How would you define your music?

Often it’s music for shows that serves what’s happening on stage. It takes on different accents and colors depending on the requests of the artists or the stage director I play for. There is almost always a part of improvisation and a search for electronic treatment of an acoustic source. If it is a more personal project, these two notions are even more present.

What instruments do you play?

I mainly play the tenor saxophone and the baritone as well as the Kaval, a traditional flute from Bulgaria and Turkey. For writing, I also use the piano and sequencers for rhythmic things.

In this case, you play for the circus, is it a habit?

At the moment I’m at La Tohu, the Cité des arts du cirque de Montréal for “Les Coups de Coeur”. I’ve been performing occasionally for circus projects since 2013. My girlfriend is a circus artist, and when we can, it’s a good way for us to go to work and travel as a family with our two little girls. The position of accompanist is interesting. I’m there to musically support the action that takes place on the stage but the most important thing is not musical (although important). It requires me to listen a little differently than when I play in a band. The notions of cycles and tempo are not quite the same. It is necessary to know how to observe and adapt to the tempo of the apparatus and to compose partly with the technical constraints of the circus artist. Each time it is a beautiful human encounter and artistic experience. 

Are you used to practicing electroacoustic music?

I do more concerts with acoustic bands but I spend a good part of my working time and instrumental research to practice electroacoustic music. I often have one or two electroacoustic productions during the year. 

Have you used or do you use other computer tools or hardware to make effects?

I spent a lot of time looking for what sounds good on the saxophone and also looking for a microphone that would fit without the risk of unwanted feedback when looping. Today, I use a French mic from IntraMic that reproduces the sound of the saxophone in a really faithful way and allows me to go through a hardware effects rack with whammy, disto, filter, delay and reverb before entering Logelloop.

I also work with Ableton Live but it’s more when I need to create soundtracks in my studio than to make effects on stage.

Do you play Live Looping for a long time?

From 2011, I followed training courses on Ableton Live software while exploring software and hardware loopers, samplers/sequencers but I really started using the loop on stage in 2013 for a circus project where we were two musicians.

Why do you use Logelloop in general?

In general, I use Logelloop for composing show music that I play live afterwards. But sometimes I use Logelloop for its spatialization possibilities or for real-time audio processing. I do a lot of sound experimentation using the saxophone and other acoustic sources that I record for use in soundtracks. In fact, I use Logelloop for different reasons from one project to another, depending on the needs and the type of project I’m working on.

Why are you using Logelloop in this project? Could other software have done the job?

In this project, I use Logelloop mainly for its functions of playing and synchronizing samples loaded in the files players. I trigger drum, bass and piano sequences that synchronize with my saxophone loops as I play them. The front of house sound engineer receives separate outputs of my loops and a stereo of the master with the live saxophone. For each part of the show, I store my mix settings, the corresponding samples and metronome’s BPM in a scene memory. I hear the metronome’s sound in my in-ear monitors. The sound engineer adjusts the overall mix in the room and remixes the separate tracks if necessary. Other software like Ableton Live would have done the job but on stage I prefer to use mainly Logelloop. The interface suits me better, the macros allow me to build my pipe quickly, then I assign them to my MIDI controllers and I can easily navigate through different parts of the show. It’s very handy, during rehearsals, with the macros I can quickly manage and modify my fades out, add, swap or remove parts, activate or deactivate a FX…

I feel that Logelloop also offers a better management of multitrack loops, pre-mixes and more synchronization possibilities depending on the songs thanks to the scene memories.

Did Logelloop bring something unexpected to your music?

Yes, I would say that it opened me up to the practice of sound synthesis using acoustic elements. I modify sometimes almost inaudible sounds to make a very low sound or I transform the key or mechanical sounds of the saxophone into electronic percussion to build a percussion loop… I like the idea that the result will be a little different each time with a small part of randomness since it is built on the fly.

Would you like to say something else?

The musician/machine musical interaction with Logelloop is much more versatile than with other software or hardware loopers. Working with Logelloop, I see multiple possibilities to improvise and react quickly with events and/or external sound/visual sources that make this interaction much more alive. On the other hand, the native script editor makes my technical job easier and allows me to remain focused on the music and what happens on the stage. It’s perfect.

Bravo and thank you for offering us these tools!

Thanks Quentin!

Quentin Marotine plays circus music with Logelloop

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