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I have trouble playing looped samples

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  • I have trouble playing looped samples

    Hi, sorry for my english, the following is hard to explain (not a native speaker).

    I use the Blackbox mainly for sampling loops from synthesizers or microphone, usually 4 or 8 bars long. When I play the recorded loop, I notice a deep wobble sound simular to a helicopter. I found out, that this sound has not been recorded into the sample, but rather is caused by the sync feature, which according the the manual prevents timing drift. With a 1/16 sync the wobble sound is faster than with a 1 bar sync. So far so logical.

    With that knowledge I turned the sync of, because I don't change the tempo anyways. But then I noticed a timing drift after some loop passes. So the 1st question is: How is that possible? As mentioned, I play the sample with the same tempo as recorded. If that info is significant: I use a Roland 707 groovebox as master clock, and the Blackbox is slaved to this clock.

    I found out, that setting sync to "Slice", I get the best results. That's strange, because I don't use any slices. Does that make any sense?

    Can anyone explain how to deal best with loops and what that strange helicopter-sound comes from? I'd prefer not to use sync at all, because I never change the playing tempo after record. But then I don't understand why the loop does drift?


  • #2
    I mostly record clips/loops with blackbox and then use it playback those clips. I don't have any sync issues or wobble issues.

    Here is what settings I use to record -

    Have sequence running which is controlling external equipment - Step length - common for me is 1/16, but whatever you want it to be. Step count I do normally 16, or multiples of it (32, 48, 64, etc). Quant Size - 1 bar.

    Rec length - set to desired length. If you set to custom length then I've found it best to set the pad to trigger and launch it from a sequence. Per someone's else tip here I've found clips work fine if you record less than what you set this value to. So if you want it to be 40 bars you can set it to 64, start recording, and press record after 39 bars to end recording at 40 (if your record quant is 1 bar).
    Rec Quant - I set this to 1 bar.

    To play the pad
    Use clip mode
    Pos - Quant - 1 bar. Sync 1/16
    Launch mode - Normally set this to toggle. For long clips I set it to trigger.


    • #3
      Also try to avoid the Auto setting for clip length (beat count), better always specify the number of beats to be sure.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Georges
        Also try to avoid the Auto setting for clip length (beat count), better always specify the number of beats to be sure.
        Ok thanks, this is definately worth a try next time!

        But what I fundamentally do not understand: How can a loop drift after a while, when the sample is being played from the beginning over end over again on beat? I work a lot with Boss loopers like the RC-500 Loop Station e.g., or clip-based gear like the already mentioned Roland 707, and never experienced anything like that.

        To my understanding the Sync-Setting (1/16, 1/8,1/4, 1/2, 1 bar, Slice) is only to optimize time stretching for a tempo-change, at least this is how I would think it should be.


        • #5
          The v2.0 manual at page 40 appears to answer your sync question in the middle of the paragraph.

          The way I see it is that, even without any time stretching, Sync setting should be chosen depending on the granularity of what is being played in the clip: synth pads can go by 1 bar or 1/2, stabs and bass probably require 1/4 or 1/8, drums most often need 1/16 to sound good. Furthermore, it seems to me that the precision of one’s playing may influence how good sync sounds. Take this with a grain of salt, for it may be just an impression.

          If you don’t use sync, you can also use a sample pad instead of clip mode, change launch mode to gate, set polyphony to mono and embed the sample like a clip into a sequence of the same length. Also check out this exploratory post:


          • #6
            To the Beat Count Setting. At first I thought here I must tell the BPM the file has been recorded with, but this leads to strange results. Here is what the manual says:

            Enter the number of beats in the clip fi le to give blackbox more
            information to work with when synchronizing playback to the current
            song BPM.
            Stored in the WAV acid tag.

            For example: My loop is 8 bars long. Does this mean the file has 4 x 8 = 32 beats?

            Edit: I found setting the Beat Count as described above in conjunction with setting Sync to 1 bar does the job. Setting Sync to 1/6 leads almost always to the rumble sond, that is the more noticeable, the more "flat" the sample is (pads, singin voice e.g.).

            Last edited by steeldust; 04-15-2022, 09:14 AM.


            • Georges
              Georges commented
              Editing a comment
              let the fun begin! :-)

          • #7
            The BeatCount is asking for the number of 'beats' in your loop. if you have 4 bars of 4 - set it to 16. 8 bars of 4 - set it to 32.


            • #8
              Aaron certainly wants us to remember elementary calculus. Sometimes I wonder why my clips sound strange, only to realise that I got the beat count wrong :-D


              • #9
                One more thing: once you have set your clip’s correct settings, you can choose to write or overwrite your clip WAV with Save As and then those metadata are written to the WAV and ready for any project - be careful when you do this though!