For the past few weeks we’ve been looking at Using an Ipod or Itunes to use loops. The first week we examined the possibility of using an Ipod or Itunes and the next week we looked at the Pros & Con’s of using an Ipod/Itunes for loops. We’ve come to the conclusion that using an Ipod/or Itunes for loops isn’t the best possible way to use loops but if you want to get into using loops and don’t have the money it will get the job done.
With today’s article we will take a look at some useful tips and tricks for using loops this way. This Article will only have a few, but if you use an Ipod or Itunes for loops, then leave a comment below and we’ll add your Advice to the article. Let’s pack this thing full of advice!
Get a Good Head Start!
Last week we talked about how using an Ipod/Itunes with loops will limit your flexibility. You’ll have to decide on your parts and arrangement ahead of time and then stick to it. Theres no changing it on the fly. It’s important when using loops this way that you plan properly. Make sure you start ahead of time to test out your arrangement and make sure that your parts are good. Don’t make a loop like this on Saturday night before Sunday Morning! As long as you start ahead of time the lost flexibility won’t be so evident. Plus remember it will take more time using loops this way then using some type of Recording software, so don’t put yourself in a situation that you have to rush to create something. Chances are you’ll make a mistake on a part or the arrangement, so get a head start!
Know where your Going!
Once your arrangement is created, your stuck! You can’t go back a measure and start over, so make sure you know whats coming next. It’s a good idea to make sure your chart follows exactly along with the track. Even if you don’t play with charts on Sunday at least have something there in practice that has the order clearly stated. Make sure you know how many measures of pre-roll or count-in you have. A good idea is to go ahead and make it a rule that there is always a measure or two-measure click intro. Don’t devote brain power to trying to remember how many measures of Click are before the song.
Sunday will go much smoother if there is no question on the order of the song. Nail this out before Rehearsal, and then make sure to Rehearse it so that on Sunday you’ll have the arrangement locked in, and you can do it without having to think about it.
Leave some Space!
Put a “dummy” track between each song. Make a track of silence and put it between each song. That way when one song ends you’ll have some dead space before the next song begins. Don’t program your set so that each song flows into each other with no pauses. If thats the case then you’ve lost all spontaneity and your loops are ruling your service. Having the space in between at least allows you to change the order of songs if you need to, or pray or talk in between songs and not be restricted by the order/timing of the loop.
Keep it Simple!
When working with loops this way your only working with one channel of loop which means you’ll have to use click one side and loop the other. You don’t have the full stereo spectrum to work with, which means instead of using your pans to “place” sounds, you only have your volume. You can use your EQ to tweak sounds, and “cut out” space for parts to fit, but you’ve got to be extra careful to make sure to not layer too many parts. Try to make the best loop with the least amount of sounds/parts as possible. Don’t clutter your sound, enhance it.
Remember this post is a work in progress.. If you’ve got ideas or any tips & tricks to add, then just leave a comment below and we will edit your tip into the article. We’re looking forward to seeing what ideas you guys have to offer.. so offer away!