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I saw this video of Peter Bence using a loop pedal to play different sounds on a piano, then loop the sounds and play new sounds over the top of the recordings:

I would like to try looping sounds like this. Ihave a Yamaha Clavinova CVP-605 digital piano, which I can connect to my Windows 10 laptop using a USB cable. Is it possible to use my laptop as a loop pedal via the USB connection?

  • You should edit your question to include the exact model. There are a lot of Clavinova models and I'm not familiar with the specs of all of them. But I'd say it's unlikely that the USB cable functions as an audio interface. It's probably just MIDI. There are still options but first we'd need to the exact model to look at the specs. Also, it may be helpful to include what operating system your laptop is running as software would certainly be part of the solution. – user37496 Mar 11 '18 at 21:22
  • @user37496 Thanks, I've made the suggested edits – matt9292 Mar 11 '18 at 21:26
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As far as I can see the Yamaha Clavinova CVP-605 doesn't have the ability to send audio over USB to a laptop. It does have what they call a "USB audio recorder" which I'm nearly certain just means that you can plug in a USB thumb drive and record to that so that you can manually transfer it over to a computer.

But you do have some other options:

  1. Your Clavinova has the ability to do multitrack recording internally. I'm not sure if you can instantly loop like you could with a pedal. But you could still layer parts. I'm guessing you know about that already.
  2. You could get an audio interface for your laptop and use the analog audio outs of the Clavinova. Then you'd use a software looper on the computer. I'm not up to speed on the software loopers available for Windows, but there's surely something.
  3. You could get an actual loop pedal and use the analog audio outputs of the Clavinova. You'd need some kind of amp after the pedal, of course.
  4. You could use the MIDI output of the Clavinova to use it as a controller for your laptop. Ableton Live is probably an obvious choice for this kind of thing but there are surely some free/cheap options as well. Either way the idea is that the MIDI would be looped instead of audio and the sound would also be generated from the computer using a software instrument instead of the Clavinova's sounds.

Another factor if you want to loop live like he's doing is that you'll need a pedal so that it's hands-free. It may be possible to trigger MIDI from one of the Clavinova's pedals that you aren't using and map that to the loop function in whatever software you choose. But there are dedicated MIDI pedals as well (be aware that some of these need their own MIDI interface and some already have one built in).

  • The MIDI/computer method doesn't HAVE to use the computer's software instruments. MIDI can be looped back to the Clavinova. – Laurence Payne Mar 11 '18 at 22:42
  • @user37496 Thanks for the detailed answer. I wasn't actually aware of the multi-track ability on the Clavinova, but it handy even though it doesn't loop. I'm testing a few free/trial software loopers as well. – matt9292 Mar 14 '18 at 5:33
  • @LaurencePayne but this probably depends on the software - I haven't had much luck with Midi looping yet - audio seems to work "out of the box" with most of the software loopers I've tried. If you know more about making this work i'd be interested to know? – matt9292 Mar 14 '18 at 5:34
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You can do this using a computer running a sequencer program.

The one I have to hand is Cubase 9.5. Without going into program-specific detail, it allows me to set up markers on the sequencer timeline, and to loop constantly between them while recording data. On eack loop I hear the previously recorded passes as well as what I'm currently playing. When I've built up enough layers, I can drop out of Record mode but continue playing the loop.

You can do this with either audio (as Peter Bence is) or MIDI. The USB port on your Clavinova offers a direct MIDI connection, there are also the older type round MIDI connectors, which will require a MIDI interface add-on for the computer. Or you can connect the audio output of the Clavinova to an audio interface on the computer. (USB does MIDI, not audio).

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A lot of performers seem to be standardizing on Ableton Live for laptop looping in live situations.

Here's an example of what you can do for hands-free looping. In this case, they're using a Mac but Ableton Live and Zen Audio are also available on Windows 10.

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