I think it’s safe to say I do NOT want one of these for Christmas! It will probably go the way of the Ibanez tube screamer in 20 years and become an e-bay best seller 😉
I’ve had an EDP looper for years and love the quantise replace effect (see a video I made). Now I’m ableton-based, I wanted the same effect. There is a VST version of the EDP, called Echoloop, which is capable of doing the same, but I wanted to apply it to the built in looper, which is the basis of all my live looping. There are lots of “beat slicer” VSTs available, but they seem to be designed to work on an existing sample and would be working in opposition to the built-in looper.
One possibility is to create a custom VST plugin to do what I want, but with no experience in the subject, that’s a long-term, labour-intensive solution, although please get in touch if the idea appeals and you have some programming skills!
So, I’ve been messin with ableton. Firstly, I tried to use midi clips to set the record/feedback controls to allow signal in and replace on specific notes. However, ableton doesn’t allow you to set specific midi notes to control parameters unless you can feed the midi note via a control surface. I’ve tried various loopback devices with little joy, several simply don’t work on 8.1, although loopmidi seems the best. But it’s all faff and I wanted a cleaner solution.
The theory was, set the looper on overdub, then gate the input signal to it to feed short sections to it. The trick was to use a dummy clip to control things. However, I quickly realised that looper has no “replace” feature, so the new snippets simply layered onto each other and I couldn’t feed in “silence”. So, I used a dummy clip on an input track, controlling the input volume, ideally quantised so it was a neat subsection of the loop length.
Using a random sample to provide audio in, I tested this by running the dummy clip, damn me, it worked. At least, the audio is being fed through to the next (looper) track, although the quantisation wasn’t what I expected (am investigating quant options).
The next issue was to persuade the looper to replace rather than overdub, so I set a similar dummy clip to control the feedback, reducing it to zero for the selected time. Surprisingly, this also worked.
To make it all work, I had to arrange both dummy clips on the same scene and trigger them with the scene master play button. Again, this seems to work! However, there are two issues. Firstly, the quantisation doesn’t seem to be syncing, but this is probably my complete lack of comprehension of the concept 😉 Secondly, it would be great to combine the two clips into one, but as it stands, this would mean a dummy clip controlling a parameter on a separate track. I’m not sure it can do this. We shall see!
Finally here’s a dump of the track setup. I’d welcome anyone’s thoughts on this topic, I can’t be the only one obsessed with QR 😉
Our track “Finifugal” (an unreleased piece from the Cotyledon sessions) has been released by the truly wonderful Awakenings group on the Awakenings 2014 Volume 1.5 CD. You can buy this here, chock full of quality music for a piffling £7.95 (free postage worldwide).
Awakenings are a group of electronic music enthusiasts who do their level best to encourage and promote live ambient music. They have given me many opportunities to play that are really appreciated. Check out their work and please support them…
An edited version of an unreleased track from the Cotyledon sessions. The full version will be on the first Lost garden DVD.
A nice grainy shot from the cathedral by Mark Mettam
My brother Simon has taken some PR shots for us, here’s a sample, shot in Rod’s Wonder Emporium…
Shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Raphael “Raf” Ravenscroft at the daft age of 60. Famous for his work on “Baker Street” (and forever irritated by what he considered and out of tune sax!), he never really achieved much success in his own right. As a session musician however, he played on zillions of records, including Pink Floyd, Abba, Marvin Gaye, America, Daft Punk, Kim Carnes, Mike Oldfield, Chris Rea, Robert Plant, Brand X, Hazel O’Connor and Bonnie Tyler.
A perhaps less well-known credit for him was on Typhoon Saturday’s third (and final) single “I have Love“, on Polydor in the mid 80s. Our producer (the twat) decided the song didn’t need a guitar break, but a sax solo.
Obviously, the name he dropped from his book of contacts impressed us and we had visions of it propelling sales up to Rafferty proportions, so the call was made. He called by, cases under his arm, and proved not only to be an excellent musician, but a friendly and affable guy as well.
I mentioned that I played flute and he had a listen, offering a few tips. He fired off the solo on (I think) the second take, then added breaks to the fade out choruses, with 2 part harmonies. All played with the minimum of fuss and the maximum excitement. Less than an hour later, he was off to another job. Here is the latter half of the record
I did once get an email from him, thanking me for kind words I wrote about him on an early music website, but I didn’t keep it. I was surprised to read he was only 3 years older than me – his musicianship gave him a maturity we could only dream of.
We have a gig at the Church of Sound (aka Lee Rosy’s tea) 17 Broad Street, Hockley, NG1 3AJ Nottingham on Thursday October 23rd. Should be an intimate venue!