What Is A Loop?

A "loop" is a piece of audio data that is used as part of a larger musical production. In the early days of sampling, the most common type of audio used was that of a drum loop, which consisted of a short, one or two-bar recording that was then "looped" to play from beginning to end, and repeated as often as necessary to fill up the length of a song. This term has come to describe any section of audio that is used as an element to a song or a production, regardless of whether it is repeated or not. A loop can be anything from a one beat long guitar riff, to a five minute drum performance, to a non-rhythmic synthesizer sweep, and anything in between.  A loop is different from an instrument or one shot in that it is intended to be placed sequentially in an audio track, rather than played or triggered polyphonically in a sample-playback engine.

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