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Re: Strategies for Hiding a Loop
You got most of mine. I know of a few more:
9) Paint over the seam: This is so simple and probably so common it's
almost not worth mentioning: on the second pass of the loop, record an
event that occurs over the start/end point. This works best for
non-rhythmic loops. It won't change the perception of repetition, but
it will help obscure the start point.
10) Loop in an unexpected multiple: This works best with rhythmic
playing. In most Western music, people expect patterns to occur in
multiples of 2. (Events occur in songs 1, 2, 4 or 8 times in a row,
but rarely, say, 5 times.) So, instead of recording 2 or 4 measures of
your rhythm in a loop, try recording 3, or 5, or 12 measures.
(I do this in the track "Mold" on the cd "Living Things" - the loop
represents 3 repeats of the perceived pattern, where the ear expects
it to be 1, 2 or 4.)
11) Keep loops minimal & complete them with live elements: The more
predictable events there are on a loop, the quicker it wears out its
welcome, I think. For example, if someone has a drum loop where
there's 16 layers of kicks, snares, claps, toms, hi-hats, crash
cymbals, cowbell, shakers, etc, it's only going to take a couple
repeats for it to sound canned. On the other hand, if your loop
includes only the basic kicks and hi-hats, and you play the snares and
occasional accent kicks free-hand, you can get it to sound much more
Rick Walker <firstname.lastname@example.org> went:
> in another thread, Matt Davignon pre-went:
>> Some musicians (such as myself) attempt
>> to hide the seam, in hopes that if people lose track of the loop's
>> start/end point, they will stop perceiving the loop as an unaltered
>> (canned?) element.
> This is a favorite subject of mine. I'm very rhythmically oriented in my
> music and I've never used
> feedback for some strange reason in my looping. Consequently, it's
> important to figure out
> ways to make one's loops not sound so static.
> Here are some of my strategies for
> hiding the recurring nature of a loop from the listeners' ears.
> 1) I got this first one from Steve Lawson: but a random filter on your
> loop that
> has very strong sweeps between frequencies and high 'Q' values
> 2) Use two different and non-syncrhonized loopers and make on long
> loop over which you put a rhythmic secondary looping track. The loop
> cycle against each other. Even when they happen to coincide on each
> other's downbeats,
> it will have taken so long that the audience will not percieve it as a
> 3) With rhythmic loops you can use 'slip' functions (Electrix Repeater)
> mute/retrigger features
> (like in the EDP) that retrigger wherever you were in the loop when you
> mute the loop so that
> the rhythm plays differently, rhythmically speaking against another
> (this also requires two
> loopers playing simultaneously.
> 4) Use any kind of modulation or delay functions that are in a different
> time scale to your loop
> (this is particularly effective with ambient loops that cycle over
> loops but can also be used
> with two different ambient or textural loops in less rhythimcally bases
> 5) In software manipulation of loops, use randomization features for
> processing or retriggering
> one's looped content.
> 6) Using the 'scramble' functions and/or the quantized replace
> DL-1 terms) or INS=SUB
> features in quantized mode to Replace rhythm fractions of your loop.
> My brother is especially effective with this technique when using
> feedback percentages as he replaces.
> With auto swell, volume pedal or guitar part swell or 'slow gear' guitar
> techniques, this also is a beautiful
> way of continually morphing your loops.
> 7) This next one I have almost no experience with, but Matthias Grob
> loves it and does it
> beautifully...............using different feedback percentages to subtly
> replace original content.
> I think this category could be greatly expanded by the loopers here.
> 8) This one only exists in the LP-2 because I put it in the software for
> this purpose:
> Random Retrigger...............allows you to randomly retrigger one's
> (the loop continues from
> the random start point whenever this is used. Due to the nature of the
> wave forms being of unequal
> volume when randomly retriggered this always causes a rhythmic 'gated'
> This is particularly effective at creating ambient or avant garde
> loops and then creating
> and ostinato rhythm by rhythmically playing the foot pedal like a kick
> In a best case scenario: use a secondary looper to re-loop your
> So, this begs the question: What other strategies work well for this
> musical purpose?
> Rick Walker