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Using a looper in a band, live?

edward

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,738
...not as a solo gig, but in a full-band setting? You know, with a Boss, Jamman, or the like?

I'm really curious/interested in how to loop phrases, tones, or whatever techniques there are, but in the context of a song played live? Lead fills? Rhythmic backing? Whatcha got as I am interested in using my jamman for something more than just practicing, and I'm not into doing a solo act. Thanks gents!

Edward
 

ohiomatt33

Member
Messages
459
What genre are you looking to utilize it in?

I've used mine to just pad in the background for P&W gigs, but I've also looped riffs with it when I was in a post-rock band (think Explosions in the Sky).

I would recommend checking out videos from some guys like Jeffrey Kunde or Nigel Hendroff for how to use loopers in a live band setting, though they are both worship contexts. Ed Sheeran does a phenomenal job with looping but he is a solo act.
 

edward

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,738
Ahhh, thanks for that, Matt ...yessir, as in looped riffs for flavor and texture. And sorry, yes, forgot to mention genre: rock and pop covers as well as P&W. I will check these guys out ...thanks for the specifics!

Yes, I've seen youtube vids on solo players, and while very cool, that's not really my thing. I'm thinking in the context of a band (drums, bass, keys, other guit), whether contemp church setting and or "standard" rock/pop covers from 60s to current.

Edward
 

derekd

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
43,747
Check out John Scofield. He has had a boomerang on his board for years to do such things.
 

Bunther

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
639
I tried to use the Ditto X2 in a live trio. It can be difficult to start/stop the loop exactly right, especially when the rythmn is syncopated (hitting the "and" on beat 4 and holding into the next measure). Also, the band must keep perfect time.

I tried to use the looper to simply sustain a single note (a "pedal" or droning). I started the record function after playing the note and stopped the record function before the note volume faded. In playback there was always a seam at the start of each loop playback. That rendered the point of the experiment useless as I wanted a continuous sound.
 

edward

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,738
OK, so the droning note is something I'm after, but that "seam" may be a deal breaker. Maybe with del+rev to fill the seam ...hmmm, will try that, thanks!

Edward
 

stevel

Member
Messages
14,784
Unless it's putting out a click track the drummer can keep in time with AND you've got a drummer that can actually play to a click (you'd be surprised - or maybe not - how many can't) it can be a recipe for disaster.

We play Stairway to Heaven and during the guitar solo I record the backing chords during the 3rd or 4th pass and press play so when it gets to the bendy/slidy melodic lick I can play that over the backing chords. Luckily, the sequence isn't too long and the band timing is pretty consistent there - but, there have been times when I've either hit record or play too soon, or the band drifts. With an amorphous pattern it's not the end of the world but if the pattern were rhythmically tight and not buried, it could be a serious problem.

We also play Ramble On and I've thought about recording the rhythm part to play under when other guitarist and I play the violin-like harmony line. As it stands now, I just jump to the lead and back to the rhythm as I can. I haven't tried that one for fear that the rest of them won't stay in time with it.

There are plenty of places where I could trigger a sample that I played - pre-recorded myself so I don't consider that "cheating" in the same way as playing to a backing track - for sounds that are brief one-off kind of things that would be nice to have but everyone else is too busy playing to do it - but there's always the timing issue - if the sample is anything that needs to be in time and in rhythm, and the drummer is not solid, and there's no click and the tempo is different at every gig, it's impossible to use that stuff.
 
Messages
2,068
What the guy said above!!!! In my old band I tried to use one, but at that point the drummer ha to "play to you" which is not likely to happen....so unless he is a human metronome or has that click track, not advised
 

pbacci980

Member
Messages
16
Trey Anastasio from Phish has used a boomerang in his rig for a while now, and it seams to work for those guys when he uses it. Its not every song or jam but its there and he uses it through out his shows. You can go to strangedesign.org on the message boards to find out how he exactly uses it for his loops.
 

Drumongus

Member
Messages
98
Its totally possible. Unfortunately its like all things, it just takes some practice and a little trial and error. I love having the option on my board. Sometimes its gets used in between songs as a pad to get to the next tune. Have fun!
 

DavidE

Member
Messages
3,636
It's nearly impossible to use live with a band unless you play to a click and the Looper is locked to the click via midi.
 

gennation

Member
Messages
7,607
To use it with a band you need a click track for the drummer or some way to pump the loop back to the drummer to follow. You can not expect any drummer to follow a loop with no reference.
 

dirk_benedict

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,466
If you want the droning thing, the EHX Freeze is the easiest path of resistance.

Otherwise, here's the trick...put the looper into "Overdub" (ie instead of "record") mode, and swell in a note using your guitar's volume. End the loop, which puts you back into "playback" mode. Put the looper back into "Overdub" mode and repeat the swelling in of notes a few more times. Eventually you will get a seamless swarm of sound, with some movement to it if you varied your attack of the swells, and harmony to it if you swell in different notes. The effect can be really cool. The Freeze approximates this very well, with one step, but it just sustains one tiny instance of whatever you play, so it's less "interactive" if that makes sense, but sometimes you can fool yourself into thinking that it is!

Trying to "live loop" stuff in time with a drummer is pretty frigging tricky unless you have a central click, (and even then it's hard, because your technique on the looper needs to be really accurate). Using a looper to trigger samples is easier, but again it really requires the band to get out of the "non-listening cocoon" that can sometimes happen on stage.

The "play the riff-then solo over it" approach, with a band, I've found to be impossible. Not for lack of trying. ...
 
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