Lost Garden Looping CD out

My band Lost Garden (myself and ex-Comsat Angel Andy peake on keys) have their debut CD Cotyledon out now, featuring looped guitar throughout – if you want to hear what Ableton’s built-in looper is capable of, check out the audio samples, then buy a copy 😉

Please share wherever you can, we need the PR 😉

My looping rig

Over the last 18 months, I’ve made a gradual transition from rack/pedal to laptop-based rig. Here’s my current set,-up, which gives me almost unlimited flexibility at modest cost.

The “looper” device is basic by EDP standards, but still very functional. Features include;

record / playback / clear / undo / pitch shift up to 3 octaves above & below, in semi-tone intervals / reverse / double length / half length

You can quantise the loop to the current BPM, or have it set the tempo arbitrarily. It can also mute the input so the channel only plays back the loop, not the input signal. More info here.

Looping with Ableton

After a long learning curve I’ve successfully managed to live loop using the “looper” feature of Ableton – I’m using an old midi pedal to send patch changes to midi-ox, which converts them to CC messages so Ableton can respond to them. The features I control via foot include

record / playback / clear / undo / half speed or double speed (both multiple octaves) / reverse / half or double loop length

Of course, this is massively extended using the VST and native audio effects within Ableton, which are virtually unlimited. It’s a very flexible solution and has persuaded me to forsake my EDP rack for a laptop running XP. Touch wood, it’s worked fine so far!

If anyone is interested, I can explain how this is done at greater length. I’m not so savvy with making videos of the screen, so it would be text based.

Live Looping Lesson

Joe Gore’s Live Looping Lesson on Premier Guitar

Joe writes, ‘This one’s a labor of love: Premier Guitar just published my live looping lesson. Included are most of the hard-won looping techniques I’ve acquired over the last few years. I crashed and burned 100 times onstage so you don’t have to! 😉

The percentage of my life spent looking at this exact view is too depressing to contemplate.

The 20 audio clips embedded in the article were trickier than usual to prepare. Ordinarily when I record music mag demos, it’s simply a matter of plugging in a guitar, amp, or pedal and noodling around while trying to make it sound good. But here I had to demonstrate techniques that unfold over time, which is harder than it sounds, at least for me. But I’m reasonably satisfied with how they turned out.

My emphasis throughout is going beyond looping cliches and defying listener expectations. That too is difficult — by definition, loops are predictable! But I’ve been racking my brain for years, trying to come up with ways to bust out of the usual patterns. Most of my ideas appear here. Hope you find them useful!’