Best samples unit + loop pedal for solo live performance

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
agraciotti
KVRer
9 posts since 10 Jan, 2019

Post Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:44 pm

I'm a solo singer-songwriter and I'm planning my gear to live performances. Back in the day, I did some gigs with a friend playing drums while I played the guitar/synths and sang, with a laptop playing the backing tracks.

Now my drummer is gone and I'm rethinking a live setup which allows me to do all on my own. And this time around I'd prefer to use a hardware to play the samples instead of the laptop (it's a way too expensive and fragile piece of tech to carry on live shows. I need something more resistant and durable). I have every piece of what I need to do in every song in my head, so I know it's possible, but I can't find the right gear to do so, because everything I see is either for electronic-driven music or sample-heavy. It's not my case.

I need two fundamental devices:

1 - A SAMPLE UNIT: Something that I can setup my songs in it and trigger some pieces on/off. I mean, probably the drums and the bass will be the main tracks, playing intact through the whole song, and some other electronic pieces I want to trigger on and off during verses/chorus and have the possibility to play around with some effects live (therefore, I need something that is tweakable).
I read every upside and downside of the most samples. I know some I'm not able to load a very long piece of audio (even though my songs are rarely long. I think the longest has 6 minutes) and some sample pads, like the Novation launchpads don't seem to give the tweakable control I want and seem to be much more complex for what I need, honestly.
I heard many good things about the SPD-SX but it seems to be designed to work more as a beat tool, so I don't know if it's my best option (especially because it's very expensive).

2 - A LOOP PEDAL which can sync with the sample unit, because I'm gonna work my guitar parts live, and I want to play/loop the verses and all the parts, and trigger them on, off and back on...so it NEEDS to be perfectly synced (and quantized) with everything that is happening in the samples. I own a BOSS-RC3 but it's a very simple loop pedal that, as far as I know, doesn't give me the option to set the clock/bpm from an external device.

so what do you guys can recommend me?
:tu:

In another forum a guy recommended me the BOSS RC-300, which seems a fine pedal for loops, but I'm not sure if it will be the best options to trigger the pre-recorded samples (I suspect it will be best to have them - the backing tracks and the live loops - seperately in different hardwares).

User avatar
vurt
addled muppet weed
40658 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Best samples unit + loop pedal for solo live performance

Post Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:30 pm

for the long tracks have you considered just using a cd or phone with the tracks on?
then triggering loops over the top using something else?

or do you need the main track to set the overall clock?

agraciotti
KVRer
9 posts since 10 Jan, 2019

Re: Best samples unit + loop pedal for solo live performance

Post Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:13 am

vurt wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:30 pm
for the long tracks have you considered just using a cd or phone with the tracks on?
then triggering loops over the top using something else?

or do you need the main track to set the overall clock?
yes, I need the main track as the main clock for the loop pedal. And I want some more freedom with the samples for tweaking them live. It will be only me on stage and I need to find more things to "do" live hehe, otherwise it's just gonna be a guy with a guitar and some music playing on the background (which is = a very boring show).

agraciotti
KVRer
9 posts since 10 Jan, 2019

Re: Best samples unit + loop pedal for solo live performance

Post Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:31 am

alright, so I did some more research and I found some options:

- for the loop, I guess the BOSS RC300 will be more than fine, the three tracks/pedals option will also allow me to loop some vocals along with the guitars, which would be great.
- and for the sampler/back trackings, it's a more complex array of options. The ones that got my attention:
1 - Korg Electribe sampler 2 (seems reliable and full of great options, HOWEVER..I still haven't found any video or someone using it to play precorded samples of full songs or full parts, only one shot samples. So can't be sure if it will work fine for what I want.
2 - Elektron Octatrack or Digitakt (another great samplers, but again, they are machines designed more to BUILD samples than to just use prerecorded ones. Besides, they are SO expensive).
3 - Zoom R8 and R16. More like a mixing and recording board. They are cheap and have dedicated tracks for playing individual sounds. HOWEVER...I also haven't seen anyone using it the way I need, triggering on and off prerecorded song parts.

so any ideas?

Cubehog
KVRer
22 posts since 27 Aug, 2012 from Magdeburg

Re: Best samples unit + loop pedal for solo live performance

Post Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:34 am

I recommend the Octatrack. With the digitakt you don´t have the "Pickup Machines".

You can stream long samples from the Compact Flash Card.

You have an arranger, so can prebuild your songs. You can manipulate the samples, you have Thru-Machines, meaning you can use a compressor and eq for your voice. All in all "a complete solution". It has a rather unique workflow and with flexibilty comes complexity. But it is all in one machine, syncable and you have a "mixer and monitoring section" in this one device,too.

For me it was worth the money and certainly the live-friendly setup.

Save some money, download the manual, watch some youtube stuff (loopop-channel) and maybe you want to have it.

agraciotti
KVRer
9 posts since 10 Jan, 2019

Re: Best samples unit + loop pedal for solo live performance

Post Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:15 am

The Oktatrack is really beyond my budget, unfortunately :(

I'm trying to simplify things as much as possible, since the Rc300 is alreayd a pricey device and I'm willing to spend most of my budget on it.
I'm really considering recording/mixing devices such as the Zoom R8 or the BOSS BR800. Because what I need primarily is a playback device that is syncable with the external loop (that is, it can be the master clock of everything that will be playing) and has some controls over the samples for me to tweak them live. If it has some pads or sequencing for expanding my options of what I can do live, great. If not, that's ok.
But even these devices seems to be focused on recording (the videos are mostly around recording and dubbing) and not really on performing using prerecorded stems of songs. I'm reading some nice comments of users who use it that way, but I still need more opinions about it.

deastman
KVRAF
6952 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Best samples unit + loop pedal for solo live performance

Post Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:26 am

This is another laptop solution, but you really might want to check out ALK2. You can arrange songs ahead of time, prepare as much as you want, and live loop as much as you want. It’s pretty awesome.

https://zenaud.io
Incomplete list of my gear: 110V AC to 12V DC 1.5A power supply (+ tip)

Cubehog
KVRer
22 posts since 27 Aug, 2012 from Magdeburg

Re: Best samples unit + loop pedal for solo live performance

Post Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:46 am

agraciotti wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:15 am
The Oktatrack is really beyond my budget, unfortunately :(

I'm trying to simplify things as much as possible, since the Rc300 is alreayd a pricey device and I'm willing to spend most of my budget on it.
I'm really considering recording/mixing devices such as the Zoom R8 or the BOSS BR800. Because what I need primarily is a playback device that is syncable with the external loop (that is, it can be the master clock of everything that will be playing) and has some controls over the samples for me to tweak them live. If it has some pads or sequencing for expanding my options of what I can do live, great. If not, that's ok.
But even these devices seems to be focused on recording (the videos are mostly around recording and dubbing) and not really on performing using prerecorded stems of songs. I'm reading some nice comments of users who use it that way, but I still need more opinions about it.

I´m not sure if it is the case anymore. But you certainly want to check if the RC300 is capable of being MIDI slaved. I know of some problems some guys had, because my musical partner bought this device and I wanted to incorporate the Boss RC300 in our setup, and as far as I remember it was only possible when the RC300 provided the master clock. Hopefully this has changed.

Just search for BOSS RC300 midi slave

agraciotti
KVRer
9 posts since 10 Jan, 2019

Re: Best samples unit + loop pedal for solo live performance

Post Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:49 am

deastman wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:26 am
This is another laptop solution, but you really might want to check out ALK2. You can arrange songs ahead of time, prepare as much as you want, and live loop as much as you want. It’s pretty awesome.

https://zenaud.io
sounds great indeed! thank you.
I'm considering, maybe, use the laptop for the first gigs if I can't decide which hardware I should buy to replace it within the next month. But I really want to not use my laptop. It's way too expensive and fragile and I'll be carrying everything on my own to the show. It's just too risky.

agraciotti
KVRer
9 posts since 10 Jan, 2019

Re: Best samples unit + loop pedal for solo live performance

Post Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:04 am

Cubehog wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:46 am
agraciotti wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:15 am
The Oktatrack is really beyond my budget, unfortunately :(

I'm trying to simplify things as much as possible, since the Rc300 is alreayd a pricey device and I'm willing to spend most of my budget on it.
I'm really considering recording/mixing devices such as the Zoom R8 or the BOSS BR800. Because what I need primarily is a playback device that is syncable with the external loop (that is, it can be the master clock of everything that will be playing) and has some controls over the samples for me to tweak them live. If it has some pads or sequencing for expanding my options of what I can do live, great. If not, that's ok.
But even these devices seems to be focused on recording (the videos are mostly around recording and dubbing) and not really on performing using prerecorded stems of songs. I'm reading some nice comments of users who use it that way, but I still need more opinions about it.

I´m not sure if it is the case anymore. But you certainly want to check if the RC300 is capable of being MIDI slaved. I know of some problems some guys had, because my musical partner bought this device and I wanted to incorporate the Boss RC300 in our setup, and as far as I remember it was only possible when the RC300 provided the master clock. Hopefully this has changed.

Just search for BOSS RC300 midi slave
oh, you're right. Officialy, it only works as a master, not a slave. I've read people who managed to make it MIDI slaved of a computer or drum machine, but that's a deal breaker for me. I won't spend 600 dollars on something that needs a tricky workaround to work the way I need.

It seems the Infinity Looper is the way to go.

And I came across this video of this guy doing what I want using only loop pedals:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... Ak3pJpXIsE
(even though I think it's a way too complicated gear for something rather simple. For now, I still think the multitrack recording machines like the Zoom R8 are the best option)

agraciotti
KVRer
9 posts since 10 Jan, 2019

Re: Best samples unit + loop pedal for solo live performance

Post Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:28 am

And....I've just found out the R8 and R16 does not have MIDI sync! WTF.... So I'm officially disappointed with the market for this. (I'm adding to the math the fact that the BOSS RC300, which seems to be an AMAZING pedal, is not made to work as MIDI slave. This is insanity). Why there seems to be impossible to find a reasonable gear capable of playing full backing tracks AND synced with other gear without a laptop; something that doesn't involve scratching my head to find workarounds? It's ridiculous to not have some device that provides this precisely and reliably for something so simple!

I'm back to the software choices then.... maybe with an ipad or iphone to avoid the laptop. :(

User avatar
egbert101
KVRAF
2290 posts since 13 Jun, 2014

Re: Best samples unit + loop pedal for solo live performance

Post Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:39 am

agraciotti wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:28 am
And....I've just found out the R8 and R16 does not have MIDI sync! WTF.... So I'm officially disappointed with the market for this. (I'm adding to the math the fact that the BOSS RC300, which seems to be an AMAZING pedal, is not made to work as MIDI slave. This is insanity). Why there seems to be impossible to find a reasonable gear capable of playing full backing tracks AND synced with other gear without a laptop; something that doesn't involve scratching my head to find workarounds? It's ridiculous to not have some device that provides this precisely and reliably for something so simple!

I'm back to the software choices then.... maybe with an ipad or iphone to avoid the laptop. :(
Looks like the Zoom F8 has sync:

Time code with pinpoint accuracy
The F8’s time code is state-of-the-art. It utilizes a Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator (TCXO) that generates time code at 0.2 ppm accuracy, enabling rock-solid syncing of audio and video.

The F8 supports all standard dropframe and non-drop formats, and can jam sync to time code being provided by external devices. An input and output are provided on standard BNC connectors, enabling easy integration into any rig.


https://www.zoom.co.jp/products/handy-r ... d-recorder
<list all your stupid gear here>

agraciotti
KVRer
9 posts since 10 Jan, 2019

Re: Best samples unit + loop pedal for solo live performance

Post Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:04 am

egbert101 wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:39 am
Looks like the Zoom F8 has sync:

Time code with pinpoint accuracy
The F8’s time code is state-of-the-art. It utilizes a Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator (TCXO) that generates time code at 0.2 ppm accuracy, enabling rock-solid syncing of audio and video.

The F8 supports all standard dropframe and non-drop formats, and can jam sync to time code being provided by external devices. An input and output are provided on standard BNC connectors, enabling easy integration into any rig.


https://www.zoom.co.jp/products/handy-r ... d-recorder
wow, but that is such a massive piece of gear. It`s a huge box made for field recording.... once again, it won't worth the money. Using a 1.000 dollars device that is made for much more that just playing backtracks will not be a wise solution for me. But thanks anyway.

I'm really giving up on searching about it. There really seems to be NO piece of gear made for that. (this is a very cool post about possible configurations to do backing tracks live, and even here, there's no better solution than a loptop :
http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/thre ... to.665139/)

So, well...I decided I'll buy a cheap laptop or an ipad only for that. Let's see how it goes.

User avatar
pdxindy
KVRAF
14804 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: Best samples unit + loop pedal for solo live performance

Post Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:44 am

Check out the new Akai Force... standalone, saw a video of someone doing looping, and it has something like the session view from Live for triggering clips.

It's kinda expensive, but it might do everything you need in one piece of hardware.

agraciotti
KVRer
9 posts since 10 Jan, 2019

Re: Best samples unit + loop pedal for solo live performance

Post Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:48 am

pdxindy wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:44 am
Check out the new Akai Force... standalone, saw a video of someone doing looping, and it has something like the session view from Live for triggering clips.

It's kinda expensive, but it might do everything you need in one piece of hardware.
Looks awesome! But I see it was not released yet. And yeah, I figure it will be one hell of an expensive machine... There's the Akai MPC Live, which also looks great, I think it will do what I need but it's already very expensive (here in Brazil it costs even more than a laptop. So...).
There are simpler options for playing samples like the MPX16 but I'm not sure it will trigger full wav tracks and easy to change songs, etc. I don't see anybody using it like that.

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