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Phrase looper sync'd w/midi sequence.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Phrase looper sync'd w/midi sequence.
Rex Coil 7
Phrase looping (accurately timed) ... while also being sync'd with a midi sequence ... has always seemed to be damned near alchemy from my point of view. I tried to work out how to get a midi sequencer in locked-step with a midi equipped phrase looper, but really didn't know how to go about it.

I found this video (posted below) that explains the how-tos of getting that done. It's pretty amazing how on-the-dot perfect it all works out when ya know what in blazes you're doing!

Set up the looper to recognize a midi sequencer "start" signal ... but first the midi sequencer and the phrase looper have to be set up to speak with one another. Once everything is all ~GO!~ it appears that everything really works out just great. I'll shut the hell up and allow the fella in the video demonstrate how to go about it all. It's pretty slick!

The Perfect Loop (so to speak):



This has got me rethinking a number of things about how I will go about using my own gear now. I have a Squarp Pyramid MIDI sequencer, and a pair of Line 6 M13 multi FX units. The M13s have onboard phrase loopers, and the MIDI implementation chart says the phrase looper responds to MIDI ~start/record~ and ~stop~ commands. I'll be testing this method out ... you can bet on it!

I wonder how many other phrase loopers are capable of doing this, and which ones they are? I love it when all of this gear comes together in ways that our imaginations want things to be! Y'know what I mean?

cool
justin3am
I use my Elektron Octatrack for recording looped phrases in sync with sequencers. You can trigger recording events directly from it's internal sequencer and set the amount of time you would like to record. It's pretty slick, since you can playback a buffer to which you are simultaneously recording.

In fact, I was involved in the development of a MIDI foot controller, for which I created a preset, specifically for looping with the Octatrack.

It's also pretty easy to do in a DAW such as Bitwig or Live. When you record to a clip in either of those applications, recording won't start or stop until the next bar (or beat or 16th, depending on the clip resolution you choose). Live even has a built in Looper plug-in.
Scot Solida
justin3am wrote:


In fact, I was involved in the development of a MIDI foot controller, for which I created a preset, specifically for looping with the Octatrack.


This is quite intriguing... do you have any examples of this setup in action? This has me considering buying the Pacer just to use as an Octatrack interface. hmmm.....
Rex Coil 7
justin3am wrote:
I use my Elektron Octatrack for recording looped phrases in sync with sequencers. In fact, you can trigger recording events directly from it's internal sequencer and set the amount of time you would like to record. It's pretty slick, since you can playback a buffer to which you are simultaneously recording.

In fact, I was involved in the development of a MIDI foot controller, for which I created a preset, specifically for looping with the Octatrack.

It's also pretty easy to do in a DAW such as Bitwig or Live. When you record to a clip in either of those applications, recording won't start or stop until the next bar (or beat or 16th, depending on the clip resolution you choose). Live even has a built in Looper plug-in.
Damn, so there's a wake up call.

I have Live 9 on my computer, bought it shortly after it's initial release. Never used it once. As I type this I'm looking at the Bitwig icon on the bottom of my computer screen. Yup, got that too. Never used it once.

Y'see ... the rock that I live beneath isn't visited by too many opportunities which kick me in the ass to learn this stuff.

Sometimes I feel as though I live on Mercury. I'd have said "Mars" but Mars has a few NASA rovers crawlin' around .. so at least something is happening there. I suppose I should actually learn this stuff that everyone else seems to know as well as their own reflections.

I always seem to be focused on building synth hardware to be bothered to actually use any of it to make music with.

Man, I really need to put down the screwdriver and soldering pen and sling my bass back over my shoulder or fire up my 1962 Hammond C3 ... or this modular I've been building for years.

Music ..... make some!

pbear :(
Rex Coil 7
.... the Electro-Harmonix 45000 Stereo Multi track looper sure looks the treat ...
justin3am
Scot Solida wrote:
justin3am wrote:


In fact, I was involved in the development of a MIDI foot controller, for which I created a preset, specifically for looping with the Octatrack.


This is quite intriguing... do you have any examples of this setup in action? This has me considering buying the Pacer just to use as an Octatrack interface. hmmm.....


Hey Scot!

I did a video which I've been meaning to post to youtube but it's nothing special. I have Pacer setup to control a number of different things, each on their own MIDI channel (one preset is layed out to control my MIDI>CV converters, another controls the Octatrack, there are two presets which are dedicated to DAW control) and it makes for very easy navigation of a complex MIDI setup, if you play an instrument which occupies both hands. If you have any specific questions, just send me a PM.
rove74
I've heard the EHX loopers can be a bit limited (eg all loops must be the same length), but that they sync well.
The pigtronix infinity also syncs to midi clock as does the TC Electronics Ditto x4, and both allow for different length loops (2nd one a multiple of the first) and serial or parallel playback (loops play one after the other or concurrently, respectively).

I have had both and kept the ditto due to its simplicity. While the ditto x4 syncs to clock, you still gotta tap the button pretty close to on time--not too much of a problem. It also does not stop on midi stop message--I believe the Pigtronix could do this but it isn't an important feature for me in this context.

Of course the Octatrack is the best phrase looper imho and there are numerous ways to set it up with a foot switch, but it's pricy and there is a learning curve.

Maybe you don't wanna use Ableton Live and thats legit, but Ableton Looper and something like the Logidy UMI 3 foot switch link would be your cheapest entry to looping since you already own Live.
Rex Coil 7
rove74 wrote:
I've heard the EHX loopers can be a bit limited (eg all loops must be the same length), but that they sync well.
The pigtronix infinity also syncs to midi clock as does the TC Electronics Ditto x4, and both allow for different length loops (2nd one a multiple of the first) and serial or parallel playback (loops play one after the other or concurrently, respectively).

I have had both and kept the ditto due to its simplicity. While the ditto x4 syncs to clock, you still gotta tap the button pretty close to on time--not too much of a problem. It also does not stop on midi stop message--I believe the Pigtronix could do this but it isn't an important feature for me in this context.

Of course the Octatrack is the best phrase looper imho and there are numerous ways to set it up with a foot switch, but it's pricy and there is a learning curve.

Maybe you don't wanna use Ableton Live and thats legit, but Ableton Looper and something like the Logidy UMI 3 foot switch link would be your cheapest entry to looping since you already own Live.
Whole lots of excellent information shared there. Since you mentioned it, I believe I recall something about the track length problem in the EHX units now.

It's not that I "don't like Live" ... it's just that ... well ... let's just say it intimidates me. It shouldn't, I used SONAR 6.3 Producer Edition since 2001 ... and I worked it out long before there were tutorial videos on my own. I've been building computers since the 286 era, and I taught myself "batch" language without any previous training ... actually mastered it. I was building database applications in a very deep program known as Superbase 4, and even created a system using a massive program known as "Map Info" back when there used to be a chain of software stores called "Egghead Software". But for some reason, I look at Live and I just sortof ~sigh~ ... goof about a little, and shut it down.

... bla bla bla ...

Anyhow, I'm at this point where it's time to build another computer up again. So I'm going through selecting hardware and designing the beasty for use in my studio. It's simply time to get off my ass and start learning about Live. The computer design is inspired by these "open frame modular" types .. although not wall mounted. I have my reasons.







I'm more of a hardware looper guy though. I see these videos on Tou Yube of people creating the most fun, incredibly creative "live jam" pieces using hardware loopers and it inspires the hell out of me!

I've been up without sleep for about 36 hours by now (I have some sleep issues ... nightmares/PTSD ... it get's the best of me now and then). That said, I'm tired, my brain is oatmeal, and I couldn't make a cogent decision right now if a gun were at my head. So if I've presented confused information, it's due to mental exhaustion. And at this point I am simply babbling.

Maybe I can get some regenerative sleep tonight and then the world will make much better sense.

thumbs up
scozbor
If I'm clocking my looper (RC505) via midi I don't find different loop lengths to be needed. That's just me though.

I have a bunch of hardware going into a mixer. The mixer sends a group out to the looper. This means I can jam away and then just send something out the group to the looper when I find something I like.

It's also useful to be able to punch silence into the loop to create space.

I'm not very proficient with the setup yet but it sure is fun!
ranix
Not bad, thumbs up

Some people might give you shit for not having it in a metal case or a full enclosure, but I've done a lot worse... I've got stories.

if it's too loud with that fan, consider picking up one of those closed-loop radiator coolers with at least 2 big ass fans on it. It'll be a lot quieter because there's more surface area and the fans can spin slower to push more air over the fins. They're kind of a pain in the ass though, I'm installing one right now in a computer I'm building to play a video game that releases tomorrow. I had to buy 3 of them, the first 2 didn't come with a bracket that fit the cpu, even though they said it ought to on the mfg's website and on the box.

You might be able to run the same Cubase I use for looping (2.1, or CAF "cubase audio falcon") in an emulator. It'll have worse latency because Windows gets in the way of your midi ports and it might be hard to figure out at first though.
Rex Coil 7
ranix wrote:
.... if it's too loud with that fan, consider picking up one of those closed-loop radiator coolers with at least 2 big ass fans on it....














I'm thinkin' on building a "Modular Computer" in a wooden case about the size of my Super Mini Modular (roughly 32" wide x 9" tall x 22" deep). I can easily locate it beneath the table that my MIDI Rack Synths are on ... the shelves handle 900 pounds each (nine hundred pounds), and they're six feet long by two feet deep.

So using your imagination, pick a locale under the table where the keyboard on the right side is in this picture (right below the cat walking on the shelf/table .... just to the left of the rack mounted computer and the two rack mounted 1,400 watt bass amplifiers ... there's PLENTY of available space under there ... all that crap under there needs to be put on another shelf set elsewhere in the studio anyhow) .....





Same shelf/table ... computer "cab" would be located under where the keyboard is in this picture ...






I know the studio looks like a grenade detonated in there ... but it looks FAR better lately ...

This "Modular Computer" cabinet would have an easily removed top to perform work/modifications/repairs on everything very easily. Everything would be spaced apart (like some of the computers pictured above). The motherboard would be mounted on standoffs or an "open frame" (avaiable on line for less than $30 bucks ... all steel).

Why do this? So when the latest CPU comes out that requires a new socket ... that requires an all new motherboard due to the new socket required for the new CPU ... and the new motherboard won't fit in one's existing enclosure/chassis requiring the purchase of an all new computer system .... I can simply drill a few new holes to mount the new motherboard that has the new socket that fits the new CPU.

Same goes for storage devices ... when the new storage gadgets come out that won't fit in your existing drive bays requiring the purchase of the latest new chassis ... I'll be able to easily mount any new configured storage hardware by simply mounting it to the wooden base in the wooden cabinet. Much like the "board mounted computer rigs" seen in my post above. The exception being I'll build all of it in a large ~box~ of sorts with an easily removed top/sides to provide super easy access to all of the components (motherboard, fans, rads, drives, PSU, and so on).

I mean .... why not? How is this idea any different than a modular synth ... y'know? It's just parts and a PSU. Some clever engineering to provide efficient air flow for cooling purposes ... which is no different than the racing motorcycles and off road "4x4s" I've built since I was 12.

seriously, i just don't get it
Scot Solida
justin3am wrote:

Hey Scot!

I did a video which I've been meaning to post to youtube but it's nothing special. I have Pacer setup to control a number of different things, each on their own MIDI channel (one preset is layed out to control my MIDI>CV converters, another controls the Octatrack, there are two presets which are dedicated to DAW control) and it makes for very easy navigation of a complex MIDI setup, if you play an instrument which occupies both hands.


Thanks Justin. I'm trying to work out a good solution for exactly that - making the Octatrack do its thing, hands-free. This looks like a perfect solution.
rove74
The Pacer looks great, there are other options for OT footswitching as well, Moog MP-201 (discontinued) and the Soleman off the top of my head.
Personally I prefer my OT pedal to be programmable vs a preconfigured setup as I don't use Pickup machines for looping--Flex machines are much more versatile for that.
Panason
I'd think Bitwig or Live and a MIDI footswitch can run loops around hardware loopers hyper .... otherwise the Digitech Stereo Jam Man also seems like a good option as it records to an SD card and has footswitches.
justin3am
rove74 wrote:
Personally I prefer my OT pedal to be programmable vs a preconfigured setup as I don't use Pickup machines for looping--Flex machines are much more versatile for that.

I'm with you 100%. Pacer isn't a device specific controller, it's completely programmable. Pickup machines are mentioned in the documentation for Pacer's Octatrack preset, but you can just as easily use Flex Machines. Or you can use it for switching patterns (via Program Change messages), or for controlling parameters (via CCs). The Octartrack preset can be edited in the same way as any other user preset.

The Octatrack preset was more an attempt to accommodate a wide variety of use cases, out of the box. Foot controllers are often focused on guitar gear but we wanted to show that Pacer (and really any MIDI controller) can be used for a lot more.
rove74
Panason wrote:
I'd think Bitwig or Live and a MIDI footswitch can run loops around hardware loopers hyper .... otherwise the Digitech Stereo Jam Man also seems like a good option as it records to an SD card and has footswitches.


Agreed regarding Software loopers, but they do come with their own set of complications.
The stereo JamMan has no midi sync (unless I'm missing something), which is a primary requirement of the OP.

justin3am wrote:

I'm with you 100%. Pacer isn't a device specific controller, it's completely programmable. Pickup machines are mentioned in the documentation for Pacer's Octatrack preset, but you can just as easily use Flex Machines. Or you can use it for switching patterns (via Program Change messages), or for controlling parameters (via CCs). The Octartrack preset can be edited in the same way as any other user preset.

The Octatrack preset was more an attempt to accommodate a wide variety of use cases, out of the box. Foot controllers are often focused on guitar gear but we wanted to show that Pacer (and really any MIDI controller) can be used for a lot more.


Thanks, good to know. The pacer looks great, my only complaint is the size--well not really a complaint, more of a preference.
Rex Coil 7
Panason wrote:
I'd think Bitwig or Live and a MIDI footswitch can run loops around hardware loopers hyper .... otherwise the Digitech Stereo Jam Man also seems like a good option as it records to an SD card and has footswitches.
Yea, maybe. Flip of the coin I suppose.
Panason
sorry, haven't looked at the Jam Man in a long time. It has a USB port but no MIDI ports.
Rex Coil 7
I've just located videos regarding sync-up between the Boss RC-505 and the Squarp Pyramid ... and more vids with Boss RC-505 and the Behringer FCB1010 MIDI foot controller.

I have the Pyramid and the FCB1010. Kinda "karma-ish" to have found vids about sync-up of the Boss RC-505 with the Pyramid and the FCB1010 in the very same search return. All I typed in was "RC-505 MIDI sync".

Off to Tou Yube! cool
Technologear?
Hi Rex. I have tthe rc505 and went tthrough a heck of a journey to get it right. This blog cracked the code for me
https://jimatwood.wordpress.com/tag/boss-rc-505-midi-sync/
Set it to Slave not Master, and it will work out fine.
Rex Coil 7
Technologear? wrote:
Hi Rex. I have tthe rc505 and went tthrough a heck of a journey to get it right. This blog cracked the code for me
https://jimatwood.wordpress.com/tag/boss-rc-505-midi-sync/
Set it to Slave not Master, and it will work out fine.
Thank you for going out of your way to share what you went through and providing the source of that help. That was kind of you.

thumbs up
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