On Inspiration, listen to a lot of music. I say this because I have to remind myself sometimes why to choose music over a podcast, audiobook, or TV, though one of those may more easily engage me. And then, while listening to music, engage it… active listening… play to it in your head, add an instrument, change it, picture it, or just try to hear everything at once, etc. Also, be patient and wait for it. (Hard, I know.) But not complacent, which clearly you aren’t, so there’s that. :)
On what do I like about looping / putting together a new rig… Ug. I looped via hardware loopers (echoplexes) for about 11 years straight with cooler and cooler setups. In roughly 2008-ish I switched to computer and DAWs and I haven’t finished a damned thing since. I’ve now spent almost as long pursuing “IT” this way was looping, which was very satisfying in the moment but I felt I’d reached the end of what I could do with that—or at least the end of what I wanted to do with that. I’m not as much a fan of the more experimental side of looping so much as “the juggling act.” (That’s mainly artistic preference, but there’s something really central to inspiration about it which ’ll get back to that in a moment.)
I’ve now spent almost as long trying (emphasis on trying) to record linearly as it took for me to get as far as I wanted to go with looping. Why? Partially because I’m older, and energy is more space with age and energy is equivalent to creativity for me. And there’s the “lost in too many options” aspect and the technical maze which probably account for most of it—if I were better at programming I could have made my DAW’s and plugins the perfect looper/linear hybrid with all foot control, but I’m just not fucking good at that and so it’s taking me forever.
What has become clear is that I MUST have some level of that “juggling act,” that “live” balancing point where you HAVE to be in the moment, feeding the loop or modifying it within 1 or 2 cycles before it feels repeated. I trained myself to think that way and feel that way. I get it playing sax with DJ’s too because I have no idea what is coming when I do that, I just have to ride it. Listen. Focus. Looping focuses and energizes me and makes me engage the instinctive side of my brain and when I do that, creativity is a fountain.
Lately I’ve been focusing on what’s appropriate for the computer and what’s not… just dusting off the guitar pedals and making myself a full pedal board again rather then looking to software for sound sculpture has helped. And I’ve solved enough other problems that I’m ready to dive back into trying to set up my software to loop the way I’d like, but if I can’t get it, I’ll go the hardware/midi sync route (perhaps the new Ditto 4), but I’m going back to looping as an integral part of my work flow.
Honestly, I’ve kind of been waiting for someone to create the perfect software looper with midi learn everything and drag and drop functions instead of programing and so I’m going to look review all the options again…
I think I’ll post that in a question form as a separate thread….