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Looping Samples in Pure Data to Create Virtual Tape Loops

Sunday Night Synthesis S03E01 Main Title Screen 480x270

As electro-acoustic music evolved over the early to mid part of the 20the century, one of the techniques that was being explored heavily by both composers who worked in the electro-acoustic medium and those who were experimenting with found sound was the usage of magnetic tape, especially in the generation of tape loops. As tape can be run in various direction and at varying speeds, a lot could be done creatively with this medium. As the usefulness of editing and programming have made digital approaches to electro-acoustic music so prevalent, it has been interesting to see what could be done in the digital world that could still keep some of the techniques that one could employ in using physical tape.

The digital world is so open that if you think of it, it can probably be done. And what is more, with all of the open-ended programming environments out there, it probably already has. This episode of Sunday Night Synthesis is not an exploration of any new frontier by any means, but rather, just one composer’s look at the different possibilities he has found in creating virtual tape loops in Pure Data. In fact, there various ways of approaching it, all with their own pros and cons. In this epsidoe, Lawrence W. Moore explores some of the techniques in PD that he has used in making sample loopers and tape loops.

Episode 01 – Sample Looping & Virtual Tape Loopers – This is a zip file of the patches used in this video.

This week’s episode was requested by a viewer who expressed an interest in the Tape looper example that was used in Series 01 Episode 11 previewing the upcoming LWM Rack releases. This Pure Data patch was a tape Looper that was made for the early version of LWM Rack and was never released. There were some functions and features that Dr. Moore was never quite satisfied with. For this episode, he is now releasing some sample patches of various approaches to looping samples and creating virtual tape loopers in PD. The experimentation that Dr. Moore explored culminates in what he initially wanted in this tape looper module. With the release of LWM Rack v1.00b now sporting a sleeker design, Moore plans to make a module utilizing this functionality within the LWM Rack virtual modular synthesizer framework.

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