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Re: Group of people looping. Is there such thing ?

On 3 jun 2007, at 10.54, Jens Wolters wrote:

> My idea is having a group with drums, guitar, bass and sax with  
> different loops totally in sync. More of a techno pattern approach.  
> I am not really shure if this is possible at all.

Depends on what is your definition of "totally in sync". In techno we  
dislike un-intentional flam hits of any kind. That accuracy of sync  
is not even possible by MIDI clock sync between machines. The machine- 
like precision is to a great deal what defines techno. Best sync is  
achieved by using one system for looping all sources, as opposed to  
trying to sync different local systems. Mobius would work for that,  
as set up for multiple inputs of audio and then each player addresses  
his track/tracks for looping his instrument by external MIDI control.  
I know one group that this.

You can also achieve "techno pattern proof" sync between different  
applications on the same computer system by using ReWire sync.

I have done MIDI Clock sync a lot in groups and most times I've been  
happy with it. The problem is that the synced devices loose the  
rhythmic drive, but this can be worked around by running timing  
sensible stuff on the unit that is also the slave master (meaning it  
sends out MIDI Clock for the others to catch up with, as best as they  
can ;-)  Another problem might be "MIDI sync latency", meaning that  
units may go in approximately the same tempo but eventually one is  
lagging after (because this particular device need more time to  
digest the incoming sync signal) . This is only a problem with  
programmed, sequence-like material taht depend on "the grid" in the  
sync pulse, but it's usually no problem when musicians are playing -  
as we rather play to the music we hear than to a somewhat incorrect  
tempo reference of the synced machine.

A fourth concept I have also found good when looping with groups is  
to use looping devices that are not synced. Then each musician keeps  
instantly regenerating his loop, changing the loop length so it will  
spin in tempo with the music. The EDP is very good at that, but  
MObius can also be set up for it (typically ending Overdub or  
Multiply with Record).

Next week I'm going for a festival where I will be "group looping". I  
bring two laptops with rather equal looping systems; Mobius in Bidule  
and Augustus Loop in Ableton Live. Although Live is not a happy sync  
slave it does work and if needed to sync up I can use the Augustus/ 
Live setup. The Mobius version I prefer to use is a beta that has not  
yet been finished in the syncing department, so the Mobius rig is for  
running the master (sending out MIDI Clock).

Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen
www.boysen.se (Swedish)
www.looproom.com (international)