My Looper Setup

For those who just want to know...

For my Ides of March Concert recording that I did at Kona Unity Church here on the Big Island, I used a musical tool called a 'looper'.

A looper is a tool that allows a musician (or singer) to perform a section of a song once and then listen to what they JUST performed IMMEDIATELY after they played it.  The advantage of using a looper is that it allows one musician to sound like an entire band - or at the very least, like there is more than one of him or her.

The Looper

The looper that I used for this recording is the same one that I use for my live performances.  It is made by Boss and the model number is RC-300.  Here is a picture of one:

Boss RC-300

This particular looper has the ability to record 3 different parts of a song. But each part of the song can have (virtually) unlimited tracks on it. In other words, I can play one pass on a part, then immediately play a second pass onto that same part without stopping. That's the beauty of a looper.

The Guitar Synth

The other thing that I used for this concert recording was a guitar synthesizer. Mine is made by Roland and the model number that I used was the RC-55. Here is a pictures of it:

Boss RC-300

What the guitar synthesizer allows me to do is to play things like strings, bass, and a nylon sounding guitar while using only a standard Acousitc Guitar. In this particular instance, I used my Takamine EN-18 Acoustic Guitar with a Roland GK-3 pickup mounted on it via double stick tape.

How I set it up.

I setup my guitar so that the bottom two strings (the E and the A strings) trigger Bass Notes.  And the top four strings (D, G, B, and High E) trigger the synthesized strings.

This allowed me to play both the Bass part and the Acoustic Guitar parts at the same time while the drum machine played a beat that kept a steady rhythm.

On the second pass of the looper (after I had played the Verse, for instance), I would switch patches and use a different guitar tone.  In most cases, it was an Acoustic Guitar tone that sounded different than the tone that I used on the first pass.

Then if there was a thrid pass, I would chose the Nylon guitar sound or Synthesized Strings and add those tones on top of the first two passes.

By the time the end of the song came, I sometimes had five or six different instruments going at the same time.

And that's not all...

The looper that I use has the capability to record different parts of a song.  In other words, I could start out recording/looping a Verse, for example, then I could swtich the unti to record a Chorus part.  Then after I was finished recording/playing the Chorus part, I could then go back to the Verse part and do more things there.

All in all, it was a blast writing and performing this in front of a live audience - so much so, that I will probably start doing more of this whenever possible.

This is the same way that I perform LIVE here on the Big Island.  So if you're ever here on the Big Island of Hawaii and you want to see this in action 'live' - look at my calendar and check me out!

If you don't have a copy of my "Ides of March Spring Concert" recording, click the following link to get your own personal copy from me directly:

My Online Store

Here is the first track from the recording so you can hear with it sounds like:

 

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