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Re: freedom, syncing and quantization

At 05:15 PM 1/15/98 -0300, Matthias Grob wrote:

>Does anyone use the Quantize feature of the Plex? (I understood there is a
>equivalent on the JamMan with a name I do not remember)
>I guess Q level it mainly interesting to work in planned "organized" 
>where you treat bars and measures.

I use the quantize function a lot these days. Originally I liked it because
it helped me execute functions more accurately while playing guitar. I 
play guitar with loops so much these days (or much at all actually), I'm
following some muse into more percussively oriented electronic dance music.
It's organized in the sense that you are often concerned about maintaining 
beat and keeping things aligned according to measure and section, which
means a heavy use of midi clock for syncing. In my case the planned aspect
mostly ends there, as I'm experimenting with taking a more improvised
approach to it rather than sequencing every last millisecond. But I still
want to keep the tempo and beat steady, and not have those things fly out 
my control.

For this, quantized loop functions are great. It's very easy to record
things played in real time and get a loop sync'd with the sequence and
aligned with the first beat of the pattern. Since I'm also manipulating the
mixer or effects parameters, or triggering drum samples or something, it's
incredibly handy to be able to press the record or multiply or whatever
function when it is convenient, and know that it is going to come in 
when it is supposed to. I can finish the function in the same way, by
pressing when it is convenient, and the plex ends the function quantized to
the end of the sequenced patterns. I can then go about manipulating this
loop, effecting it, mixing it in and out, generally terrorizing it, but
keeping it in time the way I want.  

As an example, I have the loopers on aux sends of the mixer, synced to midi
clock from a sequencer. I like to take a loop of the drums and reverse it,
mixing the reverse in and out with the original. First I start the sequence
and then record a loop of its output, which is very convenient because
everything is sync'd and quantized to the first beat of the pattern. I just
hit record any time, and it starts at the right moment. I hit it again when
I've got as much as I want, and it waits to end of the measure to end for
me. Easy! The two are sync'd, aligned, running along next to each other.
Then I hit reverse on the echoplex. The quantizing waits to the end of the
measure before reversing the loop. So now the reversed drums are going,
still sync'd to the original and aligned to the measures. Then I go nuts
with the faders, bringing reversed drum hits in and out, using quick
crossfades between the two, or whatever, creating a new pattern of reverse
and forward drums.

I might then use multiply to add some real-time playing to the loop, put it
back forwards, and mix between the new loop and the old pattern. Or change
patterns, or whatever. I'll use NextLoop to record several different loops
like this, and it's all quantized and in time with the clock and lined up
with other echoplexes and the sequencer. I can do quantized switches 
all the loops, while mostly concentrating on the mixer, effects, and
playing, and it all stays in time where I want it. There's tons of
possibilities, and I'm only just beginning to explore it with a rather
rudimentary setup. Without quantize I would never be able to execute the
loop functions perfectly enough to keep it all together. With quantize it's
a snap, and I can concentrate on doing other things while the looper does
it's job on it's own.

As a more advanced technique, I also like to set the echoplexes to time
signatures different from the sequence and each other. Then I capture the
drum pattern from the sequencer in different time signatures, and run it
next to the original. So I might have the original in 4/4 and the loop in
13/8. Running them next to each other gives a constantly shifting rhythm
pattern that can be very interesting. By controlling the mix you can easily
change which one dominates, effectively morphing from one time signature to
another. Quantize is again a life saver here, because I can execute loop
functions without the beat getting out of whack. What's also interesting is
the quantize point changes against the original sequence. It's still in
time, just at a different beat each time through. So you can keep things

so anyway, I'm a quantizing fan!

now back to the boring work....

Kim Flint                      408-752-9284
Mpact System Engineering       kflint@chromatic.com
Chromatic Research             http://www.chromatic.com