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Laptop looping

Last weekend I attended the Other Minds festival in San Francisco and 
talked to  Godmother of Looping, Pauline Oliveros, and Queen of Vocal 
Loops, Pamela Z. I found out that in both cases these artists have 
replaced their stacks of dedicated looping delays with PowerBooks and 

Pauline, as I've mentioned, has been performing with delays since the 
1950s and since the '80s she's been using multiple PCM-42s and 
PCM-70s (four of each). Her major performances are done in octaphonic 
surround sound. These days both the delay processing and the sound 
distribution are done in the PowerBook with a MOTU 828 Firewire audio 
interface. She wasn't performing in this way at the festival, so I 
can't comment on specific sound or techniques, but in the past she 
performed the delays herself with a set of pedals and a Max interface 
for MIDI control. The reverb processing was regulated by a sound 
mixer/processor at the house console, and at least during one period 
of time the main strategy was to move among different virtual 
acoustic spaces. Here are some URLs:







Pamela Z's performance rig at one time consisted of three "classic" 
(low-budget) looping delays with relatively short loop times. Despite 
their technical limits she used these masterfully, and over time she 
added voice-to-MIDI control and movement control (via the BodySynth) 
with Max MIDI processing on a G3 PowerBook. Now all the delays are in 
MSP. She didn't go into great detail about this, but you can get some 
idea of her performance technology from her site:



BTW - Pamela Z and Rick Walker will perform jointly on April 20 and 
21 at the Four-Eighteen Project in Santa Cruz 

Richard Zvonar, PhD
(818) 788-2202