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GEAR / TECHNOLOGY => gear/tech/etc => Topic started by: Euro Trash Bazooka on January 19, 2015, 09:17:18 PM



Title: Loops.
Post by: Euro Trash Bazooka on January 19, 2015, 09:17:18 PM
What do you personally use to make them? I'm curious and I guess we could all benefit from the input and advice from some of you on here...



Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Zugzwang Productions on January 19, 2015, 09:23:59 PM
For a while I used a Boss RC-50. Pretty big and a bit clunky, but I love having three loops, with possibility to sync them, or record them all at a different length. Now I'm going full caveman style and starting using tape loops, with a 4-track recorder with the erase head off. Unreliable as fuck but a lot funnier.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Euro Trash Bazooka on January 19, 2015, 10:05:58 PM
I've been trying to build my own looped tapes in order to go the primitive way as well but it hasn't worked well so far. I guess I'm too clumsy. I'll keep trying though!


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Zugzwang Productions on January 19, 2015, 11:45:09 PM
Building tape loops can definitely be infuriating. Have you used this page : http://www.cementimental.com/tapeloop.html (http://www.cementimental.com/tapeloop.html)

My advice would be to dig a big on the side of your shell, to have the tape run out of it, go around a circular like a bottle, and then back into the shell. This way you don't have to worry about figuring the exact length for the tape, you can move the bottle to adjust the tension. It looks something like this : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nK-xXWFYht0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nK-xXWFYht0)

Some downsides to this technique though : you need a tape player where the tape can go out of the shell without bruising too much, the tape is always dangling from the shell so it can wear faster depending on how you store it, and the tape can be misaligned with the head with this technique, resulting in little to no sound sometimes.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Euro Trash Bazooka on January 20, 2015, 01:23:57 AM
Building tape loops can definitely be infuriating. Have you used this page : http://www.cementimental.com/tapeloop.html (http://www.cementimental.com/tapeloop.html)


I didn't, but I looked at some tutorials on Youtube instead. Most of the time, the tape ended up breaking after a few spins. The link you posted is very interesting and different from what I had seen before so I'll try to follow it.

Your method to build tape loops sounds difficult though, I'm quite clumsy...

Anyway, thank you for your advice and input. Hopefully more people will make recommendations and post in the thread.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: tinnitustimulus on January 20, 2015, 04:12:33 AM
I use splicing tape, they have it in cassette width. Other types of tape can be too stiff or weak, or gunk it up.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Euro Trash Bazooka on January 21, 2015, 09:32:27 PM
I use splicing tape, they have it in cassette width. Other types of tape can be too stiff or weak, or gunk it up.

Do you have any particular tips about the way you do it, etc?


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: tinnitustimulus on January 24, 2015, 11:53:43 AM
I usually have tape prerecorded, to avoid gaps.

I curse a lot while doing it, it seems to help.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Euro Trash Bazooka on January 25, 2015, 12:44:53 AM

I curse a lot while doing it, it seems to help.

Very good piece of advice, I'll remember that one, thank you.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Cementimental on January 25, 2015, 07:28:13 PM
make diagonal splices. it's (even!) more fiddly but makes for less of an audible dropout/bump at the join


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Zugzwang Productions on January 26, 2015, 07:31:38 PM
For joining the two ends of the loop : after you have put the adhesive on one end of the loop, lay the magnetic tape on its edge, standing like a "fence", curled in its natural curve. This way you will have a better control over the junction of the loop, pushing the two ends slowly together.

Also remember to use very little adhesive (like 3/4 of the magnetic tape width for the width), as tinnitusstimulus said, too much of it can make the junction of the loop too stiff.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on January 27, 2015, 06:50:19 PM
I won't be fighting against the tape loops at all. But it's one of the things I prefer to do with loop pedal.
I'm not fully comfortable with LOOP STATION, but as I'm not hoarder of equipment, that's what I bought and that's what I use. Possibilities to make loops of various lengths as well as make layers of several loops. I have yet to look into possibilities of adjusting volume of specific loop or stopping/erasing loops with other ones still going. Not sure if possible.

I have sometimes used delay pedal loop function, but due short length it allows and I generally dislike "stutter-loops", I don't use that too much.

For live situations, when playing pre-recorded loops, it's basically discussion about samplers rather than loops.

Some may underline that loop pedal ain't the same as actual tape loop. Especially if one looks to celebrate "imperfections" a'la odd drop-outs etc. But I think it's good in different ways. Good quality loop pedal is just digital CD quality loop. Still if this loop pedal is somewhere in middle of the chain-of-effects, it allows good amount of modulation and layering happening where loop is not just utterly mathematical computer editing thing, but blends into noise well.

Only advice for loop pedal would be: avoid anything less than CD quality digital gadgets.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Euro Trash Bazooka on January 27, 2015, 08:07:03 PM
Thanks for the input, Mikko.



Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Zugzwang Productions on January 27, 2015, 09:07:33 PM
I have yet to look into possibilities of adjusting volume of specific loop or stopping/erasing loops with other ones still going. Not sure if possible.

I have a BOSS RC-50 and it can do all that, a really great piece of gear. It can also change the speed of loops during playback, but this speed change affects every loops, you can't select which one to want to change speed.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on January 28, 2015, 09:34:57 AM
Functions seems good, but small Loop Station pedal has advantage of being size of regular distortion pedal. Bigger pedals don't interest me so much as main function would be for live purposes. Already as it is, I've been on maximum limits of what to carry to gigs.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Force Neurotic on January 28, 2015, 10:20:25 PM
Rather than fumbling with hand-spliced tape loops, I generally make short-length cassettes the way one would take apart a cassette for a loop, but reattach the ends to the wheels again, rather than each other. I make them in 3, 5, and 7 second increments, then copy the "sample" to an answering machine loop tape, like this:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/71/OutgoingMessageTape.jpg/240px-OutgoingMessageTape.jpg)

I have them in 15, 30, and 60 second measurements, and use them depending on the length of the sample being repeated, the length I intend to have the loop running for, and the length of the actual track itself.

I'm aware it's effectively "cheating," but it tends to produce good, reliable loops much faster, leading to less frustration overall. I seriously recommend this to anyone discouraged from the world of physical magnetic tape loops, because once victory is achieved, the process itself becomes nothing but pure joy.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Euro Trash Bazooka on January 28, 2015, 10:59:27 PM
NOW WE'RE TALKING.

If I get you well, you make a C-00.3-5-7 yourself, then dub that onto an endless answering machine tape and use that as a loop tape?


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Repentance Products on January 28, 2015, 11:29:17 PM
All my answering machine tapes have an audible long drop out when the loop repeats, I take it you open them up and cut that part out? The nature of sounds I used on mine I'm able to get away with the dropout by adding generous amounts of echo.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Force Neurotic on January 29, 2015, 01:56:18 AM
If I get you well, you make a C-00.3-5-7 yourself, then dub that onto an endless answering machine tape and use that as a loop tape?

Yes, that's exactly it. It's so easy, fun, and enjoyable, as well as sort of meditative, that it changed my entire outlook on how I wanted to make noise/music.

All my answering machine tapes have an audible long drop out when the loop repeats, I take it you open them up and cut that part out? The nature of sounds I used on mine I'm able to get away with the dropout by adding generous amounts of echo.

Some of them have this issue, and some do not, wherein there's only like a 0.5 second kind of "clunk" sound or silence, which generally seems to fit pretty well with most of my loops, as not to require removal. Of course, that's mostly up to my personal preference and coincidences, but occasionally, I do edit out the unwanted sounds and dropouts via software after ripping to a file.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Euro Trash Bazooka on January 29, 2015, 09:25:56 PM
Ace! On my quest for answering machine tapes now then, haha.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: online prowler on January 30, 2015, 02:20:51 AM
TAPE LINE UK have avail regular cassettes in loop format now.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Euro Trash Bazooka on January 30, 2015, 08:30:19 PM
I know. Tapeline have lots of great things but they're expensive (especially once you add shipping costs to everything.)


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: tinnitustimulus on January 31, 2015, 10:34:17 AM
The drop is from either the piece of foil they put make a signal to the answering machine, or the space between the eraser and capstan when you stop recording. While I find endless tapes useful, I prefer the rhythmic quality of handmade loops.

I also use a delay pedal with a long time to delay (gigadelay goes 24 secs, headrush does too). I can change things quite rapidly that way, add or remove with one feedback knob than holding down an overdub button. I already tried to explain what I do in another gear thread, but I might as well put on here as it is relevant:

I prefer TASCAM 424 mk I and mk II for better tape speed options, but mine are broken. I use loops but I also switch over to live channels. for feedback loops i usually just put the effect sends to the line in channels, but i've seen the headphone jack used too, I just burn things out too fast to want to try that.

For multitrack tape loops, the only advice I'd have is to make each channel distinct, each a different frequency range, a different texture, but make it complementary to each other, like adding colors to a palette to make a painting. It is better not to have every channel full sounding because they are just going to cancel eachother out, though I like having one channel that does this to cut everything else out suddenly.  

Sometimes i record loops on the fly during the performance, but it's never usually good. Even when I saw a performance where one was using live instruments and one trying to do tape loops of the other, it just came out with not very engaging loops. It's not a immediate effect like the loop station, it needs more engagement and prep.

That I also "cheat" and use a  digital delay on the fx loop to loop the loops to more loops, and use a pre amp so the signal will go over everything else since effects loops try to be tame to prevent feedback. Keeps the process more organic and interesting, and sometimes I'm practically making a song using the pitch control with it, albeit a very crude one which keeps me in the harsh noise realm hopefully (though I did steal that technique from someone who is released on Not Not Fun multiple times).


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Zugzwang Productions on January 31, 2015, 12:38:39 PM
Sometimes i record loops on the fly during the performance, but it's never usually good. Even when I saw a performance where one was using live instruments and one trying to do tape loops of the other, it just came out with not very engaging loops. It's not a immediate effect like the loop station, it needs more engagement and prep.

That is definitely true. I use open cassette shells with the tape going around a bottle and back in to the shell, for extra length. No need to say that is technique adds a lot more wobble and inconsistency in the tape speed. I am not going for accurate reproduction of the source, but instead I fully embrace the sounds and accidents this technique produce. Also when I recorded a drone live, I let the loop do maybe 3-5 complete runs before stopping the recording. The erase head is disconnected on my machine, so this way the signal get overdubbed several times, to create a fuller sound.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Harvest on February 02, 2015, 10:43:19 PM
Those who use iOS can get this new program that I've been enjoying for looping as of late.

Everest : Audio Looper by glowgraph inc.
https://appsto.re/us/0RhV3.i


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: l.b. on February 28, 2015, 09:04:39 PM
i've been cutting and splicing blank tape into loops, then recording sounds onto it with my 424. is there any way to make blank loops and multitrack record on them without an audible gap? as far as i've been able to figure, i'd have to detach the erase head to completely remove the gap (which i'd rather not do on this machine). workable alternative: record each track at different tape speed, and then the gaps are mismatched. but this isn't quite good enough.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Jnz on February 28, 2015, 11:45:34 PM
I put a piece of celophane on the eraser head :)


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: l.b. on March 01, 2015, 04:03:40 AM
I put a piece of celophane on the eraser head :)
i feel a bit silly for not thinking of that..


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Cementimental on March 01, 2015, 11:48:51 AM
as far as i've been able to figure, i'd have to detach the erase head to completely remove the gap (which i'd rather not do on this machine).
You wouldn't have to detach it, a switch to disable it would work. But yeah still requires taking apart + modifying a nice machine

Quote
workable alternative: record each track at different tape speed, and then the gaps are mismatched.
?? How would this work? starting the recording at a different part of the loop i can understand since the gap on each track would be offset but the speed will make no difference.

ANyway, you might want to look at the "PUNCH-IN or INSERT Recording" chapter of the manual, page 26: http://pdf.textfiles.com/manuals/ELECTRONICS/AV/Porta424mkIII_manual.pdf
You might still get hear something of an audible cut with continuous material but I believe this shouldn't introduce a gap like simply pressing record would (i haven't tried it for ages myself tho so I may be wrong)


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: l.b. on March 02, 2015, 05:09:50 PM
starting the recording at a different part of the loop

oh duh..yes i think this is what was actually being done. if you can't already tell i'm pretty new to the 4track game


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Zugzwang Productions on March 02, 2015, 11:17:10 PM
OR you can record your sounds on a regular tape, then cut the section you want and assemble it as a loop. If you are precise enough you can be very selective with your cut. I was able to make a drum pattern looping cleanly with this technique.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: l.b. on March 25, 2015, 06:06:44 PM
cellophane over the head didn't really work. insert/punch-in is very cool but leaves a pretty audible 'pop' when it comes in. useful for other things though. cutting loops out of pre-recorded tape i've done, but i was thinking of how to do it in a 'live' scenario. maybe throwing a switch in for the head is the way to go. has anyone done that mod before?


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Zugzwang Productions on March 25, 2015, 06:48:03 PM
I have opened and unplugged the erase head on two machines, but I did not install switches. So they're constantly on "erase off " mode (until I plug it back of course). With this I was able to perform and loop live, but it's pretty complicated. On my Tascam 414 for example you have to switch from playback to record, so you can't listen to the track you're recording on live (although the sound you are recording can be heard through the Tascam).  After recording you have to switch your track back to playback to listen to your overdub. I don't know if I am clear enough, what is your tape player ?

Also I am not surprised cellophane did not block the erase head. It's basically a magnet so the magnetic field can easily pass through.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: sick on September 05, 2015, 11:48:20 PM
Is there anywhere to find those endless tapes now?


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Leatherface on September 06, 2015, 01:22:59 PM
https://tapeline.info/v2/blank-audio-cassettes.html


http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-cassette-loop-for-about-6-seconds./


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: sick on September 06, 2015, 04:59:35 PM
https://tapeline.info/v2/blank-audio-cassettes.html


http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-cassette-loop-for-about-6-seconds./

All of those are three second or super long loops. I was looking for the 15,30, and 60 second increments.

I already know how to do a loop by cutting the tape


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Leatherface on September 06, 2015, 05:11:50 PM
https://tapeline.info/v2/blank-audio-cassettes.html


http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-cassette-loop-for-about-6-seconds./

All of those are three second or super long loops. I was looking for the 15,30, and 60 second increments.

I already know how to do a loop by cutting the tape

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SANYO-45-Sec-Endless-Loop-tape-message-announcement-answering-machine-cassette-/271969326207?hash=item3f52a2947f


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: sick on September 07, 2015, 02:30:18 AM
https://tapeline.info/v2/blank-audio-cassettes.html


http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-cassette-loop-for-about-6-seconds./

All of those are three second or super long loops. I was looking for the 15,30, and 60 second increments.

I already know how to do a loop by cutting the tape



http://www.ebay.com/itm/SANYO-45-Sec-Endless-Loop-tape-message-announcement-answering-machine-cassette-/271969326207?hash=item3f52a2947f
$10.47 for one tape?!

Yeah fuck it I'll just stick to cuttin em manually
Thanks tho
I rarely make tape loops as I have a sp-303 but the hassle usually pays off for the certain quality tape loops have


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Zugzwang Productions on September 08, 2015, 08:18:56 PM
https://tapeline.info/v2/blank-audio-cassettes.html


http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-cassette-loop-for-about-6-seconds./

All of those are three second or super long loops. I was looking for the 15,30, and 60 second increments.

I already know how to do a loop by cutting the tape



http://www.ebay.com/itm/SANYO-45-Sec-Endless-Loop-tape-message-announcement-answering-machine-cassette-/271969326207?hash=item3f52a2947f
$10.47 for one tape?!

Yeah fuck it I'll just stick to cuttin em manually
Thanks tho
I rarely make tape loops as I have a sp-303 but the hassle usually pays off for the certain quality tape loops have

I have bought a bunch of endless loop tapes for answering machines for cheap. Actually the plastic shell is a bit different from regular tapes, probably because the transport mechanism on these machines was different. On the dozen copies I tested only a few were working correctly, so yeah I would not advice you to buy those very expensive tapes. Try to get them really cheap or better, build your own.


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: urall on November 11, 2015, 02:26:50 PM
i really get frustrated with doing tape loops, the tape usually don't have enough traction to keep rolling (tried with a rubber band on the wheel) i'm clumsy taping the ends together etc...  :D


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: Cementimental on November 12, 2015, 03:41:39 PM
Maybe it's a problem your recorder: I've found that for tape loops it's best if there's as little friction on the spindles as possible but rather the capstain next to the tape head that does the work pulling the tape thru

anyway yeah it's a massive pain to make a loop that actually works and doesn't jam :)


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: pentd on December 29, 2015, 04:36:36 AM
made some 5 yrs ago, but the results were so lousy and underwhelming that i tossed them haha... sticking to pedals ever since. should try to make some though... picked up some nice loop tapes (1min, 6min + 11mins) from tapeline a few years back, been re-using those ever since...


Title: Re: Loops.
Post by: calaverasgrande on June 04, 2016, 03:35:06 AM
I did this for a long time, a long time ago.
I used to pick up cassette decks at garage sales and flea markets. They were dirt cheap for a while when everyone was dumping them for CD players.
My friend Ryan Hopeless from Reversible Eye/Phantom Limbs/BSA showed me how to measure cassette tape so it exactly fits around the sprocket holes in a cassette. Or you make it a little longer and use the little structural pegs as guides. Another thing I learned from him was to use the 'invisible' scotch tape for splicing. It's thinner than ordinary scotch tape. I've also experimented with putting tape on both sides to make it durable. A few times I tried Krazy glue, which did work well, but also resulted in tape glued to my fingertips more than once. 
Later on I figured out that it doesn't really matter if the tape is longer or not. If you look at a lot of infinite loop Answering Machine tapes it is just flopping around inside. It actually gets pulled along by the pinch roller anyway. What was more important was to use good durable tape. I'd only use C-30 tapes or better, sometimes even cro2 or whatever expensive high bias tapes.

Later I got really into modding the cassette decks. I'd wire the motor through the headphone jack so that I could use a standard guitar amp switch to start and stop the motor.
You can also extend this further by adding switches for record and erase heads. Though this always ended up in tears for me as I ended up frying some part of the tape deck doing that. I think the long cable run to and from the footswitch introduced capacitance and the actual switching kind of nuked the heads or the repro/record amps.
If I did it now I'd use a relay or some kind of transistor switching.

Speaking of durability of loops, I used to like to record long tapes that were walls of sounds. Lots of gibberish from commercials, televangelists and such. Then I'd chop up loops from that and play them until they started to degrade and fall apart. That was when they sounded best!