Why I almost asked Santa for a repeater pedal for Christmas, but don’t have to anymore.
by Amanda Louise Miller, creative party of one (sometimes!)
When you grow up in a tiny Midwestern town like I did, you learn scads of self-reliance, particularly if you’re going to be, shall we say, a mold breaker of any kind.
Case in point: me. :)
From the precocious little kindergartener who asked her teacher if the class could “put on a show” -- and offered to help her direct it if needed! -- to the grown up who often produces her own work, I’m pretty sure I’ve always embodied a “well then, I guess I’ll just do it myself” attitude when it comes to music and theatre.
I think this backstory is a big part of the reason I love combining the arts and technology so much -- with tools like Garageband, Sibelius, YouTube, and iMovie, I can literally create entire musical casts, choruses, or theatre scores from my living room by myself... with apologies, of course, to my neighbors in the next apartment, who regularly get to hear me singing or playing the same song over and over, performing everything from soprano to bass (which I generally sing up an octave and then lower digitally, resulting in something that sounds not unlike the creepy voice from Saw).
Disclaimer: I think this is an important time to state, for the record, that I DO enjoy collaboration with other humans and that (most of the time, anyway) I am NOT an antisocial hermit. But if you’re used to being the only one on the island, you get in the habit of building all the fires AND eating all the coconuts yourself. So there. ;)
And, for the record, I’m not alone. The internet is full of other one-man/woman bands, and they come in all shapes and crazy kinds.
(Nifty one-man/woman-bands on YouTube)
And let’s not forget the amazing beat boxing cello player, Kevin Osula, later part of the uber-talented Sing-Off-winning group, Pentatonix (not that I’m a fan or anything ;).
But my newest youtube obsessions are the folks that use “live looping” to create one-man bands on the fly, LIVE.
Finally, the temptation to try this musical sorcery for myself simply became too overwhelming, and I started researching ways I could turn li’l ol me into a live looper extraordinaire. I soon found out that there are all sorts of websites where you can locate software and order expensive equipment used in live looping - an almost overwhelming number, in fact.
But I was kind of hoping for something a with a gentler learning curve -- and/or a lower price tag. Turns out, as is often the way in these tales, there’s an app for that.
This is Loopy. (Get it from the app store HERE.)
(Full disclosure: I did edit out some of the more boring--and silent--seconds of the video that consisted of me listening to the headphones and trying to get it to start counting me in to record the next loop.)
This video was literally shot during my first 5 minutes with the app, without any real musical planning or forethought on my part. And I haven’t tried out Loopy’s recording and sharing features yet, but I know that you can email the audio files, upload them to your computer or directly to SoundCloud directly from the app.
Overall, while the “have to wear headphones” thing is a bit annoying, I am already a big fan of this app, and plan on upgrading to Loopy HD, which I can also use on my iPad, very soon.
Because, honestly, when it comes to music and technology, the more ways to play with yourself the better, right? ;)