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Looping advice needed

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by far0n, May 1, 2006.

  1. far0n


    Apr 28, 2005
    Yorkshire, UK
    We play "Ian Dury - Hit Me With Your Rhthym Stick" in the band I'm in and we each get a solo in the middle of it. What I wanted to do was to play the main bass line into a looper then do the solo of the top of it. Just really wanted to know where to start, what units to consider etc. Don't really need a huge multi-channel thing just something simple.

  2. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
    the basics are the boss rc20 (or rc20xl) and the digitech jam man.
    cooler are the electro-harmonix 16 second digital delay, and the line 6 dl4 (both of these are delay/loopers, but work quite well as loopers (particularly for a simpler situation like yours seems to be))
    then you could go for the boomerang... but that's probably a bit excessive for you.
    rc20xl, dl4, 16 second digital delay = ca. $250 USD
    jam man = ca. $300 USD
    bommerang = ?
  3. far0n


    Apr 28, 2005
    Yorkshire, UK
    I wondered whether it takes super human timing to get the loop bit right? How does the unit know what sort of timing your using? Do you have to tap the tempo in with your foot or something ? Was just curious how it might work live with a drummer who obviously would never play at excatly the same tempo each time?
  4. As long as the drummer can keep a consistent tempo then you would just have to be able to punch in and out of the loop with good timing. That takes a little practice but it isn't too hard to pick up on. The great thing is that you can practice your loop timing with nothing more than a cheapo metronome or rhythm box.

    A looper like the RC-20, 20XL, or Jam Man is a solid bet for live looping, but the Boss DD-20 and Line6 DL4 are also good for doing simple live loops. They don't have loop storage, or as much memory, but they are stone simple to operate and you also get a great delay pedal. The loop timing and pedal feel on the DD-20 is better than either of the RC-20 units that I have owned, or the Jam Man that I have spent some time with (owned and returned).

  5. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    On my Jamman, I simply have to hit the loop pedal, play whatever I want for however long I want, and hit the pedal again right on the downbeat, or perhaps a hair before. It's pretty second nature now, I can start a loop easily.

    I'm still new to the JamMan, but it seems that it has an automatic tempo-finder once you start looping. I'm not sure about this, but the Rhythm light and the onboard metronome always hit the same tempo that I'm going for with any loop. There is also a speed control for your already-recorded loops, you can speed them up or slow them down, without tone loss or pitch change, but this requires you to bend over and press the Tempo button by hand which isn't exactly handy.

    If you have good timing with your looping, your drummer should be just as good as matching the tempo, or at least be flexible enough to match the tempo whenever the need arises.

    You should try out the JamMan and try to get a feel for looping. Before I got mine I had never played one before, and I was unsure of how well I was going to adapt. It literally took 10 minutes for me to start looping. Definitely consider the JamMan for what you want. I think it will work perfectly for your situation.
  6. personally I'd go with the line 6 DL4 or Boss DD20, mainly because it sounds like you don't do a whole lot of looping, and if you only loop for one song, a looper isn't exactly going to have a lot of value in your setup, but with the two that i mentioned, you get a few different delays as well, which is something you might be able to use..i see that fretlessrock said that already :)
  7. Groundloop


    Jun 21, 2005
    I've used the (older) Boss RC-20, the Line 6 DL4 and the Digitech JamMan. I ended up keeping the JamMan. The Boss units are fine, but what sold me on the JamMan was the Compact Flash storage and USB interface. Those features alone make it more than a live looper (for me) and make it more useful as a practice tool. I had a really hard time accurately setting loop points on the DL4, and it took me a while to figure out why. I always wear boots with big lugs on the outsole, and unless I had my foot positioned "just so" I'd miss the little chrome stomp switch and it would get stuck between the lugs of the boot!!

    Your footwear may vary.
  8. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I've been using a Boomerang for a while now, extremely user friendly IMO. Creating the loop is really simple, plus you can stack loops if you want .... The Boomerang is about $325-$350 with the power supply, make sure you get the Boomerang + unit (version 2).

    More important, however, is how good the drummer's time is. Once you start the loop your drummer has to have rock solid time or the whole thing goes bad really fast. My drummer and I have agreed when and where stuff will be looped and I have a 210 pointed right at him. He plays a more consistent (less busy) groove during the looped sections, so far it's been working out pretty well (plus he's got great time to begin with!!).

    If the time goes to crap, I just kick off the loop and we try again later on ......... :cool:
  9. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    I have a BOSS RC-20XL which has a quantize function: it determines what you are trying to do tempowise and makes a minute adjustment so the loop is the right length.

    As for your "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" solo, it is tough for a band to play along with a loop or a sequence unless it's really predominant in the monitor mix. You're better to forget about the loop and just let the band carry on without a low end bass as you do your solo.
  10. Very avid fan of the rc-20xl...that undo function is especially handy when you screw up when creating intricate loops. if you had the older version (non xl) you'd have to scrap the whole thing.

    you could get the roland midi pedals! those are fun!! (mmmm rush)

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