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Re: help wanted -- technique tips, please

On Thu, 14 Aug 1997, Russell Gorton wrote:

> I would like to sync up a repeating sampled riff (from Rhodes or
> telewanker), captured with an Echoplex DP, with the drummer.
> The question is: without MIDI clicks, how can a loop be synced into music
> with live drums?  I'm looking for new APPROACHES to this problem
> here...anyone?

I seem to remember Matthias saying that the BeatSync jack in the back of
the Echoplex could generate a pulse which could be piped out of the jack
into a mixer, etc.  You could run that into a mixer for the drummer. 

You could also try slaving a drum machine to the Echoplex, so that the 
Echoplex actually controls the tempo.  Depending on how the 8ths/Beat 
control is set up, you could have the drummer play in a number of 
different ways.

I know this still pretty much winds up as a MIDI click type of option, 
but it seems to me to be the best way around it.  

You could also try deliberately constructing highly rhythmic loops, built
off of short-duration cycles with highly percussive content, so that the
loops themselves are easier to hear as rhythmic elements.  Still, it seem
to me that if you're trying to get anyone (especially a drummer) to sync
up to an electronically looped source, some sort of click is really the
only way to go.  Unless you've got the luxury of a consistently fine-tuned
monitor mix and consistently easy-to-follow loops, it's probably going to
be a perpetually uphill battle otherwise. 

There's an article on Zac Alford (current drummer for David Bowie in his
jungle phase) in the current issue of _Modern Drummer_ magazine, which
deals in great depth about the technicalities of playing to loops and
sequences in a live performance context.