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Re: Echoplex manual discussion online

At 6:38 PM -0700 8/3/01, Gary Lehmann wrote:
>Miko queried:
>>>OK... I want to know if you can insert (replace mode) while multiplying?
>The other modes don't seem to apply here because they mess with the time
>structure of the multiply, but I'd love to have the ability to replace 
>doing a multiply. Anyone?
>So I gave it a whiz!
>And it sure does replace!  'Course I had to turn the quantize off, as well
>as setting insert to replace, but when I multiplied and then inserted 
>multiply, it elegantly inserted audio which did not include the material
>being multiplied!

yes, that is correct, but there is much more. On the EDP you can easily
switch back and forth between multiply and insert on the fly, without
stopping one to start the other. I think this accomplishes what Miko is
looking for, where you are creating an overdub over several repetitions of
the original cycle and for some portion you only want the overdub without
the audio of the original.

You can do this easily with the echoplex in real-time. Just record your
basic loop cycle, then start the multiply and begin adding the longer
overdub. As long as the multiply is on, you will be overlaying the new
audio on top of repetitions of the audio in the basic cycle. If that is all
you wanted to do, then after you have the number of cycle repetitions you
wanted, you tap Multiply to end it and start looping the whole thing. That
is the basic multiply function. You create a basic loop repeating many
times under a longer loop, on the fly.

However, say you wanted a section of the multiplied loop that only has your
overdubbed audio without the audio of the original. You could do this by
finishing the multiply and then using Insert to add that section on the
next time through the loop. That might be musically awkward though. So, the
Echoplex lets you do it directly during the Multiply, by switching into
Insert on the fly!

Go back to where we had the multiply going. When you want cycles with just
your overdubbed audio and the audio of the original loop cycle muted, hit
the Insert directly without hitting the multiply first. The echoplex will
keep on going as if you were still in multiply, except that now the
original loop audio is muted out. You keep on playing your overdub as
cycles of the orginal length are added to the overall loop length. When you
want to end the loop, just press Insert again to end it.

With this idea, you could easily create a 12 bar loop on the fly where the
first 10 bars are a basic 1-bar rhythm cycle repeated with some longer
melody over the top, and the last two bars are a break with just the melody
by itself. You don't have to construct the thing in several passes over the
loop, you just do it in one shot.

Now taking this further, you can jump back into Multiply on the fly if you
want, just by hitting multiply again instead of ending with Insert! So you
can switch back and forth on the fly between having the original audio
underneath your longer overdub or having it muted, just by switching back
and forth between pressing Insert and Multiply during the Multiply process.
The interesting thing here is, the audio being multiplied under your second
multiply is in fact the multiplied/inserted audio you had created in the
beginning of the process before you re-entered the multiply! To end all of
that and start it looping, you simply press again whichever one you are in
at the time. For example, if the Insert is active, press Insert again and
it will round off to the end of the current cycle time and end for you.
Your whole multiplied/inserted loop will then begin looping.

That might seem kinda confusing, maybe this example helps. Let's take the
12 bar loop we were creating above as a starting point and expand on that.
Instead of just 12 bars, say we want 48 bars that consist of our original
12 bar multiplied/inserted idea repeated 4 times with a 48 bar melody over
the top. We want to create this quickly in real-time without boring our
audience and ourselves to death with a lot of fiddling around. So it goes
like this: You tap Record and play a little percussive thing for four
beats. Instead of ending with Record, you tap multiply and immediately
begin playing a twelve bar chord progression. Your 1 bar of percussion
repeats under you as you play. As the 10th bar ends, you tap Insert to drop
out the percussion and play a two bar turnaround or something. As the 12th
bar ends you tap Multiply again. Now the previous 12 bars of rhythm and
chord progression that you just created will be added to itself as you
continue to add new things over the top. You start playing your longer
melody. (The multiple display will continue to count cycles for you, so you
will see it starting onto 13 at this point.)  When the counter is up to 48
cycles (bars in this case, or 4 repetitions of our 12 bar figure), you tap
multiply again to end it all and start the whole thing repeating.

One thing to note here is, because we did this all on the fly, the first 12
bars were created without that much longer melody overdubbed. So you
actually have the first 12 bars repeated 4 times with a longer melody
overdubbed on the last 3 repetitions. Depends what you are after, that
might be what you want. But if what you really want is a 48 bar melody over
4 repetitions of the 12 bar figure, that is easily done in this on-the-fly
method as well. We just need one more action at the end. When you re-enter
Multiply after the twelve bar part was created above, go ahead and start
your 48 bar melody. The counter will say 13, and that is really where you
are, but we are just going to shift things a bit. When the counter gets up
to 48 you will be on bar 36 of your melody. At that point above, we pressed
Multiply again to finish the operation and start it looping. Instead, press
Overdub. This will do basically the same thing, it will end this multiply
and start the whole thing looping, except you will immediately have overdub
on. You just keep on playing your melody as the first 12 bar section plays
underneath. 12 bars later you press overdub again and there ya go. A one
bar percussion rhythm repeating 10 times and dropping out for 2 bars, with
a 12 bar chord progression loop on top of it, with a 48 bar melody loop on
top of that. All done in one shot, on the fly, with a grand total of 6
button presses. (I think I counted that right. :-)

Obviously, this takes some practice to get the hang of it. But that's the
nature of any instrument! Play with the ideas, and you will get it. or you
will discover your own way to use it.

You can do a lot of other interesting stuff by combining Multiply and
Insert. For example, you can re-multiply a loop to a different number of
multiplies, either more or less. So maybe you have an 8 cycle loop and you
chop out 3 cycles to make that a loop. (you can chop it out anywhere too,
no restrictions....). Or maybe you re-multiply it out longer to have 8
cycles + 3 for an 11 cycle loop. Or maybe you use Insert on a multiplied
loop, to add some cycles in the middle of it or at the beginning or end.
That's a great way to get chopped up sounding loops. Check out the stuff
Andre LaFosse does on his "Disruption Theory" album. He is a master of this
technique, basically using drum-n-bass production ideas of chopped up
breaks, re-applied to chopped up guitar riffs, and he can do it all in
real-time as he plays.

Go nuts with Insert and Multiply combinations on a loop, and pretty quickly
you will lose track of what the hell is going on, but you defintely end up
with some pretty strange loops after a while!

Or you can mix these things with other functions. Multiply and Insert
always round off to the nearest cycle point, so things are automatically
kept even and you don't have to be real accurate with the buttons. (which
is great when you are busy concentrating on playing something else! Just
tap it somewhere in the middle and the echoplex sets it right for you.
Using Quantize makes this even more perfect, forcing everything to round to
the cycle point.)  But what if you don't want to round off a multiply or
insert? Instead of an integer multiply, you want something uneven. Just end
a multiply with record, wherever you want! That will give you a new loop
that ends at exactly that point, and has a new loop time of whatever that
is! Maybe you end up with 7.3 repetitions of your cycle or whatever.

That is also great if you want chop out some bit of audio from a longer
loop, but the audio chunk you want has nothing to do with the existing
cycle time or the existing startpoints and endpoints. Just hit Multiply at
the beginning of that bit and Record at the end, and you've got a new loop
of just that. There ya go, real-time loop startpoint and endpoint editing,
all done as you play. No fiddling around with mouse clicking or jog wheels
or monitors or whatever. Leave that stuff in the studio!

This real-time nature is one of the advanced uses of the echoplex that I
think really sets it apart from everything else out there. No matter what
you are doing, you can just jump right into something else. You don't have
to stop this thing in order to start that thing, or be resticted to certain
modes in order to use some function. You can mix functions together any way
you want, probably in ways that we never even thought of in creating the
thing. You just end one thing by going straight into the other!

hopefully this is helpful. Now let's hear from some of the other
experienced EDP users out there! (or novices!) How do you use these ideas,
and what interesting techniques have you discovered?


Kim Flint                     | Looper's Delight
kflint@loopers-delight.com    | http://www.loopers-delight.com