DIY Guitar Looper Pedal! – Max 7 Feature
Okay, I know this one is going to be niche – BUT if you are a fan of anything in the DIY, digital music or guitar pedal universe, I think you’ll find this interesting. We created a program (or patch, as it’s referred to in the world of Max programming) that loops audio in a way that is completely unique from any guitar pedal, or audio processing program out on the market that I’ve seen.
I (along with the help from others) created this for one of my own personal projects, and while I am tempted to make a more accessible, consumer level version at some point, this feature shows the pedal in its current, slightly convoluted, state – still, I think the functionality of the pedal shows an interesting direction that loop pedals have the potential to go in. In my opinion, many users have to circumvent the workflow of typical loopers to really use them properly – and this setup cuts to the chase for the user that likes to use their loop pedal as an instrument.
Here’s a demonstration of the pedal, everything was recorded in a single take using the loop pedal - no overdubs. This shows only the basics of what this setup is capable of.
How it works:
The actual pedal is a MIDI foot controller - this is a glorified keyboard that you can (apparently) control with your foot. This information controls parameters in the Max 7 program on a personal computer. Max 7 is a programming tool - particularly friendly to musicians.
The core of this pedal is that it is actually two separate loop pedals - meaning two loops of different buffer lengths can be recorded. I like to think of this as two different music boxes that play melodies that take different times to go back to the beginning – over time, the melodies start to overlap in unique ways. We have all watched blinkers at a red light – they align at some point, but slowly start to syncopate into different spaces.
The rest of the pedal functions as a sample pad to trigger previously recorded loops that the user can store and assign to a pedal. The pedal has the capacity to recall nearly any number of loops of virtually any length. This is perhaps the most significant utility that differentiates it from other existing loop pedals. Because the pedal uses your personal computer as the “brain” – the ability to immediately access previously stored loops is made possible and is only limited by the power of your computer. Unlike other loop pedals that have an internal and frankly, cheap, computer, this configuration does not have a delay when recalling loops – allowing the user to seamlessly move from loop to loop on que and record new ones along the way.
This setup has other differentiators that make the process more fluid and flexible, like assigning different loops to different audio outputs, undo, clear, one shot sample playback and buffer length adjustment. I have played on every loop pedal that I know of on the market, and this configuration is by far the most accommodating to the person that likes to WRITE with loops rather than to treat it as a novelty. I hope I can make a user friendly version soon - though I will have to sort out this mess…
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