Loop de Loop

Things get complicated.

Sometimes from outside events, but often from my own wacky self-expectations.

Take in point the recent use of loopers in my live shows. For those who are not gear-heads, “loopers” are a type of guitar effect pedal that allows the player to record a phrase and have it play back indefinitely in a loop, hence the name.

0000746_tc-electronic-ditto-looper-pedalSounds simple so far? No so much in reality. The first looper I had (thanks to Mrs. Félix & the Cats) was a T.C. Electronics Ditto Looper, pictured on the right, a fine example of Danish craftmanship. The device sounds amazing and the function could not be easier: click once to record, click once to stop recording AND playback, click TWICE QUICKLY (ha!) to stop. Hitting the button just right is everything: too soon or too late and the phrase is clipped, and double tapping to stop is like dancing the flamenco with 5-quart stock pots on your feet, especially with my timing challenged appendages. “Well, thought I, I can fix that.” There is another model with more switches on it. Because, as all rock guitarists know, what we need are more switches. See below:

IMG_0178
The mini pedalboard (vs the micro and regular version).

Yes, the new improved Ditto X2 Looper (far left above) now has its own loop on/off switch. All kidding aside, it is MUCH easier to work with and control than the micro version, now passed onto #1 daughter’s boyfriend. So, the looper has found its way into more recent acoustic and electric shows with mixed success. While sometimes exhilaratingly great in rehearsal at home, where the calm environs of ManCave Studio allow for sharp focus and pinpoint tapping precision, live shows have proven to be more challenging.

Sometimes the adrenaline rush of performance has made for an accelerated start, and other times the on/off switching has not been as precise (the pedal compensates a bit but is not fully klutz-proof) have made for tricky interpretations, because when locked in, it is hard to correct on the fly. Regardless, it makes for a lot of I’ll-get-it-better-next-time moments, and I will. At least that’s what I keep thinking.

Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over…


Week in Summary

Poster for SaltyThe last-minute Linsmore show this past Tuesday made up for in attention what it lacked in numbers and we had a great time. Thanks to Michael Cuddy and T.C. Folkpunk (no relation to the pedals) for great performances. Michael and I will be together again along with Sal Indigo in a few weeks at the Salty Dog, on August 2 (see poster on the right).

Thursday was at Legends for Gary Edward Allen and Amber Dutette’s open mic. I brought out some exotic gear for giggles and novelty. Some amazing talent performed that evening (and many others), so it is with some regret that I will be missing the next two months due to travel and other shows, but I recommend this one. The evening provided some inspiration for lyrics, so perhaps there will be a new song to première here next week.

On Saturday, I caught a couple of sets of my friend Fraz Milne‘s show at Sauce, on the Danforth. Fraz played with bandmate Chris Bender, on percussion and backing vocals, for a very absorbing show at a lovely venue. Thanks to Michelle Belisle, owner/manager and talent curator, for helping make Danforth East such a supportive place for music! Fingers crossed for a show there for FatC in the future…

Until next week, be well!

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