Monday, 14 May 2012

Tape Loops

It was 1979 when I first heard a piece of tape looped music - Robert Fripp's God save the Queen album, swiftly followed by the two Fripp and Eno albums.  Since then, I have remained totally captivated by such music.  Current favourites in the same broad genre include Hildur Gudnadottir, Julia Kent, Zoe Keating, Steve Roach, and so on.  The genre becomes more nuanced over time, rather than less.  No doubt this is due to the existence of easy to use electronic equipment and the widening of access to such music via the internet.

Jerome has a keen interest in electronic music making and we were discussing Pro-tools the other day.  I have been reading a manual on using this and there are looping systems included in this programme.  I am very tempted by buying this and having a go myself. 

I also came across a Youtube video in which a guitarist demonstrated a simple electronic looping machine.  I was greatly impressed by this too.  I bet I can find a way to connect Daughter's old MIDIi-keyboard, that remains languishing somewhere in the garage, onto my PC and into Pro Tools.  Then I could work out how to make droning loops of my own!

Addendum - later this afternoon

I had forgotten that my PC already has the Audacity music software programme on it - the one I use to use when digitizing my cassette collection.  It turns out that this programme has looping facilities, is multi channel and can take MIDI input from Daughter's keyboard.  So I am all set - once the MIDI/USB connector has arrived and I have worked out how to get the PC to recognize the keyboard.

In half an hour I "created" my first piece, 1min 6sec of six sampled cello tracks, mostly slowed down, ut with one speeded up, and each looped and so on.  A six track mix.  I sent it to Jerome who is predicting it will be the Christmas No 1.  It probably won't be.

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