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Re: not so Ambient

At 12:32 PM -0400 8/3/97, Ian///Shakespace wrote:
>>been experimenting in a rather limited fashion with putting sequence
>>pattern stuff into synced loops and delays and mucking about with
>>crossfading and feedback and such.
>too many possibilites, eh? yeah this is something i need to get more into,
>but the limited capabilitise of my mixer make it prohibitve at this point.
>oh, for the want of a 1604...

I'm just using the feedback and mix knobs on the delay. (an obie echoplex,
natch) Gets me pretty far, actually. Better mixing would certainly open the
possibilities a lot.

>I've got the delay on the aux send of my mixer, with the outs (the DD3 has
>dry and effect outs) returned on channels. Running the drum machine 
>(feedback minimised) i'll find a suitable delay setting. Usually,
>everything is running from MIDI clocked from my Mac. Anyway, sequnce
>playing. pull everything out of the delay line and get a clean path, then
>crank the feedback. using the aux faders on the individual instruments'
>channels, add little things to the delay line. Since the delay is
>complementary to the drums, everything should be kosher. Keep a finger on
>the feedback control, just in case something gets out of hand. Should I 
>something really grooving, the DD3 has a "hold" function where it'll
>infinitely loop whatever is in memory. I guess made for guitarists to solo
>over a 800ms rhythm guitar chord... whatever, i'll dump the loop into the
>ESi and keep it running there, clear out the delay line and keep building.

ah, that's interesting, I hadn't quite tried that yet. I'll add
"controlling input volume to delay" and now I've got three knobs to turn!

>um, more will come to me certainly, but i'd love to hear about some of 
>particular techniques...

Ok, here's some things I've done that seemed to work:

I usually use my old Alesis HR-16B drum machine, connected through the
delay. (with a guitar distortion pedal between them lately) Set it to some
pattern and just let it go. The wet/dry mix knob  generally acts as a sort
of crossfade for me. so,

- set the delay to something extremely short, like less than 10ms, feedback
all the way down, mix all the way wet. The drum machine should sound pretty
normal. Turn the feedback up and you get these wierd synthy-ring-modulated
percussion sounds. Basically, the delay is short enough to be an audible
frequency itself, which gives the drum samples a totally new character.
Vary the feedback knob to control the sound, sort of morphing between the
normal and synthetic sounding one. Very fun and expressive. Now vary the
delay time to change the character of the sound. On the echoplex I do this
by setting RecordMode=SUS, so I can tap very lightly and get very short
delays. I leave Overdub on all the time. Each time I tap the button I get a
slighly different delay length, changing the sound. Go nuts with the
feedback knob....

- Something like what you describe, where I use longer delays (somewhere
between  maybe a sixtenth and two beats in length) with the mix more
towards the direct sound, and feedback in the middle somewhere. Use the mix
knob to bring the delays in and out of the pattern, getting all sorts of
weird rhythms. vary feedback to change the density of the rhythms. Change
delay lengths to change the sort of rhthyms that come out. On the plex I
just leave Overdub on all the time to keep the input open. You could also
use delay mode.

- Sync the delay to clock out from the drum machine. Make a loop of the
drum machine pattern, playing them both next to each other. (sort of
interesting just like that, since inaccuracies of midi clock always give
you slight audio phase problems that can sound pretty cool) Reverse the
loop, quantized so that it is still synced to the sequencer. Now you have
the original and the reversed version playing together. By itself, that's
ok but a little muddy. With judicious, rhythmic crossfading on the Mix
knob, you can pull up reversed drum hits at regular points and get some
interesting patterns.

- On the Echoplex you can set the number of eighth notes in the pattern it
is syncing to with midi clock, by using the 8ths/beat parameter. That's so
you can sync loops to a 7/8 pattern or something. But we're just going to
abuse that! Use a totally ordinary two bar drum pattern. Set the 8ths/beat
parameter to some odd meter, like say 9, 11, 13, etc. Start the drum
machine, and record a loop of it at some point. The percussion in the loop
will be in tempo, but in a different time signature! Let the two play next
to each other and you get a constantly evolving drum pattern. Sounds like
the drum machine suddenly became very creative. Using the Mix knob to
crossfade between the two makes one time signature or the other more
dominant. time signature morphing I guess. lotsa fun.

Those are the best things I've come up with so far, just fooling around
with a pretty simple set up.


Kim Flint                   | Looper's Delight
kflint@annihilist.com       | http://www.annihilist.com/loop/loop.html
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