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How do you use your looper?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Petary791, Dec 25, 2005.


  1. Petary791

    Petary791

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    I don't have a looper yet, but I was checking out the Digitech JamMan in my shop and I have fallen in love. So my question is, how do you use your looper? I was just fiddling with it for like 20 minutes yesterday, but I started playing "Schism." I played the bass part twice and looped that then I played the guitar part harmony over it, then I started soloing in D minor. Pretty sweet.
     
  2. BassGod

    BassGod

    Jan 21, 2004
    Oh man, you have no idea how much I want one of those. I've already planned what I'm gonna do with it first.

    I figured I can loop some muted slapping and popping, sort of like a drum beat. Then over the beat I'll play this tapping thing I've already written. Then in some areas of the song, I'll turn on my distortion and maybe my wah pedal, and play a little solo over top.

    I figure I can act as the bassist, drummer, and guitarist, and compose entire songs with it. Anyone tried this kinda thing?

    It's pricey, but I couldn't see myself getting bored of it.

    Graeme
     
  3. Petary791

    Petary791

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Noice, I might just totally steal your idea.

    Just kidding.


    But the drum idea is sweet. My co-worker has this solo piece that he's written where he plays one handed and beats his acoustic guitar, sounds real nice.
     
  4. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I'd use mine as a doorstop.

    And on break from that, I'd try some trippy stuff :p
     
  5. Petary791

    Petary791

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Yeah, like you could do the 2 octave up Whammy "meow" trick that Trey Anestasio loves so much.

    Then make some weird reverse delay sounds on top of that.

    Then some phaser noises.


    Wow I need one.
     
  6. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Does your shop carry EHX? I've seen some amazing things done with the 16 sec delay.
     
  7. Petary791

    Petary791

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Nope, but I've been meaning to contact EHX to become a dealer.
     
  8. BassGod

    BassGod

    Jan 21, 2004
    Has anyone had the chance to A/B the DigiTech and the Boss unit? I'm very interested in both.

    Graeme
     
  9. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    My pedalboard is set up to A/B between my RC-20 and DD-20, and I had a chance to drop the JamMan into the spot where I have the DD-20. The JamMan has a lot of very cool features that neither The RC-20 or 20XL have, like USB and Flash Memory, and I think it is a great choice for either someone who uses pre-recorded loops, or someone who wants to save loops from performance for later use. I didn't like the way that the footswitches felt compared to the Boss units, and I am not looking to do either pre-recorded loops or post-processing. So I returned the JamMan but did end up getting a RC-20XL later because I really wanted an UNDO function.

    Both sounded good. Both looped well. Both the JamMan and the 20XL have UNDO. And you can step up and down through programs on both. FWIW, Neither meet my ideal criteria, which is basically a Echoplex Digital Pro in a medium-sized stomp format.

    That said, if I had to use a JamMan as my only looper I would hardly be crying about it. And I haven't ruled it out indefinitely. Those features are still sinking in. I'm more of the type to get devices to realize something that I am trying to do, not one to get a device and say "how can I use this feature". Not exclusively, but you get the idea.

    Was there some kind of specific comparison you were looking for?
     
  10. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    Definitely look at the video demos at the EHX site. And notice that you don't punch-in and punch-out to set the loop. You have to set the tempo and length first, then loop. That made it a non-starter for the way I work with loops now. If I was going to start from scratch then I could see it being more useful. It has some killer features, but if I have to base almost everything about the composition around it, I can't use it.
     
  11. BassGod

    BassGod

    Jan 21, 2004
    Thanks for all that info fretlessrock. Actually, if you wouldn't mind, I have a few questions.

    Basically when I asked for the comparison, I was looking for how easy they both are to use. Is there a steeper learning curve for one or the other, etc.

    But the whole USB feature and flash memory on the DigiTech sounds great. So then it comes with its own software? I thought the ability to store stuff on computer would be really cool. It would be even better if you could tinker with the tracks and such on the program.

    Oh and finally, thanks for the EHX tip. I watched the video, and though it looks cool, I don't dig that it sets the number of bars you do. Seems like it would limit some of the spontanaety of looping and such.

    Graeme
     
  12. BassGod

    BassGod

    Jan 21, 2004
    By the way, sorry to hijack your thread Petary. ;)

    Graeme
     
  13. BassGod

    BassGod

    Jan 21, 2004
    Sorry, but I have just one more question.

    Take this scenario...

    I've made my drum loop, and backing bass line. So they're in two seperate loops right? Then I add a solo lick, and then on my next loop, I harmonize that lick. So now there's four loops going. On my fifth loop, I put a harmony over my harmony, but screw it up. Can I just get rid of that fifth loop, or if I undo, will that undo everything?

    And am I right in saying that this whole thing would be comprised of five completely seperate loops?

    Graeme
     
  14. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    OK, the learning curve would be about the same because they work very similarly and have about the same feature set. They do the same things but do them a little differently. I don't think one really has the upper hand in terms of the pedal interface. The JamMan has some additional features and more memory slots and can make longer loops if you put a big CF card into it. The RC-20XL is a little simpler because it has a few less features.

    The stomp switches on the JamMan are noisy. The one I tried made a loud "clunk" which was not making me happy at all. It calls attention to the device and that is not good in a live performance setting where the audicnce is close up or being quiet.

    The JamMan just ends up looking like any other mass storage device when you make the USB connection.

    Undo only removes the last addition.

    These devices only play one "loop" at a time, but you can overdub on that one loop. So no, they are not 5 separate loops in your example. They are one loop that you made 4 or 5 overdubs to and UNDO lets you remove the last overdub.

    Oddly, My DD-20 will let me play through a separate delay after I have made a loop. But, no loop storage, and when the loop is gone, it is gone for good. Still, it has the nicest looping "feel" out of any of the pedal loopers I've used.

    Generic Looper Rant: I owned an Echoplex Digital Pro for about a year and I let it go in an effort to downsize my setup. I don't completely regret the decision. But, I am amazed that all of these companies keep coming out with updated devices and they can't even begin to touch the capabilities of the EDP. Boss and Digitech have completely ignored features like adjustable feedback, loop arranging, random loop access, midi sync... stuff that you could really use.

    i.e. I'd own two of either of these devices if I could synchronize them! Either one would stand out as clearly more useful for live looping if it had adjustable feedback via expression pedal. How about being able to use MIDI to select loops? etc... They are really good at what they do, but once you have used kickass looper gear like the EDP it is hard not to have a problem with the featuresets that these stomp-loopers have.