To Loop Or Not To Loop?

Hello… I need your help. And please be honest! 🙂

As some of you know, I have a looper – a Boss Loop Station RC50 for the more tech-minded of you out there.

I do love my looper but I am also scared of it… a little. It’s like learning a whole new instrument and then some. However, I do feel the need to master it!

My quandary is, do I use it at important gigs… like the showcase I am about to do at Pacific Contact or when I go the Knoxville for We R Indie, or NY? Does it add or take away from the performance?

I am really interested to hear from others that use a looper and from those who have an opinion my own looping abilities. When I play without it I can just relax and sing. But the looper does add texture and variety, however, is it too much of a distraction?

I have put together a looper video from a concert I did last night with the lovely Hayley Sales. I need to know, does it add enough to put the extra work in to really make it work?

The video is at this LINK.

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6 comments

  1. My opinion is the Looper is a novelty but also very clever instrument. I feel it can add to your performance if is used as a novelty and not all the time. You don’t need to use this type of device to keep your audience attention but it does provide some entertainment value – when used well I find it very entertaining – I liked your video of your recent use of it at the SID.
    Still, my opinion, but your voice and stage presence do not need the looper to lean on – as a diversion during a live performance it’s ok, as a recording tool great.

    1. Thank you Ted!!! I appreciate your comments! I know it’s great to use for long gigs for some variety… I just need to get so good at it that it doesn’t distract me from performing well!! 🙂

  2. I really enjoy the videos I’ve seen of your performances using the looper. I think there’s definitely a place for loopers especially for a solo performer. The main thing is that it not be intrusive. If used sparingly, for musically significant additions, it can add a lot. It should be used primarily in the process of the performance to add an extra part or harmony (or two) or perhaps for an instrumental break. So that people who are non-musicians probably won’t even notice (other than the “larger” sound). Having to set up the loops in advance distracts from the performance if done a lot, but can be quit nice for one featured song. Some great examples of looping in live performance (IMHO) are Zoe Keating (Cello) and Phil Keaggy (guitar). Just like you said, you need to be so good at it that it doesn’t distract from the performance.
    My 2 1/2 cents…

  3. You absolutely should use it! Very Imogen Heap. It sets you apart from your typical “folk singer.” And technical difficulties give you the chance to show the audience how humble you are. 😉

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