Laptop Equipment Setup

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doug
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:32 pm

Laptop Equipment Setup

Post by doug »

I have a Sony VAIO Linux laptop and want to purchase a USB (or Firewire?) external audio device that can be powered by the laptop.
Any recommendations?
Also, what is the simplest setup so that I could hear an unobtrusive metronome (or simple drum beat) during the first loop track I lay-down? (new loops will sync to the first loop track)

Thanks in advance!

More background on my motivation:
I've been wanting to use a looper to create riddum tracks in live performance (with real guitar, bass, voice and percussion) that I can jam and sing songs over. I will need to hear some kind of metronome when I lay down the first track.
I've tried several foot-pedals (line-6, digitech, roland, etc.) and all have great features, but do not completely meet my requirements. SL looks like it could be my ticket!

JeffHendricks
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 11:07 am

Re: Laptop Equipment Setup

Post by JeffHendricks »

It all depends on what you use as your sync source in SL. There's a few ways to make it happen, namely, you can have a 4-bar metronome click track and just load that into the first loop, and sync everything to that. This would be the most sure-fire way to do it as it doesn't rely on any other software, but you're limited to whatever click tracks you have on hand, and you'd have to make a different one for every tempo. It works well, but you have to put the time in beforehand to make click track .wav files.

You could also try using a program like Hydrogen to give you a steady beat, and in fact, could even use it for rudimentary drums (kick, snare, hi-hat, etc.) but it would take some playing with Jack to get everything talking correctly, and it wouldn't be actually looping the track, just playing at the same time.

Another option would be to find a small MIDI drum pad (like the Korg Nano) and use it (patched into Hydrogen) to record a simple drum beat, live, into your first loop. This works fairly well, I use the drum pads on my Axiom 25 to do this.

doug
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Laptop Equipment Setup

Post by doug »

Thanks; I'll look into the korg nano.
How do you get the loop to end at the precise end of the 4 measures?
Does it just take practice at hitting the record on/off button precisely?

JeffHendricks
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 11:07 am

Re: Laptop Equipment Setup

Post by JeffHendricks »

Yes, it takes some practice to get the loop exactly the right length at first, but once you've got the first loop done, you can sync everything to that.

I played around with tapping a drum beat as the first loop, it works well as long as you have a footswitch you can hit exactly on the beat to start/stop recording.

Getting it right every time will take some practice, but the easiest way to start is syncing everything to the first loop, and set all loops to sync commands as well.

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