Looping in a band

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hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 970
Does anyone do guitar looping in band context etc? I did a simple guitar part/loop at rehearsal recently and and it just felt it was going out of time. Not the loop but the drums and bass etc. I don't want to put them down or anything because that would be wrong as they are very competent musicians but it did go out of sync. 

What do you guys do in similar situations if you use a looper etc?
Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33342
    edited October 24
    I've done it, but only for less than 30 seconds at a time - actually 28 seconds to be exact (some people will know why ) - and even then it could occasionally feel like the last bar or so was a battle to keep everyone in time. The key is to have plenty of guitar audible on stage/in the room. A longer loop time when you're recording it actually makes it easier, since if you have a timing error on a short loop and then repeat it, it will add up cumulatively. I always used it to record chords for a full verse or chorus and then repeat them to play a solo over the top - never more than one repeat.

    But eventually I found it both a crutch and a risk of something going badly wrong, and after the looper (some of you will have worked out it was a Line 6 DL4 ) misbehaved once at a gig - due to some unexplained glitch, and although it never did that again I never really trusted it - I went back to working out parts I could play without needing it... it's a bit of a two-edged sword if you have parts that can't be played without either the looper or a second guitarist.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • menamestommenamestom Frets: 2333

    Ideally the drummer needs mix of the loop fed in a monitor next to him or in some cans.  Just having your normal guitar on stage sound / volume won't really work, the loop needs to drive everybody or at least the drummer who drives the song. 
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 970

    Ideally the drummer needs mix of the loop fed in a monitor next to him or in some cans.  Just having your normal guitar on stage sound / volume won't really work, the loop needs to drive everybody or at least the drummer who drives the song. 
    How does one go about setting that up? Funnily enough my drummer mentioned he needs to hear it more. 

    How do i get my sound to his ears etc?
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 970
    ICBM said:
    I've done it, but only for less than 30 seconds at a time - actually 28 seconds to be exact (some people will know why ) - and even then it could occasionally feel like the last bar or so was a battle to keep everyone in time. The key is to have plenty of guitar audible on stage/in the room. A longer loop time when you're recording it actually makes it easier, since if you have a timing error on a short loop and then repeat it, it will add up cumulatively. I always used it to record chords for a full verse or chorus and then repeat them to play a solo over the top - never more than one repeat.

    But eventually I found it both a crutch and a risk of something going badly wrong, and after the looper (some of you will have worked out it was a Line 6 DL4 ) misbehaved once at a gig - due to some unexplained glitch, and although it never did that again I never really trusted it - I went back to working out parts I could play without needing it... it's a bit of a two-edged sword if you have parts that can't be played without either the looper or a second guitarist.
    @ICBM you're right though that is what we found about the longer length of the loop was the better 
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • steamabacussteamabacus Frets: 923
    edited October 24
    The only looping I've ever used live is amorphous textural pads that don't require sync'ing with the beat. Drummers can NEVER hear the guitar loud enough .... until you turn it up so loud you're dominating everything. And even the best drummer is going to drift slightly with their bpm.


    The Pigtronix looper has a dedicated loop output so you can feed the drummer just the loop in his own monitor.

    The new TC Ditto has a built-in mic (or plugged in clip on mic, provided, on the snare) and will tempo match in real time so long as the tempo doesn't waver TOO much. I assume it might have problems interpreting syncopated odd time signatures too.


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  • Moe_ZambeekMoe_Zambeek Frets: 2388
    I have considered it but after watching a band with guitar and drums only, who used loops to thicken and add parts, it’s clear that all players need to be really tight with timing. In this case neither the drummer nor the guitar player had particularly good timing so the drummer was constantly adjusting to fit the loop, and the loop wasn’t in time anyway, nor was the guitar players regular playing. Train wreck ensued. Good idea somewhat badly executed.

    I think the best approach would be to sync any loop tempo with a click for the drummer. The drummer needs to own the tempo whatever happens.
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  • not_the_djnot_the_dj Frets: 5640
    edited October 24
    There’s a new version of the TC Ditto looper with a mic that adjusts the loop to match a drifting tempo. Haven’t tried one personally but might be what you need. 

    (just noticed this was mentioned a couple of posts up...as you were). 
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 970
    I have considered it but after watching a band with guitar and drums only, who used loops to thicken and add parts, it’s clear that all players need to be really tight with timing. In this case neither the drummer nor the guitar player had particularly good timing so the drummer was constantly adjusting to fit the loop, and the loop wasn’t in time anyway, nor was the guitar players regular playing. Train wreck ensued. Good idea somewhat badly executed.

    I think the best approach would be to sync any loop tempo with a click for the drummer. The drummer needs to own the tempo whatever happens.
    It's all sounding that's it going to be costly lol
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 970
    There’s a new version of the TC Ditto looper with a mic that adjusts the loop to match a drifting tempo. Haven’t tried one personally but might be what you need. 

    (just noticed this was mentioned a couple of posts up...as you were). 
    Yeah I've been trying to a link to it :)
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 970
    edited October 25
    Just found it. Seems like it could do the trick -1 



    £200 though :( Anyone selling?
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • menamestommenamestom Frets: 2333

    Ideally the drummer needs mix of the loop fed in a monitor next to him or in some cans.  Just having your normal guitar on stage sound / volume won't really work, the loop needs to drive everybody or at least the drummer who drives the song. 
    How does one go about setting that up? Funnily enough my drummer mentioned he needs to hear it more. 

    How do i get my sound to his ears etc?
    Some loopers like the infinity have an aux out.  Failing that mic up your amp and give him a monitor mix.
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  • joetelejoetele Frets: 136
    My band is basically just me and the drummer, plus lots of pedals - so I use loops a heck of a lot. It takes a lot of practice to get everything to sync up, and we've had countless times where one or both of us have 'lost the loop', but we're getting better at it. The Ditto X2 Jam will be a definite purchase in the future if only to help eliminate some of the error. 

    Looping is becoming second nature to me anyway - I can't imagine life without one. We make quite big, open, spacey songs with lots of layers so they're essential. Even on the tighter, more direct songs. 

    I can imagine it's even more difficult with more band members though - more humans to commit human error - so best of luck! 


    Pedals. 
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 970
    joetele said:
    My band is basically just me and the drummer, plus lots of pedals - so I use loops a heck of a lot. It takes a lot of practice to get everything to sync up, and we've had countless times where one or both of us have 'lost the loop', but we're getting better at it. The Ditto X2 Jam will be a definite purchase in the future if only to help eliminate some of the error. 

    Looping is becoming second nature to me anyway - I can't imagine life without one. We make quite big, open, spacey songs with lots of layers so they're essential. Even on the tighter, more direct songs. 

    I can imagine it's even more difficult with more band members though - more humans to commit human error - so best of luck! 


    In essence we're a 3 piece too if you count the actual instruments who'd need to lock into the loop. So that's good to hear :) However practice in how to use a looper is needed I feel in my case ;)
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • trolleytrolley Frets: 35
    Click track is what people I know use
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 970
    trolley said:
    Click track is what people I know use
    It's only for the occasional song in our case so that might be a bit overkill I feel but we'll give it a go before we go to that expense etc. Very simple loops we're talking about 
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • joetelejoetele Frets: 136
    joetele said:
    My band is basically just me and the drummer, plus lots of pedals - so I use loops a heck of a lot. It takes a lot of practice to get everything to sync up, and we've had countless times where one or both of us have 'lost the loop', but we're getting better at it. The Ditto X2 Jam will be a definite purchase in the future if only to help eliminate some of the error. 

    Looping is becoming second nature to me anyway - I can't imagine life without one. We make quite big, open, spacey songs with lots of layers so they're essential. Even on the tighter, more direct songs. 

    I can imagine it's even more difficult with more band members though - more humans to commit human error - so best of luck! 


    In essence we're a 3 piece too if you count the actual instruments who'd need to lock into the loop. So that's good to hear :) However practice in how to use a looper is needed I feel in my case ;)
    Agreed - I still need practice too. We only meet once a month so it's tricky to get that muscle memory trained in between...
    Pedals. 
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 7285
    I saw Gwyn Ashton with his guitar and bass duo using looping live but it was very short loops for very short periods of time and a lot of co-ordination. I have seen other people use loopers live but it's always 'oh Christ it's a looping song' so Gwyn was the only person I've seen who I was aware used a looper and it integrated into what he was doing. 

    I watched some live stuff by The Ruts DC on YouTube and he was using pre recorded loops. But for stuff that was very short, the rythmn guitar and the band continued underneath so even if it was out it wouldn't matter a great deal. 


    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
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  • jed2718jed2718 Frets: 6
    Definitely agree that you are likely to lose the loop in the live situation unless you've got a really good monitoring mix set up.  Bottom line is that if the drummer can hear the loop properly in the mix then that should work well as the rest of the band would normally be following the drummer's lead anyway.  Might be worth encouraging the drummer to try in-ear monitors and if possible give them their own monitor mix so they can make sure they are in control of everything they want to hear during the performance. 

    I use the Ditto x4 mainly for solo use where I am 'in control' ... but it has various different outputs that you could feed directly into the mix so the drummer can hear it clearly. The new Ditto x2 Jam sounds like a great idea if it really is intelligent enough to adjust to natural deviations in the bands tempo but I'm reserving judgement as I suspect it might get confused by all the different noise levels going on in a live gig so I'd love to hear if anyone has successfully used one of these in a full band setting.
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 970
    jed2718 said:
    Definitely agree that you are likely to lose the loop in the live situation unless you've got a really good monitoring mix set up.  Bottom line is that if the drummer can hear the loop properly in the mix then that should work well as the rest of the band would normally be following the drummer's lead anyway.  Might be worth encouraging the drummer to try in-ear monitors and if possible give them their own monitor mix so they can make sure they are in control of everything they want to hear during the performance. 

    I use the Ditto x4 mainly for solo use where I am 'in control' ... but it has various different outputs that you could feed directly into the mix so the drummer can hear it clearly. The new Ditto x2 Jam sounds like a great idea if it really is intelligent enough to adjust to natural deviations in the bands tempo but I'm reserving judgement as I suspect it might get confused by all the different noise levels going on in a live gig so I'd love to hear if anyone has successfully used one of these in a full band setting.
    Knowing my drummer he won't shell out for ear monitors or any kind of monitor. And it ain't gonna be me just for the very occasional looping :(
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33342
    joetele said:

    I can imagine it's even more difficult with more band members though - more humans to commit human error - so best of luck! 
    If you've ever played live with a very carefully-programmed drum machine and experienced the car crash which results when the humans mess up and the drum machine carries merrily on with the song, unaware that the middle 8 is now two bars longer than planned, you will know exactly how bad it can be...

    :)
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • joetelejoetele Frets: 136
    ICBM said:
    joetele said:

    I can imagine it's even more difficult with more band members though - more humans to commit human error - so best of luck! 
    If you've ever played live with a very carefully-programmed drum machine and experienced the car crash which results when the humans mess up and the drum machine carries merrily on with the song, unaware that the middle 8 is now two bars longer than planned, you will know exactly how bad it can be...

    :)
    Oh yes, I've used many a drum machine, but I hesitate to introduce one into the band! 
    Pedals. 
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  • GrunfeldGrunfeld Frets: 2711
    That Ditto X2 Jam is a great idea:  make the loop fit the drummer. 
    Kind of waiting for the Mooer version because £200 is a bit steep really.

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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 970
    Grunfeld said:
    That Ditto X2 Jam is a great idea:  make the loop fit the drummer. 
    Kind of waiting for the Mooer version because £200 is a bit steep really.
    Precisely this. Way too much to what what I'd be prepared to pay for one :(
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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