Let’s talk about the Manual Loops unit, because, well, I don’t think we have yet.
From the wiki:
No one really knows. The leading theory at the moment is that this is just another (interesting) way to scrub through a sample.
That made me smile. Then I decided it was challenge, haha.
I think one of my applications will be “cultivating and curating new samples.”
This was my experiment this evening. I downloaded an iPhone app called myTuner Radio, which is kind of interesting in its own right, set the country to Japan (figuring the ER-301 was made in Japan and it might bring me some good luck). I then tried some random radio stations that I couldn’t read the names of until I found something interesting, took a regular patch cable and connected the iPhone headphone jack to IN1, and set the gain control to 4x line level. (I realize this was only getting 1/2 of a stereo signal, but no biggie, it was easy and sounded OK).
I then put in a Dub Looper with a 10 second buffer and captured a 10s audio clip. I put a Manual Loops unit after it, and shared the buffer from the Dub Looper. I usually had the max len control set ~1 sec, and then just experimented wildly with len, start, speed, and also connected a keyboard up to V/Oct.
Setting len very low, you can find all kinds of interesting single-cycle type wave forms. Setting it a bit longer and then fine tuning start, speed, etc. there are all kinds of interesting one shot type samples.
This unit is really cool. It made it very easy to take some random samples pulled from internet radio, inject them straight into my modular, and find all kinds of useful stuff in there in a very interactive, fun, exploratory way.
Here are a couple ideas I think would make the unit even better:
- Add a playback mode once/repeat option, and a gate so that you can play it this way if you want to, as well as verify your sample trimming work is good. Sometimes it’s hard to know where the beginning and end are if it’s constantly looping a really short sample.
- Add an option to export the current loop as defined by the controls to a new buffer of exactly that length. That would make it super easy to throw into one of the other variable or grain based players without having to do any additional slicing or editing.
So have you all tried this unit? How are you using it?