This is crazy:
One guitar pedal that will drastically improve the way you play guitar.
The looper pedal will singlehandedly lift your guitar playing.
It can easily move you up from a beginner to an intermediate.
And hell, even better:
If you’re already an intermediate, the looper pedal can take you to advanced.
So the next question is:
“But how do we find the best looper pedal?“
There will be two parts to this article:
We will first show you the goodies, the best looper pedals.
If you want to know more about looper pedals, the second half of this article, the buyer’s guide, will fill you in on everything you need to know about looper pedals.
So here we go!
6 Best Loop Pedals – Top Loopers Reviewed
|Loop Pedals||Dedicated Stop||Save Loops||Stereo|
|No||No||In / Out|
|tc electronic Ditto||No||No||No|
|tc electronic Ditto X2||Yes||No||In / Out|
|No||Yes||In / Out|
|Yes||Yes||In / Out|
1. BOSS RC-1 Loop Station – Most Reliable Looper
BOSS is back at it again.
It is known throughout the community that BOSS really delivers when it comes down to FX pedals.
You’re sure to find reliable stompboxes built like a tank.
BOSS offers an arsenal of looper pedals, the RC-series.
All of these loopers have their own specific characteristics.
Let’s talk about the RC-1…
Here’s what I really like about this looper pedal:
It’s easy to use and very affordable!
Let me be honest here:
If you’re into writing songs and storing phrases you’ve come up with in the moment, this is not the best looper pedal for you.
This is a very straightforward looper that will be a great addition to any beginner guitarist’s pedalboard.
Here are some notable features:
- Circular multicolored LED loop indicator;
- 12 minutes of recording time;
- Stereo IN/OUT;
- 2 modes for changing the order of actions, start overdubbing or playing after finishing the recording;
- External footswitch input.
Now, let me clarify some of these.
Creating a good loop is difficult enough.
The real pain is though when you’ve created a long loop and you’re not sure when the loop returns to the start.
BOSS just made your life a bit easier by adding the loop indicator.
These 24 LEDs will exactly show you how close you are to the end.
The same LEDs will also show you whether you are in record, overdub or play mode.
Here’s something we can both agree on:
We want to spend as much time playing guitar and as little time stomping on stompboxes.
Luckily I’ve got great news for you.
This pedal has the ability to change the order between:
- Record – Overdub – Play;
- Record – Play – Overdub.
That way you won’t have to worry about tapping the loop pedal every time you finished a recording if you want to play immediately after.
If you want to get a bit more insights into how this works check out the manual.
Lastly, to make life a little bit easier, especially on stage, you can add an external footswitch.
With an external footswitch hooked up to your looper pedal, you will get dedicated switches for stopping and undoing/redoing a phrase.
The BOSS FS-7 Dual Footswitch is a great addition to your RC-1 if you want to reduce “foot action” while playing.
To wrap up
The BOSS RC-1 is really a great looper pedal to start with.
With its easy loop indicator, it will shorten the learning curve for any beginner.
This loop pedal by BOSS is built like any other effects pedal by BOSS and remains reliable.
Let’s go through the pros and cons of the RC-1 loop station.
2. tc electronic Ditto Looper – Most Popular Looper
If you’re going to make a list of best looper pedals…
Well, naturally the Ditto deserves a spot.
This is probably the most talked about and popular choice of guitarists all around the world.
For instance, think about the HoF reverb pedal, Polytune tuner pedal, and the Polytune clip tuner.
tc electronic has got a team of about 40 R&D specialists that are the driving force of innovation and success.
Let’s jump right into some notable features.
- 5 minutes of loop time;
- Unlimited overdubs;
- 24-bit uncompressed high-quality audio;
- Mini USB input for updates.
It’s really amazing how compact tc electronic was able to make this looper pedal.
The amount of real estate you will save when you choose the Ditto looper over a different loop pedal is a big plus.
However, due to the size of this pedal, the engineers weren’t able to fit a battery in.
Meaning, you will always be dependent on an external power source.
Adding up to that, if you don’t already have a 9V DC adapter, better order one because you won’t get one with the product.
With the Ditto by tc electronic you’ll have to double tap to stop the loop from playing.
This is a bit of a hassle and really kills the vibe if you want to stop the loop while playing as it only stops a second after.
To wrap it up…
The Ditto looper pedal is truly an amazing looper for the bedroom guitarist who is only starting out looping or who don’t need it for live performance.
Although there really is a big learning curve present when playing on any loop pedal…
The Ditto will really keep it at the basics and won’t confuse you with any complicated settings you don’t need anyway when starting out.
If you do live performances or just feel like you need a dedicated stop button, I’d suggest going for the upgraded version, the Ditto x2.
3. tc electronic Ditto X2 Looper – Upgraded Popular Looper
Now, you’ve probably already read the previous section I wrote about the Ditto.
If you haven’t, do a quick scan.
As you understand, the Ditto Looper pedal is a great choice for any beginner guitarist.
You guessed it, the Ditto X2.
Let’s see what has improved:
- Stereo IN/OUT;
- Dedicated stop button;
- Import and export loops and backing tracks;
- Loop effects, reverse and half speed;
- Will be able to hold two 9V batteries;
- Change the sequence between overdubbing or playing after recording.
The amount of extra value in this loop pedal compared to the previous Ditto is outstanding.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the reverse and half speed effects.
These effects, together with the “stop” mode, can be selected and then controlled by the right footswitch.
This loop pedal has increased in size quite a bit when compared to the Ditto gen 1.
So if free space on your pedalboard is limited (the problem we all have) you might want to think about your options.
Some users talked about the sensitivity of the power circuit.
Apparently, the loop pedal can occasionally freeze when the output of the power supply isn’t constant.
This is more prone to happen with cheaper power adapters and batteries that are running low.
After picking the right accessories, this pedal will take you to the moon while playing in your bedroom or at live performances.
This is the best loop pedal to upgrade from if you think the Ditto gen 1 will not cut it.
Let’s do a quick rundown of the pros and cons.
4. Digitech JamMan Solo XT Looper – Most Value for Money
If you’re ready to take songwriting to the next level, now you can.
Because the JamMan Solo XT is the best looper pedal for the job.
That way you’ll never forget an awesome lick or riff again.
This looper pedal is really the go-to if you want to up your game while being in the comfort of your own bedroom.
For its price, this loop pedal offers a ton of value.
Let’s do a quick rundown through the list.
- 10 minutes loop time;
- 200 internal memories;
- 24-bit audio signal;
- Stereo IN/OUT
- Change rhythm of loop without changing its pitch;
- Metronome with drum tracks;
- Import music with AUX;
- Connect to your computer with a mini USB.
You can probably agree with me when I say:
That’s a pretty badass looper.
But what are it’s downfalls though?
Like all other single button looper pedals, you will have the problem of not having a dedicated stop button.
However, when only using this pedal when playing at home, it won’t trouble you too much.
If you’re planning on also using your loop pedal during live sessions, then I’ve got something for you.
Digitech also offers the FS3X three-button foot switch, which you can hook up to your JamMan Solo XT.
With the 3 dedicated buttons, you’ll have far better control over your recorded loops.
Recently, Digitech made their JamManager program also accessible to Windows 10 users.
Not being able to access the software used to be a problem for users, but that’s all fixed now!
Here’s something you need to know:
There is quite a learning curve when working with the JamMan Solo XT.
Many different features available on quite a small guitar pedal can make it a lot harder to work with.
To wrap it up…
If you’re looking for a loop pedal for stay at home use, the JamMan Solo XT is the perfect fit for you.
Jampacked with features, it’s dirt cheap and a great bang for the buck.
Although this pedal has got a bit of a learning curve, you’ll figure it out after playing around with it for a while.
Especially if you’re into writing music, you’ll see amazing value in this pedal.
That is because you can store up to 200 phrases in this pedal and even expand that to 400 when inserting a micro SDHC card.
5. Ammoon AP-09 Nano Looper – Best Budget Looper
Easy does it, this loop pedal falls in the category of best cheap looper pedals.
If you really don’t know if you’re going to like this whole looping business.
Well, this is going to be the best looper pedal to get you going.
The Ammoon AP-09 Nano loop pedal is really as cheap as it gets.
As you’ll understand, you won’t get a ton of features on this pedal.
This loop pedal is very straightforward and easy to use…
Which will only simplify the user experience compared to more complex loop pedals.
Make sure to get the right power supply when purchasing this pedal, because it’s not included.
As stated on the site of Ammoon, it’s best to use a 500 mA, 9V DC power supply with a negative polarity on the inside.
You will receive a USB cable to update your looper pedal to the latest firmware.
When saying this pedal is very small it doesn’t really do its size justice.
Because when I say small, I really mean extremely small.
To wrap up
Buy this loop pedal if you are not able to purchase higher quality pedals, but still want the looping experience.
Just like any other loop pedal, the Ammoon AP-09 will help you finetune your rhythm and lead playing.
It does so with very little to no changes in your audio quality.
You will be able to record loops up to 10 minutes and add unlimited overdubs with this looper.
The best loop pedal for the broke bedroom guitarist.
6. EHX 22500 Dual Stereo Looper – Best Versatile Looper
Now, I did want to include a looper pedal that features more than one looping channel.
And here it is…
There are even bigger units out there on the market.
However, I feel like this looper pedal hits the sweet spot between providing awesome features for a very good price.
Your dreams have come true.
When adding this looper to your rig, you’ll be able to record on two separate loop channels.
Think about the possibilities…
You can now finally play complete songs both live and in your bedroom.
Let’s do a quick rundown of the most notable features:
- 2 loop channels, play parallel or sequential;
- 16 built-in drum loops;
- Banks up to 100 phrases and loops;
- Stereo IN and OUT;
- XLR (mic) input;
- Dedicated stop switch;
- Reverse and octave effects.
This is the best loop pedal on this list in terms of versatility.
It is quite impressive that electro-harmonix was able to keep this pedal compact with the big feature list.
If you’re a street performer and always wanted to be able to loop multiple instruments or to have an input for your mic, now you can.
The EHX 22500 Dual Looper lets you combine your instrument with a mic or allows you to loop with two instruments.
Think about all those possibilities!
There is, however, a problem when doing live looping…
It’s very inconvenient to shuffle through your loop bank.
Unless you are building up every song live, it’s best to buy an additional foot controller while you’re at it.
The EHX FC22500 lets you browse through your loop bank without a hassle.
Although some knobs, like the mode selector, feel a bit flimsy, the overall built quality is on point.
To wrap up…
A great looper pedal that will push you to the next level.
Unleash your creativity to the endless possibilities on this loop pedal.
The only looper pedal on our list that will let you directly connect a mic.
This loop pedal deserves a spot on our list of best looper pedals.
There you go!
You’ve come to the end of the list of Best Looper Pedals.
If you’re interested in learning more about looper pedals and how to choose the best loop pedals, stick around and read the buyer’s guide.
Looper Pedals – Buyer’s Guide
You’ve come to the part where we will be listing everything you need to know regarding looper pedals.
You’ll find PRO tips and essential information on choosing the best looper pedal.
What is a Looper Pedal
Let’s get you up to speed on the basics of a looper pedal.
What a looper does is basically replay a recorded part an endless amount of times.
Most often you’ll find loop pedals with one track, that is the “heart” of the recording.
A track is a timeframe in which all overdubs need to fit in.
Overdubs are the extra recordings over the first recording, that will give your loop track its character.
With these overdubs, you can really get wild.
Think about adding:
- Bass parts;
- Percussive parts;
- Chord progressions;
That’s right … you could form a little one-man band with this beast.
You’ll find that most of the time you will be using a looper pedal when you are by yourself.
You can make huge leaps forward in your guitar skill when starting out with a looper.
Now the question is:
“On what occasions would you use a loop pedal?”
- In your bedroom – on your own practising and fiddling around;
- Live – when you come one guitarist short or on the streets;
- Recording – some looper pedals enable you to store and transfer recordings to your computer.
How a Looper Works
Out of all guitar effects pedals, the loop pedal is probably the easiest to explain and to understand regarding its mechanics.
The looper pedal will start recording when you press the foot-switch and stop when you press it again.
The audio signal the pedal received between the two times you pressed the pedal will be your loop.
This will continuously be looped, giving you the opportunity to record more overdubs or solo around.
The idea of looping in music is still quite young, but it’s here for the long hall.
What Makes a Good Loop Pedal
Now, this is important:
There are a couple of characteristics that will help you identify a great loop pedal.
You can evaluate looper pedals yourself by checking the looper pedal in terms of:
- Audio quality;
- Loop time;
- Looper tracks;
However, they are not the be-all-end-all.
The key difference between a good looper pedal and an awesome looper pedal is this:
Your own preference.
You’ll be the one using the loop pedal, so the best looper pedal is subjective.
Needless to say, a beginner doesn’t need a $500 looper when he’s only practising rhythm.
Tips for Using Loop Pedals
Now, you want to get down to the business, but before you plug in your new looper…
Don’t get frustrated right away.
It will take some time for you to build up a bit of skill that is needed to use a looper effects pedal.
Play the part first, without recording it.
This will massively smoothen out your guitar playing.
Don’t record out of “nothing”.
You will need the “ringing out” of the last chord of your measure, before starting to record on the first beat of the new measure.
Tap with your foot.
Tap with your foot to keep a good rhythm, switch over to a tap on your looper pedal whenever necessary.
For long parts, use a metronome.
It’s easy to slightly deviate from your initial bpm when doing longer parts.
If you really struggle, do percussion first.
Lay down a steady percussive section first, so it’s easier to later add chords and such.
FAQ Looper Pedals
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