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Author Topic: Loopers  (Read 492 times)
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Lysergikon137
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« on: September 06, 2020, 07:20:33 PM »

Did a quick search and didn't see a thread about loopers, so I figured I would start one. I saw the recent post on the "Law of the Loop" so it seems timely.

I'd been using the TC Electronics Ditto loopers since I started messing around with nontraditional music, but last year the technical issues that plagues the Ditto line became too much to reconcile so I sold what I had without looking back. I recently purchased the Pigtronix Infinity 2 Looper because it seemed like a simple and straightforward piece of equipment from a reputable company. I've really enjoyed the capabilities of the Pigtronix, namely because of the decay knob which fades the loops out after a certain number of repetitions which allows for continuously evolving overdubbing. However, I've begun to have an issue with it that I also had with the Ditto, which is an inexcusable amount of undesirable digital sounding glitches whether I'm playing through it or not. I've tried different power sources and plugged/unplugged everything. Now I'm left wondering if loopers as a general category are even a viable idea.

Obviously loops or repetition in general are a fundamental part of industrial / noise / experimental music, so I'm curious how many people utilize looper pedals for this function? If not, are there other techniques that are utilized to record a loop live that decays and allows for continuous overdubbing? Can tape loops be used in this way?

Anyway, I'd be interested to hear what others' experiences with looper pedals have been, if you use them and how, etc.
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Atrophist
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2020, 08:38:02 PM »

I have the microphone version of the Ditto, I like it fine as such, and haven’t experienced the issues you mention. But generally speaking I am also questioning what’s the point of loopers anyway, when samplers exist too.
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JLIAT
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2020, 09:12:22 AM »

This goes back to at least Terry Riley, using two reel to reel tapes, called a "time lag accumulator". You might Google this.
Taken up by Fripp and Eno... and possible to do using a morphogene.

Also Steve Reich used loops of different lengths that produced phasing... you need to check out 'Its gonna Rain'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vugqRAX7xQE&t=886s

mind blowing....

as is Come Out

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouYiTiiY3vg

Time Lag accumulator...

Riley - poppy nogood...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgIT5xh1nJE

Fripp & Eno...

Swastika Girls...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjEX2idAGNA

& guitar...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6zu_d6RthY


The synth is (i think) an EMS synthi and i think he (Eno) is using the sequencer to control the VCF....




History etc.
http://www.loopers-delight.com/loop.html


http://www.loopers-delight.com/history/Loophist.html#:~:text=During%20his%20experimentation%20with%20tape%20techniques%2C%20Eno%20rediscovered,much%20introduction%20to%20the%20system%2C%20and%20without%20rehearsing.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 09:44:02 AM by JLIAT » Logged
Soloman Tump
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2020, 10:17:24 AM »

I had a boss rc3 a couple of years back which was quite useful, and I now regret selling. 99 save slots with a huge capacity, easy to overdub with the boss stomp, and you can load / backup your loops via micro USB.

Not sure why I sold it really, I guess back then i didn't really see its full potential.
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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2020, 02:02:22 PM »

But generally speaking I am also questioning what’s the point of loopers anyway, when samplers exist too.

 I use an EHX 360 to grab things 'on the fly' using a Send/Return on my mixer in addition to whatever may be running on my sampler (Digitakt) which generally has been prepared in advance. Has 11 memory slots as well which is convenient.
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Euro Trash Bazooka
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2020, 05:00:56 PM »

I back the RC3, although mine mysteriously died out of the blue. I did entire sets with it as a backing band, hah.

Anyway, regarding loopers, buzzing and whatnot, I jammed with a friend last night who plays drone gigs with his guitar and a pedal board. He uses a Boomerang, a Boss Giga Delay, a Strymon El Capistan, a Meris Mercury 7 and some other pedals, including distortion and whatnot. His pedals don't buzz at all, and the reason is his Cioks power supply, which is amazing. But he told me he used to have issues before he got it (especially when he also had a Strymon Time-line), which ultimately led to a necessary upgrade.

Buzzing and digital noise can be caused by "bad" power supplies meaning that if you don't use isolated power supplies, there's bound to be some unwanted noise appearing somewhere, it can be caused by mixing analog and digital pedals in the same chain, by poorly made pedals (and TC Electronics being Behringer now...), by long cables or wires picking unwanted frequencies (it also happens in homemade pedals if you don't shorten you cables enough when you do your wiring, hence the advice to the DIYers of always wiring the circuit in the box), etc. I have the same issue in my eurorack when I put some digital modules next to sensitive analog ones, which used to make some modules impossible to use do to the constant buzz. It changed when I upgraded my PSU.

Unwanted noise is most certainly a major headache.

Regarding degrading loops/delays, the Strymon Volante and El Capistan are amazing for that...
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2020, 05:06:04 PM »

Thomann has a great value power source, 5 isolated outputs for 25 euros. Only downiside is that it has an integrated power cable. You can get two for still half the price of a more expensive brand with 8 isolated outputs.
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Euro Trash Bazooka
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2020, 11:05:46 PM »

Not all isolated power supplies really are isolated. And I blew up two Thomann's PSU's by inverting the polarity by mistake when I powered my pedals. Those things shouldn't happen, it almost fried one of my pedals too. Ultimately, you get what you pay for.
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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2020, 02:54:19 PM »

Not all isolated power supplies really are isolated.

Care to elaborate? Never had problems with Thomann power supplies and I'd like to keep it that way, hah.
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Lysergikon137
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2020, 09:07:58 PM »

I had a boss rc3 a couple of years back which was quite useful, and I now regret selling. 99 save slots with a huge capacity, easy to overdub with the boss stomp, and you can load / backup your loops via micro USB.

Not sure why I sold it really, I guess back then i didn't really see its full potential.

Dang, that actually sounds like quite the step up from the Ditto or the Infinity 2. It's an extremely unassuming pedal, never really caught my eye nor did it cross my mind that the boss stomp would be better than the clickers.

I've not had any luck with getting rid of the noise from my Infinity 2 in the time since I made this post, and I would venture to guess that it's a cheap power source issue like EuroTrashBazooka says, but at the same time it doesn't go away on an isolated power source. Not sure really what to do about it but I value the sound of other pedals significantly more than the looper, but such is the joy of evolving and experimenting. I can admit to myself that playing with and swapping out gear is more fun to me than recording anything for the time being, and I feel pretty tired of loopers at the moment so its going off the board. I like the idea of a longer digital delay for drones / transient looping, and I've been messing with maxed out regeneration on a delay / reverb I've got for interesting results.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2020, 09:12:53 PM by Lysergikon137 » Logged
Euro Trash Bazooka
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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2020, 09:48:55 PM »

Not all isolated power supplies really are isolated.

Care to elaborate? Never had problems with Thomann power supplies and I'd like to keep it that way, hah.

Basically, if it says "isolated power supply" on the box but you can't plug a pedal with negative centre and another one with positive center at the same time on that PSU, then it's not really isolated.
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2020, 04:52:03 PM »

Not all isolated power supplies really are isolated.

Care to elaborate? Never had problems with Thomann power supplies and I'd like to keep it that way, hah.

Basically, if it says "isolated power supply" on the box but you can't plug a pedal with negative centre and another one with positive center at the same time on that PSU, then it's not really isolated.

Right, I'll keep that in mind. They've been good enough for me for so far, but I don't think I have any pedals with inverted polarity right now, just a drone synth that has it's own power cable.
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