The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Acoustic Amplification

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 06-20-2020, 07:17 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,069
Default How do YOU use a looper?

I've been playing around with trying to improve the quality of my videos, keeping in mind that I want to do it as cheaply and easily as possible.

It occurred to me to incorporate my looper into the process, so here's the result of doing that. The Youtube video details of the process in the comments section if anyone wants the specifics.

It occurred to me that this video also addresses several questions I've seen here in the "What does xxx sound like?" category.

Guitar: home brew mahogany size 0
Guitar pickup: K&K Pure Mini (no preamp - straight into the Street Cube EX)
Looper: ElectroHarmonix EHX-720 (set for short loop fade on stop)
Vocal mic: CHEAP Behringer XM-8500 (SM-58 clone)
Amp: Roland Street Cube EX
Bass amp: Fender Rumble 100
Recorder for audio: Tascam DR-05
Video: Moto G6 smartphone using free "Open Camera" app
Post processing: Reaper used to sync audio / video. Camera audio turned down so audio from Tascam DR-05 is used.

Feel free to add to this discussion. I'm particularly interested in how others are using their looper. I use mine routinely to do exactly what's shown here.

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-22-2020, 07:20 AM
Methos1979's Avatar
Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Seacoast, NH
Posts: 6,815
Default

I'm one of those guys that loves the idea of a looper but has yet to actually been able to incorporate it into actual use. In fact, you could say that up until now they way I use a looper is as follows: See others creating awesomeness with their looper, buy a looper, try to use the looper, fail, sell the looper!

The closest I've come to actually using a looper was when we were using the Boss VE-8 for our acoustic duo. It had a looper incorporated into it and I would use it to check sound levels by playing a brief passage on the looper and then walking around the venue and adjusting levels based on the loop.

I haven't given up hope though. At the very least I'll likely pickup something eventually (again) just to play around with at home. Who knows? Maybe someday it will click or stick, much like most of my guitar playing.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-22-2020, 08:14 AM
Stratcat77's Avatar
Stratcat77 Stratcat77 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: St. Louis MO area
Posts: 630
Default

I've seen guys like Phil Keaggy use a looper as a true creative tool to do amazing things. I'm in awe of guys who can do that and create amazing sounds like that.

My use of the looper is in my live duo setting and my practice is to simply use it to allow me to add an occasional lead solo during a song where it fits easily. By that I mean that I typically only use it if the chords behind the solo break are easy to capture fairly quickly and without the audience knowing I'm laying down the loop. So the loop for me to solo over is often just a measure or two. If a solo requires a longer more complex chord progression, it's more difficult to pull that off live and without it being obvious, of that makes sense?
__________________

2010 Taylor 814ce
2008 Taylor 816ce
2008 Taylor 616ce
2008 Taylor 426ce LTD (Tasmanian blackwood)

LR Baggs Venue
Ditto X2 Looper
TC Helicon H1 Harmony Pedal
Allen & Heath ZED 10FX
LD Systems Maui 11 G2
JBL EON ONE Compact
iPad with OnSong

My Facebook Music Page
My YouTube Page
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-22-2020, 08:35 AM
pegleghowell pegleghowell is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 482
Default

To prop up the leg of a wonky table I own.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-22-2020, 09:29 AM
raysachs's Avatar
raysachs raysachs is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Philly Area
Posts: 3,875
Default

I use a looper a lot for my electric playing. I used to play with people in my youth. In my retired, home player state, I basically jam with myself using a looper. I'll play around with rhythms, when I find something I like, I'll record a few measures of it into the looper and let it run and then improvise on top of it. When my improvisation starts wanting to move in another direction, I'll kill the loop, and then record a new rhythm and play to THAT for a while. When I'm on it, I can do this for an hour or more. I don't do anything fancier than occasionally overdubbing a counter rhythm or baseline over the basic rhythm and I mostly don't even do that.

When I was playing with people a lot in my youth, I'd be involved in a lot of musical conversations, sometimes just dialogs when I was jamming with one other friend. Now it's more like a dialog that I'm writing both parts of. It's not quite as spontaneous (but close) and obviously not near as interactive, but it's a lot of fun. And, frankly, I know my rhythm player really well and pretty much how he plays, so I rely on him a lot these days! And I have to say that learning to use a looper effectively has made me a better rhythm player than I was.

I had an acoustic with a pickup for a good while, intending to use IT with the looper too, but I tried it a few times and for some reason, found it highly unsatisfying. So I pretty much didn't do it. And now I have one acoustic and it's FULLY acoustic - nothing to plug in if I wanted to.

-Ray
__________________
"It's just honest human stuff that hadn't been near a dang metronome in it's life" - Benmont Tench
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-22-2020, 10:37 AM
RockerDuck RockerDuck is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Canton, Georgia
Posts: 1,309
Default

I've have had several loopers and consider them toys. I play and sing and entertain. Just like a piano man, I'm a guitar man.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-22-2020, 11:12 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 7,546
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratcat77 View Post
I've seen guys like Phil Keaggy use a looper as a true creative tool to do amazing things. I'm in awe of guys who can do that and create amazing sounds like that.

My use of the looper is in my live duo setting and my practice is to simply use it to allow me to add an occasional lead solo during a song where it fits easily. By that I mean that I typically only use it if the chords behind the solo break are easy to capture fairly quickly and without the audience knowing I'm laying down the loop. So the loop for me to solo over is often just a measure or two. If a solo requires a longer more complex chord progression, it's more difficult to pull that off live and without it being obvious, of that makes sense?
Agreed about Phil Keaggy. There was an old youtube video in which he is being interviewed. He talked about looping, saying that he loops short little phrases and then weaves these into his performance. He said that he is often capturing little short snippets and looping them throughout the piece, so that for him, 30 seconds of loop time would be a lot more than he actually needs. He also didn't need to save any loops because he does it on the fly several times during a piece.

However, in recent years, I see that he has a Pigtronix looper. I don't know if he has changed his approach as a result of the greater capacity and all the bells and whistles loopers have these days.

To me, what he did is art that would take a lot of intense practice hours to master, but most looping aside from a master like him is pretty much karaoke - record some long chord progression and noodle over it.

Tony
__________________
“The guitar is a wonderful thing which is understood by few.”
— Franz Schubert
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-24-2020, 09:40 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,069
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RockerDuck View Post
I've have had several loopers and consider them toys. I play and sing and entertain. Just like a piano man, I'm a guitar man.
Why would you continue to buy more of what you consider to be a toy?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-24-2020, 10:31 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 3,961
Default

I don't know that I've ever used a looper pedal with an acoustic guitar myself. But here's my history with electric guitar, and it ends up where I overdub my acoustic with other guitars or instruments often.

Back around the turn of the century I had a used Lexicon JamMan I bought (this is the original model, 19" rack mount) and I'd use it when playing live. The typical thing I'd do is play a riff or texture (I've never been a good electric guitar chord man) and the play a weave live over that. It thickened the instrumental texture and let me play some syncopations that would hard for me to pull off as single guitarist.

Later I'd use the short looping function in a green Line 6 DL4 pedal sometimes, much like I used the JamMan, not to loop an entire song or even a verse or chorus, but to add textures to parts much like a two-guitar band might do.

Laster I had a Fender GDec (small combo home practice amp) with a built in short looper and I'd sometimes use it for recording short progressions to try playing over. Because I'm not a great chord man and wasn't looking to practice the chords, my self-backing tracks were kind of duff, and this was not something I did a lot. Instead I'd use Band In A Box to setup a track with complex chords that BIAB would algorithmically voice and play in rhythm. That worked better for me to practice my melodic playing, which got pretty good a decade or more back and has since fallen off somewhat for lack of focus on it.

My Trio Plus has a looper function. I used it a few times to find that I had a hard time getting the tap dance of the buttons down for the looper section. I instead just use the Trio's algorithmically created bass lines over drum patterns when I have 30-60 minutes to just loosen up my fingers or work approximately on some idea.

Much of my time now is spent composing and recording multiple parts for pieces that are part of my current project of the past four years in a computer based DAW. Very early on I made a lot of use of the very sophisticated yet remarkably easy to use looping functions in Logic Pro to create these pieces. Now, mostly out of a choice I've made, I use the DAW loop functions hardly at all, other than the kind of looping that overdubbing a new instrument track inherently involves. Even when I'm playing a simple, repeating part, I kind of like the little variations.

That said, the looping one can do with a modern DAW is so powerful that it's replaced almost any desire on my part to use a looper pedal. In home use, it has a lot to recommend it to those who simply want to simulate playing with other musicians or to practice one's own playing in various ensemble roles. Yes, there's a tiny bit more setup time (but I have my Trio for those times when setup overhead is a prime consideration, and as always with DAWs, templates are your friends), but the visual interface of a DAW is much much easier for me to grasp than the usual tap dance of the looper pedal buttons for home practice and compositional exploration.

Don't take this as a knock against any of you who use and get value out of your looper pedals. I think that's great. And live David Thorn or Bill Frisell have provided me with many a great concert experience. I'm just presenting another plausible alternative for those of us thinking about a looper for home use.
__________________
-----------------------------------
Creator of The Parlando Project

Guitars: 20th Century Seagull S6-12, S6 Folk, Seagull M6; '00 Guild JF30-12, '01 Martin 00-15, '16 Martin 000-17, '07 Parkwood PW510, Epiphone Biscuit resonator, Merlin Dulcimer, and various electric guitars, basses....
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-24-2020, 07:38 PM
Zandit75 Zandit75 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Penguin, Tasmania, OZ
Posts: 1,151
Default

Quote:
How do YOU use a looper?
.....Badly.....
__________________
1995 Maton EM725C - Solid 'A' Spruce Top, QLD Walnut B&S, AP5 Pickup
2018 Custom Built OM - Silver Quandong Top, Aussie Blackwood B&S, Fishman Matrix Infinity Mic Blend Pickup
2021 Faith Neptune Baritone - Solid Englemann Spruce Top, Solid Indonesian Rosewood B&S, Fishman INK3 Pickup
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-25-2020, 04:43 AM
capefisherman capefisherman is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 928
Default

After seeing too many guys doing singles who endlessly noodle around while using a looper and thinking they were basically a way to turn a 10 song set into a 5 song set, I went ahead and bought one (Electro-Harmonix 720) about six months ago and I confess it is part of my required gear now.

How do I use it? Yes, I confess to succumbing to noodling from time to time but I hope I have the sense to stop that when I run ideas in front of an audience. The best thing about it however is using it as a practice tool. Recording a loop and playing it while I experiment with different chord voicings, developing lead lines and (hopefully!) interesting solos, and just letting a loop run for a while while I listen for things that I may be doing that I need to improve upon make my looper really satisfying to use.

Yes, practice is required to seamlessly blend everything. But I know my overall rhythmic sense had improved using it too.

This is not the first one I've owned. The first one was a single button model and I could never get the hang of the double-tap thing and not screw up rhythmically. My present one with two buttons is MUCH easier to use.

Gene
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-25-2020, 09:00 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,069
Default

A lot of great comments and ideas here so far!

I also have a DAW setup and that works well, but there's a learning curve if you don't already use a DAW and then there's all the peripheral baggage of using a computer that makes looping with it not as satisfying, at least for me.

I also have a multi-track recorder (R24 shown in the photo) that is easy to set A-B loop points, but that's also a bit fiddly to use.

I've been looping" for maybe a year and find it most appealing to me as the same as capefisherman's cited "practice tool" use.

The thing that makes a dedicated looper so appealing to me is that it can be more or less set up to be instantly accessible. I have my EHX-720 set up in my little "playpen" area and I can sit down, flip one switch on a power strip and start recording a loop in 5 seconds time.

As others have related, I find the two button looper to be much simpler to use on the fly then my first dedicated single button looper. My first introduction to looping was the built-in looper in the ultra-affordable Zoom G1on multi-effects pedal. The limit of 30 seconds wasn't enough to use effectively for me, but it DID have two buttons and spoiled me with how easy it was to use a two button looper.

I've been playing for 55 years (30 in performing band situations...) and I don't think I would use a looper for live performance, but some of the mentioned performers as well as others like Ed Sheeran obviously make good use of one.

Since I mostly use my looper for instant access to a "backing band" to test ideas or simply play along with I can truthfully say this is one of the most musically satisfying things I've done in a LONG time. It never fails to put a smile on my face.

Looping takes just a bit of practice, and I did have initial difficulty with the process of how to time the loop so the loop timing was on the beat. Someone posted on this forum that the solution was simply to start and stop your loop on the top of the "1" count, and that solved the problem of timing for me.

My current looping practice area:


Last edited by Rudy4; 06-25-2020 at 09:09 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-26-2020, 09:07 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,069
Default

I did a simple demo video of how to create "backing tracks" using a looper if anyone has an interest:

Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-26-2020, 11:20 AM
Arthur Slowhand Arthur Slowhand is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: The Cotswolds, UK
Posts: 407
Default

I use my looper after the guitar and before the amp, just to practice my timing and phrasing. I don't sing. I used headphones from the amp, so that (although my music room is tucked away from other rooms) if my wife can hear, she doesn't have to endure too many 'takes' before I get things the way I want them. She actually told me the other day that she thinks I sound pretty good - which, after 25 years of marriage, I guess is progress!

I sometimes make a loop and noodle over it, but I find I end up waffling and not really producing anything worthwhile. I have no desire to record and share anything... there's enough great music out there without me spoiling it!!!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-26-2020, 11:25 AM
Nymuso Nymuso is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 1,601
Default

Sound check. Period. I walk to the back of the room and listen.
__________________
Some Acoustic Videos
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Acoustic Amplification

Thread Tools





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=