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The Looper's Delight
Interesting Posts Series:

Rhythmical Creativity

Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 20:56:08 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ray Peck

I am wondering if anybody knows of any sort of looping device (besides the multiple tape recorders which I have unfortunately had to resort to) which can record multiple loops OF DIFFERENT LENGTHS and then play these back simultaneously.

I've been thinking about this since seeing DT last year in SF. I was thinking that if I were to try this sort of thing myself (which I'm far off from doing!), I'd want a Mac-based system that let me do multiple tracks, each with different loop times, and to be able to change them on the fly.

Think of this sort of thing. Sorry if it doesn't make sense: it's kinda hard to explain.

To start out a track, tap out a few beats on a footswitch. The system syncs, and shows a graphical metronome. Record the first track, tapping another switch for the beginning and end of the loop. You could immediately start recording the next loop (or wait 'till the next go-around), and could specify the length of the loop relative to the first one with a couple switches, by specifying a rational ratio between the lengths. Imagine two "increase the factional part" switches.


1 tap gives you a second loop 1/2 or 2/1 as long, three taps gives you 2/3 or 3/2, etc. You could easily make loops that are 7/8 as long, or whaever, to get really interesting repeating patterns (cf. "Discipline").

Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 08:54:54 -0400
From: Chris Chovit

I have been doing something like this using multiple echolplexes, connected via the brother sync. I use one echoplex to create a "fundamental unit" loop. Then, I create loops on additional echoplexes, which are a multiple of this fundamental unit. Finally, I can go back to the original unit and mulitply its length too. Using four echoplexes, for example, I can have them repeating every 4, 5, 6, and 7 beats, respectively. This makes for some great entertwining melodies, which don't sound repetitious -- they sound like they are forever changing.

Obviously, having multiple echoplexes can be costly...Currently my brother and I each have 2 units, so between us, we use 4 units. This also gives us the capability of separating them in space -- we are currently using a quadrophonic setup, with each looper given its own channel, adding a "spatial dimension" to the music. Another trick I like, is to run a loop through an effect, like a slap back delay, and sending this into another looper (and another channel). This makes for some "mind-tweaking" sounds.

I am interested to know if anyone is using Opcode MAX to create custom interfaces with the echoplex. If This is something that I would like to undertake, but I would like to know if anyone as already doing this. If not, please send suggestions for interface capabilities. My idea is to use an ART X-15 footpedal to control multiple echoplexes. I'm still in the brainstorming mode, so suggestions are welcome!

Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 11:29:43 -0400
From: "Steven R. Murrell"

Just thought that I would share something that I have found to be interesting and fun. One thing that I like to do with my JamMan is layer loops that are in identical tempos but different time signatures. If done in a certain way, the resulting layered loop will be a rhythmically complex melody which repeats itself once every time through the loop. It helps immensely if you have the ability to record long loops (I have 32 second expansion).

Example: Record first layer in 5/4 playing notes or chords on beats one and three and play this for exactly seven measures (35 beats). Then record a second layer in 7/4 playing notes or chords on beats one and three and play this for only five measures (again 35 beats). As the loop repeats, beats one and three are coincident with respect to both patterns, but as the loop continues the patterns diverge and then converge making for a very nice sound.

I did this last week when a drummer friend and I were messing around at his house. I played this pattern using chords on my Stick (as opposed to single notes) and then played other synthy sounding stuff in real time above the loop. About ten minutes into this thing, his wife came into the studio. "This is scaring the hell out of me" she said.

Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 10:58:22 -0500 (CDT)
From: Dave Stagner

> I'd want a Mac-based system that let me do
> multiple tracks, each with different loop times, and to be able to
> change them on the fly.

I know EXACTLY what you're talking about; I want to do the same thing. The way I see it, this program should be able to run multiple loops simultaneously, and either mix them together or switch back and forth betwen them. If each loop is an independent entity from the mixer, then loop length is arbitrary. New loops could be created as copies of old loops, or as rational relations to other loops (1/3, 2x, etc), or with their own arbitrary length.

Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996
From: matthias@bahianet.com.br (Matthias)

I have done this with two loopers and liked it very much too. It reminded me of someone dancing on a ship that crosses the waves of another ship...

Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 15:30:31 -0400
From: cwb@platinum.com (Clark Battle)

Back when i had a 2 sec looper my favorite thing to do was to build impossibly fast chordal passages with guitar loops. I would input one chord at a time (sometimes one note at a time) and stagger them so that they were very close together. Id have to practice the timing of each chord so that it would be recorded in the loop accurately. When the loop was finished id be left with this 2 second impossible harmonic onslaught of 16 to 32 stacatto chords. Each chord may or may not be even playable on guitar since some chords took multiple passes to record. The trick was getting the end of the passage to resolve into the beginning so that it sounded musical in the loop. Big Fun.

The next trick is to learn to solo over a 32nd note chordal passage! Yeah right. Allan?

Date: 29 Sep 96 23:59:14 EDT
From: Teed Rockwell<74164.3703@compuserve.com>

I discovered this technique by acccident by playing a 3 over 4 cross rhythm. When you get to the second time around, all of the beats in the 3 pattern are now 1/2 beat away from the first time you played them, and you get this exact rapid fire effect.

Date: Mon, 08 Jan 2001 14:24:05 -0800
From: Claude Voit <c.voit@vtx.ch>

this is for stereo EDP setups with midi connection in between

this is a "setup" routine therefore I guess we cannot play during the button pushes :=)
1 finger push all the rest can be done by footcontroler

different cycle nb between L-R

record the original cycle (Short <1 sec)

press multiply on the slave machine (youre setting up the slaves multiples NB)
count 6
press multiply on footswitch or master plex (ends multiply on slave and startmultiply the master; you are now setting the master multiples NB)
count 8
press multiply on footswitch (endsMultiply on master)
press undo wich will undo the multiply that was just started on the
slave by the last multiply press)

you now have a 6 to 8 cycle relationship between L and R this works the same Quantized or not in all sync modes


PS: this is only a starting point as there are a lot of similar "desync" moves that can be found if you play and think with it Overdub,record,reverse, .....

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