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Looping with drum tracks

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Axegrinder77, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    So, I've been watching demo videos of the new boss RC looper line, with drum tracks that sync.

    Got me thinking. I already have a ditto x2. Then I found there are a ton of apps that have nice sounding drum loops.

    This is (currently) for home use (duh) and I run a mixer anyways. So I threw my looper in the aux out on the mixer, and added some cool beats from my phone as well.

    A bit tricky, but I realized that it's best for me to loop the beat within the looper first, as then it's more or less synced to anything I add on top.

    Anyone do this? Figured I'd save the $400, but there's also something to the ease of having an all in one solution.

    Just not sure if I'll be setting myself up for frustration trying to get the loop and drum synced up. Workflow needs to be easy, as I wanna get into playing within 30 seconds or so.
     
  2. Mojohand40

    Mojohand40 Tele-Afflicted

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    lonnnnggg response:

    I've tried this is well. I have a phone app called "Caustic" I use a lot for roughing out some backing tracks here and there. (Really nice app if you are used to older hardware drum machines and synths, mimics the controls of a lot of classic hardware stuff)
    I found you could get a good loop with the ditto if you time it right, but takes a few tries for sure.
    I have some loopers, BTW, that have drum loops in them, but I just really like the Ditto, so it's always on my board.

    The best solution I found (and the most fun) is to use a old Yamaha drum machine I had laying around. What I do is lay down simple drum beat, maybe just bass drum or bass drum and snare, using the ditto and "manually" playing the drum pad/buttons on the drum machine with my fingers. Then after the ditto is looping that, I add in the hi-hats, etc. to build up the loop. (Interestingly enough, the drum machine I'm using is the Yamaha RY10 which has a guitar input, so I can just plug into the drum machine, then drum machine into the ditto, then to the amp. Meaning I don't have to unplug the drum machine and plug in the guitar or use a mixer)

    Getting some really nice little drum loops this way that are super quick to create and play over.

    I have a few midi controllers that have drum pads on them and keep thinking I should use them for this and try some other drum samples but haven't got around to it. Velocity sensitive pads would be great.

    Anyway; you may want to try getting hold of a cheap used drum machine with little pads (velocity sensitive would be awesome, but not necessary...) and tap your beats into the Ditto with this. Once you get used to it, you can really make great "realistic sounding" drum loops, exactly like you want really quick.
    Sounds like a hassle, but works pretty good.
     
  3. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    l create drum loops using my MIDI controller and software. I load the created track into a DAW and I usually add in a intro to lead into the loop.

    Here's an example drum loop I created.

     
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  4. Mojohand40

    Mojohand40 Tele-Afflicted

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    Sounds good. I do that as well, but the idea here is creating loops and putting them into your guitar looper. Now of your guitar looper can Midi Sync, then it's a whole other thing and works great.
    The method I am using of tapping in the beats in real time into the looper and then paying guitar over it is good for on the fly/live playing and just using the ditto looper as a "scratch pad" or practice aid.
    The other cool thing about using this method, is you can add in more percussion "tracks" on top of your guitar/bass loops on the fly while you are playing. Because you are tapping them in using the drum pads, there is no sync issue (unless you tap out of time, in which case the ditto has an undo function).
    Now if I get a loop using this method that I really like, I may recreate it in my DAW and polish it up a bit, but for on the fly/live guitar looping, a little drum machine or drum pads loaded with drum samples is a really good match for a simple looper pedal.
     
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  5. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Afflicted

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    I think you have a good method, simple and immediate.
    If you have the timing etc to tap it in live then that's far easier than sequencing, and it keeps your head in the 'guitar playing' place rather than Macworld (or PC world).
     
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  6. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Interesting. I just ordered the rc500.. I figured it's worth it in the long run. I don't want to spend time messing with drum loops, I hardly have enough time for my guitars.

    I like the 2 track idea, and the sound quality is apparently a big step up from my ditto x2.

    Can't wait for it to arrive!
     
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  7. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've been going to try it that way, just plug the drum machine into the looper and see. I wondered if it would pick it up properly. I guess you are saying it does.

    I have a vocal harmonizer. Me and my sax player got this wild idea of using it with the saxophone. I also wanted to try it with my guitar as there are limited harmonizers out there really. To my surprise, the harmonizer will not work with the Sax or Guitar! Go figure... You'd think it would track those input better than voice.
     
  8. Mojohand40

    Mojohand40 Tele-Afflicted

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    Nice...the RC 500 looks good. I keep thinking of getting that just for the MIDI start and stop that will sync with the guitar loops.
    I have a lot of midi stuff (Love my Korg Volcas) and drum machines and syncing them to a looper would be fun.
     
  9. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Afflicted

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    It should do. What model is it ? Any pitch-detecting device requires a clear, stable signal for best results, sometimes a compressor wil help smoothing out the peaks in the signal.
    Voice produces fewer harmonics than guitar or sax, so usually tracks better. A hi-cut filter may help on the input to the harmoniser.

    I use a harmoniser on my guitar with good results, it should be do-able.
    I found it was more down to level setting than anything.

    Good luck, keep trying o_O
     
  10. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Thanks, I'll have to give it another attempt sometime and see if I can work out the bugs. It's a Digitech Vocalist Live 3
     
  11. GuitLoop

    GuitLoop Tele-Meister

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    Band in a box is the best tool I have found for generating drum tracks. It allows you to control and specify the timing of drum fills and switch styles any time you want as part of your "song"...like transitioning from rimshots to snare. Worth a look.
     
  12. lefty73

    lefty73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Wow, that RC-500 flew under my radar. I've been looking around for some drum or percussion loops to sync up with my Ditto X4 and was wary of having another device to stomp on. Now it looks like I can have it all in one unit. Sweet!
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
  13. quadtele

    quadtele TDPRI Member

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    Freeform recording of the drum loop first is the simplest and cheapest. As long as you sync to that loop, you will be fine.

    Beyond that you get into integrated loop+rhythm devices or midi sync'd devices.
     
  14. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Friend of Leo's

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    Yep. First set the tempo on the drum machine (or app or whatever). Then set the looper to the same tempo and turn "quantize" on. Plug the output of the drum machine into the input of the looper, record a loop of the drums, and you're good to go. Then just disconnect the drum machine from the looper and connect your guitar. Or...if your looper is stereo just leave the drum machine and guitar both connected, but just turn off the drum machine (or stop it, mute its output, etc.).
     
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