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RE: RiffBox review
I agree with your point about being able to use it without events, and
actually that was one of the first recommendations I made to Backline
Engineering after my initial testing. If you use MIDI (controller or
sequencer) you can have loops start and end immediately, irrespective of
audio events. So I recommended a mode where the footswitch would be used
the same way. This would make the RiffBox act like a traditional looper.
Gary at B.E. is considering this for a firmware update.
Personally, I had a very difficult time getting loops timed to my
satisfaction on devices I've used in the past. I would generally need to
start with a very simple loop, then layer above that based on timing which
was somewhat incidental. The audio event trigger helps me get the right
timing on the "base" loop. But if you've developed skill timing loops to
your satisfaction with the gear you've got, then this might not add any
value for you.
As for acting as a sync slave, not entirely sure what you're expectations
are. It doesn't support any time stretching or anything along those lines.
It will start and stop based on external sequencers or audio triggers to
let you loop within the confines of an established tempo, but I haven't
really had any cause to test a setup like that yet.
From: Jeff Larson [mailto:Jeffrey.Larson@Sun.COM]
Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2005 11:36 AM
Subject: Re: RiffBox review
Marc Benigni wrote:
> The issues inherent in counting events aren't so gloomy though, since in
> most cases you won't know the number of notes you intend to play in
> anyway. 9 times out of 10 you'll use a manual mode - you hit the switch,
> the RiffBox loops beginning on the very next event. This is really just a
> refinement of the typical looper, where you press the switch and looping
> begins immediately. But its a BIG refinement. The result is glitchcore
> without the glitches. A bit of practice and loops start coming out *very*
> clean. And in this scenario you can play fast, legato runs without worry,
> long as the last note is distinct from the first, and you hit that pedal
> somewhere in between. i.e. if there's a rest at the end of the
> you're golden.
I read the manual a while ago, and I still have to wonder why this
is such a BIG refinement? Sure, it takes some practice to hit a
foot switch at the start/end of the loop. But from what you say,
does it take any less practice to alter your playing style and set
up side chains so that it can detect the start/end events?
Personally, I don't have any problems pressing footswitches at
the right times, and I like having the ability to end a loop on a
"fade" without having to make an audible event.
His mode concepts look interesting, but the whole event thing just
seems like marketing hype. I would consider buying one to
explore modes, but I would want a way to turn off events and
just tap loop times. It also does not appear to support
being a sync slave (not very well anyway), only a sync master.