A looper that can separate its layers for independence, that can be coordinated with copies of itself, which can be synchronized with sequencers and other devices, whose speed can be controlled with pitch CV for chromatic variations, and which is both simple with immediacy and complex with capability, the Countdown Loop Diffuser lends you the joy of loops while untying the musical knots that can trap performances.
This is achieved by a push & pass system of shuttling and combining layers amongst a main memory and three additional memory banks. At the top, input signals can be recorded (rec button) and then dubbed (overlapping the original signal) with or without a decaying volume. It makes a fine delay effect or traditional looper to just use the top row of controls. The pink bars allow you to trim your loop, and their position initiates at the end of your first recording to automatically set the loop length (if you manually drag the bars back to their starting positions, they’ll be rearmed for automatic trimming, and if you want to build a loop from several recordings, you can set the bars to various areas to record to that segment alone). Alternately, you can set the loop size first and then record, and the blue quantized buttons set up loop lengths corresponding to multiples of the system tempo. The central speed knob can repitch and reverse your recordings, and you have the freedom for trickery like recording one layer at half speed and the next at full speed, or one in reverse and the next in the other direction. Use the 1V/oct input next to it to chromatically transpose or perform melodies.
The green buttons labeled with a pink arrow and “push” can be used to transfer the loop to any of three vertical, lower memory banks, freeing up the top section for new loops. Transfer is seemless, leaving the loop uninterrupted and synchronized to the device as a whole. Banks can be passed from one slot to the next (to the right) with the blue buttons. When a bank already contains sound, pushes and passes result in combined sound (not replacement).
The large green buttons mute and unmute memory banks. Each bank also has its own volume knob for mixing loops, and a non-destructive volume decay setting that allows loops to fade away but also to come back when desired. A lower counter can be enabled to determine how many times a loop should play before it is shut off, and with CV control via the (free with purchase) remote module (connected to the Remote In jack corresponding to each countdown bank), you can get into generative patches that increment/decrement loop counts, adjust volumes/decays, activate banks, initiate pushes/pulls, and so on. The Mod button lets you disconnect the remotes to get control of things when they get out of hand.
Also, there are sub outs for the three banks and the top/main recording for flexible routing/effects/etc. as well as a main out that combines everything. The two Coord Out jacks of one unit can connect to the coord in of a second unit so that the top and center settings can be controlled by the first (set polyphony to 10 for full control), which is especially useful for stereo setups. The Sync Out jack sends a trigger at the start/end of each loop and the Sync In jack resets a loop to its start point when it receives a trigger. There are also jacks for recording upon a trigger or gate (labelled t & g. left) or dubbing instead (labelled t & g, right). You’ll find even more jacks for flipping the direction of playback with a trigger, sending informative output triggers when bank volumes hit zero (which can be looped into the remote’s Vol Reset jack), and activating individual banks via gate. You’ll also find clear buttons for the top looper and for the bottom banks, a button for retriggering the loop, and several buttons for setting the countdown at the bottom. All recordings are saved with patches so they can be preserved when changing presets.
A breakout for the Countdown Loop Diffuser (a flexible, layered looping unit), this device gives you access to each bank’s countdown controls to enable/disable it, reset the volume, set the volume decay rate, set the count with a trigger (at 4 bars per volt, so you can send a 10V pulse to set the count at 40, for instance), or to increment & decrement the count one by one. It’s perfect for generative work, but also for complex looping scenarios and automation. Use one per countdown for complete independence, use one on several countdowns for coordination, or go ahead and get experimental. An onboard test voltage with an on/off button and a setting knob can be wired to the input jacks to conveniently prototype ideas before getting into a whole thing…