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Re: Echoplex manual discussion online

At 2:48 PM -0700 8/3/01, Gary Lehmann wrote:
>As far as record (which is, as the manual says, "where it all starts"),
>there are a few options here--ending with a different button, setting
>RecordMode to sustain, the long press--but mostly, record is pretty 
>forward.  Anybody?

There are interesting things about just the Record on the EDP.

The basic action with Record is, tap Record to start recording the loop,
tap it again to stop recording the loop and have it immediately play back.
It is very simple and natural, just one button that you tap as if you were
tapping the rhythm of the music.

And remember, it really is in time with the music. Tap the record and start
playing at the same time. End the record in rhythm too. For some reason a
lot of novices don't get that this needs to happen in rhythm.

The Record LED is red while you record, and goes back to green while you
are done. The display counts up the time as it records.

[for some reason I could never really figure out, many other loopers
actually require two buttons to do this. Now I'm sure you can get used to
that, but it seems unnatural and a pointless waste of motion to me. If you
are used to tapping your feet in time to the music, it is natural to tap
one button in the same spot to start and stop a loop. Your mind isn't
distracted from your playing while you try to remember which other button
you have to go to end the loop. You just tap. You can easily tap very short
loops, because you don't have to move very far. I guess the designers of
those other interfaces are stuck in a recording studio mind-set, but that
seems really limiting to me. anyway, back to record on the edp...]

You reset the loop by holding the record button down for half a second. the
"long press."  (if you have multiple loops set up, you can then reset all
of them at once with a long-press of multiply, which is handy. it is on
Multiply because you are "multiplying" the reset. get it?)

If you don't have a footpedal, just plugging a momemtary switch into the
FootPedal jack will do the Record function for you.

You can have Record start with an audio trigger. Set the Threshold
parameter to something other than zero. Press record. The EDP goes into
it's waiting mode, with "ooo" on the display. When you start playing it
starts recording. Press record again to end the loop.

You can also have record start and stop with an external pulse trigger
connected to the "BeatSync" jack on the back. (you have to have sync set to

The "RecordMode" parameter lets you set whether recording uses toggle or
sustain action. Toggle is when it starts recording when you tap the button,
and stops when you tap it again. That is the default. Sustain is when it
starts recording when you press Record down, and continues recording as
long as you hold the button down. When you release it, the recording stops
and the loop loops. Some poeople like one way, some another. You can choose
what works for you.

I like Sustain mode because you can easily create extremely short loops. If
you just tap the button lightly while in sustain mode, the EDP only records
for the time the switch mechanically contacts, which will usually be just a
few milliseconds long. You can get loops that are short enough to be
audible frequencies themselves. I call them microloops. You can multiply
them and insert them, etc. Very interesting sounds come that way. Try
leaving overdub on and the feedback turned down a bit and play some other
loop through the microloop. pretty cool effect. you can retap it and get a
new randomly short length to change the tone, or play with the feedback to
lengthen and shorten the effect.

Record can be ended by another function, so that you are immediately in
that function with a single button press. This makes operating the echoplex
efficient and fast. So start recording with a tap of Record and end with
Overdub so you are immediately overdubbing onto your new loop. Or end with
reverse so the thing you just played immediately comes out backwards. Or
end with multiply so you can immediately get a multiplied loop. Or Insert.
Or Mute, so the loop is immediately muted. (the only case this doesn't work
now is with NextLoop. the current version doesn't take you to the next loop
if you end a record with next, because we originally thought that would
confuse people. Instead it irritated people. so in the next version ending
a record with next takes you to the next loop immediately. That's the
advantage of a device with several generations of development, such
subtleties have had a chance to filter through the real world.)

also, Record can be used to end some other functions. Multiply, Insert,
LoopSoundCopy and LoopTimeCopy can all be ended with a tap of Record. This
has the effect of redefineing the endpoint of the loop at that point. So
after something has multiplied up to 3.4 times and you press Record, you
then have a loop 3.4 times the length of the original. If you had pressed
multiply then, it would have rounded out to the next cycle point and you
would have a loop 4 times the original.

[Think of it this way: when you are recording, and you tap the Record
button to end the record, you are actually defining the endpoint of the
loop at that point. The loop starts looping from there. So the basic
concept is, a record tap while you are recording defines the end. Now,
extend the concept elsewhere. So if you are Multiplying or Inserting, a tap
of Record defines the end point at that instant instead of rounding out to
the next cycle point. You have now redefined a loop length and freed
yourself from the cycle boundaries. We followed this throughout the design
of the interface design. Take basic priniples of the most basic functions,
and extend them throughout, so everything follows the same logic. Once you
get how the most basic ideas of the Echoplex interface work, you will find
that they extend throughout the rest of it, and everything should follow

What happens if you let Record go all the way to the end of the memory?
Well it is up to you. The "Overflow" parameter gives you the option of
having the recording stop automatically and immediately begin looping, or
stop the recording and go back to reset. Neither of these outcomes are
ideal, so which way you want it depends on the type of music you do. If you
don't care very much about the rhythm of something, it may be fine to have
it immediately repeat a loop that has filled the memory. If you do care
about the rhythm, that loop length is probably not going to fit the rhythm
of your music and you may prefer that it just kill the record rather than
suddenly start playing the loop out of time.

There is also a Record option for multiple loops. When you turn the
"AutoRecord" parameter on, the Echoplex will automatically start recording
when you press NextLoop and switch into a loop that is in reset. This can
be really handy for recording multiple loops in tempo, as you play.

that's a lot about just Record, isn't it?  somebody else's turn now. :-)


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