Loops: Why?

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Call me a ludicrous luddite with catfood for brains, or just 'out of the loop', but...whenever some band claims to be making a big advance into brave new musical territory, the stock phrase is "we're getting into using loops." Unless you are in a band with an inept drummer, WHAT is so fantastic about loops? Why is having the same thing repeated over and over seen as such a fantastic advance? Isn't it boring for anyone? Maybe Keith Jarrett was right - why are people seemingly unable to listen to music without 'loops' in it anymore? Why did anybody think this was such a great idea in the first place?

tarden, Thursday, 28 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

L00PS R00L! L00PS R00L! L00PS R00L!

Kodanshi, Thursday, 28 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

That may have worked better had I set its "behavior" to slide instead of alternate.

Kodanshi, Thursday, 28 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

"loops" are very freeing for certain rockers who have come to expect the chord changes to take care of everything for them. MANY rock bands I know cannot control their dynamics to save their lives. Or know how to build and structure a same-chord improvisation. A loop forces you to invent something from nothing, shows you how to make one chord interesting.

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 28 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

whenever some band claims to be making a big advance into brave new musical territory, the stock phrase is "we're getting into using loops."

But they're just fools, trying to catch up with what hip hop was doing ten years ago...or more.

As to why anyone would want to do it...early hip hop djs needed to provide a continuous beat for people to rap over so they repeated drum breaks off vinyl (by using two turntables playing two copies of the same record - cueing up one while the other was playing). The invention of the sampler made this process a lot simpler but the result was the same.

Music has always had loops in it - there's no conceptual difference between a sampled loop and a drummer playing a repetitive pattern throughout the song. Of course it sounds different because the drummer puts in tiny variations - both voluntary & involuntary.

Is it boring? Layered one or two bar loops are pretty old hat now...only silly rock bands think they're cool. It's moved on to re-sequencing snippets of loops now to create your own patterns.

But another thought..."why are people seemingly unable to listen to music without 'loops' in it anymore?". A pattern-based mentality (whether sampled or otherwise) *has* seeped into the general consciousness via the methods used to make music - computers, drum machines which encourage the user to cut and paste 2, 4, or 8 bar patterns of *everything* (eg singer having trouble with that chorus? just paste in chorus 1 to chorus 2).

David, Thursday, 28 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Loops were new and exciting when The Who used them on Quad. Often they let you expand beyond what is possible with a typical v,g,b,d setup, allowing all sorts of extra f/x. As for ppl not listening to music sans loops, I guess I'm thinking of contemp R&B/hip hip, where we're talking scratching at a minimum, and usually tightly programmed electronic production. Not "live" but a far cry in creative possibilities from the "loops" of yore.

Sterling Clover, Friday, 29 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I once created a track based on a 2 second loop of a song by Darkthrone. I heard various elements in that loop and so featured these and built them up together. When my piece closed it had built with great energy, from fragments, into a 2-second blast!

Kodanshi, Friday, 29 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I hope that's going on the comp Kodanshi.

Tracer Hand, Friday, 29 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

No. I can't I created it at an old friend's house with his help. He used Pro Tools on a PC. The program crashed prior to our saving that track, so it certainly gave us a Zen-like lesson in something that would have sounded wonderful in public, but got lost, never to come back.

Kodanshi, Saturday, 30 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

four years pass...
Very important question when it was posed.

Mark (MarkR), Wednesday, 21 September 2005 13:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Call me a ludicrous luddite with catfood for brains, or just 'out of the loop', but...whenever some band claims to be making a big advance into brave new musical territory, the stock phrase is "we're getting into using loops." Unless you are in a band with an inept drummer, WHAT is so fantastic about loops? Why is having the same thing repeated over and over seen as such a fantastic advance? Isn't it boring for anyone? Maybe Keith Jarrett was right - why are people seemingly unable to listen to music without 'loops' in it anymore? Why did anybody think this was such a great idea in the first place?

Chewshabadoo (Chewshabadoo), Wednesday, 21 September 2005 15:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

L00PS R00L! L00PS R00L! L00PS R00L!

Chewshabadoo (Chewshabadoo), Wednesday, 21 September 2005 15:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

That may have worked better had I set its "behavior" to slide instead of alternate.

Chewshabadoo (Chewshabadoo), Wednesday, 21 September 2005 15:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

(I'll stop now, it's pretty unfunny)

Anyway, are most of these bands from the Beatles lineage? If so, there's your answer. Tomorrow Never Knows actually does still sound quite futuristic if you look at it from that perspective.

Chewshabadoo (Chewshabadoo), Wednesday, 21 September 2005 15:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

twelve years pass...

imo, the shortest loop is 2 frames
any object in a 2 frame loop appears to vibrate like electricity when viewed from appropriate distance and with sufficient framerate

what is the longest loop?

Karl Malone, Monday, 5 February 2018 18:38 (eight months ago) Permalink

life iirc

i gotta be a gazpacho man (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 5 February 2018 19:54 (eight months ago) Permalink

john jacob jinglheimer schmidt

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Monday, 5 February 2018 20:00 (eight months ago) Permalink

same vibrating electricity put through paulstretch

Tib, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 09:04 (eight months ago) Permalink

Whenever I go out, the people always shout.

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 18:56 (eight months ago) Permalink


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