I’ve gotten pretty comfortable with all of the touch modes aside from the disintegration loop. With all the others I ran into confusion but eventually figured out what I was doing wrong. But this is the only one that’s not clicking. Any tips from the community?
That’s interesting, because for me Disintegration Loop is the Touch mode I like the most! I think it does require a bit of patience, though, and minimal input may result in better sounds. Since every iteration of the loop re-applies the effects, it works best to have just a little bit of degradation going on at the start. I like to have a bit of pre-effect reverb, maybe both reverb knobs at about 10 o’clock, and low levels of dropouts and crinkle–you can apply to taste as the loop is playing, but bear in mind that if the effects are too extreme your loop will disintegrate very quickly. I’ll loop a simple, sparse melody line, maybe ten seconds or so. Since the looper needs to be active (recording) in order for the disintegration to occur, I usually turn down the volume on my guitar so I don’t accidentally add more layers to the loop. Once the loop has degraded I might add in a few fresh notes to keep the party going.
One thing that has turned out to be a key effect is the compressor on page 1. Certain effects–the filters for sure, but also the reverb–will cause your disintegrating loop to drop in volume as it goes, even with the Decay (T1) turned all the way up. Adding in just a tiny bit of compression keeps the volume steady. I usually keep it at 9 o’clock or lower, and if the loop starts getting too resonant I’ll turn it all the way down for a while.
But maybe the main thing is that you really just have to sit there and listen to the loop for a long time. I’ll set up a loop and then read a book while the loop degrades. It’s not really an active performance sort of effect. For me, at least. You can turn down the decay and use it as a delay, and it’s great for that (and you can really crank up the effects in that case), but that’s a different thing.
Jaak references Alvin Lucier’s “I Am Sitting In A Room” in the manual, and if you’re not familiar with that piece and you have 45 minutes to spare, I recommend it. It looks like it’s available on the various streaming services. It’s not an easy listen, since it’s long and nothing in it happens quickly, but it clearly illustrates the principles behind a degrading loop.
Hope this helps!
Thanks for all the info and tips. I think I’m missing something about letting it sit and degrade, because I wait for a long time, and maybe it degrades a bit. I also don’t know what you meant about using it as delay. It’ll probably make sense very soon.
However, I did mess with it some more today, engaging the switch, messing with the parameters on different pages, even doing rhythmic cutouts with the low and high pass, and damn. damn damn damn. It made some amazing weirdness and it’s the most fun I’ve had with it so far. So I’m not giving up. It seems like using effects is necessary for any noticeable degradation any time soon?
But yeah, for some reason it’s just not clicking and I’m unable to understand how to use T1. T2 is just for slowing or speeding up. But T1 is like just volume when the switch isn’t engaged? But if the switch is engaged, you can turn T1 cc and it will degrade but also get quieter faster. Then you can turn it back up with the degradation that’s happened, but there will be some volume cutouts?
I’ve listened to “I Am Sitting In A Room” before, and it was astounding to me. But maybe I don’t understand what resonance really is. I think the first thing to try to understand for me is how to use T1 without the volume fading. I love how this pedal has been more of a holistic feeling learning experience than any other I’ve played.
Yes, using effects is necessary for degradation. If you have T1 at max (so no decay is happening) and T2 at min or max (so it’s the highest sound quality), then your loop will not really degrade at all. If you add in any effects while the Touch switch is engaged, every time the loop repeats it will be run through the effects again. If you dial in something extreme (like very high depth Wow or Flutter*), your loop will become hard to recognize within just a few repeats. Doing something like that might be a good way to test the concept before trying more subtle approaches.
T1 is like the Feedback knob on a regular delay pedal. At max, your loop will loop forever, but anything below that will make the loop get quieter on every repeat. So you can use Ribbons like a tap-tempo delay: tap the Touch switch three times; the first two taps set the delay time, and the third puts you into the overdubbing state. With T1 at 9 o’clock or so you should hear just two or three repeats that fade away fairly quickly. You can use T2 to change the delay time after you’ve tapped it in.
- edit: Just realized I steered you wrong here. The manual states that only the stereo effects are re-applied with every iteration of the loop. So you should try Dropouts, Crinkle, and pre-effect Reverb. With a lot of reverb, the loop dissolves into abstract tones quite quickly.
It’s actually all of the effects! Whatever settings you have dialed in, your loop gets re-run through all of them. Poor choice of word in the manual there - sorry for any confusion.
Also, thanks for all of your great answers here, I’m not sure I could have explained it better myself.
Ah, nice! I did the edit because I was trying out different sets of effects in conjunction with the Disintegration Loop and the Wow had a surprisingly subtle effect on the degradation of the loop. But there just must have been something about that particular loop and that particular Wow setting.
@redhandrail I was having a similar issue. These setting might help you get the degradation going so you can make adjustments and hear their effect. Disintegration Loop - Unable to record [Resolved] - #3 by Abstrkx