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Re: Headrush vs. Headrush (Delay vs. Sampling)

Back in the week of Aug. 7, Jom Keepnews wrote:

>So, I gots me the Headrush ($169 plus 5% off at www.musiciansfriend.com
>-- how do they do it? amplitude...), kinda likes me the Headrush. Kinda.
>Certainly, as someone whose sole dedicated looping hardware has been a
>slowly-disintegrating Digitech EchoPlus pedal (the PDS
>something-or-other) from 1989, the Headrush beats the Bush era with a
>stick the size of an oar straight out of the rowing scenes in Ben Hur --
>an era surely asking for it, to boot. I'll second my Svengali lover and
>fashion consultant, one Kenneth Douglas Baldwin, that that's alot of
>stick for $175, with 2-3 days shipping time, even.
>But, I'm troubled. Why Korg

That's Akai, not Korg. I'd LUV to see Korg throw their hat into the
bottom-dollar sample/loop ring, tho'.

>went to so much trouble to create four
>separate outs to create that not-exactly-cried-out-for four-head tapped
>tape delay is surely beyond me. It is a convincing emulation of such a
>vintage effect, but how many intend to ping that pong across four
>outputs more than, say, three times, ever?

I haven't even tried using the multi-out staggered four-head dingus yet, 
I know some old school reggae dub junkies who loved that sound on the old
Roland Spacedingus. I suspect, tho', it will be the kind of sound that 
suggest possibilities for crazed rhythmic mayhem once I fire it up (and
figure out where the fuck I'm going to obtain ANOTHER 4-track mixer). BTW,
Alan Imberg indicated that he really enjoyed putting the 'rush last in his
signal chain, after another looper, causing loops to bloom further in
multi-dimensional mirrordom, if I remember his old posts correctly.

>My extremely negligable
>knowledge of signal-processing hardware manufacturing practice leads me
>to suspect that, had they not striven to achieve this and left room for
>other types of effects processing (filtration of delay line, reverse,
>etc.), this whole 'rang v. 'rush imbroglio would go the way of, I don't
>know, Fred Travelena and/or other vintage emulators. The switching also
>strikes me as counter-intuitive, but that's simply a matter of

Yes, it's an interesting point to dwell endlessly on - just what could the
Akaiem (l'chaiem?) have done if they had really thought this thing through?
Or DID they really think it through and this is as good as it gets for two
beans? Six months to a year and the pocketbooks of delay-addicted Tinky
Winkies will tell.
>Here's the nut of it (and it could lead to an interesting thread, if
>anyone else on the list feels similarly) -- the ontology of delay vs.
>that of sampling. Loopers created before the JamMan/EDP era were
>souped-up delay pedals -- think of the EH 16-second or my own beloved,
>disintegrating EchoPlus. Post-JM/EDP, this has been replaced with the
>sensibility of sampling, a chunk of data that reflects the sensibility
>of the snapshot, not the fed-back repeat. As we read in the specs, the
>'rush allows for the aforementioned, disturbingly extensive four-head
>delay, 11.3 second "sampling" looping and 23-second straight-up (or so
>one might be led to believe) "delay."
>Thus, the first question I asked when I busted out the 'rush was,
>"Where's the infinite repeat for the delay?" Ha ha, foolish,
>presumptuous boy; there isn't one. "Infinite repeat" is clearly a dead
>dog in the new looping era; that's a function only a "sampler" can
>utilize. So...one can get 23 seconds of delay that can only be added to,
>not set into place and soloed upon or messed with to any degree, less
>the decaying of the line. Great for "a capella" Frippertronics (as
>distinguished from "soundscaping," you understand...) and/or pieces like
>one Kenneth Douglas Baldwin's "The Long Dance" (hey, Doug, you gonna
>sell them "Solo Guitar" tapes on tour?) but basically a delay that is
>additional or subtractional but by no means loopable.

And again, I can only wonder if the Akaiii could have put a "freeze" into
the delay. But in the mean time, I'm going to invest in a relatively cheap
A-B box so's I can load up the delay, then bypass it to solo over it. The
max feedback setting hangs for a looooonnnnggggg time. And by the way, with
the'rush's time tap feature, I can now perform "The Long Dance" and program
just when the cannonic repeat will enter, which I couldn't do back in the
day w/ the EH16s or the Srellon-modded Lexicon PCM-42. (Did you ever see me
try to start up "Dance" by listening to the click output of the PCM-42 over
headphones? Man, I HATED that shit!)
    And no, I ain't gonna sell no tapes on the next batch of gigs. I was
amazed to listen to some "rehersal" jams of m'self recorded direct to my
relatively new Nacamichi cassette deck and the sound was so much better 
the dubs of the old Solo Guitar project, I don't want to bother with the 
units. And besides, I'm sure that some digital medium will prove better, as
soon as I choose which. And besides, I don't want to sell any audio
artifacts until I do six months-to-a-year of gigs.
>Indeed, how much is it really "delay"? Like the "looping" mode, one is
>required to set in/out points for the extent of the delay line,
>something one shouldn't expect of a delay process; that should be
>well-determined in advance, unless you _want_ to tap a tempo. This
>approach is demonstrated on the 'rush when one tries to increase or
>decrease the "coarse" time dial. In the EH/EchoPlus worldview, this
>would speed up or slow down the pitch of the delayed signal according to
>whether or not the delay time, once set, was decreased or increased,
>respectively. Lovely chattering aluminum locust or pre-cambrian
>swampscape effects, respectively, could obtain from such actions in the
>old-skool looper. The Headrush? Fuggedaboudit. The "delay" becomes
>either clipped or extended but with the only effect from my experiments
>being the basic interruption of such a delay line, nothing else. I never
>thought to investigate this difference pre-purchase and more fool me.

I find the basic processes (live, on-the-fly looping/delaying/overdubbed
sampling vs. "prepared" prelogisticised l/d/o-s) to be an interesting "line
in the sand". We all must ask ourselves what the tool is for. The analog
based dick-with-the-length-and-the-pitch-will-likewise-be-dicked thing is
definitely fun, and I miss it on the 'rush, but it points to the line in 
sand again: are we having more fun playing our guitars (or whatever) or
playing with knobs that alter the sound of our whatevers? I am so much of
the play-guitar school that I don't miss the dick-with-the-signal that 
>Kim recently discussed this pitch-shifting knob-twist as being cool but
>off the page as far as next-gen EDPs go. Which is fine -- a nicely
>tricked out "sample" oriented looper does things these old
>"delay"-oriented loopers will never do. But I'm still puzzled by the
>choices made by Korg (Akai) for this pedal and mournful of the loss of
>functions I've come to expect from The Way of the Delay Pedal. I don't
>know if the Line 6 box will bring back the era of the true delay looper
>but you just might see a Headrush for sale on this list, shortly...
>   ~      > --- James Keepnews --- <  "Don't quote anybody, Sir!"
> (.-.)    > -- Multimedia Yahoo -- <
>    \                 *                           -- Krishnamurti
>   -      > -  keepnews@node.net - <

And if you do choose to dump the 'rush, I might just buy it up (if I can't
get it cheaper direct from Akai). Final thoughts:To me, sampling, looping
and "long echoing" are all part of the same process - audio recording and
playback. The interest is in what happens between the original audio event
and it's subsequent regurgitation. I see (hear?) a continuum between
slapback rockabilly echo, Pink Floyd space loops, Pauline Oliveros/Steve
Reich tape loops, Les Paul doing his acetate overdubs, Fripp's 'tronics,
Public Enemy's jams, etc. etc.  etc.   etc.    etc.     etc.      etc.
etc.        etc.         etc.          etc.            etc.
etc.                etc.                    etc.                        
Douglas Baldwin, Alpha male Coyote, the Trickster