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Help! I can’t make myself use loops!

dflood

Active Member
Compared to most of the working professionals here, I have all the time in the world to audition phrases and loops, and the proliferation of a-la-carte online loop libraries now gives us all nearly limitless loops to choose from. But (hours later) I never seem to find what I am looking for so I end up playing it in with multisamples. Always seems like I’d have been further ahead to just do that in the first place.

I agree with @chillbot, sometimes there’s a particular guitar tone or a synth pad sound that absolutely drives me crazy trying to recreate, and I would use any loop, phrase, sample library or live musician just to nail it.
 

YaniDee

Active Member
I'm open to having my mind changed about loops, but so far I haven't read anything that convincing as to why I should use loops
Nobody is trying to talk you into it! I think we should all be aware of one thing though, in my opinion, loops also includes a lot of current sample libraries such as Sonokinetik and countless other one (or three) finger libraries...it's noble to be pure & "ethical" , but the mega million dollar earning "stars" don't give a sh*t about that..
 

Mike Fox

Senior Member
Nobody is trying to talk you into it! I think we should all be aware of one thing though, in my opinion, loops also includes a lot of current sample libraries such as Sonokinetik and countless other one (or three) finger libraries...it's noble to be pure & "ethical" , but the mega million dollar earning "stars" don't give a sh*t about that..
Yeah, "phrase" libs. I stay away from those too. :laugh:

It's kinda funny, since I compose a lot of horror music, I sometimes use libraries like Thrill, and other aleatoric libs, and even then, EVEN THEN, I still give myself cap for using pre-recorded stuff. It's sound fx, rather than music, but still...I usually don't feel that proud of it when I hear it in my tracks, no matter how much tweaking I do to the samples.

Look at dudes like Jason Graves. That cat is ORIGINAL!!! And I respect him far more for it.

Oh yeah, no one is trying to talk me into using loops, except for that little devil on my shoulder. :emoji_imp:
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
There's nothing wrong with other people using loops, but I've never had much luck working with them.

I put one on, I get mesmerized and just sit there doing nothing, the loop doesn't do what I want it to do (because it's a loop), and I remove it and start over.

That goes back as far as the first time I programmed a pattern in the new drum machine I'd just got with my first MIDI setup. I did it once, and then made a A/B MIDI selector switch to select either my keyboard or the drum machine so I could play parts in from its pads.

My brain just doesn't work that way.
 
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YaniDee

Active Member
Soon there' will be an AI engine that will put together loops in a folder you've chosen, assemble and mix it for you..with a vocaloid singing AI generated words and melody. ;)
 

steveo42

Active Member
There's nothing wrong with other people using loops, but I've never had much luck working with them.

I put one on, I get mesmerized and just sit there doing nothing, the loop doesn't do what I want it to do (because it's a loop), and remove it and start over.

That goes back as far as the first time I programmed a pattern in the new drum machine I'd just got with my first MIDI setup. I did it once, and then made a A/B MIDI selector switch to select either my keyboard or the drum machine so I could play parts in from its pads.

My brain just doesn't work that way.
Same for me Nick.
My mind just doesn't work like that.
Plus I do traditional jazz, big band, standards type music which tends to lend itself to a more freestyle type approach.
 

Saxer

Senior Member
I don't have a lot of use for loops. Sometimes I add some dirt or punch adding loops on top of a nearly finished track. I like programming drum tracks out of sliced loops.
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
I like midi loops. It allows me to study the chord progressions and voicing used in dance music. Anything I make with loops I don't call my own but tells others this is what I did with a sample pack. Loops also are great for jamming. I can truly understand that a drummer dislikes loops.
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
Yeah, "phrase" libs. I stay away from those too. :laugh:

It's kinda funny, since I compose a lot of horror music, I sometimes use libraries like Thrill, and other aleatoric libs, and even then, EVEN THEN, I still give myself cap for using pre-recorded stuff. It's sound fx, rather than music, but still...I usually don't feel that proud of it when I hear it in my tracks, no matter how much tweaking I do to the samples.

Look at dudes like Jason Graves. That cat is ORIGINAL!!! And I respect him far more for it.

Oh yeah, no one is trying to talk me into using loops, except for that little devil on my shoulder. :emoji_imp:
Especially vocal ones. Those seem to be short lived. One could buy samples packs and run them through Melodyne.
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
Nobody is trying to talk you into it! I think we should all be aware of one thing though, in my opinion, loops also includes a lot of current sample libraries such as Sonokinetik and countless other one (or three) finger libraries...it's noble to be pure & "ethical" , but the mega million dollar earning "stars" don't give a sh*t about that..
Neither does the listener purchasing the music or concert tickets. They don't even care what DAW, compressor, eq, or an Epiphone instead of a Gibson.
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
Construction kits are annoying to work with. Most of the sounds can't work without the other. Most of those actually come from well know labels.
 

wst3

my office these days
Moderator
my intro to loops was Sonic Foundry ACID... I didn't get it then, and I really don't get it now. There are folks that create absolutely brilliant tracks using loops. I an envious, but not motivated enough by envy to spend the time required to become accomplished using loops.

I do not consider loops to be cheating - there are obvious advantages, it is more life like since they phrases are played by live players, and if you know what you are doing it is clearly a potential time saver.

But I've never really grasped the concept I guess.

I have started using percussion loops, such as those provided with some of the more recent percussion libraries. These are MIDI loops, but certainly feel like they were played with stick/mallets/hand/whatever by a talented percussionist. I can get the same result playing the individual samples, but it takes a while, so I take advantage of the loops.

Beyond that application I simply stink at using loops, so I don't.

With respect to aleatoric libraries and arpegiators... these are specific tools for specific tasks. I still struggle with fitting the aleatoric phrases into tracks, and I don't do a lot of music that lends itself to arpegiators, but dang, when they work they can be brilliant.

Tools - it is all about tools. Learn the ones you want to use, and don't spend a lot of time worrying about something that does not fit your style.
 
OP
Brian2112

Brian2112

Active Member
Wow. Thank you all so much for your thoughtful input. Interestingly as I was reading your responses, I realized a few things. I think my reluctance to use loops may be limited to things that I can’t actually play. For example, any drum loop I’ve ever heard, I could probably think of and perform myself (being a percussionist) so I don’t think of it much except as a placeholder or time saver. Melodic phrases, guitar loops, bass licks, baddass piano licks I can’t play and even ethnic instruments (complete with authentic scales) and so on make me uncomfortable. I’ve used female vocal phrases before (Indian) but as as mentioned earlier, it kind of hard to find and hire a session musician (especially a female Indian singer here in South Texas – If I still lived in Houston it wouldn’t be a problem). I guess what I am saying is that after all these years, I’m finally getting some interest from people in L.A. for doing some scoring work. Perhaps loops can be comfortably used by me for demoing compositions with the hopes that I can later get live musicians. I guess if I was writing EDM I wouldn’t care as much (no disrespect intended). Thank you all for helping me nail down a few things.:)
 

bill5

Active Member
Does anyone else have reluctance to use loops?
:raises hand:

I think if you want to use loops, fine, to save time or whatever reason. But if you have a strong aversion to it, that is also fine. I don't see the point in trying to force yourself into doing it one way or other. I personally would never use loops in a recording. My stuff may not be amazing, but both the compositions and the performance at least have to be MINE...not some unknown whoever that recorded something for a plugin that I'm pretending is me. If others are fine with that, hey, to each their own. But neither is there anything wrong with refusing to do so.
 

jtnyc

Senior Member
I make exceptions for:
  • MIDI patterns of single instruments, such as banjo rolls and drum grooves. I could recreate the patterns verbatim and end up with the same exact result, so instead I'll import the pattern just to save time.
What is the difference between that and an audio loop in terms of it being created by someone else?
 
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