Create Your Own Jam Tracks With The
Best Guitar Loop Pedal
Loopers are just what they suggest- they allow guitarists to record music and put them on a loop and layer them in any way they want. They also allow you to replay music so you can give a different twist to it and to express yourself better just the way you want to. You can add effects and also make adjustments to your piece of music. When you kick the pedal, the recorded music is played back to you giving you an opportunity to let your imagination run riot. A guitar, the correct amp, and the right looper pedal can create amazing music tracks, giving players more control over their practice.
Let’s look at the best guitar loop pedals-
Boss’ RC-3 Loop Station is an improved version of RC-2 and is a top model that has quality, ease of use and advanced functions at affordable pricing. Besides mono looping, it does many other things- it increases recording time, introduces a USB 2.0 connection, and also adds stereo to mono looping. RC-3 offers various rhythms types that include funk, pop, shuffle and even Latin with tempo. As the looper records music, the rhythm type, and time signature are also recorded alongside the recorded portions. The USB connection allows saved pieces of music to be backed up to your computer and also allows wave files to be loaded on to the onboard memory. This is a great opportunity to practice and recharge your music to be more compelling when it goes live.
The first press of the pedal starts recording, the 2nd depression begins the overdubbing and the third press plays back the music. When you want to stop the music, you have to press down twice on the footswitch. In case you want the foot control functions to be more versatile, you just need to add more footswitches to cater to your needs. If you use the auto-recording feature, recording begins the instant the playing begins, but you can also opt for having a measure of rhythm before recording and choose the visual flashing rhythm light instead of the audio.
RC-3 also allows you to practice a set of chords over and over again or slow the phrases down to learn the difficult parts without altering the pitch. The pedal is strong, reliable, and durable and with a five-year warranty thrown in, it figures right at the top. It caters to almost all the needs of most guitar players and you won’t be disappointed by its performance. Great recording and great looping.
Vox recently entered the loop pedal arena, it has improved upon its VDL-1 to bring out a more compact looper pedal called Lil’ Looper. This pedal has a footswitch for record, play, and overdub and allows you to stop or undo the last action. The loop pedals allow players to synchronize two loops to the same tempo and to create phrases that loop and record when you play.
The twin pedals allow you to mix clean chords with bass, distorted chords to create the effects you want. It doubles up as an effects pedal and by adding another footswitch, you can gain more control. You can turn the effects on and off, select the effect you want, delete individual phrases and even stop each loop separately. You can opt for any effect by using a rotating knob that operates in a clockwise manner. Unlike its main competitors, there is no way you can transfer the loops or store them. The focus is on a ‘live approach’ and when you plug in the device, you can get as creative as you want and layer your recordings as you play.
It’s a great tool to practice, great fun to use and those that want to get into looping will find the Lil looper a grand device. As it runs off batteries, it can be used just about anywhere and anytime you want.
The Nux Loop Core pedal is a great option for those looking for affordable advanced guitar loop pedals. Housed in a nice robust metal yellow casing, this one can take a beating and still survive. It is durable and reliable, has two outputs and two inputs. This is a huge plus as you use the pedal as a stereo rig and add more instruments to the loop on the input side.
Though the pedal has just one footswitch, the save and delete functions are disassociated from it and linked with a separate button. It means that the footswitch is used only to begin and end the recording of the loop. Up and down buttons help you identify the memory slot you want while a control knob helps to adjust the rhythm level of the loop. You can record about 6 hours of mono or stereo audio and store it in any of the 99 memory slots that are provided. Onboard drum patterns allow you to choose the tempo for your loop audio and you can also store loops in your PC. The device runs on a battery and doesn’t weigh much- it can be used anywhere. High-quality sound and a host of advanced functions make this pedal a useful one, especially for practice.
Digitech is well known in the loop pedal market as its products combine craftsmanship with high-quality audio and are also available at a very reasonable price. This one, made of metal, is compact, has a single footswitch and is full of features. It is a great option for players of all styles and levels. It can store 10 minutes of stereo loops in its internal memory, has two pairs of input and output jacks, a single control knob, undo and redo functions and unlimited overdubs. Three LED indicators tell you whether you are in record, dub or play mode.
The footswitch is very versatile and has three important controls embedded in a single button- tapping it once will record of a loop, tapping it twice will end the process and depressing and holding down the button for a while will delete the recorded loop. The recording is done clearly with no intermittent crackle or noise.
In short, a good, affordable looper pedal that’s simple in functions and easy to use. It may not have rhythm tracks, reverse playback or a second pedal, but is extremely functional and a breeze to use.
Are you looking for a compact pedal with excellent sound quality and great design? This EHX pedal is the one to go for. Though it looks like the Ditto X2 it differs in the design of its footswitches and its looping functionality. The pedal records without compression, loops can be stored in 10 banks and played back and forth at different speeds. It has two footswitches and two control knobs. Using the footswitch, you can switch on or switch off the playback effects. The 3-button foot controller allows you to scroll through the memory banks and regulate your actions on any of the 10 channels.
Recording audio (12 minutes) onto the independent loops and playing them back is easy, but since there is no SD card slot or USB, the recorded loops cannot be put to much use. However, given its small size, this pedal is extremely capable.
The JM4 Looper is a good looker with its golden color scheme and its slender look is in stark contrast to the heavy look that most pedals have. It has four footswitches assigned only for the looping function and provides for 24 minutes of quality recording. With the addition of a memory card, the memory can be expanded much more than that. Players can also add their own creative jam tracks. A useful pedal with immense looping capacity; however, the pedal has to be coaxed a bit to get the right sound quality.
This pedal is more than just a looper- it has 200 preset sounds by famous artists, some good amp models from Line 6, 36 banks to store your styles and two inputs-one for the microphone and the other for the guitar. With numerous built-in effects, you can lend wings to your imagination and create your individual sounds by mixing and matching. The jam tracks are more realistic and dynamic than on other pedals as its loops have been taken from live sessions.
Despite its features, the pedal is pricey, so if you are still learning, just give a thought before buying it.
In conclusion, looping is a great way to practice and also improve- that said, exercise caution and care before investing in one. Every pedal is unique and does things differently so you need to find something that will suit your style of functioning without breaking the bank.