Dave Draper wrote:I've never met a drummer who's /happy/ to be a slave to a loop! (/They/ set the rhythm, right?)
This is an interesting topic that I"ve given considerable time to in my own life as a professional drummer
and a live looping artist.I love playing to loops. I consider it a unique timely challenge to be able to do so rather than being a 'slave' to the loop. It's difficult to do and not every drummer has the timing skills required to
play to a loop.That said, there are several things that have to happen for this to work in two distinctly different scenarios:
A) Where the drummer is supposed to play continuously to a an already established melodic loop
1) the drummer has to have really good monitoring of the loop. That's a bottom line.
2) also, frequently, an instrumentalist will lay a rhythm loop down and then proceed to overdub on the loop which causes timbral masking and makes it exceedingly difficult for a percussionist (or anyone)
to hear the foundational rhythm loop clearly enough.3) towards this end, I think it's excellent for the drummer to have their own monitor whose volume they can control in the middle of the gig, themselves. This monitor works best if it receives ONLY the loop that is foundational This can be tricky depending on who is sending them the loop, but a loop selector pedal is really a great tool
for directing a loop to the drummers monitor.4) a drummer who has not experienced this kind of situation HAS to practice synchronizing in such a scenario. Don't expect an inexperienced drummer to be able to do this the first time. It wont' happen and you'll get
musical drift.In the case of multi-tracking loop setups, I recommend that the first loop (rhythm loop) be sent to one channel and then sent on to the drummers' monitor. In the LP-1, as an example, you can route a loop to an AUX channel out that only goes to the drummer/percussionist for audible loop synchronization. I believe Ablteton's
Live and Mobius can also be routed similarly.B) Where the person who controlling the loop attempts to synchronize and re-synchronize to a live band in real time.
1) frustrated by the Line 6 DL-4's inability to retrigger without the 'one shot' function engaged (necessitating three button presses to to resync a loop to a live band/drummer (retrigger, stop- at the end of the loop in a musical place, play) I actually put a brand new function into the LP-2 - RETRIGGER CONTINUOUS for specifically
this kind of re-triggering scenario.2) when I'm using this 'manual retrigger' approach to staying in sync with a live band (or, indeed, to another looper using non-synced rhythmic loops that I want to stay syncrhonized to) and I'm the one controlling the loop, I find it efficacious to create longer lengthed loops (4 bars instead of 1 bar, at least) so that the drift from the band (or alternate un-synced loop) will take a lot longer.