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Boss Audio Systems RC50 User's Manual
Workshop
RC-50 Loop Station
The Guide and Loop Quantize
© 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.
RC50WS05
About the RC-50 Workshop Series
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.
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.
A note is something that adds information about the topic at hand.
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.
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 This Booklet
The RC-50’s built-in guide provides a handy timing reference to play
with while creating phrases, and offers a multitude of patterns and time
signatures. Loop Quantize works during phrase recording, automatically
adjusting phrase lengths so they’re in perfect time with the guide and/or
other phrases. This booklet covers these features in detail.
Hot Links
Each Workshop booklet is meant to be read in order from
beginning to end. However, if we mention an upcoming
section—and you see this arrow—you can click the arrow to
jump there immediately.
Background Information
Terminology
The Guide and Loop Quantize provides information beneficial for all RC-50
users, from beginner to advanced. However, it assumes that you’re familiar
with the RC-50’s two Play modes—Single and Multi—and that you know
how to do basic phrase recording and playback. For information on these
functions, see the RC-50 Workshop booklets Using Single Mode and Using
Multi Mode and the RC-50 Owner’s Manual.
•
•
On the RC-50, a “phrase” is a container for audio data.
•
•
When a phrase is empty, capturing audio into it is called “recording.”
•
When a phrase already contains audio and you wish to layer more—or
replace some—you “overdub” audio into the phrase.
An RC-50 patch contains three phrases, and each can loop indefinitely
or be triggered sampler-style using the “One Shot” function.
While recording a phrase, pressing the REC/PLAY/OVERDUB pedal
stops recording and starts the phrase playing back from the beginning.
This action determines the phrase’s length, and we call it “closing the
phrase.” Alternately, a phrase can be closed by pressing the STOP pedal
during phrase recording.
About the Guide
The guide sound is silenced when phrase playback is stopped (the current
phrase in Single mode or all phrases in Multi mode).
The RC-50’s built-in guide provides a rhythmic backing
for you to play with while you’re recording and playing
phrases. The guide offers many different patterns in
various time signatures and musical styles, with highquality audio using sampled drum and percussion
sounds.
The guide sound can also be turned on and off manually
by pressing the GUIDE START/STOP button. This can
be done any time before or during phrase recording,
overdubbing, or playback. The button’s indicator lights
when the guide sound is audible.
In addition to providing a timing reference, the guide also incorporates a
feature called Loop Quantize. It helps keep phrases in sync with the guide by
automatically trimming or extending the phrase length when a phrase is
closed.
The START/STOP button doesn’t turn the guide itself on or off; it only
starts and stops the audible guide sound. If you want to disable the
guide entirely, turn the GUIDE LEVEL knob to the OFF position.
GUIDE START/STOP can also be controlled with the TEMPO or UNDO/
REDO pedal, an optional FS-5U or FS-6 foot switch, or MIDI CC #80.
See Pages 70-72 in the RC-50 Owner’s Manual for information about
assigning functions to pedals. See Pages 77-78 for information about
MIDI CC functions.
Loop Quantize is also available with the guide off in some
circumstances. We’ll cover Loop Quantize in detail in the
second half of the booklet.
Using the GUIDE LEVEL Knob
To turn the guide on, simply turn the front panel GUIDE
LEVEL knob clockwise. As indicated by its label, this knob
also functions as a level control for the guide sound. The
guide is on when it’s set to any level from 2-200.
When the GUIDE LEVEL knob is turned, the current setting—OFF, 2-200—is
briefly displayed.
Setting the Tempo
The guide follows the current patch tempo setting. The patch tempo can be
set anywhere from 40 to 250 beats per minute—or “BPM”—with a resolution
as fine as one-tenth of a BPM.
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(VJEF-FWFM
From the Play screen, press TAP TEMPO to display the current patch
tempo.
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To turn the guide off, turn the GUIDE LEVEL knob fully counter-clockwise.
The Play screen is the RC-50’s “home” screen—it’s the screen displayed
after the RC-50 finishes its power-up sequence. You can always return
to the Play screen from any other screen by pressing EXIT. To learn
more, see the RC-50 Workshop booklet Patches.
Starting and Stopping the Guide Sound
When the GUIDE LEVEL knob is set to 2 or higher, the guide sound becomes
audible when recording, overdubbing, or playback of a phrase is begun.
�
Use the PARAMETER buttons to move the onscreen cursor under the
desired digit.
�
Turn the PATCH/VALUE dial to the desired value.
�
When you’re finished, press EXIT.
Guide Parameters
Here’s an overview of the guide parameters.
The lights on the TAP TEMPO button and TEMPO pedal flash in different
colors along with the patch tempo, with red indicating the first beat—or
“downbeat”—of each measure, and green indicating all other beats.
•
Tap Tempo
An alternate way to set the patch tempo is by repeatedly pressing—or
“tapping”—the TAP TEMPO button or TEMPO pedal. This allows you to easily
set the tempo by tapping a beat with your finger or foot. The patch tempo is
determined by the interval between the taps.
Tap the TAP TEMPO button...
You can audition the various patterns from the Guide:Pattern screen
by turning the guide level up, starting the guide sound with the GUIDE
START/STOP button, and selecting patterns with the PATCH/VALUE
dial.
•
Adjusting Guide Parameters
�
Press GUIDE SELECT.
�
Use the PARAMETER buttons to display the desired
guide parameter.
�
Turn the PATCH/VALUE dial to choose the desired
setting.
�
Repeat Steps 2-3 to adjust other guide parameters.
5�
Press EXIT when you’re done.
Guide:Beat—Set the patch’s time signature here. 4/4 is the default, and
there are 16 other time signatures available.
After you record a phrase, the RC-50 assigns it a tempo value called
its “original tempo.” The Guide:Beat setting has an effect on how the
RC-50 determines a phrase’s original tempo, even if the guide is set to
OFF. To learn more about the RC-50’s tempo functions, see the RC-50
Workshop booklet Tempos and Tempo Sync.
...or the TEMPO pedal.
The RC-50’s TEMPO pedal—and the UNDO/REDO pedal as well—can be
reassigned to control alternate patch functions (see Pages 70-71 in the
RC-50 Owner’s Manual). If the TEMPO pedal has been reassigned, it
can’t be used to set the tempo.
Guide:Pattern—Select the desired guide pattern here. The available
patterns vary depending on the Guide:Beat (time signature) setting. For
a list of all available patterns, see Page 41 in the RC-50 Owner’s Manual.
The Guide:Beat (time signature) setting can’t be changed once audio’s
been recorded into any of a patch’s phrases. To change the time
signature, clear all the patch’s phrases or initialize the patch.
•
Guide:Rec Count—When Guide:Rec Count is set to 1MEAS, a onemeasure count-in plays prior to recording when phrase recording is
started with the REC/PLAY/OVERDUB pedal. (The OFF setting disables
the count-in.) The count-in level is determined by the GUIDE LEVEL
knob.
No count-in plays when the RC-50 is started via a MIDI clock command
from an external MIDI device, even if Guide:Rec Count is set to
1MEAS.
•
Guide:Play Count—When Guide:Play Count is set to 1MEAS, a onemeasure count-in plays prior to playback when phrase playback is
started with the REC/PLAY/OVERDUB pedal. (The OFF setting disables
the count-in.) The count-in level is determined by the GUIDE LEVEL
knob.
No count-in plays when the RC-50 is started via a MIDI clock command
from an external MIDI device, or when individual phrase playback is
started with an external pedal or MIDI CC #80 assignment, even if
Guide:Play Count is set to 1MEAS.
If you wish to have a longer count-in—or you just want to play along
with the guide before committing to phrase recording—set Rec Count
and Play Count to OFF, and use GUIDE START/STOP to start the guide
sound prior to phrase recording.
•
Guide:Level—As an alternative to using the GUIDE LEVEL knob, you can
set the guide level (or turn the guide off ) here.
•
Guide:Output—Here you can assign the guide sound to either or both
of the RC-50’s output pairs (MAIN and/or SUB).
Sounds assigned to the MAIN OUTPUT jacks are sent to the PHONES
jack as well.
By assigning the guide sound to a separate output pair from the phrases,
you can isolate it for onstage monitoring or recording applications.
The RC-50 has system output settings that allow you to override the
settings made in a patch. If the guide output is set in this way, changes
made on the Guide:Output screen won’t have any effect. To learn more
about system output settings, see the RC-50 Workshop booklet Patches
or Page 69 in the RC-50 Owner’s Manual.
About Loop Quantize
The RC-50’s Loop Quantize function 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 keeps everything in sync and allows you to
focus on your performance rather than precision pedal-pressing.
Loop Quantize is designed to work automatically in the background, so you
don’t have to think about it much when it’s on. In most cases, you’ll find it
extremely natural and intuitive to use. A little later, we’ll get into the details
of how Loop Quantize works in a variety of phrase-recording scenarios.
Before that, let’s discuss how it helps you, and investigate what’s going on
under the RC-50’s hood when it’s on. But first...
...A Brief Detour into the Conceptual World
After you record a phrase, the RC-50 assigns it a tempo value called
the “original tempo.” The RC-50 uses the phrases’ original tempos—in
conjunction with the current patch tempo—to carry out its Loop Quantize
and Tempo Sync functions.
Patch tempos, phrases’ original tempos, and Tempo Sync are covered in
the RC-50 Workshop booklet Tempos and Tempo Sync. We recommend
you check it out if you want to learn more about them.
As containers that hold audio recordings, the RC-50’s phrases don’t have any
musical properties of their own, per se; any musicality they have is inherited
from the audio with which you fill them. Since we don’t actually know what
you’re going to record in a phrase, its actual tempo—musically speaking—
might be different than the original tempo the RC-50 assigns to it.
That said, when you’re recording while listening to the guide or another
phrase, you’re usually going to be performing something that’s rhythmically
related to what you’re listening to. In this circumstance, the phrase’s original
tempo—as assigned by the RC-50—should match the actual tempo of the
audio that’s in the phrase.
Our discussion about Loop Quantize assumes that you’re creating phrases
that are rhythmically related to the guide and each other.
The Benefit of Loop Quantize
To better understand how Loop Quantize aids in phrase recording, let’s take
a look at how one typically records phrases on the RC-50.
When the guide’s off and you’re recording a Single mode phrase, you usually
have one primary concern: closing the phrase so it loops smoothly. If you
don’t close the phrase at exactly the right moment, the phrase will play with
a little “hiccup” each time it repeats. Mastering this skill is all part of Looping
101, and it’s easy to get the hang of with a little practice.
However, things get a bit more complicated when you’re recording a phrase
along with a musical reference such as the guide or another phrase. In
addition to closing the phrase so it loops smoothly by itself, it also needs to
loop in sync with the reference.
To achieve this, you need to close the phrase so its measure length matches
that of the reference. If you don’t press the REC/PLAY/OVERDUB pedal at
exactly the right place, the measure length will be slightly off and your
phrase will drift away from the reference a little bit each time it repeats, as
shown in the following illustration.
Phrase 1
(reference)
Play start
Phrase 2
Here, Phrase 2 was recorded in reference to Phrase 1, a one-measure phrase. However, it was
closed just a little late, creating a phrase slightly longer than Phrase 1. Even though they’ve
started playing at the same time, they fall out of sync with each other more with each
successive loop.
Even with practice, it can still be tricky to close a phrase perfectly. This is
where Loop Quantize comes to your aid—when the phrase is closed, the
RC-50 automatically trims or extends the phrase ending so it matches the
reference’s measures, even if you don’t press REC/PLAY/OVERDUB at exactly
the right moment. This results in a phrase that always plays in sync relative
to the reference.
Phrase 1
(reference)
Play start
Phrase 2
In this example, Phrase 2 was recorded in reference to Phrase 1, just as before. This time,
though, Loop Quantize was used to close the phrase, creating a measure length identical to
Phrase 1. As a result, the phrases stay in perfect sync relative to each other.
Because Loop Quantize eliminates the need to press REC/PLAY/OVERDUB
“just so,” you can focus your attentions on another important task—the
performance you’re recording in the phrase.
Measuring Measure Length
Since Loop Quantize deals with measure
lengths, let’s discuss what actually determines
the length of a measure, both in musical terms
and in the RC-50’s phrases.
O O O O ;
;
In musical notation—the written language of music—measures divide and
organize a musical composition into short segments of time. Each measure
is subdivided into beats, whose number and value is determined by the
composition’s time signature.
A measure is also sometimes referred to as a “bar.”
Since music happens over a period of time, the actual length of each
measure—as played in elapsed time—is determined by the tempo at which
the composition is played.
When Loop Quantize is active, the RC-50’s patch tempo always matches the
tempo—and therefore the measure length—of the reference you’re playing
along with.
There’s no on/off switch for Loop Quantize—it’s automatically enabled when
you’re recording to one of the following references:
•
•
•
•
The guide.
A phrase whose Tempo Sync switch is on.
The phrase that determines Loop Sync playback length.
An external MIDI device that the RC-50 is slaved to.
We’ll cover each of these recording scenarios later.
As shown in the following illustrations, this is the case whether recording is
initiated at the start of one of the reference’s measures (the downbeat) or
somewhere else (an offbeat).
Reference
1 - 2 - 3 - 4
Loop Quantize
adjustment point
Rec start
Phrase
Recording
In the RC-50’s computer brain, Loop Quantize is simply a tempo-matching
function—when you’re recording to one of these references, it automatically
adjusts your new phrase’s ending to create a phrase that matches the patch
tempo. Since the reference’s tempo is the same as the patch tempo, your
new phrase’s measure length will match that of the reference.
Starting recording on the reference’s downbeat.
Reference
Loop Quantize in Action
In practice, you don’t need to think about the patch tempo while you’re
recording phrases with Loop Quantize enabled; you only need to focus on
the rhythm of the musical reference you’re playing to. This is the natural way
one plays music, and it suits working with Loop Quantize nicely.
Nuts and Bolts
If Loop Quantize is on when a phrase is closed, its ending is adjusted to
create a phrase with a measure length identical to the reference.
Playback
Press REC/PLAY/OVERDUB
anywhere within this range
to close the phrase
The LOOP QUANTIZE indicator lights when Loop Quantize is active.
Loop Quantize is used for recording phrases with measure lengths that
conform to the patch tempo. If you want to make a previously recorded
phrase play back at the current patch tempo, turn on its Tempo Sync
switch. For details, see the RC-50 Workshop booklet Tempos and Tempo
Sync.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4
1 - 2 - 3 - 4
1 - 2 - 3 - 4
Loop Quantize
adjustment point
Rec start
Phrase
Recording
Playback
Press REC/PLAY/OVERDUB
anywhere within this range
to close the phrase
Starting recording on an offbeat.
The point at which recording is started relative to the reference becomes
the adjustment point for Loop Quantize. For example, if recording is started
on the second beat of one of the reference’s measures (as in the second
illustration), then it becomes the Loop Quantize adjustment point.
When the phrase is closed with the REC/PLAY/OVERDUB pedal, Loop
Quantize adjusts the phrase ending to the nearest adjustment point at the
time the pedal is pressed (in our example, any second beat of one of the
reference’s measures).
Most of the time, you’ll be creating phrases that are longer than 1.5 seconds,
so the minimum recording time won’t be an issue. However, if your musical
material falls short of this time, we recommend repeating it two or more
times before closing the phrase to get past the minimum time.
Short Phrases and the Minimum Recording Time
Loop Quantize and the Guide
Before we move on, let’s take a moment to discuss the RC-50’s minimum
recording time, as it might come into play if you attempt to record very short
phrases.
The most obvious use for Loop Quantize is when you’re playing with the
guide, as you usually want to keep your phrases in sync with the guide
sound.
The minimum phrase recording time is 1.5 seconds. This means that
whenever you record a phrase, the RC-50 makes sure that it’s at least 1.5
seconds in length, even if you close the phrase before this amount of time
has elapsed.
As discussed earlier in the booklet, the patch tempo determines the speed of
the guide. Therefore, it also determines the length of the guide’s measures.
Here’s what happens when you attempt to record a phrase shorter than the
minimum recording time when Loop Quantize is enabled: If you close the
phrase anytime before 1.5 seconds elapses, the RC-50 extends its ending
to the first Loop Quantize adjustment point that will create a 1.5 second or
longer phrase. Usually, this means that the phrase will be one measure in
length; however, if the reference’s measures are very short, this could result
in a phrase that’s two—or even three—measures long.
To create an example recording using Loop Quantize, let’s say that all
phrases are empty and:
•
•
•
•
the guide’s on.
the time signature’s set to 4/4.
all phrases are set for looped playback (their One Shot parameters are
set to LOOP).
To learn how to set a phrase’s One Shot parameter, see the RC-50
Workshop booklet Patches or Page 52 in the RC-50 Owner’s Manual.
1.5 seconds
Reference
the RC-50’s in Single mode.
1-2-3-4 1-2-3-4 1-2-3-4 1-2-3-4
Loop Quantize
adjustment point
Rec start
Phrase
Recording
Playback
Press REC/PLAY/OVERDUB
anywhere within this range
to close the phrase
Closing a phrase under the minimum recording time.
�
Select Phrase 1 for recording by pressing its PHRASE
SELECT pedal. Since the guide’s on, the LOOP
QUANTIZE indicator lights.
�
Start recording by pressing the REC/PLAY/OVERDUB pedal. This action
also starts the guide sound, so recording begins on the guide’s
downbeat. (This makes the downbeat the Loop Quantize adjustment
point.)
If the Guide:Rec Count parameter is set to 1 MEAS, a one-measure
count-in will play before recording begins.
When you decide to close the phrase, press REC/PLAY/OVERDUB again.
Loop Quantize automatically adjusts the phrase’s ending to the guide
measure downbeat that’s nearest when the pedal is pressed.
�
Guide
•
It’s possible to start recording on an offbeat when Loop Sync
is on, but Loop Quantize behaves a little differently—it adjusts
phrase lengths to match the longest phrase. We’ll discuss this
(and other uses for Loop Quantize in Multi mode) in a bit.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 1 -2-3-4 1-2-3-4
When REC/PLAY/OVERDUB is
pressed, the phrase ending is
adjusted to the nearest downbeat
Rec start
(downbeat)
Phrase 1
C C
C C C
C C C
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
C CC C
For this example, let’s continue with the recording we made previously.
�
With playback stopped, set the Phrase Change mode to IMMEDIATE.
�
Start playback of Phrase 1. (The guide starts playing simultaneously.)
Press REC/PLAY/OVERDUB
within this range
Here we’ve used Loop Quantize to create a two-measure phrase whose measure length
perfectly matches the length of the guide’s measures.
Starting Recording on an Offbeat
Multi mode—and Loop Sync is off.
If the Guide:Play Count parameter is set to 1 MEAS, a one-measure
count-in will play before playback begins.
�
At the desired point, start recording Phrase 2 by pressing its PHRASE
SELECT pedal. This point becomes the Loop Quantize adjustment point.
(In the following illustration, we’ve started recording on the third beat
of a measure.)
�
When you wish to close Phrase 2, press REC/PLAY/OVERDUB. Loop
Quantize adjusts the phrase ending to the Loop Quantize adjustment
point that’s closest at the time the pedal is pressed.
In the previous example, we started phrase recording from a dead stop,
and this action started the guide playing at exactly the same time. As a
result, recording started on the downbeat, and Loop Quantize adjusted the
ending of the newly recorded phrase to the downbeat of one the guide’s
measures.
Guide
1-2-3-4 1-2-3-4 1-2-3-4 1-2-3-4 1-2-3-4 1-2-3-4 1-2
Phrase 1
However, there may be some situations where you want to start recording
on an offbeat while the guide and/or another phrase are playing. Typically,
this is when you’re in:
C C
C
C
C C C C C
Phrase 2
•
Rec Start
(Beat 3)
When REC/PLAY/OVERDUB is
pressed, the phrase ending is
adjusted to Beat 3
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 Single mode—and the Phrase Change mode is set to IMMEDIATE.
The Phrase Change mode determines how Single mode phrases play
when selected. To learn about the Phrase Change mode, see the RC-50
Workshop booklet Using Single Mode and Page 49 in the RC-50 Owner’s
Manual.
Press REC/PLAY/OVERDUB
within this range
Here, we’ve created a two-measure phrase, just as in our previous example. However, since
we started recording on the third beat of a guide measure—instead of the downbeat—
Loop Quantize has adjusted the phrase ending to the third beat that’s nearest when the
pedal is pressed.
When you’re in Single mode and the patch’s Phrase Change mode is set
to LOOP END, selecting a phrase for recording while another is playing
puts it in a record standby state, and recording doesn’t actually
begin until the current phrase ends. If the guide is on, this behavior
ensures that all phrases’ beginnings and endings are aligned with guide
measure downbeats.
If you’re using Single mode as described in the tip above, you may
wish to record phrases on-after-the-other without stopping to listen to
the previously recorded phrase. After recording the first phrase, make
sure you initiate the recording of subsequent phrases exactly on—or
up to one-half measure before—the downbeat of a guide measure.
When you do this, Loop Quantize ensures that recording will begin on
the downbeat. If you initiate recording after the downbeat (anywhere
up to one-half measure after), you’ll find that your newly recorded
phrase will be out of sync with the guide sound when the phrase starts
playing back.
Loop Quantize and Multi Mode
As opposed to Single mode, where only one phrase can play at a time, Multi
mode allows you to play up to three phrases simultaneously. With multiple
phrases playing at once, measure length and timing becomes a critical
consideration.
Just like Single mode, Loop Quantize is automatically enabled in Multi mode
when you’re recording with the guide, functioning as described previously.
When the guide is off, however, keeping multiple phrases in time with each
other is more of a challenge. To help, there are a couple of conditions where
Loop Quantize can be used while playing along with a previously recorded
phrase.
If you want to record and play your Multi mode phrases without any timing
reference to each other, turn the guide, Loop Sync, and all phrases’ Tempo
Sync switches off.
Guide: OFF, Loop Sync: OFF
When Loop Sync is off, the patch’s three phrases can be of any length. Using
this functionality, it’s common to create phrases that have identical measure
lengths, but different numbers of overall measures. This is illustrated in the
following example, where Phrase 1 is one measure, Phrase 2 is six measures,
and Phrase 3 is two measures.
Phrase 1
CC
C C C
C C C
C C C
C C C
C C C
C C C
C CC
C CC
C CC
C CC
C CC
C
1 measure
1 measure
1 measure
1 measure
1 measure
1 measure
Phrase 2
CC
C C C
C C C
C C C
C C
C C
C C
C CC
C C
C C
C C
C CC
C C
C C
C C
C
6 measures
Phrase 3
CC
C C C
C C C
C C C
C C
C C
C C
C CC
C C
C C
C C
C CC
C C
C C
C C
C
2 measures
2 measures
2 measures
When you’re playing with the guide, it’s easy to create phrases in this fashion,
as Loop Quantize makes sure that all phrases match the guide’s measure
length.
If you don’t want to use the guide, there’s still a way to use Loop Quantize.
By turning on a phrase’s Tempo Sync switch, the phrase can be used as a
reference phrase for Loop Quantize. In essence, this allows the phrase to be
used as a replacement for the guide.
Loop Quantize is enabled during phrase recording when:
•
•
the desired reference phrase’s Tempo Sync switch is on.
•
the reference phrase is playing.
the reference phrase is set for looped playback (its One Shot parameter
is set to LOOP).
10
Here’s an important thing to keep in mind: Turning on a phrase’s
Tempo Sync switch will make it play at the current patch tempo.
If you don’t want its playback speed changed from the way it was
originally recorded—which you’ll probably find preferable in most
circumstances—set the patch tempo to the same value as the phrase’s
original tempo.
Phrase 1
(Tempo
Sync on)
Here’s a practical example for using Loop Quantize in this way: Say you’ve
recorded a two-measure rhythmic phrase—or imported a two-measure
drum loop—into Phrase 1, and Phrases 2 and 3 are empty. While Phrase 1 is
looping, you’d like to record a three-measure chord progression into Phrase
2. Here’s how to use Phrase 1 as a Loop Quantize reference, so that Phrase 2’s
measure length will match that of Phrase 1:
�
With playback stopped, set Phrase 1 for looped playback and turn its
Tempo Sync switch on.
�
Start playback of Phrase 1. This makes Phrase 1 the reference phrase for
Loop Quantize.
�
While Phrase 1 is looping, select Phrase 2 by pressing
its PHRASE SELECT pedal. When you do this, LOOP
QUANTIZE lights.
�
To start recording, press the REC/PLAY/OVERDUB pedal. This action also
sets the Loop Quantize adjustment point. (In the illustration below,
we’ve started recording on the downbeat of Phrase 1’s first measure,
making it the adjustment point.)
5�
Record for three measures and close Phrase 2 by pressing REC/
PLAY/OVERDUB again. When the phrase is closed, Loop Quantize
automatically adjusts the phrase ending to the nearest Loop Quantize
adjustment point.
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
Rec start
Three measures
Phrase 2
If you turn on Tempo Sync before recording the reference phrase, the
patch tempo is automatically set to match the phrase’s original tempo
immediately after audio is recorded in it. This eliminates the need
to change the patch’s tempo manually as discussed in the tip above,
and makes the recording process seamless. We recommend this way of
working when using a phrase as a Loop Quantize reference. For details,
see the RC-50 Workshop booklet Tempos and Tempo Sync.
Two measures
When REC/PLAY/OVERDUB
is pressed, Phrase 2’s ending is
adjusted to Phrase 1’s nearest
Loop Quantize point
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
Press REC/PLAY/OVERDUB
within this range
Using Loop Quantize in this way, it’s easy to match the measure length of a
long phrase to a short phrase, or vice versa.
Guide: OFF, Loop Sync: ON
Multi mode’s Loop Sync feature provides an alternate method to keep
phrases in sync with each other.
To turn Loop Sync on, choose MULTI for the Play mode,
and then press LOOP SYNC so its indicator lights.
Loop Sync is only available in Multi mode; its button is disabled when
the RC-50’s in Single mode.
The following illustration shows you how Loop Sync works after audio’s been
recorded in a patch’s phrases. In this example, all three phrases contain audio
of different lengths. With Loop Sync on, looped playback is determined by
the overall 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.)
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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 Loop Sync only works with phrases that are set for looped playback.
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. However, if you’ve
recorded or imported audio into a patch’s phrases before turning on Loop
Sync, the loop playback length will be determined by the overall length of
the longest recorded/imported phrase.
After the longest phrase has been defined, Loop Quantize behaves a little
differently than discussed previously. With Loop Sync off, we used Loop
Quantize to create phrases that match the measure length of a reference
phrase. When Loop Sync is on, however, the longest phrase’s overall length
becomes the reference for Loop Quantize.
When Loop Sync is on—and the guide is off—Loop Quantize is enabled
during phrase recording when:
•
•
another phrase contains audio (it doesn’t have to be playing).
that phrase is set for looped playback (its One Shot parameter is set to
LOOP).
When these conditions are met, Loop Quantize ensures that new phrase
recordings don’t exceed the length of the longest phrase.
Loop Quantize with External Sync
When the RC-50’s set to receive a MIDI clock signal at its MIDI IN jack, its
phrases and guide can be synchronized to MIDI clock messages sent from
an external MIDI device, such as a drum machine, MIDI sequencer, or even
another RC-50.
When synced externally, the RC-50’s patch tempo follows the incoming MIDI
clock tempo, and phrase actions (recording and playback) can be controlled
via incoming MIDI start and stop messages.
When the RC-50 is receiving MIDI clock messages, Loop Quantize is always
enabled. The patch tempo­—determined by the MIDI clock signal—provides
the measure length reference for Loop Quantize.
In actual use, you’ll find that using Loop Quantize with external sync
behaves essentially the same as using Loop Quantize with the guide.
The only difference is that the starting of recording/playback is
initiated from the external device instead of the RC-50 itself.
To learn about syncing the RC-50 to an external MIDI device, see
Chapter 8 in the RC-50 Owner’s Manual.
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.
In practice, once you’ve determined the overall loop playback length
by recording or importing a phrase, you don’t need to think about Loop
Quantize when using Loop Sync. It does all the phrase adjusting under
the hood, automatically closing a newly recorded phrase—and switching
to overdubbing—when its length matches the longest phrase.
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