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the magic act
I'm glad you brought this up, Christopher.
One of my frequent goals in looping is to try to not sound like I'm
looping., or to blur the line between what is looped and what is live.
I often get the impression of performing some slight-of-hand tricks as
well. Some of the stuff I do:
--Try to cover up the "seam" of the loop with more material, so there
isn't that obvious start/stop point. Any given point in the loop is in
the middle of something happening.
--Play something ultra simple with 'holes' into the loop, then fill in
the holes live. (Or a variation, play 'call and response' with your
--Imitate the loop on your instrument while changing the original loop
settings. (Reverse, half speed, etc.)
--Create loops of different lengths (on different devices) that are
long periods of silence punctuated by only one or two notes. Play
something live that these notes will change the character of when they
Christopher Darrow <email@example.com> was like:
> Looping is a juggling act, and a bit of magic. It takes a bit of slight
> hand to keep all the balls in the air.
> I think whatever is done with INTENTION to achieve this "counts."
> When I say that looping is a juggling act, I mean that (back when I was
> looping all the time) I found that something new must constantly be
> the loop for it to remain interesting. (To me or the audience... I make
> distinction.) So I found the shortest possible means of "building" each
> my songs. (Not that I always chose that route, but good to have the
> "straight line" on tap.)
> But sometimes, there is just some necessary space that has to happen...
> while switching instruments, letting a cycle finish, whatever. So
> I would throw in a line of vocals or even something as simple as smacking
> all the open guitar strings so they'd ring and fade, or perhaps an
> unnecessary momentary reverse. Anything to keep it feeling live.
> (I also found that the mix needed to be at about 60-65% loop to make up
> the extra energy and volume of the live inputs or else the loop would
> automatically feel stale and canned right away. But I can't fit that
> juggling metaphor.)