I know what you mean about the throwing out part. This is what I do. I will copy a section and drop it down a few minutes past the area I am working. So if I’m working from 2:30 to 3:30 - I will copy a snippet and drop it somwhere around 5:00 or 6:00 in case I want to grab it and use it again. Since there is no “copy” feature you have to “cut” and immediately “paste” but whatever you’ve just cut is held in the buffer, so you can paste that part anywhere you’d like. Hope that helps.
I did a live set a couple of years ago using this method. I basically went through the folders of ‘tape dumps’ on my computer with all the best loops and phrases I’d made on the op1. I then I think decided on a tempo to start with, and set Ableton to that, created 4 tracks/channels, and set a loop length of exactly 6 minutes. That is basically the audio file that’s created on the op1. You need to check your export settings are the same as what the op1 produces. (Can’t remember off top of my head)Then if you want to keep things simple you can drop and assemble your loops using ableton’s grid. If you’re all the same tempo, that’s super easy. The workflow normally is then just soloing each ableton channel, to produce 4 tape tracks to load back onto the op1. You would then match the same tempo on the op1 and shift> arrow on the op1 to cut on the beat exactly where you’ve created sections in Ableton.
Now if you’re using different tempos, it’s a little fiddlier but not much. still prep your files in ableton(or whichever DAW). Drop the start of your loops on the DAW grid, leave a gap if you like. Don’t worry about the end of loops ling up to a grid. Do that for each loop/phrase.
Now when you load the tape back onto the op1, you’ll need to go through and cut as before, but you’ll essentially have gaps in between phrases and the outpoints of your loops won’t be on the op1’s grid. The next step is for each phrase on tape, to manually find your out point and cut their and delete the silence parts of the track/handles. Once you’re tape has all your phrases of different tempos cut to the working loop lengths, you can then one by one nudge them back to back with eachother using the SHIFT-BLUE encoder. Then your live sets are basically using the shift loop trick on tape to advance through different tape sections. Now what I’m not sure about, and I don’t think this exists, but may be wrong, is if there is a way for the built in tempo to adjust to the length of the tape loop selection. That would mean that all your sequences could re map to whatever loop you’ve grabbed. THIS IS A KILLER FEATURE, which I can’t think of other tools that do this, and would love to add as a feature request for an update. If this exists as one of the tempo options, I’d love to know how to use this! :0)
Thank you for a good thorough response. I’ve been wrestling with this in my head for a while now. I’m trying to figure out a way to organize several loops of different tempos on the same 6 minutes of tape for live use. Your solution makes sense, but I’m not crazy about having to manually cut the end parts of loops. I don’t feel like I could be precise enough to do that, although I admit I haven’t tried. You’ve got my gears spinning though. Check this out…
Couldn’t you adjust ableton’s tempo to each loop’s tempo, and drop it in right on ableton’s grid? Like, so you’ve got your first loop which is 4 bars of 90 bpm. If you’re next loop is 4 bars at 98 bpm, couldn’t you change ableton’s tempo to 98, and drop your loop in right on the grid (with a short gap after the first loop)? You could continue this on down the tape, and as long as you export a 6:00 long AIF in the right format, the op-1 should know right what to do with it. Once it’s in the op-1, and you know what each loop’s bpm is, and you have a small cheat sheet somewhere to reference, you can change the bpm on the op-1 manually to the tempo of each loop so it will snap right to the grid, making your chopping a lot easier.
I might have to try this…
It seems like a lot of work, but think of the reward. 6 minutes worth of loops you can completely freak live. And once you have the master tape, you have it forever. You could, over time, develop different tapes full of loops, like different live sets.
I really like mine but massively underutilize it. For composition I have given up on it because it doesn’t fit my workflow which is to work on maybe half a dozen songs at a time. But it is awesome but in conjunction with other gear for improvisation and as a tiny synth to use as a sound source with my MPC Live. It is kind of expensive for what I use it for but I’m okay with it because even just using it as a portable swiss army knife there is nothing else like it. I love it and will never sell it but really don’t think I’m ever going to use it to produce a complete track like the kool kids do on YouTube.