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Todd Reynolds' EDP Etudes

todd reynolds wrote:

> Dear andre...

Yo Todd!  Sorry for the delay in replying... just got back into town
this afternoon.
> Todd here...  An ardent fan, by the way...

The feeling is mutual, good man.  Thanks for posting the new
Max/MSP-related sounds...  WONDERFUL stuff!  (As is the non-MAX stuff of
yours I've heard, as well.)

> I posted some issues I'm having earlier today...  Subsequent to reading 
> offer, I wonder perhaps if you might have some advice... I hope my posts 
> clear enough...  It's using the edp in a completely composed setting...

I'll try to address your questions as best I can (which honestly isn't
saying a whole lot!)

...though I must admit I'd probably have an easier time of formulating
an idea if I could hear the tune itself.  Depending on how quickly you
need to undo layers, how many layers there are, how they get built up in
the first place, and so forth, it might be easier to try and answer.


> Basic concept of this etude is... Build up 5 loops, then play over it
> removing one loop at a time, leaving original two... 

My first thought is, "OK.  Could you not simply use NextLoop to
backtrack from Loop 5 back down to Loops 1 and 2?"  I know you touch on
that later on...

> Barlines are seamless, so
> cannot have double button pushes...  

I'm not totally clear on what you mean here... which double button
pushes are you thinking of, and what is it specifically about the
textures in the loops that would make such button pushes unfeasible?

> Having moreloops set to 5, by the
> way...

I'll suggest a different approach here in a second...

> First, the Undo option... Seems to take two button pushes to have 
> happen anyway, then only partially undoes...  So virtually unreliable...

As Cliff so astutely pointed out, Undo is a deceptively complex thing. 
And honestly, I don't personally understand it very well myself.  (That
says very little about the EDP, and very much about my own lack of
studiousness in that particular regard.)

> Next, the Nextloop option... 
> then cycle back
> through the loops, back to loop 2, then back to loop 1, etc...  The 
> is that I don't really have the time at the end of the piece to go 
>through 5
> whole cycles to undo one level at a time using nextloop...

If you have SwitchQuant set to either On or Confirm, then you could jump
from any loop to any other loop, and you could do so either manually or
quantized to the length of each loop.  Would that make matters easier?

> Well, now I've confused myself...

I'm afraid you're not the only one!  :()

> Questions... Is there something about undo that I'm missing?  Such that a
> button depression would actually immediately take off layers without 
> through a whole other cycle?  Yes, there is plenty of memory available...

One thing to be aware of is that the Undo feature uses a software noise
gate.  The purpose of the gate (so far as I understand it) is to divide
each successive overdub into a different partition in the EDP memory, so
that when the input level drops below the threshold of the noise gate,
the memory allocates that as the end of one "chunk" and the beginning of
another "chunk" which can be dealt with via Undo.  

But depending on how noisy your input signal is, you could potentially
be filling up a lot of memory with extraneous sounds that are quiet
enough to not really hear, but loud enough to be above the noise gate
threshold.  (I have that problem with guitar pickup noise from time to
time).  You might try closing Overdub after each new phrase you layer on
top, just to make sure that the memory isn't spilling out beyond the
musically intended end of the phrase.

NO idea if this is at all relevant to your problem, of course, but I had
to try and make myself feel useful somehow!  :)

> And is there a way of using nextloop as a sort of overdub function?f

One thing I do a lot of is setting AutoRecord to On, and LoopCopy to
Sound.  This means that after I've recorded something on loop one, I can
instantly copy that to another loop via NextLoop.

And as soon as you're in the next loop, you're multiplying cycles out. 
If you wanted the length of the new loop to be the same as the initial
one, you'd hit multiply again in order to keep it down to one cycle
length (or however many cycles you want.)  

One other idea I have is to use MORE than 5 loops in the piece.  Even
though your etude may be composed for 5 distinct compositional units,
that doesn't mean you can't use more than 5 EDP loops in the sonic
representation of those musical figures.

You might think about allocating some of the 9 possible loops as "short
term" deals, which would only be accessed once or twice in the duration
of the piece.  Your followup email made reference to wanting to overdub
something once and then erase it... so what if you copied a loop to,
say, Loop 6, overdubbing as you enter the new loop, let it repeat once,
and then switch back to the loop you copied from originally, never going
back to Loop 6 again?

Jeez, I'm getting dizzy.  :)

Tell you what, Todd... let me know if this makes any sense, or is in any
way relevant to what you're trying to do.  If not, maybe someone else
here has some insights.  

If nothing else, I might have some other ideas if I can actually hear
the piece in question.  We can work out a way to do that if need be
(this is genuinely interesting stuff to me).

ANYWAY...  hope this has been of at least some help.  Or amusement, at 

Take care,