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question on looping

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by nate 0 jt, Jan 8, 2002.


  1. I have been using my repeater now for quite some time and I pretty much have the hang of it. my tap in and out time is pretty good, sometimes I mess up though, oh well, its progress. What I was wondering though, I am kind of at a creative stand still, do you have any tips for creating loops. Are there special techniques. I always find that when I play a bassline then put chords over top it sounds muddy. I want to learn how to make real tight grooves and also do the slow ambiences, you know. Let me know what you think and if you can help out at all. Thanks a lot. Nate M
     
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Hi Nate,

    I was talking about this very thing in a clinic in Thousand Oaks last night! The big problem with looping is getting separation between the parts - all the usual stuff that comes with bass playing about getting a 'full sound' goes right out the window, and you have to start thinking about giving each part it's own sonic space - for the chordal stuff, you often end up having to use a sound that is quite thin - that would sound rough on it's own, but when placed over the top of a bass line, leaves loads of room for everything else.

    As an exaggerated version of what's going on, try recording a bass groove with no treble, even palm muted to get no high end at all. The play a chordal part over the top with no bass and all treble - it'll probably sound a bit too extreme, but will hopefully give you an angle of getting separation - try and thing of the frequency spectrum that each sound is taking up - and that includes listening for overtones, reverb, percussive sounds etc. in what you're doing and realising that they all have an impact on the mix.

    Keep the inital parts very simple - for loop stuff you don't have to have each individual part stand up on it's own - in the same way that listening to a really basic country drum groove on its own gets really dull after about 30 seconds, but sounds great in a song, your bass parts for looping need to leave room for the rest of the journey - you run to fast and the beginning and you're burnt out before you get half way there...

    have fun

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I just had a thought - is it possible to set up loops in odd time signatures - say 5/4, 7/4 or 3/16? And how would you go about this?

    I was thinking of a really great "riff" in Messiaen's Turangalila Synphonie on the 5th movement "Joy of the Blood of the Stars" which is in 3/16 - if you sampled and looped this, would it still be in 3/16?
     
  4. with the looping device I have, the Electrix Repeater, I can change the time signiture of the metronome. As far as I know if I play riff, no matter what the time signiture, provided I time it right, It will play it back exactly as I recorded it. As for other loopers I dont know, the Boss RC-10's metronome can be changed into any key sig. Thats about all I know in that catagory, Mr. Lawson will probably have more info on this.

    Nate M
     
  5. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Bruce,

    you can loop anything in any time signature - looping just repeats a phrase, just like playing it over and over again. Most loop boxes have no clock as such, you just hit start on the first beat and end where you want it to loop.

    The Repeater and the Boss RC-20 both have MIDI clock functions, but they aren't things that I've experimented with, or have a yearning for...

    cheers

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    There is some question or problem with this, that is nagging at the back of my mind, which may have to do with sync'ing as you mention; but I'll have to go away and think about this for a while.

    Maybe what I mean is - is it very difficult to get loops accurate, in odd time signatures? Or at least more difficult than say, something with a definite groove in 4/4?

    I suppose it doesn't matter if you have (as in : "one has"!) something that ends up being 3½/16 , if you know what it is you sampled - but it might throw other musicians off a bit? ;)