How to use HOLD DELAY as a looper in the TLLE (I think this will be the same for TLSE but as I don't have one I'm not sure).
This afternoon I went back to basics. As suspected the videos and instructions on this are incomplete and confused to say the least - I'm sure those folk knew how to do it, but no one has explained this properly - until now (smug Voxman pleased with himself interval ).
So, here's how it works - and I'll explain certain stuff as we go. I could trim this down, but I've assumed some folk might be less familiar with control layout than others.
1. Choose a patch to save this on your TLLE, and name it eg Hold Delay just for easy reference
2. Select 'Hold Delay' with the chicken head dial in the delay section
3. Press the < button that's next to the EXP-CTL-CHAIN button - this takes you into the HOLD DELAY settings. The first setting is TIME, followed by FEEDBACK, TONE & MIX.
TIME is the length of the delay loop. Using the up/down buttons in the cluster of 4 buttons next to the EXP-CTL-CHAIN button set this to the loop time you want.
Note: With a proper looper you have a variable time setting controlled by an an on/off button so it acts like a tape recorder and if you play a 6 sec riff and loop it, it will play for 6 secs and repeat the loop immediately. Unfortunately (AFAIK) you can't do this with the TLLE and you have to try & set a loop time that matches the time of your riff - this can be anything up to 8000 ms (8 secs). This may not sound long, but it's long enough to have some fun with. If you set the TIME to 8000ms but record only a 4 sec riff, you'll have 4 secs silence until the riff repeats. So there is some experimentation.
FEEDBACK - Assuming you want a pure loop that keeps repeating at the same volume, set this to 10. Otherwise it will gradually fade/decay.
TONE - set this to taste
MIX - this controls the volume of the loop relative to your normal input volume. The good news is that you can adjust this whilst your loop is playing. Setting it to 10 means the loop volume = your normal guitar input volume. But if you want it a little quieter as a backing I'd suggest starting at maybe 7.5.
4. Press the EXP-CTL-CHAIN button, which will blink. It will show: EX/CT/CH. Press the < button immediately next to the blinking LED. You will then see the pedal chain. Using the up/down buttons in the cluster of 4 buttons next to the EXP-CTL-CHAIN button, select RV-MD-DL or MD-RV-DL - choice is yours (and try both to see which you prefer) but the DL must be last in the chain.
5. Press WRITE twice to save what you have so far
6. Press the EXP-CTL-CHAIN button, which will blink. It will again show: EX/CT/CH.
6a. This time, press the > button in the cluster of 4 little round buttons.
6b. Using the up button, select D/INPUT. This tells your Tonelab that you want the expression pedal to control DELAY level (you will see it show 'EP' at the bottom.
6c. Once you have selected D/INPUT, press the > button and it will show EXP MIN - set this to 0.0 (you can use either the up button in the 4-button cluster next to the EXP-CTL-CHAIN button, or the second silver rotary knob along with the flashing LED underneath it. Then press the > button again, and it will show EXP MAX. Set this to 10 (again you can use the button or the third silver rotary knob with the led flashing under it.
7. Again press WRITE twice to save the patch - and you are (nearly) done.
So far we've told the TLLE to record a loop for a set time and that this is controlled by the expression pedal. When the expression pedal is heeled back we are NOT recording. When we push forward, it is. But we can't yet turn the loop on/off with the loop still 'there' when we want it. If you go into stomp mode and press the delay 'OFF' the loop will stop - but when you press delay 'on' again the loop does not come back...it's lost.
However, if you press the CONTROL button to 'on' before pressing the delay button on/off in stomp mode, the loop comes back!!
Unfortunately, although you can save your loop settings you cannot actually save the 'recorded loop' as a patch to recall again. So once you switch out of the patch and/or turn your TLLE off your loop has gone. But even the looper used by Katie Tungstall (Akai Headrush E2) can't save loops. I had one but sold it for a more expensive Boss RC3 which can save loops ...but the Akai was easier to use.
But some more good news - once you've 'recorded' your loop, you can change your 'non-looped' normal tone without affecting the loop tone (make sure the expression pedal is heeled back first). So, you can lay down a funk loop with a Blackface model plus reverb and chorus, but play over it with a JTM45 amp model plus Tube OD and flanger if you want. Be aware that if you want to add delay you have to use MOD DELAY from the modulation section.
Before posting this I set up two patches following my own instructions and both worked perfectly - so I hope I've been able to make this easy to follow and understand. One other thing, it isn't strictly necessary to press WRITE twice until right at the end - you can press EXIT to cancel the EXP-CTL-CHAIN LED flashing so you can go into it again. But until you get the hang of it, I think saving as you go is helpful and reassuring.
This looping facility is a great 'undiscovered' feature of TLLE but quite ridiculous that the TLLE manual doesn't give proper instructions for it! I've also put this in the FAQ section.