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Gigging w/ Loop Stations - be honest please

PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:53 pm
by 5_iron
Folks,
Haven't been here in a while. I'm a lap steel slider and have been working on my chops, jamming with some buds, and playing a few house parties now and again. Overall I'm making steady progress, and I've even played a few solo tunes (instrumentals) which were well received at the house parties...50 person type venues.

I am trying to work out enough solo material to get a set list together, and my eventual goal is to be able to play a coffee shop or small bar/grill type of establishment. Probably one of those deals where people do their thing (eat, drink, talk) and the musician plays over in the corner.

While I do have maybe 10-12 songs I can play instrumentally (lap steel and dobro) I'm worried about making sure there is enough variety in the mix, especially since I don't do vocals. And I do still need more material, which I'm working on.

So I've been checking out these Boss loop stations and such. Man, you can do some cool things with layering tracks (bass, rhythm, lead, maybe percussion) all while playing live. A bit tricky to get comfortable with the technology, but some of the Youtube clips I've seen are pretty damn impressive.

Do y'all think this is tacky for a live gig? Would the audience place this in the same camp as karaoke? I don't have a real good sense for how this approach might come across. Please give me your thoughts on looping/recording/play back during a solo gig.

Thanks guys
5_iron

Re: Gigging w/ Loop Stations - be honest please

PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:52 am
by goldbrick
To me its not live music when you are dependent on backing tracks-if you cant carry it alone -get another player to join in -- not a box

Re: Gigging w/ Loop Stations - be honest please

PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:51 pm
by texas blues
I have a looper I have used on occasion. Great for laying down a bass line and/or rythm pattern to play over the top. Never used it in a live gig situation. Couple cats I know back Seattle way used them very well. I say if it suits you and it works, do your 'thang with it.

Re: Gigging w/ Loop Stations - be honest please

PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:26 pm
by jeffl
It's the old argument about bein' pure or making money. 35 years ago I got my chops busted by a union rep 'cuz I was playin' keyboard,harp, and trumpet in a house band-- puttin' other musicians outa work. But,yeah, I'd make sure I was real comfortable with the machine before I inflicted it on anybody.

I went to see Leon Russell's band a few years back and he was loopin' the horns from his stage boards. Touring bands are using looped stuff all the time. It is possible to carry a room with just a guitar though. :D

Re: Gigging w/ Loop Stations - be honest please

PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:57 pm
by michaelm
5_iron wrote:Do y'all think this is tacky for a live gig?

Me? I can't stand it.

I've got some other stories, but this is the most recent: I had the opportunity to hear a local singer-songwriter a couple of weeks ago. She was singing and playing keyboard; her husband was playing bass. The rest of the 'band' was in the keyboard. I think that she's probably pretty good, but I never got a chance to decide -- I couldn't take the canned so-called 'music'. It's just me, I guess, other people seemed to enjoy it, but I had to walk out.

My take: Band in a Box is where it belongs.

Re: Gigging w/ Loop Stations - be honest please

PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:41 am
by texas blues
In general, it's only musicians who have a problem with anything canned, looped or prerecorded. The public only wants to be entertained no matter the vehicle used to get there.
And it beats paying another player. As a musician...hard to argue with that.

Re: Gigging w/ Loop Stations - be honest please

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:03 am
by 5_iron
Thanks fellas. These are good, honest replies and I appreciate that. For what it's worth, I wasn't planning to bring in any pre-recorded stuff, just laying down tracks live and playing it back, adding layers each go around. Regardless, I get the point, and that's why I put out the call for opinions.

Probably will keep working on filling the room with the geetar. And maybe calling in one of my acoustic strummer pals for assistance where needed.

Thanks all
5-iron

Re: Gigging w/ Loop Stations - be honest please

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:38 pm
by jaybee
years ago (jeez I'm getting old) a friend and I used to play with a drum computer (Roland TR-505 if I recall well). Of course a real drummer would have been better, but even if we 'd found one, we wouldn't have been able to rehearse in our living room, apart from that, we used to joke that

- we only had to pay Roland ONCE
- Roland never got drunk
- Roland left our girlfriends alone
- Roland ALWAYS remembered where the breaks were
- we could actually control the volume

the public never complained either

Re: Gigging w/ Loop Stations - be honest please

PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:00 am
by jellyroll baker
Any musical tool can be used to create good music. Screw any thoughts about purity and authenticity and "real musicians".

Using the tool to create good music = GOOD

Using the tool to create bad music = BAD

Re: Gigging w/ Loop Stations - be honest please

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:38 pm
by Fishfeathersmacteeth
jaybee wrote:years ago (jeez I'm getting old) a friend and I used to play with a drum computer (Roland TR-505 if I recall well). Of course a real drummer would have been better, but even if we 'd found one, we wouldn't have been able to rehearse in our living room, apart from that, we used to joke that

- we only had to pay Roland ONCE
- Roland never got drunk
- Roland left our girlfriends alone
- Roland ALWAYS remembered where the breaks were
- we could actually control the volume

the public never complained either


...and with a Drum Machine you only have to punch the instructions in once.... 8)

Re: Gigging w/ Loop Stations - be honest please

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:39 am
by Oma
I'm going to have to go with the 'it's an instrument like any other' school of thought on this one.
some people can and do use Loopers with great creativity, though I would not put that in the same category as playing over premade drum sequences that came from someone else.