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-   -   Looping using condenser mic/mics only ? (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=561770)

Silly Moustache 10-25-2019 07:35 AM

Looping using condenser mic/mics only ?
 
Hi. Yesterday,
I stumbled on this Y/T video:



I'd really like to make a video, playing a rhythm, a bass (OK that'd be plugged in, and a dobro and mandolin (and maybe vocals)

I should admit that I'm a technophobe! I see he mentions an RC50 but this machine is discontinued, and I really don't want to get some complicated gizmo that confuses me (I've done that bonfire).

Can anyone advise?

Wengr 10-25-2019 08:06 AM

SM if all you want to do is stack parts and play along with yourself, I would think any simple looper would suffice. I use a Digitech Express XT. Works well and sounds good- one footswitch and a volume knob, that's it.

I would deal with the mic pre separately. Outboard pre or small mixer (the little Mackies sound decent to my ear), and an outboard phantom power box if needed.

Rudy4 10-25-2019 08:25 AM

Hi Silly,
I often spend an hour or two doing that in my "get away in the evening" basement practice area. I use a simple looper and usually start with a verse / chorus arrangement with guitar, switch to bass, and then overlay a main guitar part, often capoed.

I use this for developing instrumental tunes, working out lyrics for new songs, or just plain fun time.

Most loopers are stereo, so I utilize that by running the guitar through the left side and running the bass through the right side. It's very nice to have them routed to the separate amps. I'm using an Electroharmonix 720 here, and it's a very nice inexpensive looper with basic features that the technophobe can easily master. I would highly advise AGAINST getting a single button looper. I've been there, done that. You NEED a looper with a dedicated stop button!

Your main difficulty is going to be using a mic. You can find basic loopers with a mic input, but if you're monitoring with a amp then the bleed from your previous recording is going to couple back into what you're trying to record to. That's going to complicate things for you. You could simply use headphones, but that's often not enjoyable.

Using a guitar with a pickup will make things a LOT easier. My main "lopping guitar" in the right side of the photo, is awesome for this purpose and is very acoustic-sounding.

Another great thing about having a simple looper setup is that it's like having your best guitar-playing buddies sitting around and waiting to play rhythm guitar and bass for you anytime you happen to be in the mood. Who wouldn't like that?

Hope that makes the process a bit more understandable.

https://i.imgur.com/pbIBfCN.jpg

KevWind 10-25-2019 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silly Moustache (Post 6194958)
Hi. Yesterday,
I stumbled on this Y/T video:



I'd really like to make a video, playing a rhythm, a bass (OK that'd be plugged in, and a dobro and mandolin (and maybe vocals)

I should admit that I'm a technophobe! I see he mentions an RC50 but this machine is discontinued, and I really don't want to get some complicated gizmo that confuses me (I've done that bonfire).

Can anyone advise?

Yes you can do what you are proposing and yes you can get a very simple looper pedal with loop and overdub capability.
But in order to use mic/s as has been mentioned, the looper pedals (I am aware of) all use a line level input (not mic level) so you will need some type of mixer or unit that will take in mic level and output line level. Additionally said unit, will have to have the phantom power option to use condenser mic/s

Rudy4 10-25-2019 11:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevWind (Post 6195025)
Yes you can do what you are proposing and yes you can get a very simple looper pedal with loop and overdub capability.
But in order to use mic/s as has been mentioned, the looper pedals (I am aware of) all use a line level input (not mic level) so you will need some type of mixer or unit that will take in mic level and output line level. Additionally said unit, will have to have the phantom power option to use condenser mic/s

The relatively low end Boss RC-30 has a level-adjustable XLR microphone input and has phantom power for a condenser mic.

Silly Moustache 10-25-2019 01:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rudy4 (Post 6195173)
The relatively low end Boss RC-30 has a level-adjustable XLR microphone input and has phantom power for a condenser mic.

Hi, thanks for this. Apart from bass guitar, vocals, AND guitar, mandolin, and dobro would all need to be added via the mic (I don't electrify my instruments).

Also, if I used this, how would I hear the earlier "loops" so I can play over them?

Would I have to connect it to a p.a. or something?
I really wanted the final sound to be as genuinely acoustic as possible.

KevWind 10-25-2019 01:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rudy4 (Post 6195173)
The relatively low end Boss RC-30 has a level-adjustable XLR microphone input and has phantom power for a condenser mic.

Oh that is good to know :up:
But Silly mentioned he was looking for something simpler than the RC 50 shown in the video. So I was speaking about the normal single pedal size looper options Like the RC 3 I have or the EH720 Rudy mentioned

KevWind 10-25-2019 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silly Moustache (Post 6195255)
Hi, thanks for this. Apart from bass guitar, vocals, AND guitar, mandolin, and dobro would all need to be added via the mic (I don't electrify my instruments).

Also, if I used this, how would I hear the earlier "loops" so I can play over them?

Would I have to connect it to a p.a. or something?
I really wanted the final sound to be as genuinely acoustic as possible.

Yes PA or headphones

Silly Moustache 10-25-2019 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rudy4 (Post 6194983)
Hi Silly,
I often spend an hour or two doing that in my "get away in the evening" basement practice area. I use a simple looper and usually start with a verse / chorus arrangement with guitar, switch to bass, and then overlay a main guitar part, often capoed.

I use this for developing instrumental tunes, working out lyrics for new songs, or just plain fun time.

Most loopers are stereo, so I utilize that by running the guitar through the left side and running the bass through the right side. It's very nice to have them routed to the separate amps. I'm using an Electroharmonix 720 here, and it's a very nice inexpensive looper with basic features that the technophobe can easily master. I would highly advise AGAINST getting a single button looper. I've been there, done that. You NEED a looper with a dedicated stop button!

Your main difficulty is going to be using a mic. You can find basic loopers with a mic input, but if you're monitoring with a amp then the bleed from your previous recording is going to couple back into what you're trying to record to. That's going to complicate things for you. You could simply use headphones, but that's often not enjoyable.

Using a guitar with a pickup will make things a LOT easier. My main "lopping guitar" in the right side of the photo, is awesome for this purpose and is very acoustic-sounding.

Another great thing about having a simple looper setup is that it's like having your best guitar-playing buddies sitting around and waiting to play rhythm guitar and bass for you anytime you happen to be in the mood. Who wouldn't like that?

Hope that makes the process a bit more understandable.

https://i.imgur.com/pbIBfCN.jpg

Hi, thanks for this, but I see you have electric instruments and, apart from the bass guitar, everything would be acoustic.

Thoughts?

Rudy4 10-25-2019 03:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silly Moustache (Post 6195282)
Hi, thanks for this, but I see you have electric instruments and, apart from the bass guitar, everything would be acoustic.

Thoughts?

I mostly play acoustic instruments, but I have a few electrics like the bass that I do gigs with occasionally. I mostly play acoustic guitars of various flavors, banjo, and mando family instruments. My octave mandolin is in the stand with the guitar in the photo.

If you re-read my post you'll see the caveats for microphone use. It can be done, but it's not as easy as using an instrument that will plug in.

If you're going to go almost exclusively microphone input then you need a small stereo amp and a GOOD set of headphones, particularly if you want the results to sound acoustic. Most loopers won't drive headphones directly so you need to feed a small stereo headphone amp or combo like the Roland Street Cube shown in the photo to power the headphones.

If you're going to use a bass then the headphones would work, but the Street Cube will not reproduce the lower frequencies. I have the Fender Rumble 100 for doing gigs, so it's no big deal for me to use it with the looper.

You have to evaluate what you REALLY are trying to accomplish and work toward setting yourself up for that. If you're looking to do entire songs as high quality recordings you would need to do things differently than if you are doing your own back-up band thing.

philjs 10-25-2019 07:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silly Moustache (Post 6195282)
Hi, thanks for this, but I see you have electric instruments and, apart from the bass guitar, everything would be acoustic. Thoughts?

TC Helicon makes a version of the Ditto looper for mics...XLR in and out, phantom power and dedicated stop switch.

Phil

Rudy4 10-25-2019 08:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by philjs (Post 6195578)
TC Helicon makes a version of the Ditto looper for mics...XLR in and out, phantom power and dedicated stop switch.

Phil

Looks like it would work for Silly's application. It's cheap enough, but looking at T.C.'s website answered a couple of questions I had, and didn't answer a few.

It appears to only save whatever loop is being used, so no storage slots for multiple loops.

There's no listing for memory length; it would be nice to know. Five minutes is probably OK for a single song if it only does single memory storage.

Fixed 32 volt phantom power. Most mics will work on that, some are picky and require a full 48 volts, industry standard for phantom voltage.

It appears to be targeted at entry level looping where the user will only use a microphone; again, ideal for Silly's use.

When I was doing a bunch of research prior to buying my first looper there were many complaints about switch failure on the Ditto loopers. Hopefully they've gotten better.

Silly Moustache 10-26-2019 03:33 AM

Thank you guys for all your input.
Sounds as if I would need far more kit (and knowledge) than I could assemble I've done something similar with a Yamaha DAW once -and I'm sorry I sold it now as they don't seem to be sold any more.

I guess I wanted to use these looper things for a purpose that they aren't really designed for.

I'd just love to be able to record an acoustic guitar rhythm and a bass track so that I can make a video of me playing my Dobro, mandolin, and maybe my banjo.

I just can't find a guitarist that plays my way in my area.

Oh well.

philjs 10-26-2019 05:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silly Moustache (Post 6195727)
I guess I wanted to use these looper things for a purpose that they aren't really designed for.

I'd just love to be able to record an acoustic guitar rhythm and a bass track so that I can make a video of me playing my Dobro, mandolin, and maybe my banjo.

There is another option: use a mic preamp with an effects loop to feed an outboard looper that would do everything you need. I think a few have been mentioned.

Check out Radial's Voco-Loco or Eventides MixingLink...

Phil

Rudy4 10-26-2019 08:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silly Moustache (Post 6195727)
Thank you guys for all your input.
Sounds as if I would need far more kit (and knowledge) than I could assemble I've done something similar with a Yamaha DAW once -and I'm sorry I sold it now as they don't seem to be sold any more.

I guess I wanted to use these looper things for a purpose that they aren't really designed for.

I'd just love to be able to record an acoustic guitar rhythm and a bass track so that I can make a video of me playing my Dobro, mandolin, and maybe my banjo.

I just can't find a guitarist that plays my way in my area.

Oh well.

Given what you are trying to do, perhaps something like a Zoom R8 and a good set of headphones might be what you're looking for.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

FrankHudson 10-26-2019 10:05 AM

I just lost a lengthy and careful response due to some wacky certificate error here. So what I'll write now is short and will eliminate a lot of detail.

As you've said looper pedals, which have a number of uses, are really not designed for what you want to do. They can do it, just not what they are aimed at.

Some standalone digital recorders can do this, and this is more at what they are designed to do. Most have little or no setup or configuration steps which is attractive to some.

I have a vague memory that you are not at all interested in using an interface and DAW software. In my mind and experience that solution is better (I'll leave out the detail I written on that...) and once setup and configured and one understands a small portion of the software is necessary to achieve important goals, as easy or easier to use.

Yes, headphones to monitor for any of the above solutions.

Silly Moustache 11-01-2019 07:51 AM

Hi Frank, thank you for trying to assist me - and I suffered that certificate error and also lost a long answer here to try to help someone else.

If you, or anyone else has the patience to persist wih this, i'll explain what I'd like to do.

This is primarily for making my amateurish videos on YouTube.

I sing, and play acoustic guitar, but I also play mandolin , dobro and bass guitar.

Simplistically, I would like to lay down a guitar backing track - in order to play it back and video myself playing dobro/mando over it.

Foolishly I though that the guy in the video that I showed was getting the sound out of his looper and now realise that he is playing the backing tracks through an amp/p.a.

All this would need to be done in my small conservatory (about 12 x 8). I do have a bose l-1 but even that would use up a ot of room.

apart from the bass (optional) I would want to use my condenser mic(s) so I would need a phantom power source (my mixer) as well as a recording system. Already this is starting to get very crowded.

I used to have a Yamaha AW1600 on which I recorded one album doing exactly what I'm planning now, but it was very labour intensive and the album only happened as I was housebound for three weeks recovering from a foot operation.
I have just realised that I still have my Alesis monitor speakers.

I only have my desktop in my office upstairs or an old Mac that for various reasons I cannot get to upload any apps - so software DAW is not possible.

The idea is to play pre-recorded backing tracks whilst playing mando/dobro on video. Again, I have no skills to edit videos so it's a matter of switching on the video, taking my seat, switching on whatever tech, then paying. etc.

Pretty primitive I guess.

Rudy4 11-01-2019 08:40 AM

Silly, Are your Alesis monitors powered or passive? My suggestion in your case would depend on knowing that.

FrankHudson 11-01-2019 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silly Moustache (Post 6200788)

I only have my desktop in my office upstairs or an old Mac that for various reasons I cannot get to upload any apps - so software DAW is not possible.


How old is that Mac? If you do "About this Mac" from the Apple menu what does it say for version of MacOS/OSX and so forth.

Remote tech support is tough and consumes considerable time for the helper, but it sounds like that Macintosh computer may be otherwise useless to you, so it may well be the best thing to do would be to reinstall a version of MacOS on it.

A fresh install of the operating system is often a tonic for old hardware that has been though a lot of software installs and updates. I just got done redoing an 8 year old Mac for my main live recording space. I'd say the way Apple asks you do this is not as easy as it should be, but it's mostly a matter of selecting the right choices and waiting for the process to work over whatever speed Internet connection you have.

Recording qua recording and over-dubing is not very demanding of a computer either in CPU power or memory and as long as the hard disk is fast enough to not error on the number of tracks being recorded one can work with quite old and modest computer hardware. Three or four tracks is not demanding.

Stuff where one wants/needs to use computer power to act as what would have been outboard hardware (amps, compressors, reverb units, "virtual instruments," etc) is why folks get more up to date computers for DAWs.

"Latency" is also more an issue with non-acoustic instrument recording where you need to hear the effected signal or software approximation of an amp or instrument not just the straight sound that your mic is capturing.

Alas I'm probably even less video recording knowledgeable than you are. I've only done exactly what you're asking to do with video twice. Once I "mimed" to the fully mixed track which was just added in the video editing software in place of live sound, which is "authentic" is a cheesy Sixties TV way. The other time I played the backing instruments over my PA and played and sang "live" with a stereo mic on the recorder picking up the live in the room sound of that. That didn't/doesn't sound ideal to me, but it should be no worse than many live gig videos you see on YouTube.

Someone here should know more about how to do this better. I would assume mixing the prerecorded tracks jacked in with the live singing/playing using an external mixer into the video recorder would be better.

gfirob 11-01-2019 11:56 AM

I think your life would be a lot easier trying this kind of thing if you broke down and put K&K's in your guitar and got a Tonedexter. That would give you an electronic signal which sounds exactly like an acoustic guitar through a mike. Check out Doug Young's demo on Youtube if you are not familiar with this device.

Silly Moustache 11-02-2019 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rudy4 (Post 6200816)
Silly, Are your Alesis monitors powered or passive? My suggestion in your case would depend on knowing that.

Hi Rudy, thanks for your interest in helping this old fool- they are powered/ active : Alesis M1 Active 520s

Thanks in advance.


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