[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Re: Looping a dead horse (was Looping History? )

--- samba * <sambacomet@hotmail.com> wrote:

>    So are Fripp and Eno's early recordings of
> frippertronics not looping?

They absolutely *are* looping, but what is it about
Kim's definition that makes you assume he doesn't
think so? Fripp playing in real time into two revoxes
operated by Eno which are playing back what Fripp just
played as he layers more onto it sure sounds to me
like another way of saying "interactive performance
technique". And contrary to popular misconception, the
system used by Fripp and Eno did not use closed tape
loops; the reel spooled off the first deck onto the
second. Does this mean it's not looping? Of course
not; it meets several criteria, most importantly that
the signal is subjected to a feedback loop.
> How about the work of various composers who actually
> made loops of tape 
> between machines-I've seen one all the way down the
> hall ,around a banister 
> and back into the studio-when theses were used to
> make recordings were they not looping?

There's a bit of equivocation going on here. Some
people call any use of "loops" looping, and in a sense
it is. For example, firing up Acid and painstakingly
building a musical piece out of commercially purchased
samples from the 'Loops for Acid' series IS an example
of loop-based music. But it doesn't necessarily
conform to the definition that is generally used on
this list, because of the lack of the interactive,
real-time component. Playing an 8-track cartridge of
Ted Nugent's 'Weekend Warriors' IS an example of using
a physical tape loop, since the tape is joined at both
ends and goes around and around until the listener
gets sick of it and presses 'eject', but I don't think
anyone would call it 'looping'. The Beatles'
"Revolution #9" and "Tomorrow Never Knows" both
featured prominent use of tape loops, but in both
cases, they were manipulating previously recorded
material, NOT live looping. Your example regarding
long loops between tape machines may or may not be
looping, by the definition we've been using. It
depends on if there's signal being input in real time,
accumulating on the tape versus mere playback of work
that had been done earlier. CONTINUED ADDITIONAL
input, that is, in an interaction with the repetition
of what had just been recorded before.

>How about if there was someone in the
> studio as audience?

I think you're missing the point. Kim's definition is
in no way related to the tree falling in the forest.
It MAY be related to the sound of one hand clapping,
however, since many musicians do indeed loop in
solitude, but the philosophical implications exceed
the  scope of the comfort level of a mixed, family

>   As far as I can tell all looping is sampling,if a
> sample is played back in 
> continuous repetition,I would call that a loop.

Like Kim pointed out, there is a lot of overlap. Yes,
looping requires some sort of recording of a sound,
whether that be digital or analog, with RAM or tape or
wax cylinders. And, yes, continuous repetition of what
has been recorded is by some definitions a loop, but
it's not necessarily looping.

To come back to your Mellotron reference (grooaannn),
let's add a Hammond B3 to the analogy.

1) Playback of sampled sound
Mellotron: yes (recordings of actual instruments)
B3: no
Looping: yes (recording of live musical input)

2) Continuous generation of sound
Mellotron: no (8 second note limit with attack/decay)
B3: yes (as long as key is depressed)
Looping: yes

I think you see where I'm going with this; there are
similarities and differences between the three, with
substantial overlap. That doesn't make them the same.


Do you Yahoo!? 
Check out the new Yahoo! Front Page.