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There is a reason why Ed Sheeran has been able to sell-out stadium tours using a single guitar at any time. A looper pedal might not have you playing to tens of thousands of people a night in night out but it can give the impression that multiple guitars are playing at the same time. This is only if you buy a reputable product.
The best are easy to use, have multiple options for creating layer upon layer and lots of customizable features. To begin with, searching for the ideal looper pedal can be as confusing as using one for the first time. This is why we have created a list of the best on the market. There is everything from dual track and more to the compact designs made for basic use.
Table of Contents
BOSS RC-30 Phrase Looper Pedal
The BOSS RC-30 is the best looper pedal not only because of the tonnes of features and extensive memory but it is hard to find a product that offers as much value for the price. You can record in stereo for up to 3 hours and play with the twin pedals and volume faders. You also get 99 onboard memory phrases to store your loops when you’ve found the ideal effect. Speaking of which, there are plenty of built-in and can be adjusted in different ways.
Because it has a USB port you can save your loops on a laptop or import WAV files and it can even be used with vocals. Double-tap the left pedal to stop a loop or do the same with the right to stop all loops. Delay and pitch blend are just a couple of the effects that you can use to create your new tracks ensuring it is going to be plenty of fun for anyone.
- 3 hours of stereo recording
- Twin pedals
- 99 memory prases
- USB port for importing/exporting
- Great value
TC Electronic DITTO X2 Looper
One of the most popular looper pedals is available in 3 different sizes but we’re going to take a look at the X2. The relatively compact footprint makes it appealing to those with minimal space in their pedalboard and it has 3 built-in effects. This means you get to experiment with half-speed, reverse, and stop.
The audio quality is 24-bit and uncompressed and you can plug up to two instruments at the same time. You can redo and undo with ease so building a song is simple and the 5 minutes of looping time might not be the most generous but it will be sufficient for most. You get true bypass and the option of a buffered bypass to improve clarity and you can even export your loops to a Mac or PC.
- 24-bit audio quality
- Can plug in two instruments at the same time
- Compact size
- Easy to use
- 5 minutes of looping time isn’t as much as other brands
Digitech JMSXT Jamman Solo XT Stereo Looper Phrase Sampler Pedal
With the option of up to 35 minutes of stereo recording, the Digitech JMSXT is an impressive package built into a small size. With 200 internal memories, it is capable of storing up to 16 hours of quality audio on a micro SD card. The rugged metal outer ensures it can withstand the rigor of a tour and its AUX port allows you to play over music.
A neat function is the ability to slow down or speed up a loop without changing the pitch or losing clarity. We like the small considerations like a metronome and there are 10 built-in drum loops from Pat Mastelotto. Included is the power supply which isn’t always something you expect to get and allows the user to play with time stretching without impact the sound quality.
- 35 minutes of stereo recording
- 200 internal memories
- Sturdy build
- Power supply included
- Other products have more built-in memory
Pigtronix Guitar Looper Effects Pedal, No (SPL)
This Pigtronix pedal is of the most advanced looper pedals on our list with a price tag to reflect it. Don’t let this put you off though as there are tons of features for the experienced player. There are 9 loop presets and parallel or series looping modes to choose from. The two stereo loops and 24-bit recording make this an impressive looper pedal on their own.
The stereo loops can be synched with 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x and 6 x multipliers to give you plenty of customization to deeper sounds. The USB port ensures you can transfer all your favorite loops onto your laptop and has one of the more professional sounds out of the looper effects pedals on our list. This means it is on the complicated side, but when you master it, other pedals will feel too basic in comparison.
- 9 loop presets
- 24 bit recording
- Stereo loops can be synched
- Good for advanced players
- Not as easy to get to grips with
Digitech TRIO Electric Guitar Multi Effect
For a full band in one looper pedal, this is up there with the better options. What makes the Digitech TRIO stand out is the ability to choose between different genres at the turn of the switch and even then, there are twelve song styles once you have found the right one. It can hold 3 different song parts so your verse-chorus and bridge can all be accommodated for.
In some ways, it is pretty basic which makes it user friendly and ideal for jamming out in your bedroom and experimenting. Not so much of a live looper pedal although there are ways you can make it work if you keep things simple. There are built-in guitar effects, and it even listens to you play to intuitively create drum tracks to your specific genre.
- Can hold 3 different song parts
- Creates drums for your genre
- 12 song styles
- Full band looper pedal
- Not as good for live perfomance
Looper Pedal Guide
Looper pedals are the type that everyone seems to be talking about and although its origins stem back to the early 1950s at the hands of Les Paul, it seems to be more popular than ever. Any one-person band could benefit from using the pretty much endless customization fo some of the more advanced looper pedals and if you want a basic loop effect then you can pick up a reliable model for a reasonable price.
This is only when you know what a decent product should be capable of. To help save you from the headache. of returning a sub-par product, we have created the following buyer’s guide.
What To Look For In A Looper Pedal
We’re not saying a looper pedal needs to. be an all in one pedalboard in a box but having more features like effects can help change your style and stop your songs from sounding repetitive.
Boing able to combine multiple loops at the same time is important for those attempting to build a song in one box. Otherwise, if you are playing with solos then a single loop is likely to be all you need. Decide what is best for your purpose before you look at buying.
this is one of the first considerations when looking for the best looper pedal for your needs because everyone wants lots of memory. Only the high-end products are going to be generous enough for you to record an album’s worth of loops on one pedal without having to transfer them onto a laptop or PC.
The more memory. you have the better the quality of the recording can be with some brands allowing you to make CD worthy loops. If it can accommodate an external SD card then it doesn’t need so much internal storage although if you can get hours over minutes then you are going to find it easier to get on with.
This is what is going to determine how likely it is that you can use your looper pedal for a gig. If it is mono then you can use it in your bedroom but the sound quality isn’t going to transfer onto the stage.
For creating multiple layers, you are going to need multiple pedals or things can get pretty confusing. The ease of having two or three pedals or switches means you can build your song. It’s like having access to more than one pedal but with the convenience of it being in one unit.
Switching between loops and the additional features and sounds should be a seamless process.
The build quality of the looper pedal is important for anyone who plays live as the rigors of a tour of packing and unpacking can take its toll on low-quality products. A sturdy metal casing and quality internal build are going to go a long way towards ensuring the looper pedal will last a long time.
What Is The Best Looper Pedal For Me?
Everyone is different and what you intend to use the looper pedal for should determine which one is best for you. Anyone who is using it to add depth to their solos and not a lot else will find a compact looper pedal to be more affordable yet ideal for their needs.
If you are looking to create your own Ed Sheeran type songs and build them from the bottom up then a more advanced. looper pedal with. multiple pedals and plenty of memory is going to be better for you. This means you’ll need to consider spending a bit more on a product that has more features.
How Does A Looper Pedal Work?
It works like a continual delay in that a looper pedal can record a section of a song and loop it again and again. The looper can be controlled by foot so you can choose how many times you want it to loop, if you want an effect on the instrument and with most pedals, you can record more than one loop over the other.
Some pedals allow you to reverse the direction and change the tempo so you get a sense of just how versatile they can be.
How Much Does A Looper Pedal Cost?
This depends on what you are looking for as a decent basic looper pedal won’t breach $100. This won’t get you more than one pedal so you will have limitations as to what you can do. As we’ve already mentioned, this is fine for solos but not as good for building a track by yourself.
If you want everything from drum loops to multiple pedals and a large memory then expect to have to start close to $300. An advanced looper pedal that takes some getting used to but can do it all is going to cost $500 and above. This is for studio-quality features which will allow you to build a complete song in one pedal.
Why Do You Need A Looper Pedal?
Anyone playing live will know that it takes a lot to build a rich. sound. If you are a solo artist then you can make a track using one looper pedal that can do it all. You can either play over pre-recorded parts or if you are confident in using the pedal and your own playing, you can build it in front of your audience.
This can create a rich experience that is sure to impress.
What Is The Best Looper Pedal?
Although they can differ greatly depending on what you need from them, we found the best looper pedal overall to be the BOSS RC-30 Phrase Looper Pedal. It’s 3 hours of internal stereo recording capability it up there with the best and certainly hard to find anywhere else for the price.
Since we mentioned it, this looper pedal is also good value with its 99 phrases and twin pedals. With delay. and pitch bend among the effects and the ability to plug it in via USB and import and export there is loads you can do with it.
If you are looking for a compact looper pedal we recommend Digitech JMSXT Jamman Solo XT Stereo Looper Phrase Sampler Pedal. It still has 35 minutes of memory to offer and loads of features. Because of the price, you only get the one pedal but it is stereo and has 10 built-in drum loops.