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Re: I Got Gear Judgement and Expression Qs Ova Here!!

At 10:03 PM 3/25/98 -0600, you wrote:

>note: these questions may be rhetorical to some but try answering them, 
>may find it harder than you thought or that something new might come up...
>In general why loop or sample at all?  I mean so what?  
        I use loops when I find them necessary to create a specific mood or
to allow me to layer parts when I feel it is appropriate to the music.  My
usage of loops is like my usage of reverb, distortion, acoustic vs.
electric, six string vs. twelve string, etc. etc.  It's what works for the
song/piece being composed.  Exploration is exploration, regardless of the
tool.  Its fun to create tracy stuff and see what kinds of rythms and 
I can come up with.  Some get used, some don't.

>Who has access, that is, look away from yourself and ask yourself why do I
>do this?  Why don't other people?  Is it just that they don't know?  Or is
>there some differentiation you might like to take on?

        I don't really care who else does this.  I'm not doing it because
everybody else does or doesn't, but because I find it useful.  Sharing 
and philosophies with people across different styles is a nice plus. I'm 
concerned about being in an elite clique who use looping and somehow that
difference makes us hipper, I find that silly.   Differentiation helps
visiblity, so in a marketing sense, it can be useful.  I have no problem
taking advantage of that, but I don't feel "looping" is a distinct style of
music any more than 'synthesizer' or 'fuzz guitar'is a unique style.

>When you loop etc. what instruments or sounds do you tend to use and why?
>What's so special about your guitar,  your synth, and your loop/sample
>product?  Why is it relevant or why is it just slack?  I mean really so
        When I loop I use the instruments that I play or sounds I find
effective.  I use a VG-8 guitar system as it gives me a lot of useful
sounds.  Those I know how to use and room to explore and create new ones I
haven't any clue about and can experiment with to my heart's content.  And
use them or not depending on whether they 'work' in a compositional sense.
In addition, my partner, Cheryl, uses her looping device on her voice as 
harp is played in a sitting on the floor position and she doesn't have any
real leverage with her feet to work the pedals, and isn't running her bass
through the mixer.
        The music we do is melodic and atmospheric.  Some is free form and
some is structured.  We incorporate looping/sampling live on the fly into
both types of pieces.  What's special about what we have is they are the
right tools for creating the music we hear in our heads and enabling us to
perform that music live.

>On the Echoplex what are your favorite choice knobs and what types of
>sounds do you find most exciting?  I hear all kinds of talk about how
>exhilarating it is, does this live up to it's calling? What does
>specificaly does the Echoplex do that rivets you to the Loopdom!?  If you
>don't use the Echoplex, why? and what do you use?

        Having been a JamMan user first, most of looping habits are built
around JamMan technology.  (ie., layered loops that repeat, sampling 
in the misdt of live performance and triggering them, forwards and/or
backwards,) The most obvious differences, to me, that are quick to grasp 
incorporate on the Echoplex are the reverse and undo functions.  This 
me to 'correct' loops when I don't find the accidental additions useful,
helpful or desirable, and allows some additional flexibility and in adding
then subtracting parts.  Reverse allows for additional atmospherics and
textures.  There are lots of things that are idiosyncratic to the echoplex
that I haven't had time to explore and work into my vocabulary.  I like a
device I can grow into.  No device adds time to my day, however.  That 
be a lovely feature.

>For Jamman users, what recently excites you so much to spend more than 
>of the recent discussions tooting your loops/delay?  How long can you loop
>as compared to the Echoplex, and how does it rate up for you?  
>Why or why not do you think it gives you an edge over other

        I don't find that it's a question of 'my looper is the best 
anymore than it's 'my guitar and amp are the best because'.  Each one is a
tool that has value because its features and limitations provide ways to
accomplish things.  Sometimes it makes sense for the tool to be 
sometimes its nice to make it obvious.  
        I find the exchange of ideas and techniques on this list very
valuable.  Many of us don't have the luxury of spending 40 to 60 hours a
week every week working with our loopers.  When someone takes a large block
of time and experiments, it's great to have a report as that type of
experimentation may provide useful information and insight for the rest of
us until such time as we can return the favor.
        My JamMan loops for 32 seconds and my Echoplex for 198 seconds.  
advantages to me are that I can add a lot of texture, play liones over
changes, solo over patterns, harmonize things and do a lot of stuff it 
otherwise take three or four guitarists to do and not have the problems of
having four guitarists in the band.  Artistically, I'm quite happy being
half of a duo.  The use of loopers allows us the ability to sound like 
are more of us live.  

>Almost lastly, is there a sampling looping culture?  This kind of reflects
>earlier, but here we sit typing email to a list, this implies something of
>our nature.  Also the locale of most of the individuals, and numerous 
>issues unbeknownst to me.  What might typify loopers/samplers?  Is that
>everything does, "hell we could be anybody?!"  And further is there a
>certain communion experienced?
>And hey who knows maybe you will learn something?  Eh?
>Mind-bending concept@!


Frank Gerace