Help! I can’t make myself use loops!

Discussion in 'GEAR Talk Forum' started by Brian2112, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. Polkasound

    Polkasound Senior Member

    Apr 20, 2016
    Milwaukee, WI
    Two identical MIDI patterns, regardless of who created them, are going to lead to the same exact results when run through the same library. Since I am fully capable of making patterns from scratch, I may choose to build off of existing patterns as nothing more than a time saver. Plus, MIDI patterns still require plenty of creative prowess -- library integration, mixing, processing, etc.

    When it comes to audio loops, however, I do not know what sounds/synths/libraries were used to create them. To me, the choosing and mixing of the individual instruments, and the ability to edit them down to the single note level, is a fundamental aspect of music creation. So while my heart will not allow me to use audio loops, I can still be inspired by them no differently than I am inspired by listening to music in any form.
  2. jtnyc

    jtnyc Senior Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Understood, I just thought the point being made was using a pattern, rhythm or phrase that someone else created vs something you create yourself. I’m not judging one way or the other. I’ll use an occasional loop as a texture or layer, but for drum parts, I just can’t use midi loops. I’ve tried, but it’s always better when I program them from scratch. Same with melodic stuff.
  3. GtrString

    GtrString Active Member

    Dec 10, 2016
    Take it for what it is.
    I see loops as an example of how defined sounds can be ordered in a repeated sequence.

    That can inspire you in ways you may not have thought of (like a rhythm or a sequence), so you can use the loop as a starting point. A “temp” track for inspiration/ kick start, that you may keep or loose, once you have written something on top of it. You may just use the sequence or rhythm to create your own, and then lose the loop after that. Its not that different than hiring a musician you know, that then plays the same old four on the floor, everybody else does. You might also chop up that recording, layer it, or rearrange it so it fits the music.

    Another way is to grab the loop and splice it into seperate sounds, that can be playable. In Studio One 4, you can just drag and drop a loop into the pad, and you have each sound componant in the loop mapped out. So you dont need to rely on the example of the repeated sequence, and can easily reorder the loop and make it your own.

    There is also sound design in loops, which can be very helpful to nail a vibe or the sound of a certain genre. In that case it is really not the repeated sequence that is useable, but the choice of sounds and production. You may use a small snippet of a loop, the whole loop, or chop it up, but it is the sound signature itself that is the point of using it. Also here you can try using the loop as a “temp”, and lose it once you have copped the vibe you were looking for. That way loops are tools for learning.

    Due to the nature of loops, there is also a risk that they will ruin your music, if you work without purpose, and just rely on loops as a foundation for tracks and songs, imo. That way you risk sounding generic, cliche, pastiche, robotic, flat and utterly rubbish. Some loops have been overused to the point where a&r, directors, editors and music supers can hear the exact sample package where it is coming from. If that happens, you can be identified as a hack and will get a shoemark on your pants, that is hard to remove. The definition of a bad trip, for sure!

    So like others also have stated, loops are not just fastfood for composers, but can be sound-designed sources of inspiration. If you mindfully use loops with a purpose, it often is the opposite of a timesaver, but it can trigger your creativity, imo.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
    Kevin Fortin likes this.

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