Looping pads and drones

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
rbro
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Looping pads and drones

Post by rbro » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:31 pm

I'm trying to create some "infinite" drone and pad loops out of audio clips, but finding it very difficult to do this. Any tips on how to pull something like this off so that the loop is seamless? Must be audio.

chrysalis33rpm
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Post by chrysalis33rpm » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:43 pm

I did this last week by sampling some effected guitar just to get a droney warbley sound. Then I had the problem of not getting a smooth loop out of it, even with the "fade" switch in the clip options on. I think we tried modulating the volume envelope too, but that didn't work either.

So what we did is load the sample into a Simpler instance, which allows you to get precise control over the attack and decay of the loop, and then resampled a few bars of that.

Nick the Zombie
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Post by Nick the Zombie » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:49 pm

Yep, the more evolving and warbly the sound is, the harder it is to loop. Envelopes will be your best friend here. As a last resort, Reverb can be a great way to cover up loop boundaries, but of course you risk losing some of the character of the original sound. It's all a balancing act, I'm afraid.

deva
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Re: Looping pads and drones

Post by deva » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:01 pm

rbro wrote:I'm trying to create some "infinite" drone and pad loops out of audio clips, but finding it very difficult to do this. Any tips on how to pull something like this off so that the loop is seamless? Must be audio.
Generally, I record my own pads/drones to the length I want so as not to have to loop them and deal with this.

If I had to, then I would pick the least obtrusive loop point and add a delay to the track so that delayed copies of the drone cover up the loop point that is not perfect. Of course that changes the sound, but maybe better that than an obvious break at the loop

12ax7heaven
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Post by 12ax7heaven » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:42 pm

Can you tell us more about your setup? If you are using effects (like delay) pre-record one trick is to put the effect after your Audio input so that the trails aren't cut off. Especially if these are washy sounds since most likely your instrument itself is not the thing with the long tail (unless you are using a piano with the sustain pedal held down??). So think signal chain. If this is guitar try, Guitar>Rec Audio (Clip)>Effects> Out. Also with Loopers which can go directly into overdub you can achieve something similar. I hope that helps.
cheers

OvertoneZero
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Post by OvertoneZero » Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:30 pm

Try Augustus Loop for OS X or Angstom's Looper for Win

these are overdubbing loopers you can plug-in to Live


or wait for Live 8

Machinate
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Post by Machinate » Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:39 pm

OvertonZero, I don't think that's what the OP is asking for....

rbro, I have found that unless you can do really long non-looping drones the best way to do it is by using a crossfade.

Take two tracks in arrangement.
Put your (preferably really long) clip on one track, and loop it once (ie; put two after each other)

On the second track put the same loop, but offset by 50% - that is, straddling the time where the two clips above meet.

Then fade in/out of these to get your smooth transition and *that* will yield a perfect loop.

xherv
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Post by xherv » Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:11 pm

If you feel like being pretty liberal with screwing around with the sound:

I guess conceptually, infinite doesn't mean constant - if I'm understanding correctly the problem is some modulation present in the original audio source cycling based on loop length. So my trick would be do modulations on the audio instead.

I would want to work with sounds that are pretty static to begin with - short samples with very slight if any modulation from start to end points. Then do modulations with LFOs or clip envelopes after the audio. Very slow or gradual changes and at irregular intervals might also help. (Several short samples drawn from a single pad sound and then put in a clip-follow structure might be interesting, and not so linear if using the probability functions in the follow actions).

Example - Tarekith's DJ effects include some one-knob racks that transform an audio signal in some pleasing ways for drone sounds, drawing a shift over two minutes and then resetting it combined with an autopan with no stereo separation at .03 hz, and playing that along with a couple other similar channels in a rack, would be infinite but not constant.

[E] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penrose_tiling I'm doing this in M4L :idea:
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rbro
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Post by rbro » Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:32 pm

These are mostly Absynth and Omnisphere pads and the like with no additional FX. Some good suggestions here though, I'll check 'em out.

os
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Post by os » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:01 pm

Expert Sleepers Crossfade Loop Synth was designed originally exactly for making smooth looping pads out of any sample.

Top tip: currently on sale for $1!

zakary
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Re: Looping pads and drones

Post by zakary » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:33 am

rbro wrote:I'm trying to create some "infinite" drone and pad loops out of audio clips, but finding it very difficult to do this. Any tips on how to pull something like this off so that the loop is seamless? Must be audio.
i think keymap might do it, there's a video showing how to
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crumhorn
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Post by crumhorn » Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:08 pm

A technique I have used is to create a new copy of the clip and set it to play in reverse.

You can then either superimpose the two clips or set them back to back

You can also try overlapping them and cross fading between the two for a more subtle effect.
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steffensen
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Post by steffensen » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:21 pm

The trick is to load it in Sampler/Simpler, and have the perfect balance of Attack and Release, and also have the correct length of the loop and Fade setting. It is possible, i do it all the time.

Machinate
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Post by Machinate » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:01 pm

steffensen wrote:The trick is to load it in Sampler/Simpler, and have the perfect balance of Attack and Release, and also have the correct length of the loop and Fade setting. It is possible, i do it all the time.
yes, but then you lose the ability to change your tempo, unless there is absolutely no rhythmic content in the sound.

kristoffer1989
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Post by kristoffer1989 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:21 pm

Machinate wrote:
steffensen wrote:The trick is to load it in Sampler/Simpler, and have the perfect balance of Attack and Release, and also have the correct length of the loop and Fade setting. It is possible, i do it all the time.
yes, but then you lose the ability to change your tempo, unless there is absolutely no rhythmic content in the sound.

the topic here was drones and pads wasn't it :)

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