Author Topic: Hardware loopers  (Read 9544 times)

LNerell

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Hardware loopers
« on: August 03, 2010, 02:31:43 PM »
I think I am in the market for a new hardware looper. I'm just starting to think about what I am going to do next October and a looping box is pretty high on the list (right next to a new mixer). Anyone have any favorites they are using right now? So far I've been looking at Digitech's Jamman loopers, mainly the Jamman Delay version, and/or the Eventide Timefactor. Last year I borrowed a friend's Boss looper, which was ok, but not perfect. Any advice is appreciated.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell

doombient

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2010, 03:24:49 PM »
I still favour the original Oberheim/Gibson Echoplex Digital Pro, preferably with 198 seconds of loop time, and perhaps Loop IV implemented (although I have no idea whether this upgrade is still available after Kim Flintīs death). A pair of these EDPs serves all my looping needs.

The Electrix Repeater is also fine as it does some tricks the Oberheims canīt perform.

I couldnīt really warm up to the other loopers around. The Boss RC series is mono, the Digitech Jamman is more a phrase sampler, and the Looperlative...? Well, did it actually make it beyond prototype status?

Stephen
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Scott M2

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2010, 04:50:26 PM »
I agree with doombient that a pair (for stereo - they can be tightly synced for master/slave operations) of Echoplex Digital Pros with Loop IV still seems to be the top of the heap for hardware loopers. Multiple Undos and on-the-fly slicing and dicing and multiplying give them great depth. (I still work in the shallow-end with them.) A good foot pedal (like a Behringer FCB 1010) is a strong ally. Not cheap - but probably reasonable used these days as software loopers multiply.

Electrix Repeaters can be harder to find and are reputed to have a very subtle "bump" at the loop-point but you can mix multiple loops with them.

LNerell

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2010, 06:23:50 PM »
I couldnīt really warm up to the other loopers around. The Boss RC series is mono, the Digitech Jamman is more a phrase sampler, and the Looperlative...? Well, did it actually make it beyond prototype status?

Yes, its been out for a few years now, has several updates as well. I was thinking about the Looperlative but I have heard its difficult to use live without a midi footpedal, and its a bit expensive. The Digital Echoplex is hard to fine. The Repeater I have heard is noisy and too expensive if you ask me.  Not sure what you mean by the Jamman being more of a phrase sampler, seems like a looper to me. And if you get the Jamman delay it has an extra regular delay line, similar to the line 6 echo pro.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell

Blackinfinity

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2010, 07:07:49 PM »
Live looping is one of those things that Ableton Live is very good at.
I can understand that you want an Hardware interface since you want to create the music with the human hand in an live situation. With a good midi interface it can work just as good as an traditional Hardware Looper, so in my world it is really not a big need for an HW looper, but I can agree that a HW looper would most likely be a more "simple" solution, but personally I save the money and use software loopers with midi controllers, works good for me.

Ableton Live has an product called "launch pad", personally I think it look too toyish...
But AKAI have a more "professional" version of the "launch pad" for Ableton Live with the same purpose, any other midi interface would work too.

I would stay away from the Eventide Time factor, in sound quality it can't be compared to the Rack models, many people think this is a cheap way to get the "Eventide" sound, but the fact is the Time factor sounds more like an stomp box and the algorithm have been simplified.... even though a very good stomp box....but if you want sound quality you should not waste any money on it.

Blackinfinity

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2010, 07:14:03 PM »
Here it is, there is also an smaller version of this.






Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2010, 09:23:31 PM »
I have been using a Looperlative LP-1 for 3 years now. Its expensive, but its stereo and its actually 8 loopers in one box. It has deep program-ability and customer service is amazing. No way I would ever go back.

Just my 2 cents.
"I liken good ambient to good poetry ... enjoyable, often powerful, and usually unpopular" APK

Blackinfinity

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2010, 09:26:36 PM »
I have been using a Looperlative LP-1 for 3 years now. Its expensive, but its stereo and its actually 8 loopers in one box. It has deep program-ability and customer service is amazing. No way I would ever go back.

Just my 2 cents.

How expensive is it ?
What prices are we talking about..

Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2010, 10:01:31 PM »
$1250.00
"I liken good ambient to good poetry ... enjoyable, often powerful, and usually unpopular" APK

Blackinfinity

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2010, 10:12:39 PM »
$1250.00

wow...

The APC40 cost $299 and that gives you almost endless amount of loops instead of only 8 your cpu is the limiting factor..but with an overclocked i7 (3.5GHZ 1.25v)  you can run over 150 loops/tracks. 
And is more flexible in general...for me the choice is very easy. 

LNerell

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2010, 10:08:23 AM »
Thanks guys  for the input. As for the timefactor sounding bad, that's the first I've heard of this. The common complaint I've heard is the delays are on the short side, but nothing of the sound quality.

As for using a laptop and Live, I can understand the attraction but I will be using logic on my laptop, and buying another laptop just to run Ableton, plus the cost of the software, and that APC40 thing would be the most expensive option of them all, even with near endless looping. And that APC40 from what I saw in the demo it looks like its mostly designed for playing back pre-recorded loops. I'm more interested in doing some live looping on the fly, not going to playback much pre-recorded loops. And probably the biggest reason I won't be going the Live route is I don't want to, or even have time to learn another piece of complicated software. This gig is coming up in a  little over two months.

Scott, thanks for the heads up on that Behringer pedalboard, I'll be checking that out if I end up going the Looperlative or EDP route.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell

Blackinfinity

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2010, 11:49:26 AM »
Thanks guys  for the input. As for the timefactor sounding bad, that's the first I've heard of this. The common complaint I've heard is the delays are on the short side, but nothing of the sound quality.

As for using a laptop and Live, I can understand the attraction but I will be using logic on my laptop, and buying another laptop just to run Ableton, plus the cost of the software, and that APC40 thing would be the most expensive option of them all, even with near endless looping. And that APC40 from what I saw in the demo it looks like its mostly designed for playing back pre-recorded loops. I'm more interested in doing some live looping on the fly, not going to playback much pre-recorded loops. And probably the biggest reason I won't be going the Live route is I don't want to, or even have time to learn another piece of complicated software. This gig is coming up in a  little over two months.

Scott, thanks for the heads up on that Behringer pedalboard, I'll be checking that out if I end up going the Looperlative or EDP route.


When I am saying sounding bad, it is relative...to what you compare too, all I said was do not expect it to sound like the h8000, which has a lot more dsp power. The time factor is a budget version with dumbed down  algorithms similiar to the budget version of the Lexicon Processors. I would never imagine to use an stomp box as an primary delay unit, unless it is for guitar only . But for a full mix I would prefer software solution, soundtoys or echolab or of course if you have the money H8000FW.

Keep in mind though, the APC can be programmed to do what ever you want it is just a midi surface which can be customized, it can for sure record loops on the fly also, remember the the whole midi interface and all plugin surfaces can be controlled through their midi learn functions, so to program the APC to record loops in real time would be no problem.

You are right, it might not be the cheapest solution right now, if you do not own the software or if your computer is not powerful enough.
The learning curve in Ableton is quite fast though...and you will fall in love with the Ableton Session View, it is something I really miss in other DAWs cause it is perfect for live performances.

But yeah, however, if your concert is in 2 months I can understand..you do not have much time to learn new software etc...so probably best if you could find a second hand HW looper maybe you can borrow from some one..for a few weeks.., then after the concert, you can look more into software looping more.. for me the software looping solution is superior, and it might also be a reason why these old school loop boxes gets more and more rare.


Chad Kettering

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2010, 07:23:43 PM »
Loren,

I would look into the Boss RC50. It has 3 stereo looping tracks and they can be saved! Really nice unit. I've considered a lot of the hardware loopers. The Looperlative is the obvious choice but very expensive!


Chad Kettering

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2010, 08:11:45 PM »
Question for Terraform.

I have considered using the Ableton Live route with an APC but I couldn't quite get Ableton to do what I wanted it to do. i like to create loops of ambient spaces that have no time to them. This way i can mix different ambient phrases that loop in and out at will. Seems like Ableton like to work within the framework of a timebase. Is there some way to get around this?


Scott M2

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2010, 10:06:22 AM »
Another element to think about when buying a looper is if it is important to you to allow loops to fade out
while you're adding new parts or not. Some sort of feedback control is required if that is the case.

(Most loopers will just loop endlessly - though with some, the loop level will decrease slightly
when you record on top, to help prevent distortion.)

Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2010, 10:12:00 AM »
Another element to think about when buying a looper is if it is important to you to allow loops to fade out
while you're adding new parts or not. Some sort of feedback control is required if that is the case.

(Most loopers will just loop endlessly - though with some, the loop level will decrease slightly
when you record on top, to help prevent distortion.)

The main reason I chose the looperlative over the Boss and Digitech units as they do not do this as far as I remeber. I wanted a looper that acted like a long delay, not just a playback device.

There will be a single channel mono looperlative pedal coming out this year. Saw the prototype at NAMM.

Paul
"I liken good ambient to good poetry ... enjoyable, often powerful, and usually unpopular" APK

Boris Lelong

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2010, 04:14:14 PM »
Hi Loren and all,

Scott has a good point here : for us ambient musicans who love our sounds to dissolve slowly, stomping the sound in and out can be way too abrupt.

That's why I use the BOSS DD20 pedal : it's not a looper (though it includes one), it's a delay with 23 seconds capacity. That means the "loops" gradually disappear, at a rate the user can control with a knob. Frippertronics style.

http://www.bosscorp.co.jp/products/en/DD-20

It's a very simple product, it does one thing (well, actually more) but does it well, and its simplicity (plug and play) makes it very enjoyable on stage, you can concentrate on playing music...

Here is me improvising live with it and one synth. Play it loud ! (Sound quality not so good though, especially the over-noisegated begining and end)


A friend of mine bought a Digitech Jamman, a regular looper. He had problems every time he would record more than 3 or 4 layers, they would get out of sync. He had it replaced by a new one, same thing.

Hope that helps.

Boris



modulator_esp

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2010, 05:07:05 PM »
I use a repeater and 2 dd-20s for maximum ambient looping :)

SunDummy

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2010, 07:25:42 PM »
Quote
A friend of mine bought a Digitech Jamman, a regular looper. He had problems every time he would record more than 3 or 4 layers, they would get out of sync. He had it replaced by a new one, same thing.

I had the same problem; that thing sucked.  I traded it up for a Yamaha SU200.
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doombient

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Re: Hardware loopers
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2010, 05:33:34 AM »
Quote
A friend of mine bought a Digitech Jamman, a regular looper. He had problems every time he would record more than 3 or 4 layers, they would get out of sync. He had it replaced by a new one, same thing.

I had the same problem; that thing sucked.  I traded it up for a Yamaha SU200.

The Digitech pedal only shares the name with the Lexicon device, but thatīs about it. Itīs good for phrase looping (like building up that one-man-orchestra-jamming-with-himself thing) but for ambient stuff itīs quite as useless as the delay in the Line6 DL-4. It punches in and out way too abruptly.

Iīve kept my trusty old Jamman for smaller live rigs. I wouldnīt sell it... for longer, pre-recorded loops Iīve got two Emu E4XT btw.

Stephen
"Honour thy error as a hidden intention." (Brian Eno)