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Using a loop pedal to record practice segments
#2767173 09/23/18 11:35 AM
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Sam S Offline OP
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I have stumbled on a way of painlessly and easily recording short (or long) sections of music that I am practicing. Recording (and listening) to practice is an excellent way to improve. All too often, I hear what I want to hear while practicing, or what I imagine I am playing, and not what I am actually playing. But I have always been turned off by the difficulty of recording and playback. I used to use a microphone and laptop, but that was way too cumbersome. Then I changed to a Zoom recorder, mounted on a camera tripod. Easier, but still didn't make it easy to do a quick, short recording of something I am practicing.

If I have a short segment that I am struggling with, and want to check some aspect of that short segment by recording it and playing it back, it can be disruptive to fool with the recorder, get up and down to push buttons, and be distracted by the blinking lights.

I now use a Boss RC-3 loop pedal. One tap with my left foot, and it starts recording. Another tap, and it plays back. A double tap to stop it, and a tap-and-hold to clear it. Now I can instantly check a phrase without interrupting my practice workflow.

Here's what it looks like beneath my 1927 C. Bechstein grand:

[Linked Image]

You need an audio source to feed it - I use my zoom in monitor mode, connecting the audio out to the audio in on the Boss. The output of the Boss goes into a powered monitor speaker (a Behringer), which has level controls. You need to adjust levels so that you don't get feedback. The Zoom is sitting on the music desk above the piano. I changed the default order of recording on the Boss to record/playback/overdub - I don't use the overdub.

In practice, I turn it all on when I start a practice session. When I come to a spot that I want to check ("Am I really playing that ornament on the beat?") I just tap the pedal and it starts recording. Tap again to stop and start playback. It will loop forever until you stop it. Then a tap-and-hold to clear and its ready to go again.

The Boss can do a lot of things, including recording for hours and overdubbing, so I am just using a small portion of what it can do with my acoustic piano. I will probably start using it to record entire pieces for the ABF recitals, but I am already getting a lot of help listening to myself by using it.

Sam

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Re: Using a loop pedal to record practice segments
Sam S #2767192 09/23/18 01:40 PM
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I want something to do 2 part canons with myself - an adjustable delay that goes up to 12 seconds (or more). Anyone got ideas? Ta.

Re: Using a loop pedal to record practice segments
chopin_r_us #2767239 09/23/18 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
I want something to do 2 part canons with myself - an adjustable delay that goes up to 12 seconds (or more). Anyone got ideas? Ta.


I think you can do that with the RC-3 - that's sort of what it is for, just look at any of the guitar demos on youtube. They tap the pedal, play a rhythm track, tap it again and play along with it. Like a one-man band.

Sam

Re: Using a loop pedal to record practice segments
Sam S #2767321 09/24/18 09:33 AM
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That's not going to work for a canon.

Re: Using a loop pedal to record practice segments
Sam S #2767453 09/24/18 09:37 PM
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I really like this idea. Finding it almost makes up for all the time I spend following posts on this forum. Thanks, Sam.


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Re: Using a loop pedal to record practice segments
SoundThumb #2767494 09/25/18 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by SoundThumb
I really like this idea. Finding it almost makes up for all the time I spend following posts on this forum. Thanks, Sam.


I'm having fun with it. It makes it so easy to record and playback that I am doing it in every practice now. Hopefully that will help me improve...

Sam

Re: Using a loop pedal to record practice segments
Sam S #2768836 10/01/18 03:29 PM
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Peter Bence does wonders with a loop recorder:


Re: Using a loop pedal to record practice segments
Sam S #2768882 10/01/18 06:33 PM
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So he has a loop pedal for the right foot - looks like a bank of them. And a bass drum pedal for the left foot that appears to be using the bottom board as a bass drum! Cool!

Sam

Re: Using a loop pedal to record practice segments
Sam S #2795399 12/26/18 11:19 AM
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Thanks for the idea Sam. I saved this thread and with some cash I got as a Christmas present this is what I'm going to get.

Last edited by Chili_Time; 12/26/18 11:26 AM.

First Lesson Oct. 17, 2017. Now working on Faber Piano Adventures 3B Lesson, T&A, Performance, Theory and Faber FunTime Ragtime & Marches. Kawai MP11SE. My Sound Cloud Piano recordings
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Re: Using a loop pedal to record practice segments
Sam S #2795410 12/26/18 12:04 PM
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I used it to record a Xmas carol loop on the piano, then tried to play along with my Christmas present - a theremin! Everyone ran out of the house bleeding from the ears!

But the loop pedal worked great!

Sam


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