Looping for Guitarists: An Open Letter to FX Manufacturers

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by splatt, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. la noise

    la noise Member

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    No kidding.... that would be fantastic. Maybe the obstacle
    is that the upfront costs for a builder are much more prohibitive
    than they would be when contemplating a fuzz build with a few
    transistors, diodes, caps, and enclosure.
     
  2. celticelk

    celticelk Member

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    Maybe it's just that I'm not sufficiently conversant with the Ableton features set, but usually, I don't think of "program your loops" as a good solution to a problem that hinges around the term "improvise". I also tend to prefer - again, my idiosyncratic ideas about what makes for a good interface - an interface that's been purpose-built for the application instead of one that I have to try to shoehorn into my use case within the parameters of someone else's design.
     
  3. 0xeneye

    0xeneye Member

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  4. Hugh_s

    Hugh_s Member

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    I got ya.

    I'm just kind of imagining the cost of that 20 seconds compared to today. it is an astounding difference.

    It would be nice to see absurd options, though. Pitch, modulation, time. Those aren't off the wall. Random interval pitch shifting maybe? Time stretch or pitch shifting by expression pedals? Some kind of insert to rope in other effects?
     
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  5. D Rock

    D Rock Member

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    I do agree that buying an all in one device is much easier, I went with the infinity for now. If you want a better idea of what ableton can do.

    http://youtu.be/AEiOL6qQ5Ws?t=13m2s

    Pretty amazing, and advanced, but a little more than I am prepared for at the moment.
     
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  6. Blakemore

    Blakemore Supporting Member

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    I think he means program in the sense of setting up the program to work in the way that makes the most sense to you. Ableton can be set up in any number of ways, outside of manipulating pre-composed samples. (with a midi controller to start and stop recording you can do it all in real time with what you are looping and then proceed to manipulate what you have just recorded) This would actually stimulate your idiosyncratic ideas even further as your work flow would make sense to you and you can manipulate just about every parameter on the fly such filters, times, pitch, so-on and so-forth. Improvisation at its finest!
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  7. celticelk

    celticelk Member

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    That's an interesting video, if you're wanting to play pre-composed multi-part music in real time. I'm not knocking that application - this is exactly what Zoe Keating does live, and I love her work - but it's not at all related to the *improvisational* music-making that I (and Splatt, and others in this thread) have been talking about. Live doesn't seem like a product that's particularly well set up for that kind of use.
     
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  8. jeancoltrane

    jeancoltrane Member

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    great thread. i would love if some of these ideas became a reality. nothing comes close to the EDP, which i sold to try a variety of the new loopers. parting with it pretty much ruined my life and now im looking for another. even the dl4 with its lack of features but intuitive interface made looping super inspiring, in that you had to work within its limits and usually came up with something novel that you could could interact with. as has been said, the new stuff has a tonne of features with no interface to support it; it actually becomes stifling and isnt usable in a creative, reactionary way - even if you get a full midi pedal to trigger the functions they dont work instantaneously or behave in a cohesive manner.

    edit: the ableton stuff is interesting but is a huge pain in the ass. ive been looping since i started playing and it became like my 6th finger - i brought my looper everywhere even to ****** blues jams because i could hear in my head and execute sounds that could only be done with it. certainly the portability and ease of use are extremely important to getting deep & inseparable with the device. while the feature set is tempting, i cant imagine to what basically amounts to setting up a mobile recording studio everywhere/every time i jam.

    ..the old loopers are like jamming with another musician, the new one ones are like jamming with yourself.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  9. FXPedal.com

    FXPedal.com Member

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    Nice to hear from fellow New Yorkers here (I was raised in Binghamton), and it's especially good to know someone with Splatt's experience is involved with the R&D on a new looper.

    FWIW the manual for the Infinity Looper is exceptionally well written. I read it at a coffeehouse then went home and was able to use all of the functions without referring to the manual. That's very rare for a complex device and it shows that Pigtronix really understands their product.

    I'm anxious to know what you're helping develop.
     
  10. DaveKS

    DaveKS Member

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    Much the reason I still keep these around, their just fun, not only to grab a sound/riff but also screw with it in the LoFi digital realm. Owned them since new in 87', they'll never leave my possession.
    [​IMG]
    Still got the original lexicon Jamman (30sec) also. Grab a triggerable sample on the 8sec., snag a chord swell on 20/20, twists some knobs to turn it into a totally bazaar ambient drone then throw a riff down on the jamman to either let it loop or trigger. Couple vol pedals thrown in for good measure also.

    Hey Splatt you got any good tips on how to clean foot switches on these old jewels, my PDS 8000 left FS is getting a bit temperamental. ????
     
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  11. simeon

    simeon Member

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    i'm glad splatt has raised this.

    it's been wonderful to see looping move into the "mainstream", but so disappointing to see it "dumbed down" in the process.

    so many of the more recent looping pedals offer nothing except rec/play/overdub. the infinity is the only one that seems to have really embraced the creative possibilities.

    in the past i used a jamman, electrix repeater and looperlative, but jumped ship to software because of three reasons. 1) mobius. endless possibilities offered by scripting. 2) processing loops with plugins like reaktor. 3) control. i have a midi control surface right where it needs to be (by my hands, not on the floor) which i can program to do whatever i want. as the features in my setup change, so my control surface adapts

    and it's this point #3 that bothers me most about looping hardware (especially pedals). i'm so fed up of looking at the top of a guitarists head as he bends awkwardly over to twiddle some knob or other. rack units fare better, because the pedals can be on the floor (midi or otherwise) and the rack can be by your side, available for tweakage. putting all the controls on the floor in a little box which a guitarist essentially can't reach seems crazy. midi footswitches can get around this to some extent and i use one to control the hands off functions of mobius and i've also seen people successfully use touch devices to control their rigs. a new, truly creative hardware looper, in my mind, will also embrace a new creative way to interface with it. perhaps a pedal portion and a "remote" with a bunch of knobs and faders on it, or maybe just a usb input which would allow any midi control surface to be used. guitarists are a pretty luddite bunch though, so a tabletop unit connected to a floor unit with a bunch of dedicated controls for every function right at your fingertips....that could be the way to go...think less about a "pedal" with attached controls, but "control unit" with attached pedals (the pedal unit could have audio in and out, to keep the interface with other pedals nice and tidy)

    sim
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
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  12. Chrome Dinette

    Chrome Dinette Member

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    I haven't read the whole thread yet, but I agree with the op.

    One thing that puzzled me about the two pedals sold as loopers I have tried is:

    Years ago, I had an Ibanez cheapo rack delay that did this. I think I had one delay pedal that did this also. They are both long dead and gone.

    I can understand the desire and need to cleanly record a passage for looping, but why limit oneself to that?

    The only recent pedal I tried that I did delay-style looping was the Pigtronix Echolution, but it was super noisy, so I sold it. I am interested in the new Echolution for other reasons, but maybe it still does this, too. I need to investigate.


    I also did sound reinforcement for years. Once upon a time, nearly every sound company or house system had a PCM42 in every rack. Even though I could rarely use the delay based looping at work, I became familiar with it, hence my purchase of the aforementioned Ibanez delay for my own use.

    The PCM42 also did square wave modulation, something very few other delays did or do. The deluxe version of the new Echolution has this.

    It's not sold as a looper and it's max delay time is short, but turning up the CHOP control on a Red Panda Particle recycles everything in the delay buffer making a short loop. The neat thing is that a threshold is then set. If your playing exceeds the threshold, it is added to the looping audio.

    from the manual:


    edit: I see Splatt mentioned the Particle in the op, already.

    and yes, if nothing else, I would like looper #1 to appear
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  13. Chrome Dinette

    Chrome Dinette Member

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    HA! All the more reason to replicate the PCM42.
     
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  14. Chrome Dinette

    Chrome Dinette Member

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    Audio gear is sold every day with features no one wants. Every Lexicon rack unit(or at least the MX models) has compressor and de-esser patches. Does anyone use these patches?
     
  15. andybutler

    andybutler Member

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    While I 100% agree that manufacturers would do well to peruse that spec I see a couple of reasons why I'd not see it as an ideal starting point.

    1) It's not powerful enough to do a whole live looping show. (well that's an ultra debatable point, but has some form of truth ??). Minimum addition would be some form of Multiply.
    2) 20s is too little in a market where everybody forgot they ever had problems with running out of looptime.

    Beyond that the varispeed/modulatio option is actually somewhat harder to achieve with todays technology, while it's a no-brainer as desirable it's not going to be as simple as "do it like the pcm42".



    Maybe that's because I'm looking at the question from a different angle.

    When Matthias created the EDP he made a device that completely bridged the 2 worlds of "song" looping and "delay" looping. (call it how you will, but hope you get my drift).
    That's where it really gets interesting, in the gap/continuum between the 2
    approaches.
     
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  16. Chrome Dinette

    Chrome Dinette Member

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    I am guessing that 20s is just a minimum, not necessarily a hard and fast design maximum.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  17. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    I have an Octatrack, but I don't use it for techno or dance music (yet).

    This is an excerpt from a band rehearsal a while back:

    http://soundcloud.com/bashateez/zoom0004

    I start off looping my viola w/ pickup machine track. I have another track set up with a Flex machine whose input is set to the pickup machine track output. Later, I fade in the Flex machine track for the LFO/Retrig/Sample Start mangling. Live harmonica and guitar/guitar synth by my bandmates. By about 5 min. into the recording, the retrig/sample start manipulation gets pretty obvious.

    This is a more "typical" ambient type recording. I create loops with two Pickup Machine tracks, then use the two Flex Machine tracks to play back slices of audio from the other two tracks. Around 4:50 I start messing with track LFOs on two Flex Machine tracks to modulate filter and delay time settings, then mess with Retrig and RTim parameters to gradually transform the sounds into bass notes - you start to hear this around 9 min.
    https://soundcloud.com/governorsilver/sweating-in-the-red-orange

    The Octatrack Pickup Machine by itself is a fairly limited looper. 16 sec recording time by default (could be configured with more time, at the expense of RAM for other Machines), just basic record and playback, feedback, etc. The real fun of the Octatrack is in the Flex Machines, inter-track audio routing, and using multiple Machines to mangle the audio. Each of the 8 tracks has its own Machine, 2 FX slots, and 3 LFOs. A lot of params are MIDI-controllable but I haven't experimented much with foot control yet.

    I'm not a multitracking style of looping musician so the OT suits me fine. I love creating sound textures with it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  18. andybutler

    andybutler Member

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    Pigtronix Infinity.....This *does* have a variable feedback control, implemented after a correspondent on Gear Page suggested that CEO David Koltai "try it on his EDP".
    Some kind of hybrid Infinity/Echolution2 would perhaps be an answer.

    ...and the Echolution2 certainly seems worth a look for it's loop potential, although that doesn't seem to be what it's intended for.

    Vox VDL-1 ... while it does continue the long tradition of loop devices without the obvious features, and isn't overly easy to use to it's full, it's
    got a number of innovations, some more obvious, some in the details.
    The Re-Sample function is rather deep.
     
  19. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    Great read! Thanks, Dave!

    Thanks, Andre LaFosse, for hipping me to it on the social networkz.

    Dave
     
  20. Dubious

    Dubious Member

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    i'd love to see what Teenage Engineering would come up with
     
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