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RE: Cranky Kim

> -----Original Message-----
> From: msottilaro [mailto:sine@zerocrossing.net]
> Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2003 5:34 PM
> To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
> Subject: Re: Cranky Kim
> I do too.  I suggested this to people at Electrix, but I think they
> were already dead by the time the Repeater shipped.  Anyway, my
> suggestion is to put the muscle and talent of people on this list into
> actions.  Andre doing a show at Kim's house is great, but it's kind of
> preaching to the choir.  It would be great if Gibson could sponsor a
> tour to dealers all over.  Or have different EDP artists in each
> region.  What I saw from these events is that not only did it turn on
> people who were in the store to the product, but it educated
> salespeople to the possibilities of the product which made them better
> sellers of the item because A) they knew more about it and B) they
> loved it.

Hi Mark, Hi List.

New list member here... guitar player, been fooling around with the 
for a year. I've been following the LD list via the web archive for a 
trying to pick up tips.

Maybe it's not auspicious to chime in with a negative comment with my first
post, but I'm gonna do it anyway. :-)

I own a few esoteric, complex devices like a Roland VG-88 and the Repeater.
I don't think lowering the price on these things will suddenly expand the
audience, and I'm not sure that widespread demos and availability in stores
will do it either.

I'm speaking as an outsider here... someone relatively new to looping...
part of that "new audience" you're trying to attract.

Here are the two main hurdles, as I see it:

1) Many musicians aren't interested in free-form, solo performance, ambient
style music. If you want to play with other musicians, a looper is a 
because it's like playing to a click track... which everyone hates, unless
they're another looping musician. Don't underestimate this. I almost bailed
out of looping, until I finally figured out that I could learn how to stomp
on the pedal in time with the downbeat if I really worked at it. This is
something everyone here probably takes for granted, but it's an enormous
barrier for newcomers... especially those used to working with live
musicians where there is more live human interaction in tempo feel.

2) Someone like me who comes from a traditional music background (blues and
jazz) automatically thinks in terms of traditional song structures like
A-A-B-A. How many people on this list have actually tried to loop a
traditional verse-verse-chorus-verse song? I've been working at it for a
year, and it's frustrating. The Repeater fixes the bar length with the 
recorded track, so forget an AABA song where the "B" section is a different
number of bars, unless you want to get into a Midi pedal tap dancing
nightmare of arming and switching between loops. And then there is the
problem of the "crash to a singularity" when you've built up a looped "A"
section with bass, rhythm guitar and lead, and then suddenly move to naked
guitar on the "B" section because it needs a new bass line and new rhythm
chords. If you're not working in the ambient soundscape style, you can't
hide these transitions with washes of delay and reverb tails.

To the extent that the Repeater (or any other looper) fits my style, I'll
use it. But I'm not going to warp my entire musical concept to fit what the
box can do.

It's possible that all the people who love ambient/techno music have 
found their way to these products, so there may not be a huge market left 
expand into.

To be clear, I love my Repeater. I love it enough to have bought a second
one when I heard Electrix was going out of business, as a backup (that 
non-replaceable power supply scares me). But I don't see it as a tool that
will instantly appeal to the vast majority of musicians, until the
capabilities of loopers (and especially, the user interface) go through a
few more product evolution cycles.

P.S. this is all in the context of the Repeater... the only looper I
understand, and I'm still just a beginner. If the EDP does a better job of
handling traditional AABA song formats, please let me know. That's one
reason I joined the list!

Mike Barrs