Yeah, it’s me. I’m still alive. I’ve spent the past two months knee-deep in diapers and spit-up, but I promise to return to a more regular blogging schedule soon. Until then, I just wanted to let you know about this crazy sale over at The Loop Loft. 50% off all Reason 5 Refills… this weekend only. Damnit, now that’s what I call a sale.
I’m happy to (finally) announce the release of a project I’ve been working on all summer. I’ve partnered with the über-cool Swedish software company, Propellerhead, to produce two ReFills designed specifically for Reason 5 and Record 1.5.
After spending the past several months practically living in the beta version of this software (officially released just over a month ago), I can easily say this latest release contains two of the biggest innovations to ever take place in the world of loops; The Dr. Octo Rex and Kong. They allow the user to dissect and interact with loops in a way that was never before possible. Some bold statements? Yes (especially from someone partnering with them!), but if you take a look at the demo videos on their website, you’ll understand where I’m coming from.
When most people think of loops, they often think of them as something only used in the production of songs. However, loops can also be used as great practice tools. To me, there is nothing more uninspiring than practicing to the traditional “tick, tick, tick, tick” of a metronome or click track.
Whenever possible, I’ll practice various drum beats along with guitar or bass loops, or record drum tracks on top of percussion loops. One exercise that I’ve found is great for accurately internalizing my time is playing to a 16 measure loop that has the last 8 measures muted. When the “1” of the loop comes around each time, you can easily tell if you’ve pushed or pulled too much on the time. I’ve even rigged up Logic, an old car battery, and some rusty clamps to send strong, electric shocks to my body anytime my tempo strays.
In the video below, Bob Reynolds takes the concept of practicing with loops and puts a twist on it. No, he doesn’t increase the voltage on his nipple clamps. In this case, he practices improvising over the jazz standard, “Out of Nowhere”, (a song normally performed in 4/4) using a drum loop in 7/8. The live drums provide a much more natural foundation to improvise over, while still supplying the consistent tempo of a metronome.
I told you kids I’ve been busy. Turn up your speakers and check out the video below:
The Loop Loft is excited to announce the launch of The Bob Reynolds Loop Collection. The first release of our official “Artist Series” loop packs, the Bob Reynolds Loop Collection is the ultimate set of loops performed by one of the premier saxophonists in modern music . Recorded over the course of several days in a Los Angeles studio, we worked directly with Reynolds to produce 13 complete sessions of high quality sax recordings that are specifically tailored for looping in WAV, AIFF (Apple Loops) and REX2 formats.
Bob has performed with notable jazz artists including Brian Blade, Aaron Goldberg, Gregory Hutchinson, and Tom Harrell. His credits in the pop world include recordings and world tours with a diverse range of artists including: John Mayer, Nellie McKay, Richard Bona, Guy Sebastian and Jonah Smith.
Just when you think he had already pushed the limits of auxiliary woodwind instruments to the max, Bob Reynolds is back to blow your mind with some odd meter jazz flute. Recorded on top of the 15/8 loop I released last week, Bob proves that Ron Burgundy and the girl from band camp aren’t the only ones who can get down with an edge-blown aerophone.[audio:15-8flutejazz.mp3]
So, I wanted to get back to the experiment that I started with Bob Reynolds a few weeks ago. For those of you just tuning in, Bob and I decided to collaborate together on my loops by bouncing some musical ideas off of each other and building grooves around them. Bob was the first to offer up a track and sent the following rough demo:[audio:FirstInversion.mp3]
I opened up Bob’s demo in Logic and started experimenting by tracking different grooves. As you subscribers will recall, this is how I decided to approach the recording:
My initial reaction, I’m feeling this as 12/8. Not necessarily with a traditional funk beat… but something that blurs the lines of afro/jazz and pop music (this sounds like something Sting would really fuck up… but I promise I won’t). If Jeff Porcaro and Art Blakey had a baby, he’d (assuming they had a boy) be my first call for this session.
So with that in mind, I recorded the “main groove” for the track. Taking a “Rosanna” ghost note approach on the snare (along with a halftime backbeat) and one of Art Blakey’s afro/cuban bembe patterns in the right hand, I came up with the following:
The main groove for the A section
Maybe some cowbell for the bridge? No jokes allowed.
Perhaps some straight-up 4/4 on the coda?
Check out more notes, a rough mix along with Bob’s track and a list of our next steps after the jump…
Here’s a good example of what can happen when you’re really bored on a rainy Sunday afternoon. This originally started as a youtube video posted by Bob Reynolds… just him playing Donna Lee a cappella. Then, a few days ago, I saw via Twitter that a guy who goes by the youtube alias, “boobsax”, added a contrabass clarinet part on top (or underneath I should say) of Bob’s original video. Pretty cool, I thought. What a perfect opportunity for me to mess this up.
I recorded a full size screencast of the “duo” version, dropped that into Logic and overdubbed my part, all the while, videotaping everything with the “gruss cam”. I then edited everything back together in FinalCut and re-uploaded to YouTube… as well as Vimeo. The results? Not too bad, especially considering the potential degradation of audio with each overdub. However, a beat did get dropped somewhere along the way (a glitch in one of the earlier videos?) and I had to throw in a bar of 3/4 to make it work… but all in all, a success.
So… who’s next? Let’s make this a quartet. Any guitarist or keyboardist out there willing to step up to the plate?
Update iPhones – You can watch the YouTube video here.
As you might recall, last week I mentioned I would be collaborating with my old friend, Bob Reynolds, in the process of creating music/ideas/grooves for upcoming loop packs. Well, today I received my first “rough sketch” from Bob along with the following notes:
Not exactly odd time, but I have this 12/8 loop in there that’s playing much
slower than intended (hence the sound of stretching). I feel like this is
maybe in 6/4? I don’t know, I made a chart for it in 12/8 because that’s where
the melodic rhythms worked out the best, and it’s in 4/4 in Logic because
originally I made it along to a funk beat….it’s morphed….what’s your
Check out some “Bobbage” around the 5:50 mark:
The mp3 of Bob’s sketch track and “my take” after the jump…
Today, as I was recording and editing drums for “Gruss Loops Volume II”, I thought about how much more interesting it would be (for both me and my subscribers) to collaborate with another artist during the creation process. Scrolling through the massive Rolodex of musicians in my head, one name immediately jumped out as the perfect partner in crime: Bob Reynolds.
Bob is one of my best friends and one of the greatest saxophonists (and composers) I’ve ever had the pleasure to play with. Based in Los Angeles, Bob is an accomplished musician who keeps a busy schedule in both the jazz and pop worlds. He recently finished up a two year long world tour with another one of my old friends, John Mayer, and has also performed and/or recorded with Nellie McKay, Brian Blade, Tom Harrell and a host of others.
Bob and I spoke on the phone for almost an hour, brainstorming of all the possible ways we could collaborate in a method which would be intriguing to subscribers as well as push our personal creative boundaries. After some deep thought and a heated game of rock-paper-scissors (I don’t advise trying to play this over the phone), here’s what we ultimately decided to do: