Using Loopers For Live Music

Loops and samples are two of the mainstays of modern music production. Particularly over the last decade, loop machines (both hardware and software based) have become a very popular means of creating a layered live performance for solo artists…

Getting In The Loop

Ableton Live 8 introduced a looper module, which can be triggered by MIDI signals – this works very well with a footswitch controller, leaving the performer’s hands free to play guitar, keyboard or whatever other instrument happens to be in the vicinity.

However, long before the advent of Live 8, the looper pedal has been seen on stages around the world… and here’s a video of KT Tunstall performing ‘Black Horse and The Cherry Tree’ with some help from an Akai Headrush.

More Loopy Tunes

If you want to learn more about currently available looping technology, then looper’s delight have a fairly extensive amount of reviews/user comments on a range of pedals/loop stations.

The basic premise is simple across all models; play a musical phrase, the looper records it and loops it back, then you can play something else over the top. As you move into more advanced models, the devices allow you to add more tracks, effects and perform a variety of processing tricks.

If this all sounds a bit geeky, well, it is; but for an example of how technology can be used as an enabler of great live vocal performance, then look no further than this video of Imogen Heap using her hands, voice and an Electrix Repeater…


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