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Repeater Demo in Marin!
Just got back from the demo of Repeater in Marin today.
Repeater was demonstrated by Don Goodeve, head software honcho on the
Repeater team using late beta software which was described as "first
candidate for general release". Don used his acoustic guitar, pre-sampled
material, and material sampled live off a CD player.
First of all, during the 60-90 minute long demo, the unit didn't crash. Not
once. All the promised functions seem to be there, multiple tracks, stereo
recording, pitch shifting/time stretching, reverse, time slipping, beat
analysis, card storage, quick software updates via card (took less than a
minute!), undo/redo buffer, quick selection and playing of different loops
(this'll be fun!), resampling or bouncing down, all in all everything
seemed there, and working well.
Any negatives? No really strong ones. I noticed the beat detection at times
was right on and at other times did the "Drunken Sailor" thing (apologies
to any and all Drunken Sailors on L.D.). Until psychic beat detection
software is invented, it seems to work as well as can be expected, and will
probably just require a little practice to learn how to best use. I noticed
the tempo "bobble" occasionally when messing around with the beat detection
parameters, but again this is to be expected while the unit is "listening"
and trying to determine tempo from audio input.
The pitch shifting/time stretching sounded very impressive in small to
medium intervals, not quite as impressive in larger ones like one octave
up, or two down. The "mandolin" effect by pitching an acoustic guitar track
one octave up sounded somewhat abrasive. To be fair all pitch shifters
output vary depending on the source material, so an acoustic guitar track
may not have the easiest for any shifter to deal with. And having the
ability to pitchshift different tracks different amounts, resample, etc,
makes this a really exciting feature. I suspect you'll all like it very
I'm personally very grateful that Electrix has put the time and energy into
creating such a perfect (or damn near perfect) looping tool, and suggest
those of us on the list who capped on Electrix over their production snafus
sit in the lotus position, face Canada and apologize humbly before we buy
When is it coming out? Well, bottom line, units should still be shipping in
June according to Don. Electrix is basically in final bug-fix mode now.
One other thing, I wouldn't have gone into this, but Rik Elswit
specifically asked the audience to post this to L.D., so here goes-
According to Elswit, due to a close relationship with Electrix and a large
order of Repeaters, Bananas-At-Large will be getting the first units,
before anyone else in the country. Elswit specifically wanted LD'ers to
know that if they choose not to buy from Bananas, they will have to wait.
This was confirmed by the local sales rep for the region as well.
This reinforces a statement Rik made to me on this issue several months ago
when I was doing some shopping at Bananas, when he told me "Alto Music
won't be getting any Repeaters". Rik went on to complain strongly about the
Alto Music group buy controversy (for those of you unfamiliar, essentially
Alto had the temerity to offer an extremely low group buy price). It was
suggested to me that Alto was probably run by some venture capitalists and
would probably be out of business in the future.
Now for all I know, Alto could be run by venture capitalists, imperial
running dog lackeys, or the ghost of Elvis. And I really don't care.
Evidentally Alto did a fine job with the EDP group buy some years back, and
the few times I've dealt with Alto, they've given the best price I could
find, without any hassle.
As far as Bananas, I've dealt with them since the mid-70's (that's not a
typo, mid-70's!), and had decent to excellent results over the years. I've
dealt with Rik several times, and think he's an allright fella, as a matter
of fact, I purchased my EDP from him and Bananas.
But I find this whole matter somewhat disturbing. I can see where any
company or businessman would get upset at being undercut by someone willing
to make less profit. I wouldn't blame them for refusing to meet a price if
it's too low for them to make the profit they feel they need to make. But I
would very much resent them trying to arm-wrestle the manufacturer to lock
out another retailer because they're too strong a competitor, and that's
the subliminal message I get out of this.
Damon, if you're out there, please comment on who gets what shipments when,
why this is so, and what time delays could be reasonably be expected for
those later in the line.
The funny thing is I wouldn't have minded paying a premium to get mine
early, but I don't like the way this has gone down. This afternoon's
statement made up my mind, and I'll be waiting for the Alto group buy.