The Looper's Delight
Interesting Posts Series:
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 1996
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matthias)
It is possible to connect an infinite number of pedal boards or single overdub pedals to the ECHOPLEX, so you can operate it from various points on the stage!
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 09:12:42 -0400
From: Chris Chovit
I have been using one footpedal to control multiple echoplexes, using an A/B box (or an A/B/C box for three units). I imagine that this would work just as well to have multiple footpedals control one echoplex. THe important thing is that the footpedals are not in the circuit AT THE SAME TIME. AS you probably know, the footpedal works as a resistor in the circuit, with different resistances corresponding to the different footpedal functions, so I don't think you can have multiple footpedals connected at the same time, without screwing up the resistances.
Your idea would be great, using multiple echoplexes, all "brother synced" together! In this case, any one of them could be used to start the first loop. Then, you could jump around stage, adding loops which would be synced to the "master".
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996
From: email@example.com (Matthias)
You CAN use the pedals directly in parallel, at the same time, because they are "open" when no switch is pressed. In fact, the front pannel keys and the foot pedal keys are in parallel, too.
Even if you press two switches at the time, the software will hold it, as it does if you press two keys on the same pedal board (yes, that was a hard one to do: you can even hold Overdub and do Multiply-Record to correct loop time, and you are back in Overdub until you release it! Kim gave the idea, but I had to put it together %-/ ).
Did you manage to control simultaneously two machines from one pedal board? I have done it, it takes an opertional amplifier. But its not acurate. Use MIDI.
In my vision of this stage, there was one machine, operated from several points to make the process visible - more interesting than switching on a drum machine program. The second machine for the second musician, at least...
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 17:26:40 -0700
From: studio seventeen productions
We made no attempt to sync technology wise. Five years of shared playing experience (we played for two years as an acoustic guitar duo working in the new standard tuning for guitar before we mutated into the electronic/ambient looping band BINDLESTIFF) and empathy did the trick.
Most pieces started with one of us and the other could join in: however, at no time were our loops similar in any way, duration wise especially. It just WORKED. The best band I've ever been in, bar none (BINDLESTIFF). Generally, we never used miked instruments (except on some studio-ized overdubbed non-live stuff). Sometimes we started together, and prayed we'd stay in sync. Amazingly, in the main, we did. And if not, kill your loop and restart until you are...not too hard with experience.
Our setups are completely different: Bryan prefers REVERBING AND EFFECTING HIS SOUNDS and THEN looping them; I prefer looping them and then "treating them" a la ENO. I've often created a loop, and then made five or ten or twenty different recordings of it using the Digitech TSR-24S processor for different rooms, reversals, etc. The fact that we sounded so different helped, yet we PLAYED "together" even though the setups differ wildly.
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 20:30:27 -0400
From: Chris Chovit
Yes, it creates a stereo effect (or quadrophonic....or octophonic...or..). I'm getting carried away, of course. Let me briefly describe my setup: I use a 4-buss mixer, which has 6 effects loops. All my instruments go into the mixer inputs. 4 of the effects loops are dedicated to 4 Echoplexes. The remaining two effects loops are used for traditional effect processors (TEP's). The outputs of the Echoplexes and the TEP's are all sent back into the mixer inputs, so they can again be sent through the effects loops. Typically, I send each echoplex out a separate buss, and send each channel of the two (stereo) TEP's out its own buss.
So, with this setup, I can start with a very simple loop, and create a whole sound space from that single loop -- by effecting the loop, then looping that, then effecting that loop, then looping that.......etc. And, as you suggest, the new loops need not be the same time length, as the original. With enough processing, the new loops need not sound anything like the original! I have started with a drum beat, and used processing (delays, reverbs, harmonizers) to create rich textures!
The "tweak" is the way I feel when I send a loop through a short delay (50-100 ms) or even a reverb, and send the effected signal through a separate channel -- ie. the dry signal comes from one side of the room, the dealyed or reverbed signal from the other side. Pink Floyd used this technique -- I think Jimi did too....of course, you don't need a looper to do this -- a TEP with separate outputs would do the trick.
The quad setup is just icing, really....doing away with the linear signal flow is the important thing. I can effect the loops & loop the effects, indefintely. Is the looping device an instrument or an effect? Is looping a recording or a performance? It seems to me that the boundaries are dissolving........
No, I haven't tried to control two machines simultaneously. I would like to create a mutiple-unit interface, using Opcode's MAX. I would like to build it in a modular fashion, so as to keep the interface flexible (ie. easy to change/upgrade). I imagine I will start creating basic functions (record, overdub, undo, etc.) which works on multiple units. Then, I can create function sequences -- [for example, one push of a button could start one unit looping, the next push of a button could both: end that loop and start a new one, etc. -- (the Jam Man has this "phrasing" cabability, but it is an "un-undo-able" overdub)]
Another capability I would like to have is to be able to switch between loops (within one unit) on multiple units. For example, assume I have two loops in each of 4 units, and all 4 units are currently playing their respective loop #1's. Then, one push of a button could make (up to) all 4 units switch to their loop #2's -- on the beat! In this way, I could create different sections of a "song" (verse/chorus, a/b/c, etc) and be able to switch between them with one push of a button. My goal is to be able to create simple (James-Brown-like) arrangements -- on the fly -- and "orchestrate" them while jamming on top of them.
I would appreciate any feedback on this, before I get started. If I am careful, I can create some MAX code that would be both flexible for me, and usable by others.
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 1996 03:01:22 -0800
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Kim Flint)
>My goal is to be able to create simple (James-Brown-like) arrangements
>on the fly -- and "orchestrate" them while jamming on top of them.
You can do this with midi on the echoplex pretty easily. Use the loop triggering functions, so sending the appropriate midi note switches directly to the loop you want to go to. (So you can jump directly from loop 2 to loop 8, say.) Probably you'd want to have each 'plex on a different midi channel, and send the note to all those channels. You could probably put them all on the same channel, I guess, if you always expected them to do the same thing. You could even set them to all respond to different sets of midi notes when switching loops and play them as chords on a keyboard.
Two cool things about this. One is velocity sensitivity, so you could have a loop play quieter or louder. In your James Brown synario, you could have the "band" drop way down for those funky quiet bits he does, even dropping some instruments out altogether. (uh HUH!) Then give yourself eight with the mute-insert stuttering effect. (Yeah!) And kick the next section at full bore maxi-funk by switching loops wth velocity at 127. (uh GET on UP-uh!)
The other cool thing is the SwitchQuant, which quantizes your loop switches so they happen right on the JB-approved one.