Living Outside The Box Born-Again Techo-Geek Renaissance Man


Proof Of Concept: Live Looping

As I wrote about last week, I'm usually inclined to flit from one project to another. The problem with that is that I rarely get to finish anything. I spent more than an hour working on arranging and testing my music gear last night. Was it productive? Well, yeah, I think so. But was it critical? No, not really. Why did I do it, then? How does that fit into my vision of getting things done?

Honestly, I don't know. There's a reason for it, of course, and it's one of those things that I will have to do eventually. Why did I work on it instead of other things? I don't know. It was forefront in my mind, and I had to get those ideas out, so I just ran with it.

Where am I going with this?

Basically, with all the things I write about coping with ADD, you'd think I'd have a better grip on that stuff. And then I get an idea, and I go all Doc Brown and stay up working on some mad scientist thing that may or may not ever actually get used.

So I built a guitar station that can be used to perform solo music with full accompaniment. Will I ever get to use it? I don't know. I'm not a touring musician. I don't even play in clubs locally any more. Can I use it in a church setting? Maybe, but that would require even more work to input all the tracks and drum parts, not to mention hooking everything up.

I desperately want to be able to use this stuff. I want to be able to apply my brain. I think about it all the time. It's what I'm passionate about. But it requires more time than I can reasonably give to it.

We live in a time where a musician can literally do anything with an instrument and a laptop. The possibilities are limitless, and my brain wants to explore every single avenue. But I have to sleep and go to work: I can't spend all day playing with music tools.

Maybe some day I'll have my own Youtube channel (oh, wait... I do...) and I'll be able to just make videos about combining tools together to make crazy musical things. I'll just keep working on it, I guess.

So for now, here's what I worked on last night: putting together a live looping hardware/software setup.

It's pretty complicated. The signal routing goes like this (black arrows are audio, blue arrows are MIDI, Green is USB):


I had to use the laptop to merge the two MIDI controllers to get everything working, and it took some playing with SooperLooper to get it to sync correctly with the MIDI clock. But after playing around with it for an hour or so, I had most of the controls sorted out, and recorded this with my phone:

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

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