Loopers-Please explain 'normalization'

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by drolling, Sep 13, 2005.


  1. drolling

    drolling Member

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    I've been messing with loops since I got an Echo+ (8 sec sampler) in the early 80s and have accumulated quite a pile of them over time, the most recent being a DigiTech JamMan which I've been having a lot more fun with than the Boss RC-20xl that I got last year.

    My problem with the Boss unit is that after two or three overdubs, the loop sounds like a wall of noise, unlike the JamMan, where each pass seems to sit on top of the mix, so I can always hear what I'm doing.

    The old Lexicon JamMan seems to work the same way, as does the Boomerang+ and the Line6 DL-4 before it broke.

    I just stumbled across the term "normalization" in an on-line conversation with a computer-literate-MIDI-using musician and I'm wondering if there's something I could/should be doing with the Boss loop station to get the kind of results I'm used to.

    Also, I'm wondering if the Electrix Repeater and the Gibson/Oberheim EDP have this 'normalization' feature or not.

    thanks,
    dave
     
  2. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Well, I use the Lexicon JamMan (in conjunction with a volume pedal and an Ebow) in "echo" or "sample" mode to create a bed of sound to improvise on top of, but still feel constrained by the relatively short loop length.

    The Boss loop station has more memory than I could ever need, but I can't seem to create a loop that doesn't sound like a train wreck. The result invariably reminds me of my first attempt at looping on an old tape deck that I'd sabotaged by cutting the wires to the erase head.
     
  3. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    I don't know how it would apply to your Boss looper but, normalization in digital audio terms is maximising the level of an sample so that it's loudest peak is just below 0db (the loudest it can be in digital without clipping)

    Most loopers, like the Echoplex and DL-4 reduce the level of a loop by a few db's when you overdub on it, so that you don't keep adding to the level until it's distorting.
    Maybe the Boss doesn't have this feature?

    Have you tried layering a short loop to see if starts to distort?
     
  4. D.G.

    D.G. Member

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    Can you set the "fade" in the Jamman? Or does it not do that? In other words, can it be set to behave like the loop mode on a DL4????
     
  5. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Yeah, that's it. Both the new & the old JamMan do this automatically, so that the most recent overdub always sits on top of the mix. I got the Boss looper used without a manual and I can't figure out how to set it to "fade", but I understand that it's possible.

    Thanks very much for helping me to clarify the question!
     
  6. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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  7. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Dr. Moe! I concur with your diagnosis- I've long suspected as much, but it's nice to finally have it confirmed by an expert.

    AND thanks very much for the link. Really appreciate your help!

    'dave
     
  8. Nightfly27

    Nightfly27 Member

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    I've got an RC-20 that I use strictly for practicing (changes and vamps and such), but I don't use for groove building and entertainment intentions, as things begin to sound ragged through it after a while... Maybe I need to look at these other gizmos.

    Cool thead!

    NF
     
  9. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Dang, I've got Acrobat Reader, but that manual just won't download!

    Can any kind soul please tell me how to set the Boss rc20xl to 'fade' the repeats?

    It's probably one of those 'push 3 buttons simultaneously while powering up' type of features that I'll never get on my own.

    Yes, yes I know I should have the manual, but I got it insanely cheap from a real coconut head who'd lost the power supply, box, papers, etc.

    Thanks,
    dave
     
  10. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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  11. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Well, OK then- that sure clears things up. Thanks!

    Unfortunately, the 'fade' function is something completely different than I hoped it would be - and possibly something unique to this particular looper. What it does (after holding down two completely unrelated buttons, just like I figured) is fade out a 'one shot' loop, kinda like they used to do at the end of those 3 minute hit records back in the olden days, and usually just when the outro guitar solo was starting to cook...
     
  12. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Yeah - that must be it. I've been able to sucessfully add layer after layer to loops on my old JamMan and Boomerang. This machine clearly isn't desgned to be used that way. Thanks for posting. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who's noticed this.
     

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