Looping Pedals?


Carl King
GuitarTricks Video Director
Joined: 10/08/07
Posts: 466

Hey folks,

I'm not sure I've ever used a looping pedal in my life!

But I was considering how much fun it could be for quick practice improvs (instantly play a rhythm part and then solo on top without need for recording) or even for live-streaming some improviation sessions.

I see the Boss Loop Station is pretty fancy, but there's also a model from TC Electronics which simply has one button (Ditto Looper).

Anyone messed with these?

-Carl.


Carl King[br]GuitarTricks Video Director / Producer

# 1
manXcat
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Joined: 02/17/18
Posts: 1,422
Originally Posted by: Carl King snip..I see the Boss Loop Station is pretty fancy, but there's also a model from TC Electronics which simply has one button (Ditto Looper). Anyone messed with these?

Boss make a number of different model Loop Stations at segmented price points. Probably the most popular is the RC-3. I been using a NUX Loop Core which is a clone of the Boss RC-3 for about 2½ years now.

Similarly the Ditto mini pedal. I been using a Kokko SOS (looper) mini pedal which is a Ditto clone for about three years. Bought it shortly after I started.

A looper of some sort is a must have in my book. I prefer the NUX Loop Core over the Kokko SOS. Even though it's more complex, ergonomically it's easier to use. Both do what they're supposed to. Great tools and a lot of fun too. Takes a bit of getting used to with the switch timing, but it's like anything else in guitar. Just do it and with famil and repetition it becomes second nature.

You've gotta' get one Carl, Boss, Ditto or whatever. I still use both.


# 2
fuzzb0x
Registered User
Joined: 04/02/13
Posts: 555
Originally Posted by: Carl King

Hey folks,

I'm not sure I've ever used a looping pedal in my life!

But I was considering how much fun it could be for quick practice improvs (instantly play a rhythm part and then solo on top without need for recording) or even for live-streaming some improviation sessions.

I see the Boss Loop Station is pretty fancy, but there's also a model from TC Electronics which simply has one button (Ditto Looper).

Anyone messed with these?

-Carl.

I've owned both the Boss RC1 and RC3, both great pedals and very easy to use without taking up much floor space and I've always recommended those to people looking to buy a first looper. I have played with some of the cheaper ones on the market but there is definitely a lower quality of sound from the cheaper ones I've tried compared to the Boss ones, I also noticed the sound quality on the cheaper ones gets worse with the more layers you add to the loop so probably a lower quality chip set used in them, the good thing with all Boss loopers is they hold value on the second hand market really well so easy to move on if you decide you want to change or upgrade.


# 3
rich.peach
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Joined: 09/24/19
Posts: 1

Hi Carl, you can't go wrong with any of the Boss pedals suggested but I can absolutely recommend the TC Ditto. It is very simple to operate and just gives high quality fuss-free playback of what you record.

The volume control is really handy - I leave mine set down a little bit so that once I've recorded a few chords they automatically play back at a lower volume for me to improvise over. Another good use of the looper is for experimenting with the EQ or overdrive on an amp or pedal as you can tweak and listen while the guitar keeps playing.

The ony downside is that it requires a power supply as it's not big enough for a battery like the Boss units. You should be able to pick one up on eBay cheaply. I believe there is a newer Ditto+ with more features but the original one may be all you may need.


# 4
manXcat
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Originally Posted by: rich.peachThe ony downside is that it requires a power supply as it's not big enough for a battery like the Boss units.

[u]Internal[/u] batteries are a double edged sword IME&V. I [u]generally[/u] don't use them any more, even on my full size pedals with that storage capability my tuner pedal the occasional exception.

Running any pedal off a 9V alkaline battery, mini or full size with internal fitment or not, I'd choose to run external. Why? Depending upon the pedal and what they are pulling, and loopers like the RC-3 and Loop Core pull more current than something like an analogue Overdrive, using pedals like those loopers regularly and for any duration the 9V batteries don't last long. A lot more expensive than AA cells, it won't take long putting hand in pocket on 9V alkalines before realising it would have been wiser to spend the $$ on the price of a PSU.

But the main reason is, even less duration if forgetting to unplug the TS cable (actual power on/off switching) to leave them overnight with an internal battery being slowly drained. If using 9V batteries for convenience, I use external batteries now for their obvious visual cue, and ease of changing the battery without disconnecting the pedal from the chain, unsticking its velcro from the pedalboard, fiddling about with the battery hatch latch, being so careful handling the internal wiring of the connection to the 9V battery clips etc. sigh o.O External also facilitates swapping about between pedals using the adapters hotlinked below running one or two completely flat in any session rather than three or four if only using one or two pedals in the session. These adapters are the bomb for use with 9V batteries.

That said, for running multiple pedals regularly nothing beats a pedal PSU. Reliable ones are very affordably priced today, easily power up to 8~10 pedals, which unlike daisy chain powered from a wall warts are noise free, never go flat and have circuit isolation and fault indicators to determine which pedal is an issue should one occur. I've got those too. One floater (spare and ancillary use) and one attached to my pedalboard. JFI.


# 5
lukahaiden
Registered User
Joined: 08/27/22
Posts: 2

I have used a Boss RC3 for about 5 years but wanted something even simpler. I looked at a number of different ones but went with a Boss RC3. Here is why https://houseandbeyond.org/best-looper-pedal/[br]. I has a light on it that shows where you are in the loop after you have recorded your first track. It is very handy as sometimes I loose track of where I am when playing over a recorded loop.


# 6
db0967
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Joined: 10/22/11
Posts: 4

I am thinking about getting the Ditto+  I plan on using it to lay down a rhythm trach and to learn how to solo over the top. The Ditto+ also allows you to load backing tracks onto it as well.


# 7
Tinpan
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Joined: 03/31/20
Posts: 394

I tried sanpera on vyper amp and drove me crazy. Could never get the loop seamless so timing would be totally out each time it restarted. Must be awesome to be able to do it right but back to backing tracks for Me.


# 8
manXcat
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Joined: 02/17/18
Posts: 1,422
#8 Originally Posted by: Tinpan

I tried sanpera on vyper amp and drove me crazy. Could never get the loop seamless so timing would be totally out each time it restarted. Must be awesome to be able to do it right but back to backing tracks for Me.

I've never used a Sanpera. Just watching this demo I have a question for you Tinpan. Is the looping firmware functionality actually intrinsic within the Sanpera pedal in which case you could use it as a standalone looper with other amps, or is it purely within the firmware in the Vypyr amp and actionable only by the footswitch on its propietary Sanpera pedal only? As I understand you have to have the propietary Sanpera pedal to make use of the looper functionality integral to the Vypyr amp, so I suspect its the latter. This might add an additional firmware signal switching delay consequent to the switch press requiring more anticipation than with a standalone looper pedal. 

I've experienced before in a smart pedal which interacts with amp firmware (not a looper) where switching is implemented this way, so there is an uninstinctive lag after the press of the footswitch which takes understanding that followed by applied practice and exposure to develop the anticipation to get the timing right.


If it's not that, reiterating from an earlier post in this thread re persevering if you figure looping is of practical value to you, looping initially does "takes a bit of getting used to with the switch timing, but it's like anything else in guitar. Just do it and with famil and repetition it becomes second nature". 

Copy the OMMV alternative, paraphrased 'backing tracks work for me'.

Cheers.


# 9
Tinpan
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Joined: 03/31/20
Posts: 394

Hey Cat,


Yeah I think the latter is the issue. I ditched the amp and peddle as neither really did it for me. Plenty of options but never really sounded any good to me. I might have to try one of these recommended loopers with one of my fender amps if I can get Santa to leave one in my stocking as I'm not seeing any others with a similar issue.  I'm thinking how long the loop can go is a big deal too? Sanpera was also way too short.


 


 


# 10
manXcat
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Joined: 02/17/18
Posts: 1,422

Yer dedicated looper is the way to go. TC's Ditto has 5 minutes looping endurance. Or alternatively Kokko's SOS which I use, the same. The Kokko SOS is effectively a clone of TC's Ditto. Ideal to test the water relatively inexpensively with to see if that simple kind of looper suits you. As iterated in post #2 of this thread, I prefer the ergonomics of using my NUX Loop Core over the Kokko SOS.

If wanted you can source one here. I use that linked AliExpress store regularly, They are 100% legit, reliable, ship and deliver. Not sure how that price will display for you in terms of currency. They've gone up substantially since I bought as have most things guitar. I paid somewhere between AUD$40-$45 delivered 4½ years ago, so it cost me around a third of what the Ditto was then. PRC manufactured goods have increased in price since. Price delivered to me today to me would be AUD$78, just over half the price I can source a Ditto for locally, so still a worthwhile deal. 


# 11
Tinpan
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Joined: 03/31/20
Posts: 394

Awesome thanks cat! I'm gonna give it a crack. 


# 12