In this video, Robert Fripp demonstrates his ‘Frippertronics’ setup for live looping and overdubbing, using a pair of reel to reel tape recorders.
Frippertronics With Tape Recorders
With the two tape recorder setup, an audio tape is stretched between two tape recorders, with the distance between the two recorders determining the length of the delay.
As the tape passes through the first recorder, a sound can be recorded. This sound is then played back, after the time delay, by the playback head on the second tape recorder.
The delayed sound can then be fed back as input into the first recorder, to create a slowly decaying loop. Additional audio processing can be done on both the audio input and the delayed return. A similar setup was used on Fripp and Brian Eno’s 1973 proto-ambient album, No Pussyfooting.
The tape delay setup mirrors one used by Terry Riley for his 1963 recording, Music For The Gift.