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live looping with drum machine

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by jeff schmidt, Jan 11, 2005.


  1. jeff schmidt

    jeff schmidt no longer red carded, but my butt is still sore.

    Aug 27, 2004
    Novato, CA
    Steve and Michael -

    Overall playing-wise, my time is actually pretty good.

    But when I try to loop on my echoplex against drum loops running off a laptop - the drift between the echoplex loops and the laptop loops get's pretty noticable by about 1 minute or so. I've really focused on trying to get it precise - but I never seem to get it to hold up over the long haul of an entire 5-8 minute piece.

    Any tricks you use - or is this something I'm just gonna have to pound away at until I get it?

    Wait - I think I just answered my own question. :smug:
     
  2. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Don't you have to sync them up by midi or something, just a guess but your a brave man trying looped drums and looped bass :D

    Hope this helps
     
  3. You can sync your Echoplex to the clock coming from the MIDI out on your laptop. (perhaps that's what you figured out already)

    Run the MIDI Out from your laptop into your Echoplex MIDI In. Make sure your MIDI Out is not using the same channel as the Echoplex otherwise parameter resetting chaos will ensue. Your Echoplex will pick up on the MIDI clock and you can set the Sync to In and quantize your start and stop times to the clock ( there may be another setting or two you have to set ).

    I have done this with my laptop and an external drum machine without any problems.

    I have done live looping with a real drummer where we both play with a click from a drum machine and sync the Echoplex to the drum machine. The Echoplex does get out of sync sometimes after some operations. It's still not clear why yet. Generally after I do a lot of overdubs and long-undos.

    - Dave
     
  4. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    The other alternative (that I use when teaching a lot) is to loop the drums into the echoplex - this doesn't work if you're doing any cool stereo imaging with your drums or need them through a separate sound source, but does mean that you can do some of the Echoplex mangling to the drum track as well... :)

    I really wouldn't try to gig just looping along with a drum machine. If you can loop so that you're only drifting out after a minute, you're actually doing really well - you only need to be the tiniest fraction of a second out for it to drift...

    Steve
    www.stevelawson.net
     
  5. jeff schmidt

    jeff schmidt no longer red carded, but my butt is still sore.

    Aug 27, 2004
    Novato, CA
    Thanks Dave. That's good news. Now I just have to figure out how to pull this off with my set up.

    Time to whip out the War & Peace Echoplex manual. ;)
     
  6. jeff schmidt

    jeff schmidt no longer red carded, but my butt is still sore.

    Aug 27, 2004
    Novato, CA
    This works well actually as long as I mono out the drum tracks - but I am trying to fill out the sound field.

    That's a relief. All this time I thought I simply sucked!

    BTW - I'm looking forward to seeing you and Michael perform in San Jose in a few weeks. Can't wait!
     
  7. jeff schmidt

    jeff schmidt no longer red carded, but my butt is still sore.

    Aug 27, 2004
    Novato, CA
    I found the proceedure online at Loopers Delight.com

    here's the article for anyone else who may be interested in it. It's pretty much as Dave described.

     
  8. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Cool! Do come and say hi - it's always great to meet guys from Talkbass.

    and bring your friends :)

    Steve
    www.stevelawson.net
     
  9. Andre

    Andre

    Nov 1, 2003
    A few things to add to the Echoplex sync issue:

    Sync is an ongoing thing - it's not just a question of starting the Echoplex at the right time with the right loop length, but of an ongoing synchronization that the Echoplex has to follow (if it's receiving sync). This is why a MIDI-synced Echoplex will drift from its master after doing a lot of overdubs, feedback changes, or other in-depth functions: basically, it can't keep calculating accurate sync at the exact same time that it's performing other, more complex operations.

    The workaround for this is to use the ReAlign feature, which puts the Echoplex into a state where it waits for the next "downbeat" from the sync master, and then re-triggers the current EDP loop, whch lines everything up again. There's a front-panel combination which will access this, as well as one or more MIDI-exclusive options. If you're going to use the EDP as a slave, it's a good idea to use Realign if you want to do anything more than loop one or two layers.

    The other alternative is to use the EDP as the clock master, so that whatever sequencer/drum machine/sound module you're using is following the Echoplex. You may well find that this is a lot more fun, because:

    1) You don't have to deal with ReAligning the EDP, since it's producing the master sync,

    2) You can record your preliminary loop, and then instantly have your drum machine or sequencer start playing back at the precise moment you close your initial Echoplex loop (so that the sequencer is literally following your lead),

    3) You can produce metric modulations by changing the 8th/cycle parameter, so that the drum machine/sequencer will interpret your loop as different rhythmic subdivisions to use as its basis. It's difficult to explain in writing, but once you try it it'll make your sequencer sound like Terry Bozzio (albeit a very stiff and repetitive one),

    4) Similarly, you can do an unrounded multiply, and have the sequencer instantly shift to sync to the new loop length.

    Anyway...

    --Andre LaFosse
    The Echoplex Analysis Pages:
    http://www.altruistmusic.com/EDP
     
  10. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    This sounds like one very scary and complex piece of kit. I'm soooo tempted by one (well I was until this thread really confused me :D )
     
  11. jeff schmidt

    jeff schmidt no longer red carded, but my butt is still sore.

    Aug 27, 2004
    Novato, CA
    Andre - that's really pretty intriguing. So the sequence will start automatically when I finish my first loop - and match it's tempo? I like this idea - although every piece will have to start with me playing rather than sequenced material. Everything is a trade-off.

    The echoplex is a really deep tool - I've only had mine about 2 months and I've already had to re-set it to factory setting several times cuz I've gone in and started messing around to the point where I had no idea what was going on any more. :meh:

    Definately created by protracter weilding eggheads heads!
     
  12. Andre

    Andre

    Nov 1, 2003
    No, actually you can preset a tempo in the Echoplex, and then have the sequencer start playing based on that tempo, before you record your first Echoplex loop. Or, you can record an Echoplex loop and let it repeat X number of times, before having the sequencer start at your command. They're MIDI-exclusive things, and it's in the manual (I don't use sync very often, so I don't know the procedure off-hand...)

    Hmmmm... I'd say it's roughly 1 part Swiss/German/Brazillian mad scientist hippie, and 1 part cynical Bay Area hip-hop/metalhead:

    http://matthias.grob.org
    http://www.kimflint.com

    Never seen either of them brandishing a protractor, though...

    --Andre LaFosse
    http://www.altruistmusic.com