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Best Looping Station?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by grungtertl, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. grungtertl


    Aug 2, 2004
    Im looking for a looper. I want one that can do things like Keller Williams. I want to be able to record fairly long loops, and have them play over and over again. Also i would like to do layers of different loops at the same time. Price isnt a problem, i just want the best quality looper out there. Any help would be great... im a rookie to looping.
  2. Jmann


    Apr 29, 2003
    Lexington, Ky
    I think Keller uses a Lexicon Jam Man.
  3. if you ask me, the best looper is either the echoplex or the boomerang.

    and yes, keller williams uses a jam man.
  4. I am using BOSS Loop Station. Working fine for me.
  5. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    Echoplex Digital Pro, beyond a doubt. However, you may not need all of what it does. Check it out (and all the other ones) at Looper's Delight. Digitech has just released something called "JamMan": not to be confused with the original Lexicon model. It looks interesting. Also, Electrix is preparing to reintroduce the Repeater which used to be the only serious competition for the Echoplex.

    Here's my order of preference for current loopers (I keep up with this!). I haven't tried them all (I have actually owned the EDP, Boomerang, Lexicon Jamman, DL4, and D-Two); I'm basing it on feature lists and Looper's Delight discussions.

    Echoplex Digital Pro/Electrix Repeater
    Lexicon Jamman
    Boss DD-20
    Digitech Jamman
    Boss RC-20
    Line6 DL4

    You can also loop with Kyma (multiple thousand of dollars), Eventide Orville ($3K), TC Electronic's D-Two (nice delay, too). There's several good software loopers: Live (of course), LiSA, Augustus Loop, G (used by Vernon Reid), the newest version of Logic...

    It's the golden age of looping! What you pick really depends on what you think you need to do. I'm full of advice (or something) if you think you need it.
  6. grungtertl


    Aug 2, 2004
    I just want to make multiple parts, that would work for multiple instruments (mainly bass). So it needs to be versitle, and as much looping time as possible, and as many loops at a time as i want. But at the same time i want it to be easy, im not too worried about effects, just a top of the line looper, seamless and quiet. Any more suggestions would help, beacuse looking at reviews they all have plus's and minus's. Footcontrolled is very preferable.
  7. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    Multiple loops at the same time is only really a feature of the Repeater, and, in a sense, the DD-20. If you mean "one loop to which I can add layers as much as I want," they all do that. But if you want to control multiple loops independently, well, it's the Repeater or software. (You can always get a MIDI foot controller.)

    For ease, I'd take a hard look at the new Jamman. The RC-20 seems kludgy to me (sorry, everyone). The Boomerang, in particular, has a great interface, as does the Echoplex.

    I'm not being much use. Here's some issues to consider:

    Do you really need multiple loops, or just layers over one loop?

    Will you be using song forms, like a first part, then the second part, then back to the first part again? Or do you more want to make soundscapes a la Fripp? Do you want to be able to do both?

    Do you need feedback control over your loops? Many loopers feel like that's the key feature for quality looping. The inexpensive loopers either don't have that, or have it in an inaccessible way.

    Do you need to be able to interrupt your loops, glitch them, undo layers, insert new passages in an already running loop, and other advanced capabilities?

    Do you need an easy way to save loops? Do you hope to have a library of loops you can call up for performances, or do you intend to make them on the fly?

    Does your looper need to also function as a long delay? Do you want a long delay in the first place?

    Are you able to get in at the $1K level (or more), the $400 level, or the $200 level?

    Anyway, alert Steve Lawson. He's lots better at all of this than me.
  8. grungtertl


    Aug 2, 2004
    Im looking in the $400 range, maybe a bit more at most. But i want to layer i guess, and make the soundscapes. But i also want to use it for song parts. I want to be able to edit, stop, speed up or slow down a part, etc... I just want it to be a great looper, with a great playback. Effects i dont need alot, but easy and footcontrolled are important.
  9. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    I vote Boomerang for you. Others may have other ideas. You get the foot controller; a great interface; you can change speed, reverse, etc.; you can have two separate song parts. The Repeater will cost about the same, but you have to find and program a MIDI foot controller. I think the less expensive units all have issues -- although the Digitech Jamman could be an exception to that. (A Jamman and a DD-20 could be a killer combination.) The old Lexicon Jamman had a similar basic structure to the Boomerang, with better sound quality, more song parts, much shorter loops -- whatever you might hear, I think the Boomerang is the better tool. Plus, Mike Nelson of Boomerang is a great guy. Plus, they may still have these 'factory second' Boomerangs for sale that have a really obscure software bug that would never come up in practice.

    Good luck.
  10. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    If I had $400 to drop on a looper I would get the Boss RC-20XL. That is the new model with "undo" and other features. I have owned a boomerang, and a Gibson EDP, and an old EH delay, and briefly owned one of the original Reperters... and I'm now using a RC-20 and a DD-20 in combination.

    I'd also take a look at the new JamMan pedal. It looks a lot like the RC-20 in size and functions. I'd love to do a side-by-side with my RC20, as well as check out the RC20XL.

    I see that there is a new Repeater, but I am gunshy of Electrix after their previous vanishing act.

    The Boomerang is a nice looper but my reasons for not sticking with it were:

    too big
    too noisy
    not enough loop memory

    The EDP is hands down the gold standard for real-time looping, but I was using about 5% of its capabilities and I had well over a grand wrapped up in it! Off to an owner of more discriminatin' taste.
  11. i have a boss RC-20, and it does for the most part what i want, but since you are beginning looping, i would definately look for a looper with an undo function...rc-20xl, or any of the ones yellow listed pretty much!
  12. grungtertl


    Aug 2, 2004
    Thanks for the info everyone.
  13. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    Funny, I was just checking out the Digitech pedal today and found one glowing review on harmony central. Guy says it kills the Boss...


    I think Mike Dimin mentioned that there is a new 'Rang in the works that would be more 'studio friendly'. Are they really that noisy?
  14. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I'm interested in the new Jam Man- it looks like it does everything my RC-20XL does but with a lot more patches and memory. I often find myself wanting more than the 10 alloted loop patches.

    Do you want to be able to save your loops? The Boomerang isn't capable of storing your loops once the power goes off. I'm not sure if the Echoplex is or not.

    One other thing to note about live looping: the UNDO function of the Boss RC-20XL only lets you remove the last loop that you created (you do this by holding the pedal down for three seconds). Holding the pedal down again adds the loop you just deleted, rather than deleting the loop previous. The ability to remove more than just one layer is something the Echoplex can do, but I don't know if any other pedal will do it (and the Echoplex is ~$1000).
  15. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    No saving loops on the Echoplex. That's one of the advantages of the Repeater. But for live loop manipulation, there's nothing like the Echoplex in hardware or software. If the goal is spontaneous creation, that's your looper.
  16. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    The Repeater has a new version out that's supposed to have some new features, but I haven't read about anyone who's used it. Steve Lawson said the old one wouldn't allow you to go straight from creating your first loop to overdubbing (which is a must for live work), and I don't know if the new one does or not. If it does, it would be a great deal, as it's quite a bit cheaper than an Echoplex with similar features.
  17. I have a pair of original Obie plex's that I love, have had a Jamman, and repeater. Jamman too short loops but the quality was great, repeater noisy as anything but very cool things that the EDP can't do, like pitch bend, loved that with a CC pedal, and storage on CFlash card, very cool. :)
  18. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    I do a lot of direct recording and when I got the gain where I wanted it I couldn't deal with the hiss. It would have been fine in most live situations.
  19. I love my RC-20XL but I wish that it could sync to a midi clock and had the ability to fade the oldest loops out so your song could morph key changes and such and let your jam progress without getting stale and over layered.
  20. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Those two features that you mention are what made a lot of folks get a Gibson EDP over some other looper. FWIW, the RC20XL is fantastic bang for the buck, but you would have to spend about 3x as much to get those features.

    Take a look at the Digitech JamMan box:

    A big update on an older device that went out of production. I hope that down the road we see a box about this size with the bulk or at least the core of the EDP feature set.