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Re: the dt challenge

At 10:10 PM 9/9/2001, Hedewa7@aol.com wrote:
> >It also does this "not ready" thing when you are in play and try to 
>jump in
> >and out of overdub quickly several times in a row. This is a technique I
> >like a lot.
>me, too.
>w/'record/replace' (as opposed to 'overdub'), as well.

right. unfortunately that way gives you "not ready" also if you go to 
for it.

>meanwhile, k:
>is there anything ya like about the unit, at this juncture?
>dt / s-c

Fair enough question! I can be a tough critic. Just ask Matthias. He's put 
up with me thrashing every minute detail of the EDP for years. :-)

So, the all-positive kim repeater review:

The function I immediately loved in Repeater was Slip. Kind of unexpected, 
because on the surface it almost sounds boring. You can shift tracks in 
time against the others. But it did exactly what I thought it would do, it 
was really easy to use and figure out, and it was a lot of fun. No 
frustrations at all, and useful too! I can take a part on a given track 
pull it a little ahead and behind the beat, giving different rhythmic 
feels. I like that. Or clean it up a bit rhythmically if it was a little 
sloppy. Or move it to a completely different spot against the other tracks 
and really change up the feel. Also, you can tie tracks together or move 
them independently, all of which I was able to figure out in seconds 
without looking at the manual. Very satisfying.

Even in simple ways this is eye-opening. (or ear-opening.)  For example, I 
have a simple 2 bar hip-hoppish drum groove on one track, and some lame 
whole note jazz guitar chords on another track. I put them down quick to 
try out some other functions, so it's kinda dorky sounding. I was 
rhythmically spot on with my first chord, but the second was a little 
Bugs me. With Slip I can pull the thing a little bit, so the first chord 
a little ahead of the beat and the second is right on. Much better! It 
the feel of the hip hop groove. Or even better, I took the whole guitar 
part and shifted it backwards in relation to the drums to hear what it 
sounds like when starting from different eighth notes. For whatever 
my ears are insisting that the big whole note chords represent the 
downbeat, irregardless of what the drums are doing. So fine, I accept 
When I got the first chord at the 'and' of two on the first bar of the 
drums, bam! My dork hip-hop drum groove became as funky as hell there! I 
never would have thought of a drum pattern like that, and it is exactly 
same except shifted by a beat and a half against what I'm now thinking of 
as the down beat. Now that is a useful function!

I think that speaks to what Repeater is really useful as. A 
loop-based 4-track recorder. (like it says on the box.) Looking at the 
feature set, the industrial design, the manual, etc, I think that is 
what it was designed to be. Like Acid or Sonar in a box, or a simple, 
self-contained remix environment. No need for a computer or big mixing 
console or whatever. Everything you need to do that is right there. 
Storage, simple mixing and routing functions, an assortment of I/O 
four tracks, a few features found in common plug-ins and audio sequencer 
programs (pitch shifting, time stretch, slip, etc.), familiar 
tape-transport interface, etc.

I think that is all great for a couple of reasons. One is it makes for a 
simplified studio that is easy to use for people who don't want to deal 
with a computer based setup with a lot of extra outboard gear. Second, I 
think the looping approach is really useful for recording applications. It 
really helps you sketch out ideas and quickly find what works, especially 
if you compose loop oriented music with static loops (like most dance 
these days). Repeater makes it really easy to throw different ideas 
together, different samples and live played bits, and while they loop you 
can try different effects, different mixes, change a part, try different 
tempo, different pitch, screw around with the rhythm, take a part out, put 
it back, etc. For the price, it does these things really well.

If you saw the Repeater advertising and didn't get past "4 tracks" and 
"looper" and immediately had visions of the ultimate performance-oriented 
real-time looper, or the uber-echoplex, get ready for disappointment. (of 
your own doing, imho, cause you didn't read the rest of the details....) 
That's clearly not the point of the Repeater. When you hold the Repeater 
against the Echoplex, or even the Boomerang or JamMan for the real-time, 
performance oriented looping functionality where those boxes shine, the 
Repeater just falls on it's face. Likewise, when you hold those boxes up 
against the recording studio functionality of the Repeater, they fall over 
too! It just isn't the same kind of thing.

Sure, Repeater does a few things those don't do, and you could use 
in a real-time performance looping application and get some good mileage 
out of it. But that's not the soul of this beast, and so the list of basic 
real-time loop functions that it doesn't do is pretty long.

It seems like Electrix made some effort to add some features like that in 
the Repeater, probably due to people on this list throwing ideas and 
questions at them from left field. But that really isn't it's strong point 
at all, and the lack of depth in those functions makes that clear. 
Likewise, if you thought Repeater was a sampler, it isn't. If you thought 
it would replace a roland VP-9000, it won't.

Think "Recording", think "Studio", think "elegant and self-contained", 
think "Acid in hardware", think "loop-based recorder", think "economical" 
and I think you will get the idea, and you will really enjoy using the 

There, better?

now I will go back to being my usual surly, cynical, and harshly-critical 


Kim Flint                     | Looper's Delight
kflint@loopers-delight.com    | http://www.loopers-delight.com