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Re: How to start

Trista -
Welcome to Loopers-Delight.  This is a great forum to ask questions.  Many many people here are available to help. 
A few things come to mind after reading your posting.
A lot of looping people are on a Quest for a Better Device to suit there needs and budget. There are a lot of looping units out there today.  Don't feel bashful about selling what you first get and moving on. Rather than sticking with something you don't like. This is obvious, I know.  But I mention it so as to take some pressure off the first unit you buy -- it need not be so precious a choice.
1) Will you want to store loops which you would want to recall and play along with afterwards - or do you only need to create things live?
2) How long do you guess (in seconds) are the phrases you might like to loop?
3) Do you hope to have sections (A/B/A/C) to your loops - or just a steady background overwhich you might add a layer or two?
Don't think you need to have definitive answers to these questions, but the answers you have will point you towards different tools.
1) If you want to recall previous loops that are stored, that is a feature some devices provide - and some do not.
2) If you think the phrases you may want to loop are short - then older devices (which can be found used) may OK.  Newer devices tend to have longer available looping time (as technology has advanced quite quickly).
3) If you require the ability to subtract layers also, then that knocks out quite a few devices.
I'm sure others here will have a few more suggestions. 
Here is a link worth investigating: http://www.loopers-delight.com/tools/tools.html
By the way, I believe Zoe Keating uses an Electrix Repeater.
Best of luck.
David Kirkdorffer
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 2:12 PM
Subject: How to start

I'm sure you get posts like this all the time! I just subscribed to the list today and though I have been spending time searching around the archives, I'm impatient enough to just come out and ask my question.
I want to get started using looping devices in order to channel the incessant music I hear in my head.  I love what Andrew Bird and Caryn Lin are doing with the violin, and Zoe Keating with the cello.... I want to do something similar with harp.  While they make electroacoustic harps now, I am in no position to run out and buy one.
So I will be using my acoustic semi-grand pedal harp, though it's difficult to capture the harp's full range.  Was looking at a Line 6 DL4 delay pedal (used by Andrew Bird), and briefly looked at the Akai Headrush pedal (though I think the sampling time is too short for what I need).  The equipment I currently have is a Tascam Portastudio, a Peavey Ecoustic amp, and a few mics (at least one condenser).  Sad but true -- when you are playing weddings all the time, you really don't have the need for anything else! I have asked around on some harp sites about looping devices, but apparently no one has experience with playing the harp in this way (oh the blasphemy...)
My goal is to create real-time loops for live performances (eventually) and to work out ideas that I can take to a studio and record.  I'm in relative isolation here in the Midwest given my interests and instrument, so perhaps erroneously have been thinking that the only way to get where I want to go, I'll have to do it myself.
Any advice to a bumbling beginner would be so much appreciated.
Trista Hill