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  1. #1

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    If I wanted to lay down a bass line (an octave transpose function, maybe), chordal comping and a muted string rhythmic part to play melodies and solo over - what is a good value looper?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Will let others chime in on current products. I have a Pigtronix Infinity which is nice enough but isn't a good value for practice. However, wanted to mention a few features I find useful.

    • 2 independent channels
      • Usually you only need an A and a B for many song forms (AABA, etc). Hit one button, you record/play A, hit the other and it's B
      • Or you can set up the two channels to put down chords in one channel, bass in the other and play them back together

    • Separate stop button (never got double clicking down and really prefer a third button)
    • Midi interface with clock if you want to integrate a drum machine like Beat Buddy
    • Long loop times and the ability to export/import from an SD card


    All loopers are fun and good for practice. As you add features you add the ability to do full songs and practice more of a performance setting rather than snippets. Of course, investing time learning gadgets does take away from practice time. And fancier tech can try your patience.
    Last edited by Spook410; 01-28-2021 at 02:20 PM.

  4. #3

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    For the last year, for practice, I’ve been using the Digitech Trio Plus which allows you to lay down your chord progression, then select from a wide range of drum and bass styles to fill out the sound. You then add as many loops as you like, the first being your rhythm guitar. You can record all sorts of structures with repeats and it’s incredibly flexible without being as “heavy” as BIAB.
    The software is pulled from Band in a Box so the quality is there.

    check it out?

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Will let others chime in on current products. I have a Pigtronix Infinity which is nice enough but isn't a good value for practice. However, wanted to mention a few features I find useful.

    • 2 independent channels
      • Usually you only need an A and a B for many song forms (AABA, etc). Hit one button, you record/play A, hit the other and it's B
      • Or you can use the two channels to put down chords in one channel, bass in the other and play them back together

    • Separate stop button (never got double clicking down and really prefer a third button)
    • Midi interface with clock if you want to integrate a drum machine like Beat Buddy
    • Long loop times and the ability to export/import from an SD card


    All loopers are fun and good for practice. As you add features you add the ability to do full songs and practice more of a performance setting rather than snippets. Of course, investing time learning gadgets does take away from practice time. And fancier tech can try your patience.
    If you don't care about MIDI interface, electro-harmonix 22500 looper has all else above significantly cheaper.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by medblues
    If you don't care about MIDI interface, electro-harmonix 22500 looper has all else above significantly cheaper.
    That's what I started with but the design just didn't work for me. If you will forgive a rant on a popular looper you may like but I kinda hated: Even with the major software upgrade awhile back the ergo's are impossible. The different channels with different settings on each that you could step up and down through (after purchase of the add on switch) seemed more intended for performance. Simply erasing a track takes several hands on button twists and pushes ( like...you want to delete this track? really? your sure? OK. go to this setting and hold the button down for over 3 seconds.. I mean.. your sure?). I think they improved that a bit with software releases but I'm still a scarred and bitter consumer (sigh). Overall they expected you to go to the next channel and do something there leaving the last channel for posterity. Hopefully you didn't have drums running on the upcoming channel. Or pitch shift. Because settings are persistent by channel. That and setting up the channels for serial vs parallel took constant references back to the manual. Had lots of good things like sound quality and a solid build but they forgot to make it simple and similar to other loopers in operation.

    I do think there is a version of the Pigtronix Infinity now without Midi that's significantly cheaper but has much of the utility.

    Also, in terms of value, there is a simple but usable double click looper on the Electroharmonix Canyon Delay. It's a good delay pedal (if you don't mind some tiny, unreadable knobs and buttons) that includes shimmer and other useful bits. The looper is just sort of thrown into the deal.
    Last edited by Spook410; 01-28-2021 at 02:33 PM.

  7. #6

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    You really don't need anything too complicated. You just need something that records long enough for you to play through the form of a standard a a few times. A separate stop button is useful.

    My recommendation is the TC Electronic Ditto X2 looper. In the US it's $149.

    It's super simple to use, has 5 minutes of record time and a second footswitch that can be assigned to stop, half-speed or reverse functions (and you can move back and forth between those three settings during recording/playing).

    TC Electronic Ditto | Sweetwater

    If you really must record octave-down baselines, then you can record your chords in half-speed, kick it back in normal speed (so doubling the speed), overdub your baseline then switch back to half-speed. Et voila!

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by David B
    You really don't need anything too complicated. You just need something that records long enough for you to play through the form of a standard a a few times. A separate stop button is useful.

    My recommendation is the TC Electronic Ditto X2 looper. In the US it's $149.

    It's super simple to use, has 5 minutes of record time and a second footswitch that can be assigned to stop, half-speed or reverse functions (and you can move back and forth between those three settings during recording/playing).

    TC Electronic Ditto | Sweetwater

    If you really must record octave-down baselines, then you can record your chords in half-speed, kick it back in normal speed (so doubling the speed), overdub your baseline then switch back to half-speed. Et voila!
    Never used one. Can you tell me how you get the turnaround in perfect sync? Does it quantize? Thanks.

  9. #8

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    I also use a Pigtronix Infinity looper. Bought it for the two independant channels to be able to record A and B parts for song. I have rarely ended up using that function though.. I use it live when playing in a duo setting with a singer. I usually just record the whole song when im comping for the singer, then start the loop for my solo. The infinity works really well for that, but it has a lot of extra functionallity i never ended up actually using that much.

  10. #9

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    The Ditto looper is simple to use and simply works. I have the original smaller Ditto and the Digitech Trio Plus which, while being an amazing practice tool, isn't practical for real time live use in my opinion. To teach the tune to the device requires too much planning and overhead.

  11. #10

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    I agree with spook410 that EHX 22500 is not that great for live use (even after firmware updates). I bought it mainly for the microphone input and sound quality to use at home for practice and recording (at the time I did not have a good recorder). Oh, also it has adjustable beat per minute (many other loopers don't). For live use, I have Digitech Jammans with the extra footswitch pedals.

  12. #11

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    Most pedal loopers are similar, but for live use i found the Boss ones better for one small detail.

    When using just one layer of recorded stuff, the DigiTech and Ditto loopers need you to quickly double tap keeping the second tap pressed for a couple of seconds to erase the loop. The Boss just needs you to press for a couple of seconds.

    This made all the difference for me live, as in gigs I need to be able to seamlessly erase the loop and go back to playing chords. Trying to do that, keep the music playing, the rhythm and time etc.., the less tap dancing the better. It sounds insignificant but for me it meant messing up once per set or not!

    In my opinion the best looper for live use is the 2 loop version of Boss (ironically the only one I don't have , I have the Rc3 and the Rc300). Perfect combination of portability and utility, and having two loops is great. You can do chorus verse very easily, or percussion and chords etc, a great difference with the one loop pedals.

  13. #12

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    I like the Ditto loopers for sonic quality, but the Digitech Jam Man series allows one to use a memory card and save the loops that you really like, as well as recording onto the memory card those loops that you may have created in your computer. This gives you the ability to create libraries of tracks for various different gigs. Some of the other brands have the ability to save loops in the internal memory, but the limitations are pretty severe. I now have over 200 tunes saved to memory cards or USB memory, since I work with singers and hornplayers in duo situations, which will probably be very popular once the venues can start hiring again. The clubs, restaurants and halls have taken serious financial damage during this pandemic, and it may take some time for them to be able to ramp up to hiring bands.

  14. #13

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    I'm happy with the TC Ditto. No features, just press the footswitch, record, press again to play (you gotta be in sync, though), press again to lay down more tracks, double-click to erase the whole mess. Easy peasy. More than enough time for 32 bar forms. There are several cheaper copies out there.

  15. #14

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    Like the USB port.

    Quote Originally Posted by David B
    You really don't need anything too complicated. You just need something that records long enough for you to play through the form of a standard a a few times. A separate stop button is useful.

    My recommendation is the TC Electronic Ditto X2 looper. In the US it's $149.

    It's super simple to use, has 5 minutes of record time and a second footswitch that can be assigned to stop, half-speed or reverse functions (and you can move back and forth between those three settings during recording/playing).

    TC Electronic Ditto | Sweetwater

    If you really must record octave-down baselines, then you can record your chords in half-speed, kick it back in normal speed (so doubling the speed), overdub your baseline then switch back to half-speed. Et voila!