Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

AHHHH Looper woes

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Matt Till, Jan 10, 2006.


  1. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I can't get my bass playing to sync up with drums!!

    I use a Digitech Jamman, and whenever I play with drums (programmed) the loops ALWAYS go out of time, sometimes in a matter of 2 minutes, sometimes in a matter of 2 times through the measure.

    Any advice? I've been trying for about a month now, and I"m going mad!!!
     
  2. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    It's you, well not just you every one would have a problem looping to a drum machine, what you should do is feed the drums into the looper as well and loop the beat then play over it and then the loops will stay sync'd, won't always mean you'll be in time but that just comes from practice.

    Hope this helps
     
  3. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    Now all of those comments I made about pedal loopers not having MIDI sync are making some sense!

    It isn't you. Unless you get the start and end points exactly right it will drift. Just like you are seeing, the bigger the error the faster they unsync.

    If the looper had MIDI sync then you would either have the looper quantizing to the drum machine tempo, or the drum machine tempo matching the loop length. The Echoplex Digital Pro does this, but I don't know of a pedal looper that does.
     
  4. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Ahhhh, I figured.

    That's probably the only way to get perfect results isn't it? Shuckkssss.

    Tay: Feeding the drums into the looper is alright, but my looper also has a built in metronome that autosyncs my stuff up. I just wish there was some way I could do it free. I had envisioned at a point being able to work live with a drummer with multiple tracks doing polyrhythmic stuff without hearing "click click click click" during the whole thing.
     
  5. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    You could work on your timing and get close, but you will always have some error and that will cause sync problems. I loop with a live drummer as my main gig and that is very good because I set the feel and tempo and he uses that. I can also play to his part where we hand off taking the lead.

    But, I have two looping devices and getting them to play nice together is a similar problem to yours. The John Cage async loop effect can be fun, but only in limited doses...

    This is where having pre-loaded loops helps. You can load your drum loop into a memory slot, then play over it live. I don't have a JamMan but I get the impression from the manual that you can load your own sounds into the memory slots if they are formatted correctly. That means to me that you can grab loops from things like GarageBand and Acid loop collections and load them to the JamMan.

    Wheels turning...
     
  6. Maverick Blues

    Maverick Blues Being a Thumper is all about ATTITUDE!

    Apr 28, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    I agree 100% with what you said except/plus "exactly right" is basically impossible. Even if you were able to hit it within a millisecond of perfection (and I doubt anyone's timing is good to a thousandth of a second!), if you played a loop for five minutes you'd be out by about a third of a second.

    Matt, you either need a way to sync the two sources or a way to "nudge" one or the other faster or slower manually. Is there a way to do tap tempo on the fly with either unit?

    Otherwise, yeah, you're going to have to mix the drums down into the looper, or just suffer through the drift. This is a problem that goes way back to the days of trying to record across multiple RTR machines without a sync track. Been there, done that, know how frustrating it is.

    Let us know what you come up with.

    'rick
     
  7. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    yeah, I had much grief with this when recording drum loops using the Boss RC-20.

    As Pete said having some midi clock sync would help, as would having a more granular control over the tempo than the 'tap' function'
     
  8. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    I know Steve Lawson when he use to use his dl-4 would re-trigger a loop, I don't know if that is possible with the unit you have but it could be a bit of a solution.

    What I think you'll find is when your playing with a "live" drummer they should be able to adjust to your tempo as looping is near impossible to get perfect when playing along with people, thats why most people do it solo, if you have no reference for the beat you won't notice that 5 minutes later the song is 1/3 of a second out from what it was when you started.

    There is a new looper coming out soon called the looperlative www.looperlative.com, it's still in prototype stages but will be something along the lines of 10 echoplex's in a box, does stereo and so on. Suppose it doesn't help you current situation though

    Sorry

    Hope this helps
     
  9. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I disagree with both of the statements above.

    The facts are:
    1) midi clock synch wouldn't "help". It would completely eliminate the problem; the synch would exhibit perfect repeatability, with infintessimal errors far-far-beyond any possible detection by any listener.
    2) Bazzillionth-of-a-second loop time increments would hardly help at all, practically-speaking.

    I'm just bringing this up like this because between these two ideas, 'help' and 'help' are so-so different that they shouldn't be compared directly.

    One thing that makes me passionate about this subject is that I seem to see around here a real disregard for GROOVE. Like how matt said "go out of time, sometimes in... ...two minutes" - the GROOVE that you originally laid-down was "OUT" the VERY-NEXT time-around! Wasnt' it?! Very shortly into that 2min, wasn't this random 'groove-slide' just driving you nuts already?

    You should never play with this random-sync method, unless you mean to be doing something... ecclectic or whatever. you HAVE to have clock-sync, if you're not actually recording the drums onto the looper.

    It's not a matter of "I have trouble with that"; "Yeah, I had trouble with that too". It's either synchronized, or it isn't.

    Sorry for bein' a Dick -

    Joe
     
  10. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    I think Daves right in saying it would help as using a midi clock has issues of it's own, especially if you are quantising in an odd time signature. A few people had an issue with the rc-20 with this, quantising there odd time signatures in to simple 4/4 making the loop sound slightly odd.

    I could be wrong though
     
  11. Jonesy4fnk

    Jonesy4fnk Supporting Member

    I've heard that Ableton Live is good for synching different loops in realtime, but I've not used it myself.....anyone using it care to comment???
     
  12. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Now I'm more confused then ever...


    That's it... I'm sticking to ambient loops. :D
     
  13. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Oh yes; I know what you mean, there. That's why I sort-of made-sure to say "perfect repeatability" - if there are problems that don't let you get the groove-feel you want in the first place, then that's a problem on its own! I took the subject to be this 'groove drift' - like an issue of reliable, predictable repeatability of whatever groove has been set up.

    Interesting stuff..

    Joe
     
  14. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Well then, don't do it!

    What made you decide to jump down my throat without knowing my usage of a looper pedal?

    In my case I was recreating a drum loop part from our cd. To get the original part recorded to where I could increase/decrease the tempo during playback required me to exactly match up the original drum pattern with a four bar boundary while recording it in. This was extremely difficult on the RC-20, and took many attempts using the tap tempo functionality.
     
  15. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yup. Just about impossible, right? That was one of my main points. It's just-about impossible, and you're just lucky if you pull it off. Your usage doesn't matter; it's either synched, or not.

    If it were synched (..and 'synched' inlcudes recording a drum part onto a loop, which presents problems on its own), there's no-issue - it would exhibit perfect repeatability. If it isn't synched, it'll drive you nuts - and even if you do get it really-really close, it's still very-most-likely that there'd be something somehow-unnerving about the results, because of this 'groove-drift'.

    The main way that I was trying to help, though, is making clear the difference between 'help' and 'help'; one of the things that you said would 'help' would very-very-greatly help - as in 'completely elliminate the problem'; the other thing you said would 'help' would maybe be Construed as slightly alleviating the misery.

    Don't you think that was worth bringing up? Groove-feel is important, right?

    Your usage in a certain situation is irrelavent. it's either synched, or not.

    Jump down your throat? Dude... This community is highly-respected for very helpful, expert advice, and I'm proud of that. It's this 'iron sharpening iron' thing that helps keep it that way.

    Joe
     
  16. Gregory Bruce Campbell

    Gregory Bruce Campbell

    Apr 14, 2002
    Helena, MT U.S.A 59602
    BEE basses, Morley pedals
    i am a sync fanatic, and now use the jam man as well...

    digitech's take on this is for you to, make a wav file of the drum grooove you wish to use, and transfer the wave and store it in your jam man...

    then you dont need drum machine and cables etc...

    you can literally have a pre recorded drum phrase stored right in your jam man
     
  17. ibz

    ibz

    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    +1

    Using the computer to transfer loops into the jamman is the way to go. It's made all the loops on my computer useable to run through my amp, jam with or w/e.

    There's some discussion on transferring .wav loops into your jamman and other info about it here.

    Hell, I've even used the Jamman as a simple recorder to upload pretty good sounding clips, like this.

    Jamman is a great looper IMO because of its computer connectivity.
     
  18. The new rc-50 hypes its ability to be sync'd internally or externally via a midi clock. I know they're really new, but I was wondering if anyone has one of these bad boys and could review it in light of this discussion, i.e. the "syncability" of the thing to a drum machine, computer, etc...

    Any review in general would be great.

    As for the initial problem, I agree with the previous advice, it will be impossible to use the rc-20 to consistently record a live loop in "perfect" time with a drum machine not playing through the pedal. You would have to either play the beat live on the machine into the pedal (like I do) and use that as a loop or an overdub, or have the beat saved previously into the pedal, which would also be hard to do, unless you play it yourself from the drum machine into the pedal. I have had good results playing the drum machine manually into the pedal, either as the first loop or as an overdub over a bass line.

    Plus, as with everything, it takes practice and patience. It took me a little while to get used to the actual triggering time of the footswitches of the rc-20, it wasn't so much that I couldn't play in time as I was improperly triggering the footswitch. I also have, and use along side the rc-20, an older akai headrush. The triggering time or feel of the footswitches on the headrush is vastly different than the rc-20's. It just took some practice to get used to the feel of each pedal. Whenever I hadn't practiced for a little while with the loopers it took some time to get back into it, as I had kept up with my bass/"drumming" skills, I know it was my triggering that was a little rusty.

    With time my loops got much tighter, and yours will too.