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Correct, Rick. Overdubitis (or too many loops) has killed so many good songs and pieces of music. I've done it myself and seen and helped tons of musicians do it in my studio (since 81). Not so anymore! It's so much easier to mix simple, well organized music. When it's arranged and layered right, you don't need all that EQ to make it work. IN the arrangement, the frequencies are spread out so that there's no battle anywhere in the spectrum. So the final piece sounds more natural.

I have two uses now for the looper - one as the 'one man band' deal. My songs are pretty complex - not repeating parts usually and lots of odd measure lengths, so I have to record big chunks and then have areas (usually just one of the loops) where I can just let the looper ramble on until I'm ready to re-enter the structure. Works great. On top of the (three loops of) one guitar part I've laid down I want to add percussion so it can run along with the guitar stuff I do on top. For most of my 'one man band' songs it takes all three of the available loops (RC50) to cover all bases. So my final output would be one base guitar track, one percussion track (most likely djimbe or congas, and the top guitar.

The second use for the looper is to create beds strictly for jamming. These I'm doing live now- both the bed and the top. On some they're very simple - just one loop needed to fly - and I can probably squeeze enough real estate to fit the percussion on top of it.

The beauty of the one man band thing is that it's affordable if you're touring. Affordable is good! It's not as fun as having real players there changing and improvising with the current and it's MUCH harder to get that vibe. But, as you well know, you can get pretty close!

I wrote all this in case you're thinking about my previous email about the RC50 not having enough loops.

ps - I like the idea of hardware loopers because I just don't wanna look at computer screens any more than absolutely I have to. Someday I'd like to have a Kid Beyond kind of setup (is that his name?) where Ableton is controlled by a foot controller.

Next life maybe

richard sales
glassWing farm and studio
vancouver island, b.c.

On 13-Jun-07, at 3:15 PM, RICK WALKER wrote:

In recent threads and frequently on this list I
hear people complain that this or that device doesn't have
enough separate loop capability.

Just because I've done a lot of duet, trio and quartet live looping performances
in the last 12 years, I've come to believe that the biggest problem
with onstage live looping improvisation is that TOO MANY LOOPS get recorded
a good deal of the time.

I think a lot of loopers forget that if three people play and create synchronized loops
that a six person band has now been created.

In a conventional band setting, if you have six people playing it means that you have to
think of being just 1/6 of the entire musical output when you play and attenuate your musical
output accordingly.

I have found in my own playing (and as a drummer percussionist, I can frequently
have more overdubbed instruments than is typical of guitarist, keyboardist, horn players
or vocalists) that I rarely have more than two loop layers playing at once just because
it limits what can be played on top of the music.
Frequently I will only lay one loop down in music I'm playing (unless I'm purposefully
attempting the 'one person band' approach. Even in that instance, I've discovered that
the more minimal a part is on a given instrument, the more the piece of music can
handle additional parts or more interesting focal improvisation over the top of it.

Even the most successful experimental players seem to have economy in their
approach..............things are so 'out' as it is, that a kind of minimalism helps
an audience to hear the really clear ideas they put out.

Of course, it's silly to be black and white about this, but I run into a lot of musicians
who believe that music is just a series of elements layered on top of one another, as opposed
to a bunch of elements that are meticulously arranged to interact with each other:
some things purposefully played to support focal elements in the music; some things
played that are rhythmically, harmonically or timbrally subsets of focal elements.

It could be that as a life long drummer who's role has been to accompany musicians
that I'm more intrinsically inclined to have this arrangement approach to things, but
I have found that the most successful improvisers in this live looping business are the ones
who really get how every single element in the music interacts with every other one.

So, my long winded point is that there is a distinct danger using this technology
to play TOO MANY LOOPS at the same time. Why am I shouting.............................I DON'T KNOW WHY!!!!!

your thoughts?