Most gig-worthy loop pedals?

Seamus

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 25, 2011
1,272
New England
Got a solo gig today. Lots of looping. Realizing, as I look up the Boss RC-2 manual for the hundredth time, that I've struggled with and basically hated this looping pedal for a decade-plus. Why I haven't ditched it for something better I don't know. It's fussy, way too complicated, and annoying as all get-out at gigs. You have to keep switching to new channels to record loops, or you have to remember to erase the old loop before starting a new one -- so the audience hears a few seconds of the last loop when you erase it. And I can't tell you how many times I've forgotten to erase it, been mid-song, and hit the record button -- only to instead play the last loop. This thing is just terrible.

So what's a worthwhile looper for solo gigging? I need long loops (I record entire 32-bar rhythm parts often), overdubbing, preferably quantizing, and ease of use. Anyone have reliable pedals for live looping?
 

Zeek

Country Gent
May 29, 2016
2,001
Illinois USA
Well, if it's one better, it's got to be an improvement! :)
I like you can set it to record as soon as you hit a note
99 storage spots
3 + hours of time
2 plug ins, 1 for a aux in so you can put backing tracks or songs from phone or computer and a USB
I have 4 lol full of stuff I play with.
 

Seamus

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 25, 2011
1,272
New England
I like you can set it to record as soon as you hit a note
99 storage spots
3 + hours of time
2 plug ins, 1 for a aux in so you can put backing tracks or songs from phone or computer and a USB
I have 4 lol full of stuff I play with.
Would you recommend for what I do? Like today: I'm in a background sort of situation, so nobody's listening all that closely. I'll therefore play an intro, say, then record a rhythm track to a 32-bar tune, then solo over it for a few minutes, back to the head, and stop. After that, I need to repeat with a new song, without fuss or too much possibility of accidental error.

Right now, to move to the next song, I have to (loudly) erase the last track, or remember to move to the next open track. I mean, really, I guess I need something super-simple. Overdubbing is nice, but I only use it for certain gigs. And quantizing is helpful, but it's so fussy on the RC2 that I might as well not have it. I mostly do fine without it, but 32 bars means I have to be concentrating or I'll get off-tempo, and have a disastrous loop.
 

Zeek

Country Gent
May 29, 2016
2,001
Illinois USA
Would you recommend for what I do? Like today: I'm in a background sort of situation, so nobody's listening all that closely. I'll therefore play an intro, say, then record a rhythm track to a 32-bar tune, then solo over it for a few minutes, back to the head, and stop. After that, I need to repeat with a new song, without fuss or too much possibility of accidental error.

Right now, to move to the next song, I have to (loudly) erase the last track, or remember to move to the next open track. I mean, really, I guess I need something super-simple. Overdubbing is nice, but I only use it for certain gigs. And quantizing is helpful, but it's so fussy on the RC2 that I might as well not have it. I mostly do fine without it, but 32 bars means I have to be concentrating or I'll get off-tempo, and have a disastrous loop.
Well the 2 looks different then 3.
I would think you could just change from say slot 11 to 12 and move on
you could have it already recorded and just go to it
not sure if that would work for you.
IMG_20221004_124157852_HDRa.jpg
 

Falconetti

Synchromatic
Sep 18, 2012
611
Bagsville, Oxford UK
The RC3 is a great looper. Lots of space and with a FS 6 foot switch connected you can scroll, set tap tempo, stop and dub all hands free. I gig with mine and i love it. I have 3 of them !!
 

Viper

Electromatic
Feb 1, 2009
59
Iowa City, Iowa
The Ditto x2 looper does what you need. It is simplicity itself to operate and takes about 10 minutes to figure it out. The lack of elaborate features makes this looper intuitive. Run down to your neighborhood music store and see if they have one. You’ll want one the instant you try it.
 

Maguchi

Gretschie
Aug 11, 2022
316
Lalaland
Lol probably zero help but I love my BOSS RC3's

Well the 2 looks different then 3.
I would think you could just change from say slot 11 to 12 and move on
you could have it already recorded and just go to it
not sure if that would work for you.

The RC3 is a great looper. Lots of space and with a FS 6 foot switch connected you can scroll, set tap tempo, stop and dub all hands free. I gig with mine and i love it. I have 3 of them !!
^^^Ditto on the RC-3. I still use a RC-1 occasionally for playing live, but the RC-3 is better. Never tried a RC-2 before yet.

20221201_122540.jpg
 

Falconetti

Synchromatic
Sep 18, 2012
611
Bagsville, Oxford UK
The RC1 is fine as a simple on the fly looper. I have one and use it often. The RC3 is a whole other world. Pre-record the loops or prepare them on the fly. Whatever suits but you need the foot-switch to use it live and get the max from it imho. I looked at a Ditto looper but it is not a patch on the RC3. Because i am intrigued about using more complex drum backing i ordered an RC5 today.
 

Seamus

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 25, 2011
1,272
New England
Just back from the gig. I did a better job, but I still find that sucker annoying. I remembered to switch to new tracks each time, but then I filled them all, and had to revert to the "five seconds of loop" deletion thing. If they just had a way to make it silently erase the current track, this pedal would be perfectly usable. Weird choice they made there.

Thinking I will get something cheap, with zero frills, then I can keep both.
 

Lockupyourfatdog

Country Gent
Aug 8, 2016
1,047
Everett wa
I really liked my boss rc300. When I had the rc2 I kept thinking I wish I had 3 or four of these so I could do several loops at a time easily. The 300 did just that. Three loopers, one pedal. There were some defaults I turned off and building loops was really easy
 

Falconetti

Synchromatic
Sep 18, 2012
611
Bagsville, Oxford UK
Does the RC1 erase without playing the beginning of the loop? Operation looks similar otherwise, but if they share that flaw, I dunno!
The Rc1 clears the loop by holding down play so no it doesn’t clear without playing a short section. Not a great design but manageable

The RC3 with the external foot switch gives you the facility to either pre store loops (my preferred method) and scroll through them as required in the set or create a loop on the fly for a song then instead of deleting move to another blank loop channel to prepare the loop for the next song. 99 blank loop channels to go at. This method works for me when using it live. The external foot-switch also acts as a tap tempo controller and allows you to stop the loop with a single press. There are more complex options out there but a stomp box size 99 channel pedal is a powerful and useful tool imho. I have never used an RC2 so can’t offer a comparison

One downside to the RC3 i found was that it imparts quite a bit more noise to the rig signal compared to the RC1 which is silent. Happens with every one i own. Not a massive problem but its defo there. Good luck
 


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