Workshop
RC-50 Loop Station
Using Multi Mode
© 2006 BOSS Corporation U.S.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the
written permission of BOSS Corporation U.S.
RC50WS02
About the RC-50 Workshop Booklets
The BOSS RC-50 Loop Station sets a new standard for performance loopers.
With 49 minutes of mono recording time (or 24 minutes in stereo), onboard
storage for up to 297 phrases, and massive realtime control, the RC-50 is a
powerful realtime performance tool. While looping is its primary function, it
can be used in many other ways as well: as a sampler, a backing track player,
a practice aid, and more.
Each RC-50 Workshop booklet focuses on a specific topic to help you
get the most out of your RC-50 and spark some ideas for its creative use.
RC-50 Workshop booklets are intended as companions to the RC-50 Owner’s
Manual.
About This Booklet
Each RC-50 patch contains three phrases. The patch’s Play mode setting—
Single or Multi—determines how you can use these phrases in your
performances. Both Play modes have their advantages, with each being
best-suited for different looping scenarios.
This booklet focuses on using Multi mode, including pedal operations,
important patch settings, and some suggested performance applications.
To learn about Single mode, see the RC-50 Workshop booklet Using Single
Mode.
Understanding the Symbols in This Booklet
Throughout this booklet, you’ll come across information that deserves
special attention—that’s the reason it’s labeled with one of the following
symbols.
Terminology
•
On the RC-50, a “phrase” is a container for audio data. An RC-50 patch
contains three phrases, and each can loop indefinitely or be triggered
sampler-style using the “One Shot” function.
•
•
When a phrase is empty, capturing audio into it is called “recording.”
•
Alternately, a phrase can be closed by pressing the STOP pedal during
phrase recording.
•
When a phrase already contains audio and you wish to layer more—or
replace some—you “overdub” audio into the phrase.
While recording a phrase, pressing the REC/PLAY/OVERDUB pedal stops
recording and starts the phrase playing from the beginning. This action
determines the phrase’s length, and we call it “closing the phrase.”
A Note About Patch Settings
An RC-50 patch contains many settings that determine how its phrases play,
and among them is the Play mode selection. Multi mode—one of the two
Play modes—is the subject of this booklet.
While discussing Multi mode, we’ll describe some other patch settings
that are important to using the mode effectively. Focusing on them in
particular doesn’t mean that other patch settings are irrelevant while
working with Multi mode—we’re only highlighting them here because they
so fundamentally affect the use of the mode. Additionally, the suggestions
made here are just basic recommendations, and we encourage you to
experiment and find the settings that best suit the way you like to work.
To learn more about patches, see the RC-50 Workshop booklet Patches and
Chapter 4 in the RC-50 Owner’s Manual.
A note is something that adds information about the topic at hand.
A tip offers suggestions for using the feature being discussed.
Warnings contain important information that can help you avoid
possible damage to your equipment, your data, or yourself.
About Multi Mode
Selecting Multi Mode
When the RC-50’s in Multi mode, all three phrases in a patch can play
simultaneously. Essentially, this turns the RC-50 into a multitrack recording
and playback device.
Multi mode’s great for creating complex, layered compositions live in real
time. If you wish, you can import audio—such as drum loops, bass lines,
etc.—into the RC-50’s phrases, and use them as starting points for your live
phrase recordings. With a three-phrase looping multitracker at your feet, the
creative possibilities are nearly endless.
The following illustrations show just two examples of the many ways you can
use Multi mode phrases:
Phrase 1
Phrase 2
Drum loop Drum loop Drum loop Drum loop Drum loop Drum loop
Bass line
Phrase 2
Phrase 3
Bass line
Chord progression
Phrase 3
Phrase 1
Bass line
Chord progression
Bass line
Bass line
Chord progression
Chord progression
Chord progression
Vocal
Vocal
Counter melody
To choose Multi as the Play mode, press the PLAY
MODE button so its indicator lights.
The Play mode can’t be changed during recording,
overdubbing, or playback.
Multi Mode’s Synchronization Tools
When multiple phrases are playing simultaneously, you’ll usually want to
keep them in synchronization with each other. Following are some of the
tools the RC-50 provides to help you accomplish this.
Loop Quantize
Loop Quantize is a feature that helps you close a phrase in time with the
guide or another phrase, even if you don’t press the REC/PLAY/OVERDUB
pedal at exactly the right moment. This allows you to focus on your
performance rather than precision pedal-pressing.
The ins and outs of Loop Quantize are covered in detail in the RC-50
Workshop booklet The Guide and Loop Quantize.
There’s no on/off switch for Loop Quantize—when it’s needed, it’s
automatically enabled during phrase recording while you’re using the other
RC-50 features described in this section.
Counter melody
The LOOP QUANTIZE indicator lights whenever Loop
Quantize is active.
The Sound Library for RC-50 CD that comes with the RC-50 has tons of
great audio bits that you can import into phrases from your computer
via USB. To learn how, see Chapter 9 in the RC-50 Owner’s Manual.
Loop Sync
Multi mode’s Loop Sync feature offers an easy way to keep multiple phrases
in sync with each other.
The following example illustrates how Loop Sync works after audio’s been
recorded in a patch’s phrases. When it’s on, the RC-50 loops over the length
of the longest phrase—Phrase 2 in this case. The playback starting points
of Phrases 1 and 3 are determined by when they were recorded in relation
to Phrase 2’s length. (When necessary, the RC-50 locks a newly recorded
phrase’s start time to the start of the longest phrase by automatically adding
silence—that is, blank audio—to the beginning of the new phrase when it’s
closed.)
Loop Sync playback
Phrase 1
Phrase 2
Phrase 3
Silence
C C
C
C
C C C C C
C C C C C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C C C C C
C C C C C
C C C C C
C C C C C
C C C C C
C C C Silence
C C
C
C
C
C C C C C
C C C C C
C C C If you’re using Loop Sync to create a multi-phrase loop performance from
a blank slate—that is, you start with three empty phrases—the first phrase
you record will determine the loop playback length for all phrases. However,
if you’ve recorded or imported audio into a patch’s phrases before turning
on Loop Sync, the loop playback length is determined by the overall length
of the longest recorded/imported phrase.
Either way, once the longest phrase has been defined, Loop Quantize is
enabled, ensuring that additional phrase recordings don’t exceed the length
of this phrase.
To enable Loop Sync, make sure that the RC-50’s in
Multi mode, and then press LOOP SYNC so its indicator
lights. (The LOOP SYNC button is disabled when the
RC-50’s in Single mode.)
To Loop Sync or Not to Loop Sync?
Loop Sync makes syncing multiple phrases hassle-free, but there may be
times when turning it off will suit a composition better. Use the following as
general guidelines:
•
Turn Loop Sync on—when you want to create a multi-phrase performance
where all phrases share a common looping length.
•
Turn Loop Sync off—when you want to create a multi-phrase performance
where each phrase loops independently based on its length, and/or
where you wish to have independent control of the playback starting
points of all three phrases.
The Guide
The RC-50’s built-in guide provides a rhythmic
backing you can play along with while recording
phrases. It offers numerous patterns in a variety of
time signatures, so its easy to find a backing that
works with most any musical style.
The guide can be used in either Single or Multi mode. When it’s on, Loop
Quantize is always enabled during phrase recording. When a phrase is
closed, Loop Quantize automatically adjusts its ending so it matches the
tempo—and therefore the measure length—of the guide sound. This
ensures that all phrases play in sync relative to each other and the guide.
To learn more, see the RC-50 Workshop booklet The Guide and Loop
Quantize.
Loop Sync only works with phrases that are set for looped playback.
If a phrase is set for One Shot playback, its length is not constrained
by Loop Sync. We’ll cover loop/One Shot phrase settings in the next
section.
Tempo Sync
Here are some general guidelines for setting phrases’ Tempo Sync switches
while working in Multi mode:
The RC-50 has a feature called Tempo Sync that has
a great impact on how phrases are recorded and
played back.
Tempo Sync’s primary function is to make a previously recorded phrase
play at the current patch tempo. This is accomplished using a time-shifting
algorithm that changes the phrase’s speed without changing its pitch.
A secondary use for Tempo Sync is to allow the recording of a specific phrase
to set the patch tempo. This, in turn, enables that phrase to be used as a
Loop Quantize reference during the recording of another phrase. Covered
in detail in the RC-50 Workshop booklet The Guide and Loop Quantize, this
functionality helps you keep Multi phrases in sync with each other when the
guide and Loop Sync are off.
Each phrase has its own Tempo Sync switch, so you can decide whether you
want to use it—or not—on a per-phrase basis.
�
With all phrases stopped, press
the PHRASE EDIT button for the
desired phrase: PHRASE 1, 2, or 3.
�
Use the PARAMETER buttons to display the selected phrase’s Tempo
Sync screen.
•
When using a phrase as a Loop Quantize reference for the recording of
other phrases—turn the phrase’s Tempo Sync switch on, and turn all
other phrases’ Tempo Sync switches off.
•
When recording and playing phrases with the guide on—make sure all
phrases’ Tempo Sync switches are set the same (on or off ).
To learn more about Tempo Sync, see the RC-50 Workshop booklet
Tempos and Tempo Sync.
No Sync
There may be times when you want Multi mode’s phrases to have no
synchronization reference to each other at all. This is an effective technique
when working with non-rhythmic and/or ambient sounds to create avantgarde “soundscapes.”
In this musical style, it’s often desirable to have the phrases’ playback
relationships constantly evolve over time as each loops independently of
the other.
Phrase 1
CC
C C C
C C C
C C C
C C C
C C C
C C
C
C C
C
C C
C
C C
C
C 1ISBTF5FNQP
4ZOD0/
Phrase 2
CC
C C C
C C C
C C C
C C C
C CC
C C
C CC
C C
C CC
In this example we’ve selected Phrase 3’s Tempo Sync screen.
Phrase 3
C C C
CC
C C C
C C C
C C
C C
C C
C C
CC
C C
C C
C C
CC
�
Turn the PATCH/VALUE dial to choose the desired setting: ON or OFF.
�
To adjust the Tempo Sync setting for another phrase, select the phrase
by pressing its PHRASE EDIT button, and then use the procedure
described in Step 3.
5�
Press EXIT when you’re done.
When you wish to create phrases in this fashion, turn Loop Sync, the guide,
and all phrases’ Tempo Sync switches off. Then, turn on your imagination...
You’ll probably find the RC-50’s reverse playback and fade in/fade
out features useful for this musical style as well. To learn how to use
them, see the RC-50 Workshop booklet Patches and Chapter 4 in the
RC-50 Owner’s Manual.
Other Important Multi Mode Patch Settings
Here are a few other patch settings you’ll want to think about before using
Multi mode.
Loop/One Shot Playback
A phrase’s One Shot setting determines how it plays. When it’s set to:
•
•
LOOP—the phrase loops continuously.
ONE SHOT—the phrase plays once and then stops. While a One Shot
phrase is selected and playing, you can:
•
•
restart it from its beginning—by pressing REC/PLAY/OVERDUB.
make it loop continuously—by pressing and holding REC/PLAY/
OVERDUB.
When a phrase is set for One Shot
playback, its front-panel ONE SHOT
indicator lights.
�
Turn the PATCH/VALUE dial to choose the desired setting: ONE SHOT
or LOOP.
�
To adjust the One Shot setting for another phrase, select the phrase by
pressing its PHRASE EDIT button, and then use the procedure described
in Step 3.
5�
Press EXIT when you’re done.
Time Signature
When you record a phrase, the RC-50 assigns it a tempo value called the
“original tempo.” If you plan on using the guide and/or Tempo Sync in Multi
mode, you should set the desired time signature before beginning any
phrase recording. This helps the RC-50 calculate an accurate original tempo,
which is important for Tempo Sync and Loop Quantize to work properly.
To set the time signature:
�
Press the GUIDE SELECT button.
�
Use the PARAMETER buttons to display the Guide:Beat screen.
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Audio can’t be overdubbed in a phrase when it’s set to ONE SHOT.
Most of the time, you’ll probably want to set your phrases to loop continuously.
However, the One Shot setting is excellent when you want to play one-off
sounds such as a single vocal line, a sound effect, etc.
To set a phrase for loop or One Shot playback:
�
Press the PHRASE EDIT button
for the desired phrase: PHRASE
1, 2, or 3.
�
Use the PARAMETER buttons to display the selected phrase’s One Shot
screen.
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-001
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Turn the PATCH/VALUE dial to choose the desired time signature.
�
Press EXIT when you’re done.
The time signature can’t be changed once audio’s been recorded into
any of a patch’s phrases. To change the time signature, clear all of the
patch’s phrases or initialize the patch.
To learn more about phrases’ original tempos, including tips on helping
the RC-50 calculate them accurately, see the RC-50 Workshop booklet
Tempos and Tempo Sync.
In this example we’ve selected Phrase 2’s One Shot screen.
Pedal Operations in Multi Mode
Selecting a Phrase
To select a phrase for recording, playback, or overdubbing, press its PHRASE
SELECT pedal: PHRASE 1, 2, or 3. A pedal’s left indicator lights solid when it’s
the currently selected phrase. (For the sake of brevity, we’ll refer to a selected
phrase as the “current phrase.”)
Using the REC/PLAY/OVERDUB Pedal
Press the REC/PLAY/OVERDUB pedal to record, play, or
overdub audio in the current phrase. All of these actions
can be initiated in real time without stopping the phrase.
The sequence of actions that occur each time the pedal is
pressed is determined by the current phrase’s One Shot setting and its audio
content.
The REC/PLAY/OVERDUB pedal’s indicator—as well as the right indicator
on the PHRASE SELECT pedals—light solid in different colors to show the
current phrase operation(s):
Red=Recording
Multi mode allows you to play up to three phrases simultaneously;
however, audio can only be recorded/overdubbed into one phrase at
a time.
A PHRASE SELECT pedal’s right indicator lights solid or flashes in different
colors to inform you about the phrase’s current condition.
When a phrase is selected while its playback is stopped, the right indicator:
•
•
flashes red—if the phrase is empty.
flashes green—if the phrase contains audio.
Green=Playback
Orange=Overdubbing
When a Phrase is Set for Loop Playback
When a phrase’s One Shot setting is LOOP, the phrase loops continuously
once audio’s been recorded in it and playback is started. While the current
phrase is looping, overdubbing can be started and stopped at any time by
pressing REC/PLAY/OVERDUB.
If the current phrase is empty and stopped, the following actions occur each
time REC/PLAY/OVERDUB is pressed:
Phrase
Record
Play
Overdub
Play
The RC-50’s Play screen shows the audio content status of all three
phrases at once. To learn more about the Play screen, see the RC-50
Workshop booklet Patches and Page 18 in the RC-50 Owner’s Manual.
A phrase can be selected at any time, even while recording, playback, or
overdubbing is taking place in other phrases.
If desired, the RC-50 can be set so that overdubbing begins—instead of
playback—when the phrase is closed. We’ll show you how in the next
section.
If the current phrase contains audio and is stopped, the following actions
occur each time REC/PLAY/OVERDUB is pressed:
Phrase
Play
Overdub
Play
Overdub
This setting is system-wide, affecting all patches. If you want to return
to the normal REC/PLAY/OVERDUB pedal behavior, use the above
procedure to set the Sys:REC Pdl Act setting back to REC‡PLAY.
The current OVERDUB MODE setting determines how audio is overdubbed
in a phrase. To learn more about the Overdub modes, see the RC-50
Workshop booklet Patches and Page 47 in the RC-50 Owner’s Manual.
When a Phrase is Set for One Shot Playback
Overdubbing Immediately After Recording
Normally, a phrase begins playing back when it’s closed with the REC/
PLAY/OVERDUB pedal. In some circumstances, you may prefer to have
overdubbing begin instead of playback. Here’s how:
�
Press SYSTEM/USB.
�
Use the PARAMETER buttons to display the Sys:REC Pdl Act screen.
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3&$1-":
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Turn the PATCH/VALUE dial to change the setting from REC‡PLAY to
REC‡OVERDUB.
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Press EXIT when you’re done.
Now, if the current phrase is empty and stopped, the following actions occur
with each press of the REC/PLAY/OVERDUB pedal:
Phrase
Record
Overdub
Play
Overdub
When a phrase is set to One Shot, its playback behavior is like that of a
traditional phrase sampler.
Once audio’s been recorded in a One Shot phrase and playback is started,
it plays to its ending and then stops. While the phrase is playing, it can be
re-started from its beginning at any time. This allows you to perform the
popular “stuttering audio” effects that DJs accomplish with phrase samplers.
The only downside is that you give up the ability to overdub audio in the
phrase while it’s set to One Shot.
If you have a One Shot phrase that you’d like to overdub audio into,
you can temporarily set it for looped playback, overdub the desired
audio, and then set it back to One Shot. The caveat is that you can’t
do this in real time—you must stop the phrase each time the One Shot
setting is changed.
If the current phrase is empty and stopped, the first REC/PLAY/OVERDUB
press starts recording, while each subsequent press starts the phrase playing
from its beginning:
Phrase
Record
Play
Play
Play
If the current phrase contains audio and it’s stopped, each press of REC/
PLAY/OVERDUB starts the phrase playing from its beginning:
Phrase
Play
Play
Play
Play
If desired, you can make a One Shot phrase loop continuously by pressing
and holding the REC/PLAY/OVERDUB pedal.
Creating Phrases in Sequence
Phrase 2
Record
Play
In Multi mode, each phrase can be stopped independently
using the STOP pedal. To stop a phrase:
�
Select the phrase you want to stop by pressing its
PHRASE SELECT pedal.
�
Press STOP.
Depending on the phrase’s Stop mode setting, it may not stop immediately—
it could play to its ending and then stop, or slowly fade out instead. If this
is the case, you can immediately stop playback by pressing STOP a second
time.
To learn how to set the phrases’ Stop modes, see the RC-50 Workshop
booklet Patches and Chapter 4 in the RC-50 Owner’s Manual.
You can initiate recording/overdubbing in the current phrase while one of
the same actions is taking place in another phrase. When you do this, the
current phrase starts recording/overdubbing, and the other phrase switches
to playback. This allows you to create phrases one-after-another without
stopping playback.
Phrase 1
Stopping the Current Phrase
Play
Play
Record
Starting and Stopping All Phrases at Once
You can start and/or stop all Multi mode
phrases at once by simultaneously pressing
the PHRASE 2 and PHRASE 3 pedals. As
a reminder, this dual-pedal function is
provided on a label next to the pedals.
When phrases are started in this fashion,
each phrase plays according to its Start mode setting—either starting at full
volume immediately or fading in gradually.
Similarly, when all phrases are stopped at once, each follows its individual
Stop mode setting. If one or more phrases continue to play or fade out, you
can simultaneously press PHRASE 2 and 3 again to stop all phrase playback
immediately.
If Loop Quantize is enabled during recording, you might experience a
brief “lag” before the current phrase begins recording/overdubbing.
This happens because Loop Quantize is closing the previous phrase to
match the measure length of a reference (either the guide or another
phrase). To learn more about Loop Quantize, see the RC-50 Workshop
booklet The Guide and Loop Quantize.
To learn how to set the phrases’ Start and Stop modes, see the
RC-50 Workshop booklet Patches and Chapter 4 in the RC-50 Owner’s
Manual.
Simul-Start
Simul-Start settings have no effect when the RC-50’s in Single mode.
There may be situations where you’d like two or more phrases to start
playing simultaneously when you press the REC/PLAY/OVERDUB pedal. This
can be achieved using the Simul-Start function.
Undo and Redo
When a phrase’s Simul-Start switch is on and its playback is stopped, one of
the following actions will occur when REC/PLAY/OVERDUB is pressed:
If desired, you can undo the last recording or overdub by
pressing the UNDO/REDO pedal.
•
If the phrase contains audio—playback begins, even if it’s not the current
phrase.
•
•
If the phrase is empty and it’s the current phrase—recording begins.
After performing an undo, the pedal’s indicator lights.
When it’s lit, you can press the pedal again to cancel—or
“redo”—the undo.
If the phrase is empty and it’s not the current phrase—it remains
stopped.
To adjust Simul-Start settings:
�
Press the NAME/PATCH button twice.
�
Use the PARAMETER buttons to display the Patch:SimulStart screen.
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Use the PARAMETER buttons to select a phrase, and then turn the
PATCH/VALUE dial to ON or OFF as desired.
�
Press EXIT when you’re done.
If you continue to have commitment issues, you can toggle between the
previous undo/redo action with each press of the UNDO/REDO pedal.
Undo/redo isn’t just for phrase recording perfection—you can use it to
bring audio content in and out in real time, giving you an additional
“virtual phrase” to use during your looping performances.
The UNDO/REDO pedal—and the TEMPO pedal as well—can be
reassigned to control alternate patch functions (see Pages 70-71 in the
RC-50 Owner’s Manual). If the UNDO/REDO pedal has been reassigned,
it can’t be used to undo and redo phrase recordings.
Alternately, you can enable or disable Simul-Start for each phrase using the
PHRASE SELECT pedals. This is handy for making hands-free settings in the
middle of a performance.
To change a phrase’s Simul-Start status from its current state:
�
Press and hold the phrase’s PHRASE SELECT pedal until the Patch:
SimulStart screen appears (this takes approximately two seconds). The
screen shows you the new setting—ON or OFF.
�
Release the PHRASE SELECT pedal.
�
Repeat Steps 1 and 2 to change settings for other phrases.
10
Clearing a Phrase
If you wish, you can easily clear the contents of a phrase while it’s playing or
stopped.
�
Select the phrase you want to clear by pressing its PHRASE SELECT
pedal.
�
Press and hold the STOP pedal for at least two
seconds. When the contents of the phrase are
cleared, the right indicator on its PHRASE SELECT
pedal flashes red.
The End
We hope you’ve found this workshop helpful. Keep an eye out for other
RC-50 Workshop booklets, available for downloading at www.BOSSUS.com
and www.RolandUS.com.
For the latest RC-50 updates and support tools, visit the BOSS U.S.
Web site at www.BOSSUS.com. If you need personal assistance, call our
amazing Product Support team at 323-890-3743.
As a reminder, this pedal function is provided on a
label next to the STOP pedal.
You can’t clear a phrase while you’re recording or overdubbing into
it.
About Pedal Assignments and External Control
As mentioned earlier, the RC-50’s TEMPO and
UNDO pedals can be reassigned to control
alternate patch functions if desired. Additionally,
you can connect optional pedals to the CTL
1, 2 PEDAL and EXP/CTL 3, 4 PEDAL jacks—four footswitches or two
footswitches and an expression pedal—and use them to control numerous
RC-50 functions. And, to top it all off, MIDI CC messages (#1, #7, and #80)
received at the MIDI IN jack can control up to three different RC-50 functions
as well.
Among the many functions available for assignment are start, stop, and
clear for individual phrases. This type of direct phrase control is particularly
helpful in Multi mode, since it spares you from having to first select a phrase
with a PHRASE SELECT pedal before performing an available operation.
To learn how to connect external pedals and MIDI devices and check out the
RC-50 functions that can be assigned for control, see Chapters 7 and 8 in the
RC-50 Owner’s Manual.
11
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