To Loop or Not To Loop

ropes.jpgLong time ago, MIDI sequences were all we had. But with all the new cool tools, starting with Acid and Ableton Live, suddenly it was quite handy to just use plain audio loops for various purposes. I had my initial share of excitement using Acid and acidized loops, until a month later or so I realized that the same loops were use in commercials and tons of other places.

So the whole idea of using loops went for me to the back burner. Many, including me, felt that it was just plain cheating to use pre-fabricated loops, instead of sweating at the keyboard and doing the hard work oneself. If nothing else, the tracks and songs were fresh compared with using already made loops that were most likely used in many other songs.

But those pesky loops started to crawl back in. It started with the pre-installed Apple Loops in Logic — it was just so handy to drag in an audio loop from the Apple Loops browser as a starting point.

So far I’ve only used drum loops, and that’s where things will stop in my case. I’m not using any melodic loops, synth loops, and so on. I have a big pile of both my own create drum loops, as well as other synth loops from past projects that I collect in my own sound bank, and from time to time I reuse these in other projects.

But I will get a set of house-music based drum loops soon, this as I could anyway import them via Ableton and tweak the loops into tiny pieces using alternate starting points, use volume envelopes of all kinds, change pitch envelopes, and so on. So it’s quite OK, in my mind, to use such pre-defined drum loops, as long as they are processed and made unique, again.

I should also start exporting my loops for others to use, as it’s good to give back anything you have made for others to use and make successful music with, I don’t mind about who gets credits, as long as someone thinks the material is useful.

The music production realm has changed so much, including how music is done, so the whole idea of mixing and matching various audio parts is just how things are done today, and that’s fine, as long as interesting music is published.

2 Comments:

  1. Dude this article rocked. lol

    I usually use prefabricated loops to add secondary drum layers. (drum backers) to my tracks. Yeah… people look down on you if all you do is use loops. You have to edit them or add to them and make them yours.

    Nothing wrong with using loops. The end result is to make something great to listen to. Your job is to make a sick track. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

  2. Yep.

    But I remembered a time about four years or so back in time when it was quite easy to hear the default ACID loops used in commercials.

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