Mike Outram

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Do, Re, Mi, Me, Me, Me, Me, Me.

Seeing as I’ve got no gigs until February, I’m thinking I ought to have a B-plan of some kind. My career-guidance forum’s sage advice was to do some solo gigs. I’m inspired by the solo music that Theo Travis, Steve Lawson and Bill Frisell make using loops, and I find it inspiring to drift off into dreamland to try to imagine what music might be possible to make using looping devices. So I’m having a think about gear and what to get. Super – I’ll get to hear more of me, me, me. How can this be a bad thing? Don’t answer that…

Here are the options: [Thanks for all the advice @davemarks1 @Benmcdonnell @tomcawley @alexsunnygtr @richiemiester @facesake @solobasssteve @Gibboniser]

Boss RC-50

Boss RC-20

Digitech Jamman

Akai Headrush


Line 6 Delay Modeler

Will let you know how I get on, on, on, on, on.

16 responses to “Do, Re, Mi, Me, Me, Me, Me, Me.”

  1. Ah. I’ve loved a bit of looping since me Fripp and Eno ‘No Pussyfooting’ listening days. Some useful stuff at http://www.loopers-delight.com/tools/tools.html

  2. Jake says:

    Loop pedals have rapidly become ubiquitous with the self-accompanying musician. It’s great fun to record fragments of ideas and build up textures maybe even having a little noodle. It could go on forever.
    Unfortunately, I think they can be a massive barrier against the potential expression you can achieve without accompaniment. Especially someone as ridiculously talented as yourself.
    While the loop’s material doesn’t have to be ‘rigid’ or ‘static’, inevitably, whatever delicate and inventive ideas are plumbed in become more wooden and uninteresting with every carbon-copy repetition. Maybe with two loop pedals could help move into Steve Reich’s sound world, however, i fear this tactic sort of misses the point.
    I’d be interested to see your applications of a *potentially* restrictive and self-sculpting device. My most honest gut-reaction seems to be that the loop pedal has found its performing home in ‘bobo’ bars and pubs to cater for short attention spans. At the same time, I think our use of the tech remains in its nascent stage, with horizons wide.
    Could you please post some particularly good examples of loop-based and preferably live music?



  3. Tom Cawley says:

    Yeah, but do trust Mike. He’ll come up with something killing. It’s not so much about the gear as the chap playing it.

    There’s magic to be had with looping pedals. Outram’s your man.

  4. Jake says:

    Tom – I agree :)

  5. Mark Lawrence says:

    How about max/msp? That’ll keep you busy! No time for gigs though :(

  6. Mike Outram says:

    Gimme a chance, Jake! Haven’t even tried one yet :) There’s loads of stuff to check out on that site Ade posted. http://www.loopers-delight.com
    Did you hear that old Alvin Lucier ‘I am sitting in a room’ track?

  7. Mike Outram says:

    the pressure’s on!

  8. Mike Outram says:

    Is that a PC thing, Mark?

  9. woody says:

    why loop, just put a young woman on your lap!


  10. Mike Outram says:

    great vid :)

  11. The Line6 DL4 is quite good, but I wouldn’t really recommend it for a serious live looping tool. I only generally use it as a delay pedal, but I have used the looping on occasion (namely to practise over short chord sequences I record, and in one of my bands to provide the tremolo picked note in the final chorus of Joan Jett’s ‘I Love Rock n’Roll’). I’d record the note before we started playing the song, and then engage it at the final chorus under the chords I’d be playing live. It’s main drawback is the issue of timing, as no matter how good your timing may be it’ll undoubtedly go out of sync within a few cycles (especially if playing with a drummer!). So in conclusion, good delay pedal… not so great looper… unless you’re looking for some sort of Steve Reich phase shifting

  12. Mike Outram says:

    Hey Ryan,
    I play in a band with Theo Travis and he uses a DL4 but usually on open/out-of-time sections. So yeah, you’re probably right about it being difficult to sync-up to anything other than itself. But, I dunno if I’d want it to be in time in that way.

    So…. Do you know of any ways to sync up to a groove? A friend rated this: http://www.loopers-delight.com/tools/echoplex/echoplex.html or the Looperlative LP1. Not sure if either of these would do what you’re talking about though.

    Thanks for commenting!

  13. Unfortunately I don’t know much more than that. The guy that taught me on my national diploma at Oxford has the Boss looper and rates it… other than that and the fact that I don’t recommend the DL4, that’s all I can offer I’m afraid!

  14. Mike Outram says:

    No worries, Ryan. I’ve thought of a solution: we kidnap all the Gtr-X guitarists and brainwash them, remove their thoughts, give them a guitar and turn them away from the light. Their existence will be only to follow strict commands from the parent unit [that would be me]. Several buttons – that I press – instruct the minions to immediately transcribe and play back the input but IN TIME. There would have to be some sort of governmental enforcement so maybe you could do that. I guess it would involve physical threats? Y’see? It can be done.
    It needs a name. I’d suggest something subtle like, Big Brother or Mussolooper?

  15. Lol… a good idea Mike, however wouldn’t that then stop it from being a ‘solo’ gig?

  16. David Osbiston says:

    I use a DL4, only 14secs of looping, a Boss DD20 loads of delays but with a looping facility and 4 presets so I use a reverse and 3 different delays and I mainly use a cheap Rowin that has 10 minutes of loop time, yes 10 mins, and u can remove last recorded layer. Its been reliable and I’ve had 4 years at least and it’s tidy. I had an RC20 but I prefer the DD20 because of other presets. My daughter has a RC300 which is great but big and bulky

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