Looping master Dan Phelps offers some essential tips for any looper, but especially those using Ableton Live.
I recently shared a bill here in Nashville with Dan Phelps and was intrigued by his looping setup. He gave me a quick tour after the gig but went into much more detail during his clinic at Full Sail in Florida. Looping fans will enjoy how the elegance of his simple approach permits a wide variety of sounds.
We first interviewed Dan Phelps three years after the release of Modular, his collaboration with drummer Matt Chamberlain and bassist Viktor Krauss. His fourth release, Arc, continues his er, arc, of making records that employ great drummers (in this case, the legendary Jim Keltner), great guitar tones and technique, and an exemplary command of both live and studio effects. It seemed like a good time to pay Phelps another visit, this time for a wide-ranging discussion about his new record and his awesome gear.
New recordings from Dan Phelps are like Yeti sightings: few and far between, but worth the wait. The latest is, Spirits Drifted, a collaboration with musician/artist/Phelps brother-in-law Austin Willis. Phelps chronicles the analog approach in his blog and offers sound samples that reveal prodigious technique harnessed to a thoroughly modern approach.
Seattle guitarist Dan Phelps’ recorded output is minimal but choice. Modular, a record with the sometime Bill Frisell rhythm section of Viktor Krauss (bass) and drummer Matt Chamberlain is a feast of textures and rhythms, while his more recent solo EP offering, Death Under Rainbows, explores Torn-like distortion along with Phelps’ unique take on twang. That is pretty much it, but the music was intriguing enough to make me seek him out.