Short loops that doesn't sound repetitive
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:57 PM   #1
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Short loops that doesn't sound repetitive

What makes a short loop still sound fresh even if overly-repeated?

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Old 02-12-2015, 09:02 PM   #2
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Re: Short loops that doesn't sound repetitive

groove, syncopation, subtle modulation.
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:41 PM   #3
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Re: Short loops that doesn't sound repetitive

Various modulation of various parameters over time. That's how you make it evolve and breath, if that's the answer you are looking for.

edit: Speaking of which, I'm making short loops of roomtones to be looped in a game, and it's actually pretty hard to find a nice "clean" loop that will end up sounding like a natural ambience. The brain will recognize the most subtle repetition/variation and identify it as a loop. So I started making roomtone-loops a little longer, because I can spot the loops even with my eyes closed.

Last edited by Evelon; 02-12-2015 at 10:00 PM..

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Old 02-12-2015, 09:51 PM   #4
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Re: Short loops that doesn't sound repetitive

Quote:
Originally Posted by displace View Post
What makes a short loop still sound fresh even if overly-repeated?
Walking away so you can't hear it repeat over and over, then going back to it.

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Old 02-12-2015, 10:49 PM   #5
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Re: Short loops that doesn't sound repetitive

Not all short loops need to change over time to sound good. Strictly speaking if we're talking about audio loops they cant change over time, so modulation is out.

I think a lot of the time it's context and environment. I.E the genre you're writing and the other sounds in the mix. Put a super short 2 beat loop in a hypnotic and atonal techno tune and it will sound great, then try and put that same loop in a hip hop pop song and it will sound terrible.

I've found you can get more mileage from a loop if it's weirder or harder to unpack, because it will take more time to become familiar and monotonous/grating. One of the reasons I love the more IDM/experimental side of electronica.
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:53 PM   #6
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Re: Short loops that doesn't sound repetitive

And why in a 4/4 metric a tone variation of the beat looks good only after 4 bars and not after just 3?

P.S: I don't know if I'm using correctly those music terms, so this question may be a nonsense
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:10 AM   #7
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Re: Short loops that doesn't sound repetitive

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Originally Posted by displace View Post
And why in a 4/4 metric a tone variation of the beat looks good only after 4 bars and not after just 3?
it sounds good because your ear is used to it

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Old 02-13-2015, 01:17 AM   #8
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Re: Short loops that doesn't sound repetitive

Granulation! I also enjoy duplicating a clip multiple times and setting all of their loop points differently, then resampling that and repeating.
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Old 02-13-2015, 08:59 AM   #9
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Re: Short loops that doesn't sound repetitive

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Originally Posted by SpinVector View Post
Strictly speaking if we're talking about audio loops they cant change over time, so modulation is out.
Please clarify.

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Old 02-13-2015, 03:53 PM   #10
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Re: Short loops that doesn't sound repetitive

'good'? that's a matter of opinion innit
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Old 02-13-2015, 06:30 PM   #11
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Re: Short loops that doesn't sound repetitive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evelon View Post
edit: Speaking of which, I'm making short loops of roomtones to be looped in a game, and it's actually pretty hard to find a nice "clean" loop that will end up sounding like a natural ambience. The brain will recognize the most subtle repetition/variation and identify it as a loop. So I started making roomtone-loops a little longer, because I can spot the loops even with my eyes closed.
I had to do crowd noise for a game I worked on a few years back, and it was really hard to get things to not sound repetitive. Especially if there is any easily identified audio gesture. It took me weeks to get them sounding 'natural'. Random selection of shorter loops to create a longer one works for this type of thing.

Although this really had nothing to do with the topic as I imagine he was talking about music and not ambience.

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Old 02-13-2015, 08:07 PM   #12
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Re: Short loops that doesn't sound repetitive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dataf1ow View Post
I had to do crowd noise for a game I worked on a few years back, and it was really hard to get things to not sound repetitive. Especially if there is any easily identified audio gesture. It took me weeks to get them sounding 'natural'. Random selection of shorter loops to create a longer one works for this type of thing.

Although this really had nothing to do with the topic as I imagine he was talking about music and not ambience.
Yeah, I can relate. I'm making a loop out of a waiting room in a hospital and it's a bit of a PITA.

I think some trix can be applied to music aswell.

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Old 02-13-2015, 08:38 PM   #13
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Re: Short loops that doesn't sound repetitive

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Originally Posted by Lug View Post
it sounds good because your ear is used to it
I thought of it, most loop variation/evolution are quite predictable.
Sometimes I can guess how and when a loop variation will be applied at first track listening simply by the context.
Maybe predictability is somehow good in dance music.

Another possibility is that a tone variation every three bars is too repetitive to my ears.
Or maybe thinking by multiples of 4 is innate in dance music.
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:07 PM   #14
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Re: Short loops that doesn't sound repetitive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dataf1ow View Post
I had to do crowd noise for a game I worked on a few years back, and it was really hard to get things to not sound repetitive. Especially if there is any easily identified audio gesture. It took me weeks to get them sounding 'natural'. Random selection of shorter loops to create a longer one works for this type of thing.

Although this really had nothing to do with the topic as I imagine he was talking about music and not ambience.
I faced a similar problem when thinking about how to make a dynamic loop of engine sound samples, but I never really tried to solve it.

Back on topic:
basically every variation increase the real length of the loop, so is like a sort of cheating if we were strictly talking of short loops.
I wonder if would be possible trick the listener thinking that variations never happened and at the same time break the repetitiveness.

Last edited by displace; 02-13-2015 at 09:33 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 05-05-2015, 07:35 AM   #15
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Re: Short loops that doesn't sound repetitive

A neat sort of thing to do is depending how you have things set up, try changing the velocity/volume/ parameters rhythmically if that makes sense.
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Old 05-07-2016, 07:07 AM   #16
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Re: Short loops that doesn't sound repetitive

changes in velocity, a slight variation that makes it not just straight ahead. changing things around it like a different pad coming in, something dropping out. It's amazing how something can seem like it's moving just by changing the surroundings.

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