Looper advice

zulu

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
1,286
Reaction score
163
Location
NV
I think I want a looper pedal for fairly simple self accompaniment. Just for guitar but I wouldn't mind a mic input. I want to be able to record and toggle between at least three song parts-ie verse chorus bridge. So, it seems I need a three track (or more) looper.
I've never used one. Any recommendations? Thanks
 

GAD

Wrinkled Member
Staff member
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
13,181
Reaction score
2,570
Location
NJ (The nice part)
Guild Total
72
I've had a few and they've all annoyed me. The Ditto gets a lot of great reviews but I found it confounding more than simple. I also REALLY don't like needing to double-tap to stop the loop. It seems as if all of them are either too simple or too complicated, and based on your stated goals I think you're going to be in the "too complicated" camp.
 

Sal

Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2011
Messages
999
Reaction score
63
Location
Minneapolis
The DigiTech Trio has been around a while and gets good reviews. It can be used simply as a looper or you can dive a little deeper and put song parts together. It will also add drums and bass. They’re not cheap. $355 new. Here’s a demo from a guy I follow.

 

Uke

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2017
Messages
190
Reaction score
121
Location
Florida
Guild Total
4

I ran across this on youtube today -- pretty amazing; I think she is using some sort of older Boss looper.
 

fronobulax

Backup bassist, Frono and the Mod Squad
Joined
May 3, 2007
Messages
18,874
Reaction score
1,397
Location
Central Virginia, USA
Guild Total
5
Loopers have their place but can be overused.

Pre-Covid nightlife around here consisted of going to brewery, winery, bar or restaurant that had live music. There was a trio I liked enough that I would go to where they were playing rather than my favorite watering hole. For reasons unknown to me the band broke up and the guitarist and sometime vocalist was getting booked solo. I went and tried to listen but boring is perhaps the nicest thing I can say. He had a looper. He'd start a song by spending one or two minutes setting up loops. Then he'd play, and maybe sing, for three to five minutes over the loops. He end the song and start over again. The first problem is that I didn't think he had anything else to say musically after the first minute with loops. The remaining time was repetitive or more of the same. The second problem was that all of the songs sounded the same. If Covid hadn't stopped live music I'm almost certain I would have headed to the venue where he wasn't playing.

He wasn't a bad guitarist or musician but his preferred style needed the breaks when someone else was playing and the (good) tension that comes from playing with people, not machines.

Have fun with your looper, but please don't be That Guy.
 

GAD

Wrinkled Member
Staff member
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
13,181
Reaction score
2,570
Location
NJ (The nice part)
Guild Total
72
Yeah loopers are easy to overdue. Spending minutes setting them up in front of an audience is like watching someone tune without muting for me.
 

SFIV1967

Venerated Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2010
Messages
12,996
Reaction score
1,803
Location
Bavaria / Germany
Guild Total
8
Spending minutes setting them up in front of an audience is like watching someone tune without muting for me.
But therefore you use one with memory banks, so you have all loops pre-recorded when you need them I think.
Ralf
 

walrus

Venerated Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2006
Messages
17,766
Reaction score
1,326
Location
Massachusetts
I saw a guy one time with a computer screen in front of him, not only pre-recorded loops for the songs he wanted to do, but the lyrics and chords floating past him. Space for solos, etc. He sounded good, and must have put some time into it. And to top it off, he was sitting and playing a Parker Fly!

Having said that, I'd still rather see a person or persons performing with no computers, but playing with only their instruments and their memory...

walrus
 

fronobulax

Backup bassist, Frono and the Mod Squad
Joined
May 3, 2007
Messages
18,874
Reaction score
1,397
Location
Central Virginia, USA
Guild Total
5
Having said that, I'd still rather see a person or persons performing with no computers, but playing with only their instruments and their memory...
Slight veer - The American Pops Orchestra has done several performances, during Covid and one thing they do is have no music on paper - just a tablet on a stand. It turns out that a major benefit is that the conductor/producer can download parts as needed so if there is a last minute change or the soloist needs a different key, the orchestra can respond much more quickly.
 

ruedi

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
1,190
Reaction score
931
Location
Switzerland
Guild Total
2
For practicing a solo, or noodling improvising over a chord progression, I often use the looper function on my Strymon Timeline pedal. It is quick and simple, and it can be virtually placed before or after the delay - that's all I need, most of the time, beeing a bedroom rockstar. For more complex tasks, e.g. ambient-style overdubbing, or complete songs, I use Logic Pro X.
 

walrus

Venerated Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2006
Messages
17,766
Reaction score
1,326
Location
Massachusetts
Slight veer - The American Pops Orchestra has done several performances, during Covid and one thing they do is have no music on paper - just a tablet on a stand. It turns out that a major benefit is that the conductor/producer can download parts as needed so if there is a last minute change or the soloist needs a different key, the orchestra can respond much more quickly.
No improvisation in this setting!

walrus
 

GAD

Wrinkled Member
Staff member
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
13,181
Reaction score
2,570
Location
NJ (The nice part)
Guild Total
72
But therefore you use one with memory banks, so you have all loops pre-recorded when you need them I think.
Ralf
Works in theory. I had one with a bunch of memories and it was pretty useful. That was a while ago... It was this one:

Image result for digitech    jam man


The problem I've had with almost all of them is that no matter how much you tap-dance you still need to tweak knobs or push buttons.
 

Guildedagain

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
3,118
Reaction score
867
Location
The Evergreen State
I've been using a Ditto for a few years, very hard to get perfect at starting/stopping loop perfectly seamlessly, also, no loop storage, but it's still pretty great. You can record over the loop endlessly creating multilayered symphonies I find fantastic. This is awesome for the ADD brain.

I just bought two new loopers but they're not here because of last week's winterstorm, worst I've ever seen for affecting shipping in my history online.

I got a highly rated EH 720 that saves like ten loops, so I can save a few loops, but more importantly has a separate start/stop footswitch. and got the Digitech Trio, just because it was a totally killer deal used with the FX3 controller that I can also use on my new DOD delay.

Here's a loop from the way back when machine, a Ditto loop recorded externally through BOSS Micro BR, still my go to recorder.


It wasn't that unusual for me to find some crazy loop in the looper that I didn't want to lose when wanting to do a new loop. I find that the older my recordings are, the more I like them. Like your own music grows on you.
 

Neal

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2013
Messages
4,085
Reaction score
161
Location
Charlottesville, VA
I have a Ditto that has earned a place in the box of stuff I bought but do not use.

I am experimenting with a cahon with kick drum, and a hi-hat, either separately or together, for a few of the tunes on my set list. It feels like you are singing while patting your head, rubbing your belly and reciting the alphabet backwards at the same time. But when I can get it to all come together, it is pretty cool. And all live. No cheating.
 
Top