20 Mar 2009, 12:09pm
Looper's Delight

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Looper’s Delight [Part 1]: Conceptualizing the Project

[Looper’s Delight will be, I hope, an ongoing series of articles that documents my latest project. I’ll update as I make progress, but don’t expect it to be regular! If you think it’s a cool idea to document something like this, check out the series that inspired me at CovertOperators.]

I’ve been talking to my buddy lately about live electronic music and how it interfaces with the rest of a band. There are as many ways to approach it as there are songs to play, which is exciting until you sit down to perform something and hit the wall.

It’s a chicken and egg thing. Performing electronic music requires a ton of pre-production, but if you want your songs to be performance based, the writing process requires performance. Conundrum!

We came up with the concept of a live rig based on taking incoming audio and manipulating that. Basically the electronic musician takes on the role of DJ, with the rest of the band taking the place of records. Mix in some front-of-house-guy techniques, and that sounds like a fun way to liven up a performance.

Of course this method of performance has its own problems. Manipulating live audio is tough on processors, and timing for everyone becomes absolutely critical. To that end, the way in which this rig is built will directly affect its effectiveness, power, and playability.

I’m going to build a proof of concept using software first, but I have a sneaking suspicion hardware is the way to go. I am loathe to bring a laptop on stage if I can avoid it, so hopefully there is something flexible enough in the hardware world to handle the sampling aspect of this rig.

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