How to use a looper pedal?

Guitar Tricks Forum > Gear Discussion > How to use a looper pedal?

Sore.fingers

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Joined: 07/15/21

Posts: 48

Hello,

I've almost finished GF1 and I thought to motivate myself with some additional gear. I have my guitars, an amp (Boss Katana 50 MKII) that provides more features than I need for now, including a footswitch, picks, a capo, belts and cables. The only thing that I'd add to this collection is a looper pedal.

It seems to be a fun tool for future projects and I thought that it might be a great idea to start practicing with it for when it becomes really useful. (For now, I don't have a clue how to play those layered sounds, but experimenting on how to create a loop is probably something that I can already do.)

Can a looper pedal be used in other ways for a beginner?

#1

Hello,

I've almost finished GF1 and I thought to motivate myself with some additional gear. I have my guitars, an amp (Boss Katana 50 MKII) that provides more features than I need for now, including a footswitch, picks, a capo, belts and cables. The only thing that I'd add to this collection is a looper pedal.

It seems to be a fun tool for future projects and I thought that it might be a great idea to start practicing with it for when it becomes really useful. (For now, I don't have a clue how to play those layered sounds, but experimenting on how to create a loop is probably something that I can already do.)

Can a looper pedal be used in other ways for a beginner?

William MG

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Joined: 03/08/19

Posts: 1240

New gear is always a good idea! Who doesn't like new toys

A looper would be a great addition. Mine is a Boss RC3. Its a bit on the pricey side but I like the brand and its built like a typical Boss product.

But do some research on what different models provide. The RC3 has several drum beats which aids my timing (and fun), 99 storage banks, variable volume for loop playback and drum track.

Good luck with what you choose. Looper pedals are fun to play with and great practice tools.

"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

Works for me!

#2

New gear is always a good idea! Who doesn't like new toys

A looper would be a great addition. Mine is a Boss RC3. Its a bit on the pricey side but I like the brand and its built like a typical Boss product.

But do some research on what different models provide. The RC3 has several drum beats which aids my timing (and fun), 99 storage banks, variable volume for loop playback and drum track.

Good luck with what you choose. Looper pedals are fun to play with and great practice tools.

"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

Works for me!

davem_or

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Joined: 10/30/17

Posts: 120

I think any major brand would have some YouTube videos from the manufacturer along with reviews. Places like Sweetwater sometimes have videos demonstrating products. At the very least a looper would be a way to hear how you sound.

#3

I think any major brand would have some YouTube videos from the manufacturer along with reviews. Places like Sweetwater sometimes have videos demonstrating products. At the very least a looper would be a way to hear how you sound.

manXcat

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Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 1283

I heartily endorse your desire for a looper.

Given the range of effects already available within pretty much every contemporary digital modelling practice amp today, a looper pedal is arguably the first pedal any student should buy and learn to use purposefully -when they're ready to go there.

Why? Most useful tool as a training aid, as well as a lot of fun later on.

Other than intrinsic to amp and multi-effects processors looping, there are two basic types as loop pedals. The simpler TC Electronics Ditto mini-pedal style, or the more featured like BOSS Loop Stations segmented into price and feature point models. i.e. RC-1, RC-3, RC-3 etc.

Here's an "all about" guide from BOSS themselves.


Like all things BOSS, they're excellent products, but OUCH! pricey. Similarly the Ditto, which has since evolved into the Ditto+ from TC Electronics. Unless you want to, you don't need to spend that kind of money to buy an equally fully featured quality built reliable looper unless made of $$$ or crave the BOSS or TC Electronics logos.

I have a clone of the Ditto original (then the current model) and a BOSS RC-3 clone. Had them both since late 2017 or early 2018. Although a quality & functionality first buyer, retired now on a fixed income I'm on a value for money budget. So I prefer to pay for functionality rather than a hefty premium for brand associative status marketing which permits me to divert those significant savings into other stuff I want.

Seen here, the KOKKO SOS mini is the (original) Ditto clone, and my NUX Loop Core the RC-3 clone.. Had them since early 2018. I bought the mini first. Having used both now for near four years, I prefer the NUX as regardless its superior feature set and greater learning curve, surprisingly its the easier of the two to use once coming to grips with it. That said, if you just wanted to dip your feet into the looping water, an inexpensive mini clone is a solid alternative way to go. It does the job, and will be all you will need initially as a student save not having any drum rhythms. You can get something with a fuller range of features later once you have a feel for looping and know better what you can use, need and really want.


The NUX has been upgraded since to the Loop Core Deluxe, the current model AFAIK, although I'm given to understand the Loop Core is also still available.

The fact is that today, the clones today are all just as well built externally and internally, reliable, and feature for feature at a fraction of the price of BOSS. Made in China of course, but isn't almost everything electronic? e.g. BOSS, Fender, Blackstar amps.

Hope that helps you come to grips with everything looper pedals. When it comes to looping, like guitar there's no substitute for just getting stuck in hands on exposure and experience. Have fun with it. Cheers.

P.S. Curiosity question. Was a footswitch supplied in the box with the 50W version of the Katana or did you buy one as an accessory?

#4

I heartily endorse your desire for a looper.

Given the range of effects already available within pretty much every contemporary digital modelling practice amp today, a looper pedal is arguably the first pedal any student should buy and learn to use purposefully -when they're ready to go there.

Why? Most useful tool as a training aid, as well as a lot of fun later on.

Other than intrinsic to amp and multi-effects processors looping, there are two basic types as loop pedals. The simpler TC Electronics Ditto mini-pedal style, or the more featured like BOSS Loop Stations segmented into price and feature point models. i.e. RC-1, RC-3, RC-3 etc.

Here's an "all about" guide from BOSS themselves.


Like all things BOSS, they're excellent products, but OUCH! pricey. Similarly the Ditto, which has since evolved into the Ditto+ from TC Electronics. Unless you want to, you don't need to spend that kind of money to buy an equally fully featured quality built reliable looper unless made of $$$ or crave the BOSS or TC Electronics logos.

I have a clone of the Ditto original (then the current model) and a BOSS RC-3 clone. Had them both since late 2017 or early 2018. Although a quality & functionality first buyer, retired now on a fixed income I'm on a value for money budget. So I prefer to pay for functionality rather than a hefty premium for brand associative status marketing which permits me to divert those significant savings into other stuff I want.

Seen here, the KOKKO SOS mini is the (original) Ditto clone, and my NUX Loop Core the RC-3 clone.. Had them since early 2018. I bought the mini first. Having used both now for near four years, I prefer the NUX as regardless its superior feature set and greater learning curve, surprisingly its the easier of the two to use once coming to grips with it. That said, if you just wanted to dip your feet into the looping water, an inexpensive mini clone is a solid alternative way to go. It does the job, and will be all you will need initially as a student save not having any drum rhythms. You can get something with a fuller range of features later once you have a feel for looping and know better what you can use, need and really want.


The NUX has been upgraded since to the Loop Core Deluxe, the current model AFAIK, although I'm given to understand the Loop Core is also still available.

The fact is that today, the clones today are all just as well built externally and internally, reliable, and feature for feature at a fraction of the price of BOSS. Made in China of course, but isn't almost everything electronic? e.g. BOSS, Fender, Blackstar amps.

Hope that helps you come to grips with everything looper pedals. When it comes to looping, like guitar there's no substitute for just getting stuck in hands on exposure and experience. Have fun with it. Cheers.

P.S. Curiosity question. Was a footswitch supplied in the box with the 50W version of the Katana or did you buy one as an accessory?

Sore.fingers

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Joined: 07/15/21

Posts: 48

Originally Posted by: manXcat

P.S. Curiosity question. Was a footswitch supplied in the box with the 50W version of the Katana or did you buy one as an accessory?

The footswitch (Boss FS-6) is sold as an accessory.

@William MG, davem_or and Manx cat, thank you for the suggestions

#5

Originally Posted by: manXcat

P.S. Curiosity question. Was a footswitch supplied in the box with the 50W version of the Katana or did you buy one as an accessory?

The footswitch (Boss FS-6) is sold as an accessory.

@William MG, davem_or and Manx cat, thank you for the suggestions

DraconusJLM

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Joined: 06/21/21

Posts: 185

Ditto user here. It's pretty basic but does what I need: mostly just a chord sequence to play lead over.

One thing to be aware of when using a looper is that your timing needs to be spot on or you can end up with a stammer in the loop.

Loops are ok but, in my opinion, are no substitute for getting together with other musicians and either jamming or practicing songs once you're ready to play with others.

I also like jam tracks but find they're never an exact fit for what I initially wanted, so find myself noodling to them (which is fun, but usually far from being constructive).

Another alternative is drum machines, which have the advantage that you can use the same rhythm in any key (but it's also possible to wander into a completely different key without noticing).

If you're serious about getting a looper, then I think looking at videos on YouTube would be a good start to see which have the features you think you'd use, but budget might also be a factor, before buying ( or even see if your local guitar shops have some you can try).

Six strings, but only four fingers. Twelve simi-tones, but only eight notes to an octive. Part of me thinks mathematicians should steer well clear of guitars.....

#6

Ditto user here. It's pretty basic but does what I need: mostly just a chord sequence to play lead over.

One thing to be aware of when using a looper is that your timing needs to be spot on or you can end up with a stammer in the loop.

Loops are ok but, in my opinion, are no substitute for getting together with other musicians and either jamming or practicing songs once you're ready to play with others.

I also like jam tracks but find they're never an exact fit for what I initially wanted, so find myself noodling to them (which is fun, but usually far from being constructive).

Another alternative is drum machines, which have the advantage that you can use the same rhythm in any key (but it's also possible to wander into a completely different key without noticing).

If you're serious about getting a looper, then I think looking at videos on YouTube would be a good start to see which have the features you think you'd use, but budget might also be a factor, before buying ( or even see if your local guitar shops have some you can try).

Six strings, but only four fingers. Twelve simi-tones, but only eight notes to an octive. Part of me thinks mathematicians should steer well clear of guitars.....

Tinpan

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Joined: 03/31/20

Posts: 277

I git a sanpera looper pedal for my Peavey Vypyr amp. Waste of money (for me anyway). I can record a short rhythm, but that 'stammer' Drac's referring to pissed me off so much I gave up. My timing was OK...just have to fit it in or there's a gap. It's probably me not understanding how to use it. grrrrr.

#7

I git a sanpera looper pedal for my Peavey Vypyr amp. Waste of money (for me anyway). I can record a short rhythm, but that 'stammer' Drac's referring to pissed me off so much I gave up. My timing was OK...just have to fit it in or there's a gap. It's probably me not understanding how to use it. grrrrr.

manXcat

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Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 1283

Originally Posted by: Tinpan

I git a sanpera looper pedal for my Peavey Vypyr amp. Waste of money (for me anyway). I can record a short rhythm, but that 'stammer' Drac's referring to pissed me off so much I gave up. My timing was OK...just have to fit it in or there's a gap. It's probably me not understanding how to use it. grrrrr.


I think it could be generally said that everyone takes exposure to using them when they first get a looper before they get that start/stop timing consistently right Tinpan. I certainly did. Only 'trick' I know to it is the more I used mine, the more instinctive both that stop/start timing and familarity with using it became. After 3½ years, now it's pretty much instinctive.

IME I'd analogise the beginning/end timings without incurring an unwanted hesitation as developing similar timing and coordination required in actioning the beat on a kick drum simultaneously with playing different snare and hi-hat intros when starting out playing drums. With time and exposure what one had to think about and time consciously starting out becomes subliminally instinctive.

Justin has a interesting and helpful (if longish -20 mins) lesson on how to use a looper here which might help you enjoy your Sanpera more.

One of the things I like about my NUX Loop Core, is its friendlier user operating ergonomic rather than conrol and indication being a sequence of different presses of the primary toggle one has to remember indicated by different light colours and states as with the minis like the KOKKO or TC Electronics.

#8

Originally Posted by: Tinpan

I git a sanpera looper pedal for my Peavey Vypyr amp. Waste of money (for me anyway). I can record a short rhythm, but that 'stammer' Drac's referring to pissed me off so much I gave up. My timing was OK...just have to fit it in or there's a gap. It's probably me not understanding how to use it. grrrrr.


I think it could be generally said that everyone takes exposure to using them when they first get a looper before they get that start/stop timing consistently right Tinpan. I certainly did. Only 'trick' I know to it is the more I used mine, the more instinctive both that stop/start timing and familarity with using it became. After 3½ years, now it's pretty much instinctive.

IME I'd analogise the beginning/end timings without incurring an unwanted hesitation as developing similar timing and coordination required in actioning the beat on a kick drum simultaneously with playing different snare and hi-hat intros when starting out playing drums. With time and exposure what one had to think about and time consciously starting out becomes subliminally instinctive.

Justin has a interesting and helpful (if longish -20 mins) lesson on how to use a looper here which might help you enjoy your Sanpera more.

One of the things I like about my NUX Loop Core, is its friendlier user operating ergonomic rather than conrol and indication being a sequence of different presses of the primary toggle one has to remember indicated by different light colours and states as with the minis like the KOKKO or TC Electronics.

Tinpan

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Joined: 03/31/20

Posts: 277

Cheers cat. I'll check it out.

#9

Cheers cat. I'll check it out.

DraconusJLM

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Joined: 06/21/21

Posts: 185

The way I overcame the 'stammer' problem is hit the stomp button slightly before the first beat of what would be the next bar if the loop was continuing; pretty much like if I was playing a ghost note to slide into the intended note, if that makes sense.

I always found a noticeable, and extremely annoying, delay if I tried to end the loop exactly on the beat.

I've known a few guitarists who can't get on with looper pedals, but they have no problems playing in time with metronomes, click track, drummers, etc.

Six strings, but only four fingers. Twelve simi-tones, but only eight notes to an octive. Part of me thinks mathematicians should steer well clear of guitars.....

#10

The way I overcame the 'stammer' problem is hit the stomp button slightly before the first beat of what would be the next bar if the loop was continuing; pretty much like if I was playing a ghost note to slide into the intended note, if that makes sense.

I always found a noticeable, and extremely annoying, delay if I tried to end the loop exactly on the beat.

I've known a few guitarists who can't get on with looper pedals, but they have no problems playing in time with metronomes, click track, drummers, etc.

Six strings, but only four fingers. Twelve simi-tones, but only eight notes to an octive. Part of me thinks mathematicians should steer well clear of guitars.....