Introduction

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else

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Digital Larry
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:54 am

Introduction

Post by Digital Larry »

Thought I'd pop down here and say why I am here and what I think I'm looking for.

I mostly use a looper as an always-on scratchpad for ideas that come out of the guitar or bass. Or ukulele or mandolin or microphone for that matter.

Sometimes I record with a metronome or beat loop and sometimes I don't.

I like to explore weird time signatures sometimes, e.g. 6/8, 9/8, 7/4, 5/4, 11/4.

If I'm doing something that is not 4/4 or 6/8 then I usually record it first and figure out the time signature later.

I'd like to be able to export or copy the loop WAVs easily across a network to my Windows DAW setup.

I DON'T want to sit in facing my PC when I am playing the guitar. I want to sit facing the amp. Having the MacBook on top of the amp is OK.

I'd like to be able to edit the looper's WAV loops in place. For example, I start with loop 1, a 4 bar chord progression. Then I start recording on loop 2 and by the time I've gone through loop 1 a few times I've got my idea down. So I want to (most of the time) delete the first "N" loops' worth of track 2 to keep the part that actually sounds good. It would be some integer multiple of loop A's length that I would want to keep.

The open-source aspect of SL makes me think I might be able to add an "Edit" button in that space to the left of Load/Save which would open the WAV file in Audacity, for example. That way I don't have to actually write a WAV editor but the workflow would be simplified. Today clearly I could Save, Edit, Load. Also I'm not sure how this would be possible, but if there is some way to set the WAV tempo metadata, editing loop-length chunks would be simplified.

I have owned, used and sold a couple Digitech Jamman loopers. What I liked about those is that they were very simple to use to capture spontaneous ideas. What I didn't like so much was the multiple steps and weird file naming associated with using their Windows app to get loops onto the PC over USB. Also, it's just a single loop/layer at a time although I used it in stereo with guitar on one side and bass on the other so I was able to achieve a bit of a multi-layer approach. The only drawback there was that I couldn't e.g. clear the bass track by itself. The other thing that was cool about the Digitech was that you could be on one loop, and call up another one that would start playing when the first one got to the end. So you could have A/B/C parts, although I didn't do that too much.

I think of the looper as a companion to my DAW, but the dividing line of what I am doing when I go from the looper to the DAW is flexible. I usually take it to the point of having a couple solid riffs in the looper and then start moving stuff to the DAW for arrangment, effects, MIDI stuff, etc. A lot of times I record electric guitars with effects already on. I realize that this can paint one into a corner, but that's exactly what I'm trying to do, reduce the number of creative choices one has to make.

Recently I have tried Quantiloop on the iPad. (good) Foot control by McMillen SoftStep. Quantiloop is OK, although:
a) No editing capability built in
b) iPad had a tendency to fall on the floor when I used the touchscreen
c) Transferring content from the iPad to the PC involved exporting to AudioShare, uploading to iCloud, downloading from iCloud. GAHHH!!!!
d) Exported WAV files are in a format not compatible with Ableton Live - can be converted, again, another step
e) Somewhat odd/useless built in effects, although I really liked "Tape Stop".
f) Somewhat unfathomable mixer
g) complex audio setup

And, I also tried Mobius on the PC with and FCB-1010. Drawbacks of Mobius:
a) exceedingly complex. I probably should have started at the simplest level and built up.
b) "getting started" documentation is ridiculous - it's just a reference to every setting.
c) Doesn't appear to be an active user forum
d) Last I tried, I was having a mess keeping things in sync. But I think that was just me. Also, I just realized that on a multitrack looper, if you reverse a track mid-loop while it's playing, and then reverse it again, there's no hope of keeping it in sync. If you just have one track and are overdubbing different layers forwards and backwards that's not an issue.

I have an FCB-1010 with Eureka ROM, the McMillen Softstep, and a MIDI Buddy which just sends out program change messages. I understand MIDI pretty well and can use a patchbay, etc. I have Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs in my recording area. Don't ask why. Windows gets the most use.

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