Mar 15 2008

Live Looping: Old-School Style

Published by at 5:44 pm under audio tracks

Many years ago, back in the mid 90s, I worked for a local radio station. I did a variety of things but, occasionally, I pulled a weekend shift where I was basically playing pre-recorded shows on open reel tape, or dat. In one of the small production studios they had two Studer 1/4″ 2 track open reel tape machines and, in a fit of creativity spurred by boredom, I hooked them into a ‘Frippertronics’ set-up.

The machine on the left would have a reel of tape on the left spool which would run over it’s heads, then across to the right (take-up) spool of the 2nd machine. The playback of the machine on the right would be fed back into the machine on the left, along with whatever new sound was added, and the whole thing would repeat, and slowly fade out. The speed of the repeats was a function of the tape speed and the distance between the two machines.

Here’s a lame graphic I created to illustrate the process:

I was digging through some old files and found two that exemplify this process:

Dreams Go Down


I added a bit of reverb after, just ’cause.

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