Synthtopia

Moog Lap Steel Improvisation By Bill Walker

Sunday Synth Jam: This video doesn’t feature synth work, but captures some hypnotic live looping improvised by guitarist Bill Walker on the Moog Lap Steel guitar.

Here are the technical details, in Walker’s words:

I was running the Moog lap steel through a very basic rig starting with a Keeley compressor set for light compression and a bit of signal boost, into an Ethos preamp for both clean and overdriven tones, into a TC Electronic G Sharp for some dynamic delay and reverb, and finally in to a Looperlative LP-1 8 track loop recorder.

I use a Gordius Little Giant MIDI foot controller to send commands to the Looperlative. My two expression pedals control volume and feedback for my loops.

I use a number of looping techniques that include track speed manipulation, reverse loops, and quantize replace functions. The quantize replace function is what is creating the percolating sequencer sounding loops. I had my quantize replace set to a factor of 16, meaning every time I hit my quantize replace switch , the looper would record for only a 16th of the total loop length. You do this enough times and a cool sequence of notes starts to emerge. I’ll often start a piece by first recording a blank loop, and then one by one I start to build a sequence of notes until a highly rhythmic pattern emerges, even out of completely rubato playing.