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Re: First Looper Reminiscence
SCENE OPENS TO THE "LOOP SALOON" AND "LC"S - LOOPING COWBOYS (AND A FEW
LOOPING COWGIRLS) - DISTRIBUTED AROUND THE MAIN ROOM, DRINKING A VARIETY OF
DRINKS. THERE IS A RAISED AREA LIT BY A SPOT, DESPITE THE ABSENCE OF
ELECTRICITY IN THE ALLEGED TIME PERIOD PORTRAYED. THIS IS A CLUE TO
THIS NOT TAKING PLACE ON THE "ORDINARY PLANE OF EXISTENCE."
LC #35 STANDS UP, AND WALKS TO THE STAGE, TURNING TO THE REST.
LC 35: Hi everybody, my name's Stephen...
ALL: HI, STEVE!
LC 35: In the beginning of my experiments with looping I attempted to
build a unit derivated from Radio Shack's projects book that utilized
"bucket brigade" chips. It was a dismal failure except as a reverb-delay
unit, and inspired me to buy something for a change. I tried out an early
Boss stomp box that sported 250ms delay (this was 1980) and a very high
regeneration setting - but still wasn't enough to get a result even
approximating Brian Eno's setup shown in Discreet Music. I finally found a
beat-up Bell reel-to-reel at a garage sale for $10, and combined it with a
noisy old 3M/Wollensak reel-to-reel - neither would properly work when
vertically, and so they were on their backs.
ALL: (groans of recognised and apparently well-known difficulty)
LC 35: This caused the tape between them to catch at times, and so the
process was Occasionally Self-Destructing By Act Of God. It also - if the
tape didn't catch - produced a bizarre feedback effect sounding like a
fingernails-on-the-blackboard sound, short but of course gradually
increasing in volume.
ALL: (more groans and "Mmm Hmm" sounds of recognition)
LC 35: I only saved three pieces composed using this setup, and for a
gave up on the idea of this long-loop stuff altogether. Finally in 1992 I
bought second-hand a Quadraverb, and the Digitech DDS "7.6 second Time
Machine", which I'd lusted after for a time but could never afford before.
ALL: (acknowledgements of "Ahh, yes.", "All right!" and "I remember
LC 35: It started the next phase of my recording experiments, involving a
return to guitar-playing, but especially involving other people. We called
the erstwhile grouping...
ALL: (grumbles, mutterings of "He's getting erudite again," and "Keep
LC 35: Uh, we called it "Stone Soup Project" and it persisted until my
departure from Los Angeles a year ago this week.
LC 2: Oh, Man! Leaving LA? What a drag!
LC 3: Are you kidding me? You ever been there?
LC 35: Anyway! Anyway... I kept doing my individual experiments in
composition using loops, and by 1995 when the Internet popped into use, I
started posting some of the results of experiments done where I recorded to
hard disk through the sound card. A few years ago I got ahold of a Zoom
ALL: "Oh yeah.", "I remember that one" (and other affirmations of
LC 35: - and before long found Looper's Delight -
LC 23: Pass tha Lord!
LC 22: An' Praise the Ammunition!
LC 35: - Where before long I bought ANOTHER Zoom 2100
ALL: (more shouts of affirmation, and one "You go on, girl!" from the
back, to which the crowd momentarily loses its focus)
LC 35: ...from a fellow member of Looper's Delight!
ALL: (more volume to the shouts, including a "Hey! *I'VE* got my own
story to tell!")
LC 35: Well, that's enough for me... (off-screen voice slightly shouts,
"Yeah, we've heard THAT before!") And thanks!
KIM IS BEHIND THE BAR AS USUAL. HE POURS A 16-YEAR-OLD ARDBEG INTO A SMALL
GLASS, WITH A LARGER GLASS OF WATER ON THE SIDE. HE LOOKS AT LC 35 AS HE
APPROACHES, DODGING BITS OF PAPER AND AN OCCASIONAL PEN.
FADE OUT, AS LC 35'S HAND GRASPS THE WHISKEY GLASS.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave Trenkel" <email@example.com>
Sent: 20 August 2001 06:32 AM
Subject: Re: First Looper Reminiscence
> First looper was an Ibanez Analog delay pedal, bought in 1980. Used
> it on my ARP Axxe. Still have both of 'em.
> Then followed by a Digitech rackmount digital delay. 1 sec I think.
> Seemed miraculous that it could hold a loop forever without degrading
> like the analog delay (who would guess that 20 years later, we'd be
> making complex digital electronics to emulate that degradation?).
> From there through 2-sec and 8-sec stompboxes. Then to a Lex
> LXP-5/MRC combo (still got). Then JamMan.
> Dave Trenkel New and Improv Music
> http://www.newandimprov.com firstname.lastname@example.org
> Now Available: Minus: Dark Lit
> "This is music all-consuming in its beauty and power"
> -Jake TenPas OSU Daily Barometer