Disintegrating Loops

Ah yeah, that looks so good! Wonder if they’ll bring out the Blooper as well. That seemed to have all the glitchy window scanning that I like from my TF.

Further to my previous post and this, I’m having lots of fun on a rainy weekend doing just this in Audiomulch…

… putting basic contraptions in a delay feed with very mild fx, e.g. EQ, noise gate/expander, compressor, plus also abruptly jumping the (digital) delay length from time to time to force skips and clicks.

Just realised I can do this with an 808 loop and contribute to this week’s Disquiet Junto. :smiley:

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I’m really looking forward to Blooper for these kind of things. It has several destructive effects that let you mess up your loops.

While you can make the delay effect on the left channel of MOOD fade away over time and add grit by lowering the clock, I generally would not buy it for “classic” looping purposes.

Line6 DL4 will do this octave down/up and can be found reasonably priced.

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I think this is a superb topic to dwell on and explore.

As far as strict “looping music” and ways to manipulate it via tape and digital to cause information loss, most of what comes to my mind has already been talked about.

However, I thought—especially since I’ve been fascinated by the idea of “sabotaged music” for a long time now—that I’d contribute a few ideas regarding compositional techniques that might be interesting vis-à-vis disintegrating loops.

  1. The standard minimalist technique of “subtraction” where a repeating figure will have a note subtracted at some point in the cycle. In a motive you could strike a note with every repeat. Or you could strike a note per motive for two repeats, then add one back in, then subtract two, etc. You can also “swap missing notes”, or make notes quieter or shorter or lower in octave instead of deletion. Sky’s the limit.

  2. Adding dissonance over time. Either via replacing consonant notes or perhaps adding dissonant “ghost notes”. Perhaps imagine dissonance as the equivalent to noise… a form of “masking” the sound.

  3. Fragmenting the rhythm. Ie. Shifting notes off of downbeats, reconfiguring four 16th notes as a quintuplet with pause (ie 1 2 pause 4 5) etc for all sorts of figures, accenting strange offbeat notes in an “unmusical” ways, etc

  4. Stretching the motive out with pauses or held notes. Ie. A repeating motive that’s two bars long, could have a 32nd note pause inserted somewhere within the motive on every repeat, making the repeating motive ever longer and more fragmented (ie. 2 bars, 2 bars + 1/32, 2 bars + 1/16,…)

Anyhow, there are lots of other tools, but that’s just to get some ideas flowing.

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I love this discussion, and development of a more fine-grained notion of looping.

You might be interested in the “molecular music box”, which is a generative technique for building up melodies/counterpoint by adding notes to a loop following certain simple rules when those notes “collide”.

Here’s a youtube video of me applying this technique with a certain rule set (and, incidentally, an additional conventional looping delay):

I built a Teletype scene that does this and describe it in more detail in this post:

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another take

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I just ordered up a Marantz PMD 221 deck with some cassette loops, excited to start experimenting with the original flavor of disintegrating loops : - )

I was wondering if anyone had any tips for degrading tape quality…I remember reading someone’s post on here saying they bury their tapes for periods of time. I wonder if there’s other ways to go about this, like sandpaper, hand-crinkling, microwave doses (!)…any thoughts?

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There was a good thread on muffs about this. If I remember reading correctly someone maybe mentioned leaving them out in the sun as one technique. Id head over there and do a search for sure.

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I think this tool by Landscape would interest lot of you. I certainly have major GAS for it!!

https://www.landscape.fm/hctt

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a maestro of destructive loops - fascinating and well executed concept but mostly posting here because the song itself is very well done and the destruction is so satisfying. warning for racist and explicit language.

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That’s such a sweet way of turning something terrible into art :sob::sob::sob:

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I’ve been experimenting a bit using the DLD for this; I’ll have to try the send/return technique.
With DLD I found if you have feedback just a bit before 100% and you play with that and the Delay Feed (I’ve been using attenuated irregular CV from O&C) you can get some nice stuff.

Although Phonogene in Broken Echo mode is :kissing_heart:

I’ll second the el capistan here. But also am madly in love with Cooper FX’s Generation Loss. It’ll mess things up. Slowly ramping the Gen knob down yields utter destruction.

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For the Organelle heads.
https://www.critterandguitari.com/organelle-patches/deterior

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A pretty impressive take on this topic with the upcoming Synthesis Technology E520.

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I have a cooper Generation Loss pedal which I love, and was mentioned elsewhere, but I don’t think anyone’s talked about the Strymon Volante yet which actually has a disintegration loop setting that’s very accurate. You go into the sound on sound loop mode, record your loop, and then set wow flutter, tape age, and tone of the repeats. At some settings, the loop degrades after a couple of passes and at others, I’ve made it last almost an hour.

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^ This. Lucier’s a huge influence on areas of my practice, and I’ve used the IASIAR process of resonance and constructive interference so many times! It’s the process that keeps on giving, since resonance (along with parameters of fidelity, amplification, equalisation) has so much nuance and unpredictability.

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A slight tangent, perhaps, but I’ve been playing with a long have version of this using an iPhone FM transmitter and an old Walkman with a built-in radio. I play the loop through the iPhone and then re-record it into my computer via the Walkman radio. I’ve played with different methods of doing it, including send the output of the Walkman radio into a dictaphone before sending it into the computer and it works well. Obviously you can send it back out from the dictaphone though the iPhone/transmitter as many times as you like and it offers interesting effects. Using unreliable tapes in the dictaphone is an interesting idea too - I need to try that.

On a side note, I just recently got Reaktor and it’s great to see @Ithacus & @trickyflemming discussing ensembles in this context. Is there a dedicated Reaktor thread that I’ve somehow missed?

(Side note 2: Hainbach’s latest (3rd, I believe) disintegration loops video is available to watch now and is incredible)

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thought of something simple for deteriorating loops:
add random amounts of DC offset(keep signal within range with soft-clipped distortion or limiting of some kind) to each re-recording… i know it’s not as good as tape or analog, but just had to try it in Max


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