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Andy Butler wrote:
"hi Rick  It seems you're using the "nobody did it before, therefore you 
be able to do it"

No Andy,  my argument is that due to the inherent limitations of human 
nature (in terms of driving anything off of human
timing) that it is a vastly more musically efficacious approach to have 
drummer play off of the loop rather than try to control
the loop by taking calculated timing from, say, the drummers kick drum.

If you are skeptical of this statement then I enjoin you to download the 
midi tap tempo freeware plugin from
Analogue X and practise tapping to music that you know that has a steady 
Try as hard as you can and just be amazed at how much your rhythm timing 
will vary from beat to beat.

Even when you take a program that averages your tempo over four beats or 
even four bars you will continue to vary
your BPM.

Why the human being is so much better at playing to a loop (or entraining 
with a human being) than the machine
is to reading our playing and then sending out a sync pulse is because we 
stretch our rhythms to entrain in a way
that it would be virtually impossible for a computer to read (at least in 
the forseeable future).

I know that you are 'never say never' kind of guy (a quality I love about 
you, frankly) and there are always exceptions to the rule but I have been 
watching this phenomenon for all of my adult life and despite the great 
increase in computational power of todays micorprocessors
I have yet to see anyone accomplish this in a way that sounds good 

Som I'm not coming from a curmugeonly place.................I'm coming 
a 'best advice I can give you with 25 years of experience'
AND the honest solid desire I've had for years for people to solve this 

That being said and done,  I"m with you.  I hope people don't quit trying.


It's funny, but as much as I have always been an apologist for things like 
drum machines and machines that either replicate human played music or 
it,  there are just somethings that a human being does that are much more 
sophisticated than current techology allows.   Human entrainment just has 
all over machine entrainment right now.

As the software designer who tried to help Antares design a good voice to 
midi VST plugin said (and I paraphrase because I have only heard this 
anecdote 2nd hand)..............The inherent limitation of MIDI  (16 
channels with 127 increments for each channel) makes it so that such a VST 
is impossible.................the human voice just is too complex a 
phenomenon to be read well by a midi device....................This 
limitation in midi (ever listened to midi controlled sequenced 
of ride cymbals?   ever heard one that sounded realistic?) was why Antares 
gave up on desinging that VST plugin.

However,   they did come up with KANTOS which was using the computer's 
powers to control a synthesizer (that did not rely on midi) so that it 
read human voice and then drive the synth.   It's fantastic, but still 
relatively simplistic in terms of how well it can process complex changes 
timbre of the voice.

Andy wrote:
"One of the big difficulties is monitoring, as you rightly point out.
...but to a large extent the difficulty is due not to the inherent
physics of playing music, but because music tends to be over-amplified, 
90% of PAs produce
a sound so awful that it's actually quite hard to hear how close the 
For a group of musicians with their own high quality amplification
set-up the problem could (with co-operation :-) be greatly reduced."

You are correct here,   absolutely..............but, again,  it requires a 
substantial investment by someone and multiple monitoring
busses.....................it's not impossible, but it is quite rare that 
people have these capabilities within a band.

I remember playing a club years ago where every person on stage had a four 
channel monitor amplifier for their own personal monitor.   You could just 
dial in your own monitor sound quickly on stage...........it was amazing. 
LOL,  I've encountered that setup in one nightclub and in one recording 
studio  in my entire life of playing professionally.

One of the problems that comes up is that, say in the case of my playing 
with my brother the other night:    In order for me to
be able to play off of my original loop, I need it to be louder than his 
guitar playing or guitar loops plus his real time 
mix is going to drive him nuts and prevent him from hearing himself well.

Optimally,.  I needed a monitor of myself alone and a monitor of his 
and he needed the exact same situation,  independently controlled by each 

this is great but requires much more setup time and also has the 
prerequisite that you have
1)  the space on stage for it  (we didn't)
2) the time to set it up  (we didn't)  and
3)  the energy to set it up for that quicky gig (analagous to a 30 minute 
loop festival performance)  (again, we didn't).

This is pretty typical  I would suggest.

Andy wrote:
...but why wouldn't it work?
Surely it's possible to renew synchronisation more often than once a bar.

Yes, but if you'll read what I said (in my overlong post-------but then 
afraid they're all overly long------<blush>)
It is the discreetness of sampling that makes it  'unhuman'.   I still say 
it's better for the drummer to learn how to
play to the steady loop.

Andy again:
"It's also possible to chose sounds for the loop with a different
sounding attack to what's going on in the live music, that would make any 
drift sound much less unpleasant."

Well this is a very appropriate response unless you are playing music that 
is highly syncopated where the parts need to interlock
rhythmically.    When that is the case,  you just can't fudge it.  You are 
either locked up or you aren't and it sounds like hell when you are 
drifting...........................it's awful enough that I don't even 
attempt it.

So,  to sum it all up.....................more power to anyone who can 
the problem no matter how they solve it.   This is just my best advice as 
professional drummer who has seen such a setup fail in every situation 
ever encountered.

I stand by my advice, but it's always nice to be proved wrong.     I wish 
everyone luck with it.