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I was introduced to a new world yesterday. . .


DeveryHarper

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. . .in songwriting that is.

 

I don't know how to explain it, but I've had this friend for some time now that has always bugged me to play with him, write with him, etc. Personally, I'm just not up to that. I seem to only be able to write with me myself and I (I don't know if that is good or not). Anyways, he invited me over to check out some of his stuff and to also ask some technical questions (he just purchased Logic 8).

 

So when I got there he popped in a CD of his, he had mentioned that everything was done in his little, humble studio (actually full of toys), and to my surprise, everything was LARGE, LOUD and DYNAMIC. I was like, how in the world did you do this? He told me--of course--that it was looped based.

 

Well, I have NEVER even delved into this world so I was kind of let down that he actually did not write the stuff. But he assured me that he was playing the drums over (under?) the sample, and that the bass was real and that the loop was actually created by him????? But the quality was amazing, a little canned, but still amazing.

 

He then introduced me to an artist that I have never heard of. Amazing this kid was! Simply amazing. He then, as the CD was playing, showed me how everything was sampled and looped based. I just had to shake my head. Such beautiful music was simply pre-written samples/loops that were manipulated, organized, and put together to create a project. That guy, whether or not he used all samples/loops, was still an amazing artist and there is no doubt he was good at doing that.

 

Then. . .(sorry for the long post), my friend pulled out some kind of machine (Korg) where he created all of his music. It was crazy! It sounded beautiful, but it was crazy. I have never seen anything like this in my life (thankfully). It allowed him to take a sample (guitar for instance), add other samples (drums, bass), and up to 16 multitimbural instruments, then manipulate them on the fly. Very interesting. Very disappointing.

 

The moral of the story? I used to feel guilty for using a lot of arpeggios on my first album (Evoluzione)! I had also used some pre-written drum rhythms that I simply draew into the piano roll on my sequencer. But these were always just one (small) part of my whole compositions. On my next album (Squaring The Circle), every arp, every drum beat, EVERYTHING was done by me. I guess I set out to prove to myself that I had the ability to write EVERYTHING by myself! So. . .when I saw this, I was simply amazed. Who knows what is real or fake anymore????

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Well, gosh, people hire back up bands. They call up the Union and say, hey, send me a bass player, a 'boardist and a couple guitar players.

 

If this guy created the musical phrases he looped, he's way ahead of a lot of folks.

 

Now, obviously, in an improv/performance oriented field like straightahead jazz, such tech tricks are certainly frowned on. (But let's not forget that there are so many edits on Bitches' Brew that it's pretty much a look forward to the kind of post-modernism that most of us only experimented with in the 80s and 90s for the first times.)

 

Certainly, if someone is trying to fool folks into thinking he's a monster player but it's all studio tricks... well... he sure wouldn't be the first. Don't forget, one of the early users of tracking slow so that playback would sound super fast was none other than Les Paul -- who, in his prime, was pretty damn quick (and I'm told is still a pretty righteous groove-slinger in his 90s).

 

 

Anyhow, I guess that's all pretty well old news to me -- I worked with my first sampler back in 1984 (the original Emulator, model "one," if you will, which belonged to a pal).

 

And even when I first started recording to computer DAW in 1996, I'd been syncing my ADATs to the computer via MIDI for a few years, using a stack of external modules in those days to augment audio tracks on the ADATs.

 

 

But, yeah... when I first started working to hard drive in '96, it was, like, a revelation.

 

In fact, once I'd done one tune on the computer -- I never started another (personal) project on tape.

 

The ability to slice and dice things as much as I want and the ease of organizing the peices -- I was pretty good with razor blade and block but the computer really blew open the gates -- sometimes makes experimentation (in both large and small ways) almost irresistable to me.

 

I did my first multitrack overdub in 1964 (when I was in junior high) and I loved tape machines form the first time I saw/heard one about 8 years before that.

 

But when I did my first all-computer project (well, along with those 5 MIDI modules I used to use back in my pre-VI days) it was really a revelation...

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If this guy created the musical phrases he looped, he's way ahead of a lot of folks.

 

 

But that's the thing. . .the line has been blurred in my mind between what he created and what he manipulated. I still do not know exactly how he does it!

 

Disclaimer, I am not going to judge someone if they do this. There is no doubt that it is an art in and of itself to make a good song, whether you loop it or write it.

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I'm aware of this world and STILL unimpressed. It just means we are a few minutes away from writing algorithms for computer to do ALL the writing for us.... melody, production, AND lyrics. Where is the fun in that? yawn. hit a couple buttons: SPEED: low/med/high MOOD: lite/fun/sad/happy/suicidal [ENTER]... randomise algorithm, PUKE. Song complete

 

Yes, it is cool stuff, and normal music buyers will never know the difference, nor care. But if you are a WRITER..... well I guess it depends what you want to accomplish. It IS still just another tool. I plan to use MUSIC MAKER on my PS2 to make a completely finished song in the future - minus the vocals since I don't own a mic for the PS2. Will be fun.... just once

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Here's my nutshell [OK, maybe nutshell is a bit of a misnomer] primer on the whole sampling/looping shebang:

 

Sampling is, at core, recording.

 

People have been been applying postmodern concepts to post-orchestral music for all the 20th century, but it took off with the development of the tape recorder as a popular recording tool after WWII.

 

It didn't take too long for people to start cutting things up as well as replicating them... The first 'stutter' effects were done with tape (as well as echo loops -- which used live recording on loops of tape for their echo engine) but the experimenters of the 50s and 60s went far beyond that working with mostly just blade and block and multiple tape machines.

 

In the mid-70s, the remote inaccessibility of the big pop acts, with their armies of technicians, lightshows, and banks of amplifiers, effects, and synthesizers coincided with the the exploding popularity of DJs and discotheques.

 

A kid who couldn't afford a fancy electric guitar or (then insanely expensive) electronic synth almost certainly already had a record player. (It was the era when even regular joes were proud of their component stereos... music was a big deal in the 60s and 70s... it was the center of youth culture) and the ubiquity of turntables created a climate where a sort of people's post modernism took hold.

 

The techniques of scratching and cutting started gaining popularity at the end of the 70s and, of course, exploded in the 80s.

 

 

Parallel, during the 70s, the first digital recording devices began appearing. And they were, of course, very expensive.

 

Some of the first uses were replacing the electronically synthesized sounds of 'classic' drum machine designs from the 50s and 60s with digital recordings of drum hits [note this key word, it's comin' back around] -- just a short recording of the stick or brush hitting the skin or cymbal and a little bit of tail. Because the RAM digital sampling depended on was very expensive, drum hits were often pared down to a bare minimum, often but optionally with artificial reverb [and if you were rich enough you might even have an early digital reverb] supplied in the audio chain to supply a little more supposed realism.

 

 

From there, it was easy to 'tune' a sample up or down as long as one didn't mind the munchkin effect -- just like speeding up a vinyl record or tape, as the pitch gets higher, the duration of the recording gets shorter.

 

The math was a little more complex, digitally, but in the end effect was basically the same as speeding up or slowing down vinyl or tape.

 

That wasn't a problem for drum hits, obviously.

 

But if you wanted to use a sample for something like a cello with a lot of vibrato on it, moving that tone up or down a few notes was going to produce a nasty speed up or slow down of vibrato.

 

To get around that, people used a number of samples up or down the scale of an instrument, coverying a few notes at a time.

 

The technique came to be known as multisampling.

 

And that also helped get around differences in sonority of the instrument in different ranges.

 

That helped with munchkinizing -- but the dynamics also were a problem. Obviously, just turning the volume of a bit of sound up or down is not going to be the same as playing a cymbal or a violin or a piano loud or soft.

 

For that they used dynamic multisampling -- layering multiple samples that would play at different playing velocities ('playing loudness' if you will), sometimes overlapping to avoid abrupt shifts.

 

 

But it took a lot of RAM to accomplish multisampling -- and it didn't really come into its own until the late 80s and 90s. Subsequent advances in hard disk throughput and software information caching have led to the current wave of high end super multi-sampling instruments like the $300 grand pianos and virtual drum kits (like Ivory and BFD), which use system RAM to cache the some of the data from huge sample sets, drawing the rest from hard drive as needed.

 

 

Now what I've described above is instrument-oriented use of sampling to record and reproduce hits (individual sounds).

 

The other use of sampling technology (and, later, hard drives) was to allow the ad hoc recording of loops of sound: an instrument, drums, a whole rhythm section, a snippet of yours or someone else's recording -- nothing was off limits -- at least not until the lawyers got involved :D ... and then manipulate it in much the same way that turntablists were manipulating the "samples" the pulled on the fly with their 'tables.

 

 

For a long time phrase based sampling was held back by the above-mentioned munchkin effect.

 

You could map a loop to a keyboard and transpose it up on the fly -- but the length of the loop went shorter as the pitch went up, longer when down, just as with vinyl or tape or the hit based sampler.

 

 

Technologists finally developed two basic approaches to this dilemna -- micro slicing the sampled loop and simply spreading the sliced bits out on the timeline -- which works ok for drums but not for continuous sounds as a rule, so schemes, often unsatisfying, have been employed to 'extend' or create 'sub-loops' in samples (this used to be done to conserve RAM on grand piano samples, usually to not great effect).

 

The other approach -- and they're sometimes combined -- is to use math to shift the pitch from what was recorded... the time of a loop won't change as the pitch goes up -- but the sonic quality of the sound recorded often will, sometimes drastically, as the original sonorities are distorted in different ways.

 

These two last approaches came into popular use for loop based music construction in the late 90s with the PC softwares Recycle (1994) and Sonic Foundry's ACID (1998; Sonic Foundry which was later bought by Sony. BTW, Apple's first version of GarageBand, developed for them by Emagic's Dr. Gerhard Lengeling, was an amazingly bald-faced knock off of ACID, right down to the control layout, adding only some virtualized instruments; it's a popular misconception among Apple partisans that Dr. Lengeling had something to do with the development ACID, but that's a myth as far as I can tell.)

 

Nowadays, loop manipulation technology based on those two basic technques as well as formant shifting -- which attempts to change the sonority of a sound to, in a sense, match its new pitch. Vocal pitch shifting softare will compine pict shifting for correction (or effect) with formant shifting to either make a voice more 'natural' when modified to a new pitch or, probably more interestingly, to fundamentally change the nature of the voice (with or w/o pitch shifting) to make a man sound 'like a woman' or vice versa or simply distort the voice's natural sound.

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What the hell was that, a Wiki entry? ;)

 

I believe my friend did everything (that I heard) on that Garage Band program.

 

Is most of Electronic music, Dance, etc. loop based? Or are they actually written, note for note, by the artists themselves?

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Damn, blue! Great info!

 

I feel that loops & samples are just tools in the songwriter's box. Not everybody likes using samples & loops, or the music that's created with it.

So?

 

Not everybody liked it when Picasso started sticking pieces of patterned paper onto his paintings in the early 1900's, either. (Coincidentally, I'm using a Picasso painting/collage as my avatar. It's called "Guitar"). For centuries, painters had attempted to paint textures like silk, wood and skin realistically. For Pablo to come along and just glue a fookin' piece of woodgrained paper on his painting instead of painting it realistically (which, of course, he was perfectly capable of doing) was considered cheating. It kind of threw out centuries of effort by other artists. That's part of the reason it is considered so brilliant a move.

 

People said "My kid could do that and make a painting". And the kids could make a painting that way...

But they didn't make Great Art.

 

Of course, now the same thing applies to us - musicians & songwriters. People can buy a computer program, throw together a few loops, give their "composition" a name & throw it up on MySpace or SoundClick for all to hear. Hell, I can click a button on mine & it'll write one for me.

Is it music? Of course.

Is it Great Art? Prolly not.

 

Whether you're playing live instruments or looping, a lot of the same things apply - good taste, dynamics, musical interest, depth of feeling, playing in time (or with it), even "catchiness".

 

If you don't have those things, nothing will help you.

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What the hell was that, a Wiki entry?
;)

I believe my friend did everything (that I heard) on that Garage Band program.


Is most of Electronic music, Dance, etc. loop based? Or are they actually written, note for note, by the artists themselves?

 

It was gonna be, like, 5 short paragraphs... maybe just a bullet list.. but... the coffee talked.

 

As I guess you figured, I've been following recording technology for a while. I spent most of the 70s otherwise engaged (a whole lotta livin' and just plain playin' goin' on) but in the 60s I lived for hi fi and in the 80s I got back into recording... and this time, having started playing guitar in college, I actually had something to do with it. (Actually, I got back into it by taking a recording class just so I could get free time for my band. But my band broke up and I realized I kind of preferred worlking alone with a recorder to working with my fellow humans in many ways. Still, I did play in a a lot of project and jam bands in the 80s, but after that first big band broken heart, don't you know, I could never, you know, commit. :D)

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Damn, blue! Great info!


I feel that loops & samples are just tools in the songwriter's box. Not everybody likes using samples & loops, or the music that's created with it.

So?


Not everybody liked it when Picasso started sticking pieces of patterned paper onto his paintings in the early 1900's, either. (Coincidentally, I'm using a Picasso painting/collage as my avatar. It's called "Guitar"). For centuries, painters had attempted to paint textures like silk, wood and skin realistically. For Pablo to come along and just glue a fookin' piece of
woodgrained paper
on his painting instead of painting it realistically (which, of course, he was perfectly capable of doing) was considered cheating. It kind of threw out centuries of effort by other artists. That's part of the reason it is considered so brilliant a move.


People said "My
kid
could do that and make a painting". And the kids
could
make a painting that way...

But they didn't make Great Art.


Of course, now the same thing applies to us - musicians & songwriters. People can buy a computer program, throw together a few loops, give their "composition" a name & throw it up on MySpace or SoundClick for all to hear. Hell, I can click a button on mine & it'll write one for me.

Is it music? Of course.

Is it Great Art? Prolly not.


Whether you're playing live instruments or looping, a lot of the same things apply - good taste, dynamics, musical interest, depth of feeling, playing in time (or with it), even "catchiness".


If you don't have those things, nothing will help you.

 

Yeah... I got a good whiff of modern art touring Europe w/ my then GF back when I was 20, came back and ended up working in the art & music section of the library. I pushed for that assignment 'cause you got to play DJ but I found that kind of boring and I ended up much preferring straightening the stacks (ie, sitting there pawing through every book on DADA and Surrealism). After that I spent a lot of time in museums and to a lesser extent galleries (I had a lot of artist friends so we'd collect white wine and cheese but you also saw a lot of cheezy art).

 

At some point I entered what I call my post-theoretical asethetic.

 

I became really aware of it when I was hanging out with a friend who taught art history and was a painter. He had this series of monochromes he was working on and one of them, especially really caught me up. I had a coupe bucks at the time and I asked him if he'd consider selling it. But he said it wasn't finished. I said, are you sure it's not? He said yeah and the next time I visited his loft (yeah, he actually had a loft, he was a full timer at the college -- no artist can afford a loft, even back then. ;) ) I noticed the painting had been defaced... in fact, he was in the process of defacing it, a little detail brush in his hand and he's painting in a little perfectly rendered black silhouette of a generic person icon from a book of symbols and graphic icons (like you use to mark men's and women's rooms in airports, you know?) Anyhow... right then and there, I made my break with a certain kind of, er, let's be nice, concept-driven art.

 

I know a fair bit about art history and theory... but what I really put my faith in is -- what I like... And, I'm sure you can see this coming: I know what I like.

 

Let's face it, how many folks do you know who keep liking what they think they're supposed to like, to be hip or whatever?

 

There's nothing wrong with that when you're young... you try it all out and you figure out how it all goes together and then you skip what ultimately is boring or unenlightening to you. Sometimes you go back later and you go.. wow... how could I have missed this? But that's part of it all, too.

 

 

Anyhow, rolling back around in a leisurely fashion to music, even though I often use mandolin and banjo and acoustic guitarsthese days in my stuff, I've also made my share of downtempo, trip hop, folktronica, even some house. It drove the label nuts. (That's my April Fool's joke. I give everything away. :D )

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"We believe when you create a machine to do the work of a man, you take something away from the man." - Star Trek: Insurrection

 

Yes, loops are music. Music that passes through you as fast as that "Gourmet meal" purchased from the drive thru at McDonalds. Same thing ;)

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What the hell was that, a Wiki entry?
;)

I believe my friend did everything (that I heard) on that Garage Band program.


Is most of Electronic music, Dance, etc. loop based? Or are they actually written, note for note, by the artists themselves?

 

 

It should be. Wow! Thanks B2B - excellent summary with references, dates, timelines, etc. Wow!

 

KAC

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. . .in songwriting that is.

....


Then. . .(sorry for the long post), my friend pulled out some kind of machine (Korg) where he created all of his music. It was crazy! It sounded beautiful, but it was crazy. I have never seen anything like this in my life (thankfully). It allowed him to take a sample (guitar for instance), add other samples (drums, bass), and up to 16 multitimbural instruments, then manipulate them on the fly. Very interesting. Very disappointing.


The moral of the story? I used to feel guilty for using a lot of arpeggios on my first album (Evoluzione)! I had also used some pre-written drum rhythms that I simply draew into the piano roll on my sequencer. ....

 

 

Devery, being a fan and proud owner of your two cds, I have to ask, what sequencer or DAW did you use to put them together? Did you do it all yourself or in a studio with an engineer etc.? What actual and what virtual instruments. I mean was it Real Drums or Synth drums? Inquiring minds want to know. :)

 

I'm just in the seriously-getting-up-to-speed on all this music/Recording/DAW/Sequencer stuff primarily using Sonar which I've had for years and recently upgraded, but it provides all the capabilities to sample and multi-sample, etc. (not that I really know how to use them yet though).

 

 

KAC

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Devery, being a fan and proud owner of your two cds, I have to ask, what sequencer or DAW did you use to put them together? Did you do it all yourself or in a studio with an engineer etc.? What actual and what virtual instruments. I mean was it Real Drums or Synth drums? Inquiring minds want to know.
:)

I'm just in the seriously-getting-up-to-speed on all this music/Recording/DAW/Sequencer stuff primarily using Sonar which I've had for years and recently upgraded, but it provides all the capabilities to sample and multi-sample, etc. (not that I really know how to use them yet though).



KAC

 

I use Sonar 7 for my Sequencer/DAW

On my first album Evoluzione, all sounds you hear came from the Yamaha Motif 88 key (the original Motif)

Then, as time went on, I started to experiment with plug ins/soft synths. I eventually got a Yamaha Motif ES Rack (which was the next generation of the Motif)

The plug ins I have are:

East West Storm Drum

East West Colossus

Garritan Personal Orchestra

Everything was done in my house by me. I soooo wish I had $50K to spend on a studio, an engineer, an orchestra, and all the individual instruments that I want to put everything together! But, until then, I have to stick with VI's!

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I really don't understand the hating on the loops.
:confused:
It's not where the sound came from, it's what you do with it that counts.
:idea:

 

I'm not "hating" on anything. I was just really surprised at how elaborate they are and what beautiful music you can actually put together with them. Look at it this way, I will never write with them. I prefer to be the person that creates the loops (although from the quality of them that would pretty hard for me to do!) and not to use them. As I said prior, I will not judge anyone who uses them. It is an art in and of itself to put a song together, whether one has the ability to it with other band members, loops, or your own stuff. My whole point of this thread was that a whole new "world" was shown to me and I now know not what is looped or what is "real!" That's all.

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"We believe when you create a machine to do the work of a man, you take something away from the man." - Star Trek: Insurrection


Yes, loops are music. Music that passes through you as fast as that "Gourmet meal" purchased from the drive thru at McDonalds. Same thing
;)

 

I spent 6 years delving deep into the art of looping. Making my own loops. Cutting up canned loops. Cutting up my loops. Turning patterns up side down and inside out. Over under sideways down. Backwards forwards square and round. Prior to that I spent 15 years on the stage and in the studio. I haven't used loops in the past 5 years switching to Pro Tools minded live capture then covert manipulation.

 

My next production project, I'm going to return to using loops to supplement a Bend Folds Five style band. You won't hear it as "loops".

 

The thing is... I came to loop work from the other side. Coming from a professional performance aesthetic and imposing those values onto my loop based productions.

 

All I can say is, you think you don't like loops, because when you hear music you recognize as "loop music", you can spot it and you don't like it. What about the stuff you like but didn't realize is loop based music?

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I use
Sonar 7
for my Sequencer/DAW

On my first album Evoluzione, all sounds you hear came from the
Yamaha Motif 88 key
(the original Motif)

Then, as time went on, I started to experiment with plug ins/soft synths. I eventually got a
Yamaha Motif ES Rack
(which was the next generation of the Motif)

The plug ins I have are:

East West Storm Drum

East West Colossus

Garritan Personal Orchestra

Everything was done in my house by me. I soooo wish I had $50K to spend on a studio, an engineer, an orchestra, and all the individual instruments that I want to put everything together! But, until then, I have to stick with VI's!

 

Cool. Thanks for the info. I guess that's about what I was thinking, I guess it surprises me that you're just about the loops and sampling etc. :) I guess when you're busy making the music there's not much time for all the other and there is soooooo much technology that can play into it these days (part of what brought me back to it I guess).

 

KAC

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I have never sampled someone else's work for a loop and really don't want to, and I have worked only with loop pedals, not software per se.

I believe I don't sample the work of others for ego reasons only; my work is mine mine mine...

 

Four or so years ago I found looping totally addictive; it increased my practice/playing time significantly for a long period of time.

 

Pedal-based looping may not be the focus here, but looping in any form can be a tremendous songwriting tool from the strictly musical side, particularly for someone like myself who hears only simpe melody in my head and has trouble building on that. Looping provides a means of learning to build layers and depth.

 

For myself, with my inability to maintain drumming in time for any period the ability to sample and loop that bit where I DID get it briefly right is great, and allows me to use whatever is available for percussive sound rather than relying on drum machines, which I don't care for and currently only use as metronomes which are not recorded.

 

I have grown away from my loop pedals but still recognize that they were very valuable and helpful to me at one time.

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Cool. Thanks for the info. I guess that's about what I was thinking, I guess it surprises me that you're just about the loops and sampling etc.
:)
I guess when you're busy making the music there's not much time for all the other and there is soooooo much technology that can play into it these days (part of what brought me back to it I guess).


KAC

 

A lot of it had to do with my wanting to write my own stuff. Truthfully, my Yamaha came with a loops disc and I put it in once and said F this. If I had never gone to my friends house the other night I would still not know how much was involved with loops. So, my ignorance was a willing ignorance.

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A lot of it had to do with my
wanting
to write my own stuff. Truthfully, my Yamaha came with a loops disc and I put it in once and said F this. If I had never gone to my friends house the other night I would still not know how much was involved with loops. So, my ignorance was a willing ignorance.

 

 

Oh I understand. I'm definitely more in your camp and particularly don't like the way samples are used in the Rap arena. I prefer making my own music as well but also using the sampling and looping techniques to make it easier if possible. Also in a manner of speaking many of the virtual synths are using multi-sampling (as expounded on by B2B in his manic phase above :) ) and creating notes/tones from a sampled recording session. ;)

 

KAC

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I probably DON'T know when a song was the creation of loops. That saddens me. But if it's a good song I will listen and enjoy it. And super glad you have REAL music experience before leaping into loops. That's totally different.

 

It's my old arguement: why are Criminals celebraties? why are untalented* people charting?

 

*meaning people that do NOTHING on their own and their singing is 99% Autotune, but that is a whole other discussion

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I have never sampled someone else's work for a loop and really don't want to, and I have worked only with loop
pedals
, not software per se.

I believe I don't sample the work of others for ego reasons only; my work is mine mine mine...


Four or so years ago I found looping totally addictive; it increased my practice/playing time significantly for a long period of time.


Pedal-based looping may not be the focus here, but looping in any form can be a tremendous songwriting tool from the strictly musical side, particularly for someone like myself who hears only simpe melody in my head and has trouble building on that. Looping provides a means of learning to build layers and depth.


For myself, with my inability to maintain drumming in time for any period the ability to sample and loop that bit where I DID get it briefly right is great, and allows me to use whatever is available for percussive sound rather than relying on drum machines, which I don't care for and currently only use as metronomes which are not recorded.


I have grown away from my loop pedals but still recognize that they were very valuable and helpful to me at one time.

 

 

Yeah... I did a live, all improv echo-loop based act on and off through much of the 90s (called Frippenstein, a tribute to Robert Fripp and Brian Eno's pioneering echo loop work with tape and Fripp's own Frippertronics).

 

I worked hard to keep things shook up in that act (especially since echo memory was EXPENSIVE back when I did most of my work and the most I ever had was 2 8 second loops).

 

It was a lot of fun. I worked with another echo looper, Michael Rothmeyer, who tended to use more worked out bits but was still a quick on his feet improviser -- and he had to be since there was no telling what I might do with the bed of synths I tended to mutate and play on top of. (I liked to set up an evolving/deteriorating loop and then play on top of it as it decayed or swelled or whatever... later, moving to different loop delays, when I could 'freeze' a loop it took the chaos out and that was kind of boring.)

 

But it made it so too much repetition drives me utterly nuts. For that reason I can't listen to a lot of contemporary house and other dance music. (Is house even contemporary any more? I kind of got bored with the electronica scene.)

 

These days I haven't really been using much in the way of loops but for a while at the end of the 90s and the year or two of this decade, I was using some (mostly rhythm/percussion) loops, layering them, cutting different loop voices in and out, running that into a two track mix and then dropping that into the song I wanted to texture up (they almost always already had a basic beat structure I'd put in via MIDI) -- once it was in the DAW project file I would then select certain bits I thought worked in different parts of the song and slicing and dicing them -- sometimes almost atomically -- in where I needed them, discarding the rest. I also did a lot of other things to the loops, reversing them, filtering, adding echo, reverse echo, etc, etc.

 

And I really enjoyed doing that kind of beat layering (the song on that link uses MIDI instruments and beats [as well as my own guitars and some freehand keyboard work, notably the 'fretless' bass part -- this is synth but I own and play a real fretless, too] but layers up edited loops on top and it's a good example of the heavy mods I typically put them thru... ignore the a capella intro.) But, like I said, I found myself getting bored because the scene that had been so cool in the 90s seemed so moribund and bereft of new ideas in this century.

 

So I moved on to bluegrass where the innovations and experimentation never stop. :D

 

 

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BTW... in terms of looping (or at least seriously cut and paste constructing) one's own music, here's an alt-country song demo I whipped up as fast as I could a few years back when a friend needed a recording so his band could learn it [i don't think they ever did]... I basically recorded a single verse and chorus with a couple guitar licks in it and then thought -- hey, I can just extend the sucker like it was a dance mix. So I did.

 

There wasn't really much in the way of guitar fills, so I overused the hell out of what I had and, I think, pitch shifted a phrase or two to use them in different context just to break things up. It was never my intent for it to be a keeper, but somehow I liked it and it was well recieved by folks so, it's still there. One thing, though... even though I do heavy cutting and pasting and lots of reuse, it's the audio, the rhythm guitars and lead, that repeats and I vary the MIDI drums and bass some.

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