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RE: MORE LOOPS? and a bit of ROUGE"S GALLERY
Sheesh, Rick....at last someone finally said it! There does seem to be a
sort of "preference" amongst loopists to have "as many loops as possible
running". And even with many of the advanced processing powers of this
current generation of both soft and hardware loopers, it still pretty much
becomes the concept of filling a box until it overflows( or,
perhaps...driving into a thick fog bank; desperately searching for a way
I think this also ties in to our obsession over the gear we use. There
have been quite a few threads of late which lament the absence of or decry
the need for certain feature sets within hardware and software looping
devices. As if to say that your music cannot be produced without these
features. To some extent we may have lost sight of what is actually being
done: music. Looping, no matter how intrinsinct and neccessary to the
performance of the music, is merely a technique used in the
production/performance of that music. It seems that to many looping is
not a means to end, but the end itself.
I think the techniques and practices of looping are beneficial in helping
one to cast aside an existing paradigm regarding the
compostional/improvisational approaches to music, but they are also a
great aid in understanding how more "conventional" approaches work. Yet,
that being said, I don't think they work well in developing the
"one-man-band" approach. And, as a listener, I find the practice of
"filling up" a musical "space" with dense loopage to be fairly boring (and
the visual performance side of watching someone painstakingly assemble all
of this...hunched over his twinkling, blinking gear, carefully twiddling
and tweaking....well, that would run about par with watching a documentary
of a novelist at work...).
So try this....sit down with your gear, whatever that be, and create some
music...rich, deep, adventurous music...using as few loops as neccessary.
How far can you go not being so reliant on the technology? (I do know
thare are a great number of you who can go far....very far...). How far
can you go using your skills as a player and musician before engaing the
This is something I have been working on quite a bit. Where not only do I
limit the number of loops/overdubs I am running, but I actually "control"
the amount of looping in a piece. For instance, in seeing a number of
looping performances, one of the first things which happens in any number
of sets is the "record" is engaged. SO the first thing heard is a loop
being recorded. OK, so that is actually fine.. even accpetable to a
certain extent. Yet, this routine seems to follow with more and more
attention being paid the footswitches and blinking LEDs than the audience;
more tapping and dialing and tweaking than playing.
I am working on a number of pieces where the looped segments are not the
initial "bit" of the piece....in fact, in several the loops just suddenly
appear admidst a bit of real-time solo playing. In a few pieces, the
looping is made quite randomly (rthymically tapping in and out while the
looper is in bypass; recording bits...albeit some often quite glitchy
bits...but not playing them back until i fade that loop into the piece
which I am playing.. the results are always surprising).
And, I am conscious of keeping the loops from become a constant or static
event within a piece...even when the looping transforms and morhs itself
along the way, I try to mantain a balance of the techniques of "looping"
and "playing" (again, there is nothing WRONG with former
approach...letting the loops build and build); meaning I rarely start a
piece with a loop, and hardly ever let a loop(s) run throughout a piece.
I try to ceate a dynamic of loopage and live playing.
In college, I had a big name composer as one of my professors. One of his
lessons, and one I remember having a deep and profound effect on me,
involved the saying, "nothing sounds better than a lot of things"..which
can of course be taken quite paradoxically, but the reference was that
nothing, or a minimal of anything will sound better than a lot of anything
(all piled up).
Take this "cum granno salis" as a philosphy on looping, but it works for
Oh...as to the Rouge's Gallery.....real simple: Rick Turner fretted and
fretless Basses into a Demeter Tube DI (input buffer) into a custom modded
Lexicon JamMan (modded by Bob Sellon and featuring, amongst other
upgrades, multiple parallel and serial loops)to a tube DI (I have slimmed
down my rig considerably of late...) All JamMan functions controlled by
two Digitech FS300 footswitches. JamMan sometimes replaced by a EDP with
Simple, efficient, and extremely consistent and portable......the
limitations of this setup make me work to a greater degree with my skills
as a performer and player. This seems to engage the audience at a greater
level. I use no fx, other than what I can manually apply to the bass with
my hands or "preparations" such as alligator clips and such. Quite the
opposite of the "one-man-band" syndrome. In my case it is one guy playing
one instrument solo...looping is merely an extension of that.
> From: email@example.com
> To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
> Subject: MORE LOOPS?
> Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 15:15:21 -0700
> 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
> 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
> 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
> have more overdubbed instruments than is typical of guitarist,
> horn players
> or vocalists) that I rarely have more than two loop layers playing at
> 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
> attempting the 'one person band' approach. Even in that instance,
> 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
> of it.
> Even the most successful experimental players seem to have economy in
> 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
> lot of musicians
> who believe that music is just a series of elements layered on top of
> another, as opposed
> to a bunch of elements that are meticulously arranged to interact with
> some things purposefully played to support focal elements in the music;
> some things
> played that are rhythmically, harmonically or timbrally subsets of focal
> It could be that as a life long drummer who's role has been to accompany
> that I'm more intrinsically inclined to have this arrangement approach
> 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
> other one.
> So, my long winded point is that there is a distinct danger using this
> to play TOO MANY LOOPS at the same time. Why am I
> shouting.............................I DON'T KNOW WHY!!!!!
> your thoughts?
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