Looper workflow

Need help. Something must be wrong with my workflow because I am having many hiccups with looper.

First, a great positive, since last time I checked, the lag of recorded loop appears to have been reduced. Also, the loop recording starts aligned with tempo. Years ago as I checked looper seemed to be usable with non-rhythmical material only.

So now, this baby records, say drum, loops you can remix with other stuff. Until the first loop all is fine.

Still, there is an option to overdub, and this is where things go berserk. Please can you pinpoint my mistakes?

  1. 4x4 kik recorded and still in looper. recording punched out automatically. wet set to 0% so not audible yet.
  2. I lower the volume of the kick track as I raise the wet level to 50%. So the loop plays at max volume and decks volume is not affected.
  3. Unmute at deck which plays a loop to be added to the KIK.
  4. Trigger record on looper again.

What follows is scenarios.

scenario 1

wait for recording to punch out by itself, as it did with the first go. Does not happen. The loop starts phasing itself until death magnetic.

scenario 2

try to hit record to punch it out on time. no sync lock here (??)

if you are perfectly on time, you get a seamless overdub.

If you punch out fast, you miss part of the second layer, and get a click.

If you punch out late, the excess will appear to have phaser applied.

This is not the end. The moment you punch out, with 50% wet, the overdubbed loop combined with the original second layer from deck will sound louder, so be prepared to quickly mute the deck.

What I am doing wrong?



  • zephry
    zephry Member Posts: 560 Pro

    Probably the only way is with some mapping and preferably to a knob and button or buttons. I never could get it perfect unless the play button and record started at the same time. Which I only used for making samples. It isn't impossible to do. But it has never been something I trusted live all the time.

    I avoid the Loop Recorder and use a duplicate deck mapping I have on the Midi fighter Spectra controller. So all I do is duplicate to an unused deck and Filter or Fade between the two with effects and/or pitch changes etc.

    I used to try and use remix decks or the Loop Recorder but found the duplicate worked way smoother with more options. Of course there are preferences settings for duplicate track and the loading into playing deck must be active.

    My mapping also has indicators for the channel fader or deck playing, so I know what deck to copy to.

  • WarriorLite
    WarriorLite Member Posts: 66 Member

    I wonder if anyone can make good use of looper with overdubbing functionality. I thought years ago, when I was playing around excess volume and phaser out of hand were not that much of an issue. Maybe my standards were lower ;)

    Your method

     preferences settings for duplicate track and the loading into playing deck must be active.

    • do you mean 'duplicate track deck A' with C as destination in the Controller Manager?

    My mapping also has indicators for the channel fader or deck playing, so I know what deck to copy to.

    • don't you just always copy a to c and b to d?

  • zephry
    zephry Member Posts: 560 Pro

    In Traktor preferences. You can set tracks to only load into stopped decks. I turn that off because I tend to forget and not realize I haven't duplicated the track.

    Also in preferences the option Duplicate deck when loading same track needs checked (active). Because when duplicated the track needs to be playing at the same spot.

    As for duplicating to a certain deck. I have the mapping set up to copy to any deck. I don't always have a certain one free.

    My controller shows each deck and the buttons light up red on each column showing not to duplicate because the channel faders are up. A flashing button indicates the channel is playing. Safeguards to keep from duplicating to a playing deck. Etc.

    Mapping is kind of hard to explain since it is kind of a personal workflow. Lot's of flexibility with Traktor.

  • WarriorLite
    WarriorLite Member Posts: 66 Member

    Thanks for explaining.

    If I get back to the looper for a moment, the reason why you would still use it aside from a remixer is because you could then catch a loop of several decks and use it as higher-gear starting point for the mix to evolve. So you keep mixing live 3 decks to suddenly hear, you'd want to build on top of that, grab that all with looper, make it 100%wet, fade out playing decks, capture looper into remixer, trigger there, lower looper wet to 0%. Done. You have now freed 3 decks and have a nice loop for now and for future projects.

    Still, my experience is that whereas you can capture a single deck into the remixer with near 100& beat align, which gives you a reliable way to keep for later a good loop from a single deck at a time, there is no quick way to do that for a sum of up to 3 decks mixed.

    Looper seems to get stuff out of sync - and I would appreciate suggestions on where I am going wrong.

    It seems it is possible to capture in-sync the three decks one at a time into remixer, but that takes a lot of time (alternating the sources etc) - you could not do that during a live performance. Or am I missing something?

    If it were possible to route on a per remixer channel basis, having four of them in remixer, you could set each to pick up from a different deck, and would still have the fourth channel for mixing these three, which would be ideal.

    What has just occurred to me is that with some smart automating, perhaps routing to a given deck could be done upon a press of a button? :)

  • zephry
    zephry Member Posts: 560 Pro

    Yes some type of mapping and a controller would be best. But the keyboard could do just fine.

    As for the sync. In preferences there is a delay setting but that is mainly for adding to the existing loop. Maybe your latency is to high? Higher latency in audio settings is better for slower CPUs but can give a delay to controls. Maybe if possible try 128 or 256 depending on what soundcard you are using and available options.

  • WarriorLite
    WarriorLite Member Posts: 66 Member

    Could it be an audiocard (setting) issue?

    I did try that latency hypothesis out with ableton live. the looper device being added to a track, recorded loop plays back completely latency free while still in the looper. the moment you drag it onto an audio track as a clip, you can both hear and see latency if the effects used on the source track are latency hogs.

    having tested 1024 samples against 256 samples setting for the audio card, there is no difference in the latency within the recorded loops. Came as a surprise, so I tested it several times. Still, it would be very revealing to hear some users with high tech audiocards have no looper latency issues.

    It puzzles me is that neither ableton nor NI develop an algorithm to compensate for the latency simply by appending the initial silence to the end of the clip when dragging from looper to new track.

    If latency compensation can be done on the fly - because tracks playing live and equipped with different sets of effects do play in sync, why can't it be done offline?? It would be a good thing to develop and maybe patent a technology that fixes the error, so that it could be sold to many daw developers.

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