my own personal path out of
that paradigm. In a lot of ways, I still feel like I'm playing catch-up to
the ideas Kim's had for ages.
Therefore it can be seen that to a certain extent the direction and
continued creative evolution of Live-Looping can be put down to the 
design work that has gone into the Echoplex Digital Pro.
So the advantages that digital technology brought were portability, easily
independently variable delay times, multiply and undo functions and more
recently real time time-stretching and pitch shifting. Digital technology
has also brought mass-market affordability to the Live-Looping public with
basic looping devices now retailing at little more than a hundreds pounds.
Looping patches are also beginning to become a standard feature on guitar
effects units demonstrating the rising popularity of this form of signal