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Want a looper, but they drive me loopy.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Nev375, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I've been checking out looper pedals at guitar center and it seems to me that most of them are trying to over-complicate such a simple task. Why not just ...tap -> record, tap - dub/playback, doubletap to stop and hold 4 seconds to clear? 10-15 mins of max record time and done.

    No knobs, memory banks, modes, drum machines, quantizing synchronization, or USB hookups required. Ok, you might setup a 2nd button for reverse playback maybe, that would be cool. But why can't they just keep it simple?

    If I want to play back to a recorded track, i'd use a multitrack recording device, if I wanted a drum machine, I'd buy a good one. I just want to overdub a loop!

    edit: ok, I concede that a few controls would be useful. A playback level knob and a simple mode switch to change from (rec > play > dub) to (rec > dub > play) depending on if you want the 2nd tap to be recording over the playback or not.
  2. Nightlyraider


    Sep 30, 2009
    The RC-3 and RC-30 seem pretty awesome to me. The manual doesn't make a lick of sense to read through, but a half-an-hour worth of noodling figured everything out.
  3. An RC-2 will do everything in your first paragraph. You do have to switch banks if you have stuff recorded but it you are just using it for live looping then you don't. You don't have to use the quantize function either if you don't use tap tempo. Yep.
  4. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Trickiest part of using a looper in a live band is hitting the switch at exactly the right time, which is usually right on the down-beat of the next measure. My RC 20XL does everything I need, and I'm a simple-minded goofball. If I can make it work, anyone can.
  5. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Say you goof up, How do you clear it?

    I was trying the RC-3 and was told to hold the pedal down 2 seconds to clear, i did that, but every time I went in to record another loop, the old one would start playing back.
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    You want an Akai Headrush. Trouble free and dumbproof, no quantize, no midi yada yada.
    Play, loop, overdub, erase a layer if you make a mistake, that's it, all with 2 footswitches.
    As a bonus you get an awesome delay.
  7. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I looked at the headrush, and I kinda liked it but I don't think it has enough record time for what I want to do.

    I want to lay the whole bassline out for a song progression, which for me is usually 1 to 3 minutes as some of my preogressions are kinda complex and only repeat once or twice.

    Then I just want to go over that with a lead or some harmony lines or accents. (intending to use for live performance as much or more than practising)
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Headrush does 30 seconds only. It's meant as a strict on the fly live looper.
    For long times like you intend, the ability to save is a must so you need more complex devices.
  9. You hold the button down just like the RC-3. I haven't any problems with it. You have to keep an eye on the leds the will flash(orange on the RC-2 don't know about 3).
  10. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    The pedal itself or the button on the control panel. I tried both several times.... thus my frustration. The clerk helping me with it had trouble too. Tried both the RC-3 and 30, same problem.

    I just think that all the knobs on pedals should be able to be set and left alone for a whole gig. I don't want to have to bend over and fiddle with things between every song.
  11. The one and only looper I'd ever purchase is the Boomerang III. But it's also 450 bucks. But it's the only one I've ever seen that's got what I want: 3 or 4 (depending on how you use the 'Bonus' switch) independent loops that you can stack individually, infinitely (to the full recording time, I mean), and which you can layer, or play serially.. the big drawback for all the other loopers I've ever seen is it's just rec/play, overdub, but you can never select individual layers of the pre-recorded overdubs. How can you ever make a real dynamic performance out of it? The only alternatives to the Boomerang, which is frankly the only performance-friendly looper I've ever seen demonstrated, are those 600 dollar Gibson Echoplex units and those 900 dollar Looptastic.. no, Looperiffic... ah, you know the ones I'm talking about, yes? Big rack unit, huge floor pedal with tons of switches..

    Anyway, I just sold my Digitech JamMan stereo. Biggest disappointment I've ever had in a pedal. I very much thought that you could mix and match those 99 banks it comes with. But nope..
  12. The stompy part of the pedal. At least on the RC-2. I don't know about the 3. I'm happy with the way the 2 works so I haven't tried any other loopers. I wouldn't mind the extra foot switches though. The stop method is a little tricky sometimes. Be nice to just step on the switch once.

    I get that bending down a changing settings can be a bit of a pain but for me it's kind of necessary and it doesn't bother me to knob twiddle here and there. You don't really to adjust anything on the knobs once you have your volume set though. You just stomp once to record, twice to stop, and hold it down til the lights flash to clear it. No need to bend down. If you ad a second layer to the original loop you created(an overdub)then when you press stop and hold it stops and clears the overdub not the original loop then you have to stop/clear again. If you are into multiple layers of loops I could see how that could be frustrating/not that useful. I don't use it that way though I just loop a bassy??? bass part or some noise and then play melodies, leads or noise over it with no overdubs. So yeah it definitely takes a little while to figure out and it has some limitations but it works for me. Like I said though I have no experience with the RC-3.
  13. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010

    It looks like this is closer to what I'm after. I like it a lot, although I think their older boomerang+ model might be what I'm after.

    Might have to take a leap of faith on ebay.
  14. The original Boomerang was *noisy* - lots of hiss and noise, very poor recording. After about three overdubs it was just impossible to listen to. I would try a newer model.
  15. paradigm_shift


    Mar 29, 2007
    The hardwire dl-8 will do what you want except its only 20 sec's loop time
  16. I like my RC-50 though the playback requires a little EQ to sound like the original. Not a problem for me since I use two amps but it does sound like what you are looking for, with possibly more features than you would use, but it only took me about 15 minutes to learn how to use it for what I need.

    Having the ability to selectively route patches, etc. plus the layering and 3 track capability is becoming more useful to me as I get more into looping. It's a great unit, and if I didn't already have it, I would be looking at its successor.
  17. slaps76


    Jul 10, 2008
    Medford, MA
    Anyone use a TC Electronics flashback? I have one on order...going to use it for a simple loop during a live song.
  18. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    Looperlative. Are they down to $900 now? I may have to get one.

    btw, I used to own the Oberheim Digital Echoplex Pro (essentially the Gibson unit before Gibson started putting their name on it) and that may be the one piece of gear I've ever sold that I now regret selling. That looper was pure badass. Could do everything OP is asking for, and with impecable fidelity too. Well worth the $600 or whatever they go for nowadays (I got mine used through some auction site for ~$300 a decade ago).

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