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Live Looping versus using Pre-Recorded Loops
Much is said about audiences not knowing the difference between someone
hitting play on a computer that has complete tracks stored, someone
pre-recorded loops or someone who is looping everything in front of an
I go to see a very wide variety of musical performances that use
technical augmentation, from ones that are completely
canned (Fisher Spooner) to ones partially canned (a tremendous amount of
big electronic shows) to artists who do all of their looping live in
front of the audience.
My experience is that people really do get, viscerally, when someone is
playing something in real time
that they loop and then play other things against (including other loops).
A couple of artists in recent years, who shall remain nameless, have
only played in real time over
loops or samples that were pre-recorded. The energy of their sets was
really markedly different
from the ones that didn't take this approach. Of course, our loop
festival audiences are not typical
but many people complained about these performances after the fact.
They bothered me, to be honest.
The fact of the matter is it's infinitely easier to do all of your
looping ahead of your performance
and then just fly them in as is musically suitable.
To me, it's much more dangerous to have to pull all of one's tech off in
front of an audience; to
play live in real time in front of an audience even if you are looping
yourself for augmentation's sake.
That's why , despite the fact that no one could tell from merely a
recording of a performance whether someone
looped live or just flew in pre-recorded loops or samples, I think
there is a huge difference between the two
and this is why I am proud to be a live looping artist.
This is why I specifically make the distinction that the Y2K Festivals
are Live Looping Festivals
and why I send out a performance agreement before booking people a spot
on the festival.
Out of 11 years of performance only two artists have disregarded the
rules about creating live looping
content in front of the audience. We'll have to have a heart to heart
talk if those artists ever want to
play the festival again.