Every guitarist wants to always create new sounds and songs, but sometimes it is not viable without opting for new equipment. We all know that getting a new guitar is pretty expensive and amp prices have gone through the roof recently, so the only option is to buy a new pedal. Then comes to question what kind of pedal?
As you know there are millions of pedals out there in the market that deliver different tonalities and sounds, but for those that want to layer different parts of music on top of others, a looper will do a good job. For those that want to create good band music at home or for those musicians that want to get a little fancier on stage the looper is a dream come true. It solves the problem of being able to hold just one guitar and having two hands.
Today we are going to take a look at the best looper pedals in the market that are extremely appropriate for the purpose. First off you will spot several handpicked models that are pretty much excellent and fail-safe, on top of the value for the price. I have written this guide based on my personal experience with various looper pedals, expert consultation, performance, and buyer feedback. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look.
The 5 Best Looper Pedals
First up we are going to speak about the top picks. These products listed here are all handpicked by me personally. I have picked these as a result of countless hours of research, personal experience, vigorous testing, expert consultation, popularity and buyer feedback. These are all fail-safe choices that will deliver you performance, accuracy, speed and excellent value for your money. You won’t be disappointed in these. Let’s get on with it, shall we?
5. NUX Loop Core
Let’s start the list with a cheap but capable looper pedal, the NUX Loop Core. This looper pedal is a budget-friendly one that does things pedals much more expensive than it can’t do. High-quality sound, tons of functions and great performance in a simple and compact package.
The NUX Loop Core comes in a sturdy body that can take the daily abuse of touring and practice, it is tour worthy. It is also a stereo looper with two in and two out plugs. This looper pedal can record up to 6 hours of mono and stereo quality audio and it has 99 memory slots for your loops.
It also has built-in drum patterns that allow you to create your tracks and in terms of controls, it has a lot but just one footswitch. However, the performance of this beast is more than organic, great overall no-compromise despite its low price.
4. Digitech Jam Man
For those that are looking for great performance and advanced features without a super high price, I have the Digitech Jam Man, which will deliver you the most bang for your buck. It is one of the most interesting guitar loop pedals I have ever seen, and I recommend this to every enthusiast guitarist.
It comes ina glossy blue metal body that is pretty interesting and it is extremely easy to operate. It allows you to record up to 35 minutes of stereo quality audio, and you can recreate up to 99 individual loops. It also has an SDHC slot for more loops and more storage if you need it.
The best feature of this pedal is the tap tempo option that lets you adjust the tempo on your loops manually. The controls are plenty on this device including four footswitches and five knobs that allow you to get around stuff without any problem. It is definitely a worthy device that will allow you to create perfect music.
3. Electro-Harmonix 720
Coming up next we have the Electro-Harmonix 720 which is a pretty small, compact yet super-advanced looper pedal that will make you extremely happy. This little beast will deliver plenty of performance, durability, and reliability, both in terms of sound and construction.
This device delivers 12 minutes of loop recording time, which in my opinion is more than you would ever use. On top of that, you can record 10 different loops on top of each other, which is pretty amazing when you think about it, also it has overdubs, unlimited undo, and redo edits.
It also has some interesting features such as reverse and 1/2 speed which are interesting. This is a stereo looper that has one in and two out plugs that give you a great variety. The controls may not be the most simple but with two footswitches it is pretty good overall, a must-try for every guitarist.
2. TC Electronic DITTO
As the runner up I have a simple yet extremely capable looper that will deliver you great performance and tons of value for the price, the TC Electronic DITTO. TC Electronic has brought out the definite best guitar pedals in the market for a long time now and this is no different.
The TC Electronic DITTO comes with the great build quality and looks very elegant overall with the metal casing that gives it durability and nice looks. It is a mono pedal though with true bypass technology. This means that it has just one input and output, which is good enough.
This device is able to record 5 minutes of loop time which is great for live performances and it also has overdubs and redoes edits features available. In terms of controls, the TC Electronic DITTO is super simple and it works properly with just one-foot switch and one knob. On top of everything else, the performance of this beast is unmatched, organic and natural, without any compromise.
1. BOSS RC-300
Coming to the top of the list we have the definite best looper pedal in the market right now, and that is without any question or debate, the BOSS RC-300. This guitar will take you and your guitar and make you a one-man army. If you can’t be satisfied with simple stomp-boxes and want much more you should invest in the BOSS RC-300, while it is a little expensive it is great overall.
I have to say at first that this one is a beast, coming in at 10.8 pounds and large measurements, however, in this big package, you get three sets of stereo tracks with dedicated footswitches. I have to mention that each of the stereo tracks has dedicated faders, and you can store up to three hours of stereo loops through 99 onboard memory spaces.
On top of all that the BOSS RC-300 has 16 guitar effects for loop use, and it has USB connectivity so you can export your loops to your PC in the WAV format. Like I said the controls of the device are plenty and you will spend a little time learning everything. The performance of the BOSS RC-300 is definitely excellent and will deliver the best clarity, definitely worth its price if you can afford it.
Things You Should Know Before Buying A Looper Pedal
When buying music equipment you really need to be a little prepared before committing or buying anything, and I want to inform you about the factors that you should look out for. This way you will have good criteria of what should a looper pedal be and what makes a good one, so you can choose accordingly. Before getting to the factors I want to discuss some very obvious things. For example, if a looper pedal has poor rendering or sound interference it is definitely not worth it at all.
Meaning that you have to listen to how it sounds, if it isn’t organic or authentic it is not worth your time. Then again you should ask yourself what is fine with you. This is pretty important, defining what you want or what you need will make your job extremely easier when you are planning to buy pedal of any sorts. What features will be handy to you, or what you will require in your playing. Then again don’t get too carried away with the features, even if they sound pretty attractive and useful at first, most of the special features will not be used often.
Number of Footswitches
The most important thing besides the clarity in the sound when buying a looper is checking the number of footswitches, as the more footswitches mean more control over your looper pedal. A footswitch may complete a different number of controls, for example, start recording, stopping the playback, starting it, erasing the recorded loop and more. Having these controls in different footswitches makes things convenient for a guitarist especially on stage. I recommend at least two footswitches, even if you are a beginner guitarist to have things easier on you, more switches more money though. Then again there are looper pedals that have a single footswitch but still work properly but will require you to remember the proper controls, which may require you to double or triple tap, hold the tap or something else, which will slow things down.
Loop Length and Storage
Loop length might sound like a pretty important thing in the looper pedal market, but if I have to be honest it is not really such a big deal. I have to say that even the cheapest pedals offer more than enough recording time, and on top of that will you really record loops that are longer than 10 minutes. Most of the loops that guitarist create don’t cross the 1-minute mark and even the cheapest looper pedals offer about 10 minutes of loop length, so you don’t need to worry about it.
When it comes to loop storage many loopers don’t have any internal storage that will allow you to record loops for later use. They will delete your recent loop as soon as you turn the machine off or record another loop. However, if you want to record loops for later use than you should definitely consider a looper pedal that has internal storage. Some looper pedals have internal storage built-in, and some even have ports that you can add SD cards in them and store your loops there.
While some might consider loop effects a must, I don’t think that they are a necessity and neither should you, since most of them come out as gimmicks and won’t be used after the first few times. For example, the 1/2 speed, reverse, and lo-fi filter effects sound pretty cool but won’t be used pretty often, and I think that if you want some nice effects you should invest in proper effects pedals. So focus on the basics first, but don’t limit yourself just because I said so!
What Kind Of Other Pedals Are There?
- Delay Pedals
- Octave Pedals
- Distortion Pedals
- Volume Pedals
- Chorus Pedals
- Flanger Pedals
- Bass Distortion Pedals
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the best way to use a looper pedal?
The best way to use a loop pedal will definitely depend on your purpose of buying it. For example, if you are considering it for studio use than I wouldn't really recommend one. It is pointless since in the studio you can record your backing tracks and then record solos or melodic parts and then put them together properly with nice editing, eliminating the need for a looper pedal. The best way to use a looper pedal is when performing live or when practicing in the house. Many street musicians rely on loopers to create different layers of music and deliver great performance. LIve musicians that perform on the stage can utilize them perfectly as well, recording the rhythmic parts first and then playing melodic parts and solos on top of them, which is awesome.
Do any famous guitarists use looper pedals?
The short answer is, yes, they definitely do. The biggest and most recent example might be Ed Sheeran which relies heavily on looper pedals in his live performances, and he does it just perfectly. Les Paul has also used them to great success and they have been an important part of his arsenal. Other notable artists include The Edge of U2, Pat Metheny, Brian May of Queen, Robert Fripp, Reggie Watts, Mal Webb, and so much more, the list is pretty much endless.
Since we got all of that out of the way, I think you are ready to go get yourself the best looper pedal for your needs. You will not make a mistake when buying a looper pedal neither now and in the future as well, as it is pretty important to buy one that will fulfill your needs. Then again you can check out the top picks that I have provided to get one of the best and fail-safe looper pedals in the market. Until next time, keep on looping!