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Re: Repeater suggestions and criticisms

After reading the ongoing discussion/rants about the
lack of certain features on the Repeater, I'd like to
offer this point of view as someone who doesn't have
either a Repeater or an EDP (I loop primarily with a
Boomerang, old OS).

The underlying theme I'm hearing in these comments is
"This box doesn't do things the way I'm used to doing
them."  Guess what?  Bass guitars don't do things the
way 6-string guitars do, either.  Ever tried Travis
picking on a bass?  Or slapping and popping on a
Strat?  Granted, you can do a halfassed approximation
of both, but it ain't the same.  Why not?  Because
those are techniques idiosyncratic to their individual
instruments.  The idea that loopers are new musical
instruments is an old one in this forum; an
examination of the archives will confirm this.  If
it's true, then we have to think of looping gear in
the same terms that we think of regular instruments. 
This leads us to a few key ideas:

1. Different loopers are different.  A bass is not a
guitar; an EDP is not a Boomerang is not a Repeater,
no matter how similar they appear.

2. The instruments we play have a profound impact on
the music that we make, and form the primary frame of
reference for relating to new instruments.  I'm a
guitarist, and when I pick up a bass, the first thing
I do is try to play it like a guitar.  Realizing that
this is not the optimum way to approach the
instrument, I have to adjust my thinking and playing
to match the strengths of the instrument.  My first
looper was an Akai Headrush, followed by the
Boomerang.  Neither of these has a true wet/dry mix
control, nor can they go from recording directly into
overdubbing (under the original Boomerang OS, which I
still have).  I don't miss these features, because the
instruments on which I learned to loop do not have
them, and thus my looping style does not incorporate
these elements.  Using a "delay-style" looper, such as
the Digitech RDS series (which I owned briefly)
requires me to make a big adjustment in the way I
think about looping, which may not ultimately serve my
playing (that's why I don't own one anymore).

3.  While it's perfectly legit to ask for features
that you particularly like to be added to a new
instrument, one should be careful of assumptions that
the lack of these features constitutes a "flaw."  This
is a subjective judgement, based on the requirements
of your particular style of playing.  To assume that
the agenda of instrument builders is the same as those
of instrument players is at best naive.  I realize
that Electrix went out of their way to solicit our
desired feature lists and get our feedback; at the end
of the day, however, the Repeater is THEIR vision, not
ours.  Whether we find it useful for our application
is a separate question from whether it fulfills the
purpose for which it was designed.  Before we fly off
the handle about the perceived flaws in the Repeater
feature set, maybe we should let the Electrix crew
defend their instrument in terms of its intended


And if it's up to us to bring some balance back
Let it not be said it's courage that we lack

-Gaia Consort, "Cry Freedom"

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