Articles

looper

In Music, Pictures on April 10, 2006 by Cody McComas


A 'loop station' is, essentially, a small device that allows you to record a short musical phrase from some sort of input device (microphone, guitar, CD player, etc.). Once that short phrase is recorded it is then played back over and over again in a looping fashion…until you tell it to stop. This short musical phrase that plays over and over again is called a 'loop'. The advantages of being able to record and play back are numerous. The main reason I am interested in such a device is it would allow me music to accompany myself on the guitar/vocal/harmonica in the following fashion:

  1. Record a small phrase.
  2. Play it back as a loop.
  3. Play something else to accompany it, or 'on top' of it.

This way I could play the bass line to a song, then once that is looping play the basic chords over it, then maybe a face-melting solo on top of that.

Loop stations are available commercially in all shapes and forms costing upwards of $350. Well, I am poor and can't afford such a thing…so…I decided to figure out how to make one. I found a brief little 'how-to' guide on-line to get me started.

Components:

  • For the electronic component that would do the actual recording I used a small circuit board designed to be used in those little stuffed animals that you can record a little saying and then they play it back.
  • Various switches, knobs, jacks.
  • My roommate's Tupperware.
  • A 9-volt battery.

I had to figure out how to:

  1. get it to record and then play back in a loop
  2. plug it into my guitar/amp
  3. control the record/playback volumes
  4. a bunch of other little technical tweaks that I had to fix

The end products may not record the highest quality audio but hey, it cost a whole lot less, and I made it myself.

Here (link) are some pictures of the final product (well, not really final, I want to do a different/better version of it with higher quality components).

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3 Responses to “looper”

  1. The saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention…” but then again sometimes
    lack of cash is the mother of invention!

    This made me laugh out loud! I love the ingenuity! Go Cody!

  2. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G – the invention and the inventor

  3. How’s it coming along?

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