Looping Technique: New BOSS, VOX Loopers Will Do One-Shots

So, you’re the fastest one-shot sampler in the West, huh? We’ve got good news for you, then – you can now proceed to spend money on new gear. Photo (CC-BY) William Clifford. What was the most-asked question around new music tech announcements earlier this month, coinciding with the industry’s NAMM trade show? Was it, “What’s the best accessory for my iPad?” Was it, “what was the game changer for music workstations?” Nope – not among CDM readers, anyway. It was, “can I do one-shot samples with the new loopers? A one-shot sample – for those of you thinking of True …


VOX Gets in Looping Game with Dynamic Looper – 90 Seconds, But with Live Features

For one candidate to challenge the reigning BOSS Loop Station line, there’s rival VOX. While they’re both loopers with some things to stomp on, the designs are quite different. The BOSS units can store up to three hours and 99 phrases; the VOX VDL1 stores two loops with a total recorded time of 90 seconds. Nor do you get the utility of the BOSS’ USB storage transfer. And the Vox is mono, whereas the BOSS is stereo. In place of those features, the VDL1 focuses more on live looping and effects: Live effects: Pedal/Wah (Clean/Comp/Crunch/Overdrive/Distortion), Mod (Chorus 1/Chorus 2/Flanger/Phaser/Tremolo), Bass …


Elegant, Simple Soundmakers Handmade by Brian McNamara

Dead-simple, focused on one task, the Wicks Looper reminds us why we liked looping. And I love the handmade gift case he made to go with it – an idea worth duplicating with other gear. All images courtesy Brian McNamara. For all that latest plug-in may perform every kind of synthesis ever, much of electronic sound boils down to a few basic techniques. Perhaps that’s part of the appeal of DIY electronics: it’s a chance to do less. What strikes me about Brian McNamara’s work is how elegant it is: simple boxes interconnect with basic functions. These are digital instruments …


For Singers, Effects and Looping All in One Box

Singers often get left out, at least when compared to the toys heaped on guitarists and keyboardists. But vocalists looking to add effects and loop their vocalizations can now do so in one box, all attachable to a mic stand. TC-Helicon has an intriguing-looking gadget they’ve unveiled for vocalists, just in time for the summer NAMM trade show in Nashville, Tennessee. Called the VoiceLive Touch, it’s an all-in-one processing and looping box. TC are no stranger to vocal effects, with the recent, compact (and akwardly-named) VoiceTone Create XT and the hefty, stompbox-style VoiceLive. What’s different here is that the resulting …


Faderfox, Boutique German DJ + Live Controllers, Get Refresh, USB

Ready for some superior German engineering in your controller hardware? Before the APC or the Launchpad, before the Kontrol X1 from NI, Faderfox was the underground, boutique choice for controllers. “Professionally” made in Germany, the devices really are little tanks. They have incredibly solid-feeling buttons and knobs, and as opposed to the sprawling form factors of the consumer controllers, all that power is packed into a compact case. Whereas many controller layouts are combinations of relatively generic compromises, the Faderfox has also been tightly optimized for use with software like Traktor and Ableton Live. That’s not to say the previous …


Loops for Real Drummers: Musicianship, Technology Don’t Have to Compete

Loops have gotten an unfortunate reputation as being a stand-in for real musicians or real musicianship – perhaps because, too often, they are. That’s why it’s always refreshing to see a discussion of how looping can incorporate musical technique. Like many electronic musicians, I have zero background in drumming; I’m a keyboardist and was trained in Classical Piano. But then, part of the gift of being a composer is getting inside the heads of musicians who play instruments you can’t. And when it comes to understanding rhythm, there’s a limitless supply of work to explore from around the world. Ryan …


Touch the Wave: Free Looping and Scratching Audio on iPhone, Elsewhere

Looping and scratching audio is so familiar at this point that it may be hard to know what more can be done with the concept. But I like the looks of Touch the Wave, a new iPod touch / iPhone app. It gets back to basics with some fairly simple audio looping and repitching. The twist: it uses multiple, color-coded loop points, and has the ability (if I’m looking at this right) to download audio from URLs. The app is the work of Yuki Yasoshima, and it’s free. Touch the Wave on iTunes App Store (in Japanese, but available outside …


Korg Kaossilator 4-Bar Loop Hack

Intrigued by the Kaossilator, but annoyed by hearing two bars over and over and over and over…? Our friend David Battino has the solution, and while it’s a simple trick, it wound up being the deal-maker for buying Korg’s cute little “dynamic phrase synth”: What loosened my credit card was a secret hack Korg revealed during fact-check: If you power up the Kaossilator while holding down the Tap and Loop Rec buttons, the loop memory doubles from two bars to four. That may not sound like much, but it gives you time to set up tension and release; I find …