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Re: live vs recorded
on 5/27/03 9:16 PM, David at email@example.com wrote:
> 1) Live looping and recorded looping are (only) as different as live vs.
> recorded music.
> Potentially definitions of looping need to deal, and possibly distinguish
> between looping in live and recorded situations. Today, recording
> technology allows for musical elements to become repeated literally with
> and paste simplicity. It's valid, it's cool. I love it. Isn't it
> too? And if so, maybe it's good enough to just distinguish between
> "realtime" looping and "recorded" loops. My points 2 & 3 partially
> explains why.
One of the things I've realized as I've thought about recording v.
performance is that part of the value in performance is in watching the
music get constructed. That's part of why hitting play on a drum machine is
somewhat of a downer in a performance and why multi-instrumentalists make
such interesting performers at looping festivals. (Pete Coates was
particularly impressive at Y2K2.) The audience for such events presumably
draws on people who are interested in that process. Drum machines are also
damaging to the performance aesthetic in the same way that hitting play on
CD player is damaging: It opens the question as to how much is essentially
(This being said: Hans demonstrates that you can make a performance out of
playing drum machines, but it really needs to be the focus of attention for
In a recording, in contrast, much of that performance aspect is lost. If
are a musician and in particular a musician who uses loops, you can analyze
how the material was put together. Skilled listeners can do this as well.
But for most people, the final aural product is all that's really available
to judge. If a drum machine makes it sound better, go ahead. If it's cut
pasted together, go ahead.
I'm not sure where this leaves "live in the studio work" that characterizes
so much jazz. Some of that is just budget constraints that limit how much
editing and overdubbing is viable, but there is also some vestige of the
spontaneity of live performance that gets left in this way. When done well,
the music breathes in an organic way that studio constructed music can
>From a personal standpoint, it's been interesting for me to find that
doing a bunch of stuff with a 4-track cassette deck, I upgraded first to a
reel-to-reel 8-track and then a digital 8-track only to find that I'm more
comfortable recording essentially live to 2-track. As a result, my recorded
work is essentially a lot like my live work except that it's generally had
more rounds of prep work experimenting with motifs and has the post option
of being deleted if I'm really unhappy with it. Whether it breathes or not,
I'll leave for others to judge. (I've got a Roland VS880 that I'd be
to sell moderately cheaply. It's really only getting used when I'm working
with someone else and want 4 inputs so that we don't have to worry about
mix.) I'm also without a drum machine right now. I've contemplated the
EM-1, XL-7, and Machinedrum, but I haven't resolved whether it would
either my live or my recorded work.