Loopscape takes that concept and turns it into a synthesiser. We started with loops of tape. Lots
of loops of tape. The basic sound-creation panes of Loopscape allow you to select any one of six basic synthesiser waveforms: two Sawtooth waves, Triangle, Square, Sine and Noise. All of these started life as true analogue waveforms from a variety of synthesisers, except for Noise, which we took from atmospheric static.
The raw waves were then recorded onto several old tape machines running at a variety of speeds. Now, for this instrument to make sense, the last thing we needed was clean
tape machines. We wanted every mechanical problem under the sun, simply because we wanted our tape loops to show a lot of natural variation in their sound. We invited wow, flutter, wobble, hiss, head bump and print-through into our homes, sat them down and poured them a drink. We made friends with them. Who needs Studer mastering machines at 30ips when you can have cranky old 60s valve sets from the attic instead? The outputs of these vintage tape recorders were then recorded back into the digital domain at 24-bit quality to preserve every wonky detail of their erratic goodness.
Each basic waveform is therefore available within Loopscape at 8 different loop lengths: half a second, two thirds of a second, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13 and 17 seconds. (Why those particular numbers? Because they're primes, and we believe they have a special mojo all of their own.) We wanted you to be able to hear
those loops, so we deliberately chose sections of tape that failed to loop smoothly, and we did very little to disguise their splice points. If you select a half-second loop, you're going to hear that thing looping round every half a second like a heartbeat.