Degradation looper struggles (and a bug?)

Hi! I have been using the degradation looper a lot lately and I have been struggling with it mainly for 2 reasons:

  1. While doing the initial loop record, hitting the Touch switch goes to play mode. I thought since it was a degradation looper with loop decay, it worked in a sound-on-sound way so it would start overdubbing after rec, but it plays instead, rendering Frippertronics-style looping very difficult to achieve without cuts in sound.
  2. The other thing is that there seems to be a bug with the recording buffer. In the manual, it states that when the max loop recording time is reached, it goes into overdub, so I was trying this to overcome the previous point by giving up on having control of the loop end point and trying to nail the length with the T2 knob before recording, but when I record, say, a 42-second loop and then it starts overdubbing by reaching the max length, I get a 10-second loop with the last I played (ie, from second 32 to second 42). Here is a link to a recording showing that: Dropbox - Ribbons degradation looper bug.mp3 - Simplify your life
  3. I find the degradation starts to kick in too early, making the sound quite muddy after, say 10 minutes if the T1 loop decay control is at max/unity. There is quite a high contrast between old non-fading layers and what’s being just recorded. Is there a way to control it so that no filter degradation occurs unless I manually engage the low-pass filter?

@jaakjensen have you encountered the bug on point #2 and/or know a way to work around the rest of the items?
Thanks in advance.

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Hi @ale.garciaiglesias thanks for posting. We just got back from a trip and I’m still playing catch up. I’ll look into all of this and get back to you real soon!

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Thanks for your patience! Here are my thoughts -

It works this way because it makes the Touch footswitch function consistent with the four-track looper. Tap to record, tap to stop and start playback. I can see how for your use case it would be smoother if the second tap activated overdubbing but IMO it would be counterintuitive to depart from the UI of the four-track looper.

I think Frippertronics-style looping is still very possible with Disintegration Loop. You just have to tap the footswitch one more time after you record the first loop to start recording again. If you tap 1 second after setting your loop length, then you would lose 1 second of potential overdubbing (I think that’s what you mean by “cuts in sound”). But your loop container remains same regardless of when you punch back in and you can overdub as many times as you want.

Sure enough - you found a bug! It seems the automatic jump to overdubbing isn’t functioning as expected when the max buffer length is >20 seconds. It works at 1x speed but not less than 1x speed. You can still record loops that are 20+ seconds long, it just doesn’t jump to overdubbing when the buffer fills up as expected.

I thought I tested this during development but I guess I missed it. Sorry about that and thanks for catching it.

I will investigate and roll out a firmware update with a fix as soon as possible. I’m trying really hard to kick off beta testing for our next pedal at the moment but I should be able to make time for this in the next couple weeks TBD. I’ll post here once it’s ready.

If you are using Disintegration Loop with the Saturation parameter enabled then you could try it with Compression instead. The anti-aliasing filters in the algorithm make the distortion sound smooth and analog but it can make Disintegration Loop a little darker after each repeat, even if Saturation is set to zero. There are no anti-aliasing filters when Compression is enabled so you should be able to get cleaner loops that way.

I might be able to tweak the feedback gain slightly to get it a little closer to unity so that there is less decay in general. I’ll check that out when I’m working on fixing the jump to overdub bug.


Thanks for your reply Jaak.

  1. Regarding Frippertronics looping, the problem is that sometimes between phrases there is a note decaying plus reverb and some delay, and if you double-hit the Touch footswitch, there’s still a minimal gap in the sound of the trails that is a bit annoying. It works if you record dry, which I don’t when I’m at Frippertronics.
  2. I’m glad that you may be able to fix the jump to overdubbing bug.
  3. I’m not using the saturation, I have the compressor enabled as per factory default, but I still find the loop layers become quite dark after a few repeats compared to the new audio I’m recording. This is regardless of the volume decay setting (which I’m keeping mostly at unity until I need some sonic “space”).

Anyhow, I get that, aside from the bug in item #2, you plan to keep the other items working as they are, which is reasonable :slight_smile: I had to ask just in case I missed something, but otherwise it seems I’ll have to look for another solution for end of chain looping.
Looking forward to the firmware update!

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This is interesting. I had never noticed any issue with this, probably because I usually have various effects on Ribbons activated when I’m using the Disintegration Looper. But I decided to load the Init preset and see what happened with a plain guitar loop, and I could hear it getting a little duller over time. It wasn’t very dramatic, and it took several cycles for it to become apparent, but it was happening. Then I tried it with a drum machine loop, and the darkening became quite obvious. After very few cycles, the hi-hat sound was almost obliterated. It’s as though there’s a slight lowpass filter on at all times. I don’t think this will affect the way I use the Disintegration Looper, but I thought it was worth verifying what @ale.garciaiglesias was saying.

@TallWalls @ale.garciaiglesias I’ll investigate this too when I look into the bug fix and see if there’s anything I can do to improve it.

@TallWalls thanks for confirming! As you mentioned, I can definitely notice point #3 that you’re referring to with instruments having more high-frequency content, such as voice and bowed instruments. Sometimes I want to make a loop with multiple layers for harmony before pausing the overdub and doing something else, and still after very few cycles, the last layers are much brighter and contrasting, and don’t “blend” seamlessly with the previous layers to form harmonies.

@jaakjensen I was under the impression and expectation that, since the Degradation Looper ran the pedal effects on each cycle, I should explicitly engage the low pass filter so that it affected the loop on each repeat in that way, but if I didn’t, then the loop would remain intact. Again, if it’s by design, it’s fine, I didn’t expect that due to the way it was explained in the manual.