Loops are a two sided coin, one side inspiration and hit making, the other side derivative and over-used. So how can you make sure that when you use loops your coin lands on the right side?
Here are our top 5 tricks that will cost you nothing…
Slice and Dice
If you have a loop then don’t settle for the basic loop you start with. You can slice them up and then rearrange them using two tools. First use the separate clip option and cut them up in grid mode. Then drag them into any version of Structure which gives you the ability to play them via MIDI, just like a REX loop. You can find separate clip in the Edit Menu.
Mash Them Up
Try using Lo-Fi and Distortion, both FREE in Pro Tools to create some real beat-mashing effects such as lower bit sample rates and simple dirt. You’ll be amazed how you can take a pedestrian loop and in no time have it dirtier than rally car being driven in the rainy season by a hooker.
Filter, Filter, Filter
Try using my all-time favourite plug-in Vintage Filter, depending on what setting you have you can give your loops serious warmth or shocking sizzle by using the filter - make sure you automate the filter to give it an added sense of interest.
Why Use One When You Can Use Many?
Don’t settle for just using one loop - try stacking a few tracks of loops and then use the Kill-Eq plug-in to remove the kick from one, or the top end from another. Even better use all the tricks in 1,2 and 3 to really make them start to work together.
Mess With The Time
The great thing about Elastic Audio is that you can pull in a regular 4/4 beat and soon have your loop as a 6/8 swing with an MPC Groove. Even better you can use the Real Time properties to text out different feels before you commit. Also remember that you can use Beat Detective to create feel from an existing drum part - spend some time doing this and soon your loops will be locked up tighter than serial killer in San Quentin.
If you need to get ahead on beats then why not check out this video series Pro Tools Beat Guru I made with Groove 3 (shameless plug) - and get some more cool ideas.