Getting started

connect your instrument to the loop unit, that to the amp
– press Record
– play a few bars
– press Record again (or Play, depending on the loop unit),
and you immediately hear what you just played.

if the rhythm is not as you imagined, be aware that the first press should be exactly at the first note and the second press exactly when you want to hear the first note again. Feel the rhythm in the foot before you tap the first recording and maybe repeat a few times before you record.

once you can create accurate loops, take your time to listen to yourself. This is a big part of the experience: you can sit back anytime and feel what your listeners feel, and such learn a lot about your music and how music works.

You can use the loop as a base for your song, or for a solo
or you can build unlimited more levels on top:
If its a chord sequence, you may want to add a bass line or a melody,
if its a djembe groove, you may want to place the shaker and then all the other instruments you have.
With the voice you can imitate the whole band and loop it together!
Or more interesting even: forget the band idea and make the complex layered structures themselves the center of your music!

A “wrong” note or layer does not destroy the whole loop: sophisticated loop units can Undo.

Once you get tired of your loop, you can:

  • stop it and start a new one
  • undo back to the initial idea and build differently on it.
  • let it fade while you put new ideas on top.

Follow the spontaneous evolution of your music, chose the elements while the piece grows, go back and forth between being the listener and the player, concentrating one moment on how the loop sounds and the next moment on the sounds it triggers in your head – to add it immediately! No rewinding-ing-ing.

The more sophisticated loop machines also sync up to your sequencer, even adapt their speed. You can switch and mix loops, force them to off time and bring them back on time, change pitch, transform them with inserted effects…

All the creation fun and steadyness that made Electronica big is now available also for non electronic instrumentists. Instead of sampling the sound others made years ago, sample the one you made seconds ago! Sure, everything can be done on a computer, probably more precisely, but fresh is warmer than cool.

To have fun is the most important condition to make music sound good.

Matthias Grob, 2009