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Somewhere around a second or so, determining the actual time isn't really the point, it's the intended application.  The overwhelming majority of people who use delays in non-experimental music use them as slapback or around 350ms with six repeats set to around 30% wet mix.  Look at all the presets in multieffectors that have delay for examples.  Various "conventional" musicians have made use of a short delay with sample/hold as the basis for a song (Eric Johnson's "Soulful Terrain", Bloc Party's "Like Eating Glass"), but I'd hesitate to call them "live loopers".  I've played slide guitar on a few songs over the years (like, three), and even if I have a slide sitting on top my amp I wouldn't call myself a "slide guitarist".

Fripp's revox Frippertronics-era stuff typically used something around 4 seconds, with the feedback set fairly high but taking advantage of the saturation and filtering effects of the delay's analog tape qualities.  I don't think he typically (if at all) made use of a "hold" mode with that setup (and I'm not sure if the two Revox setup really allows for that since there's no actual tape loop and the analog/mechanical feedback loop alters the signal at every repeat no matter what you do).  He'd improvise eight minutes or so of ambient backing, rewind the tape reel and then solo over that.  Because he was using the tape system, he ended up with a complete record of step two, but none of the soloing, and this is what made up "Let The Power Fall".

With the original EH16 I believe he started to explore the technique of creating a loop, freezing it, soloing over it, adding some more, soloing some more, etc.  And once the 2290's showed up, almost anything was possible.


On Sat, May 3, 2008 at 12:07 PM, Rainer Thelonius Balthasar Straschill <rs@moinlabs.de> wrote:
>> Are people who use DL4's not considered "proper" loopers then?
> Not if they're just using it for the 15 delay models, no.

I don't get it. Is it a "using a delay is not looping" kind of argument
(which would, among others, consider Robert Fripp a non-proper looper), or a
"size matters" kind of argument (if so, where is the line which separates
the loopers from the non-loopers - I recon somewhere between the DL4 delay
models' 2.5sec and its looper's 14sec - but where?)