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A looper pedal can be great for practicing with a rhythm guitar recording, or even live if you want to layer your playing for your audience.

When shopping for a looper pedal, the best thing to do is ask someone who's been there, done that. So that's exactly what we did.

For this post on the 8 best looper pedals, we asked some musicians the following:

  • What's the best looper pedal?
  • What makes it awesome?

We took the best responses, eliminating any repeated ones, and listed them below.

What does a looper pedal do?

Watch a solo artist like Ed Sheeran play live, and you'll be amazed about the fact that one musician can create such big, epic sounds with just one guitar.

Basically, a looper pedal allows a guitarist to lay down multiple phrases by with just one guitar. The guitarist would record one or multiple phrases in addition to playing over them so that they can sound like a full band.

As an example, a guitar player might record a bass part in the pedal, in addition to a rhythm guitar part, then would solo over these parts after they've been recorded in the looper pedal.

Looper pedals can be great for live performances, especially for solo artists, but they're also great for practice. Recording a rhythm guitar part and practicing leads over it can help you learn how to better play with other musicians or experiment with lead parts during your songwriting process.

Here's an example of what a looper pedal can help you achieve.

So to summarize, looper pedals let you record multiple multiple sections of music to layer on top of each other live or during a practice session.

How to choose the best looper pedal for what you play

As technology gets cheaper, companies are coming out with more and more options for looper pedals, featuring those that are small, medium, or large, and with diverse feature sets.

So, before diving into the pedals recommended by the guitarists we interviewed, how do you choose the best one for you?

Rather than going through every possible use cans, here are some common features to consider when shopping for your looper pedal.

Number of foot switches

This is an important feature if you're looking to go for a one-man-band type of thing. The more foot switches a looper pedal has, the easier it is to control.

The Ditto (mentioned below) is an example of a looper with only one footswitch. So with this pedal, functions like recording, playing, stoping, overdubbing and erasing are all controlled with one footswitch. With this pedal, you tap to record, double tap to stop playback, and hold the footswitch down to erase. As you can see, depending on your needs, this can be a big limitation.

Adding another footswitch can make it easier to control these features. Instead of using a single footswitch to record and stop playback, for example, one will be used to record, and the other to stop.

External footswitches

Some pedals let you connect additional footswitches. This can make your favorite pedal even easier to use.

Loop length

The length of a loop a pedal can store is an important consideration. Almost all loopers have enough room for anything you'd want to record, but it's still a good idea to consider what limitations this might have on your playing style. If you write long, progressive riffs, you might need more space than normal in your pedal.

Stereo/Mono

This is only important to consider if you have a stereo setup. If you're running things mono, don't worry about this.

Often times, guitarists place their looper pedal after all of their other effects so the looper can pick up the effects in the recording. If your looper is mono, your effects will go through the mono looper.

If you're running a stereo setup, get a stereo looper or you might face limitations with your effects chain.

Number of inputs

Multiple inputs can be valuable to a solo guitarist if you want to experiment a bit more. For example, in addition to an acoustic guitar track, you may want to add some vocals, a foot stomp, or a bass kick sound to your loop track.

If you're just looking to loop a rhythm guitar track to play leads over, don't worry about this, but if you're a solo artist, this is worth considering.

Loop effects

Some looper pedals have built in effects that let you do things like reverse the loop, set it to half speed, etc. These can be added to your loop without affecting your tone.

These can be useful if you want to add some unique intro effects to some of your songs. Otherwise, it might be best to get a looper pedal that doesn't include these extras.

Loop storage

Some pedals erase loops once they're disconnected, others save them for later.

Others let you save your recordings to an SD card so you can move them onto your computer.

Saving loops can be handy when you're songwriting or want something that's ready to go for your next live performance.

MIDI Sync

Some pedals let you sync them up with your MIDI gear. This means that, for example, if you have a drum machine, you can make sure your guitar loop is perfectly synced up your drum loops.

Now that you know more about what looper pedals do and how to choose the best one for you, let's jump into the recommendations.

For each pedal recommendation, we made note of which of the above features each pedal has available.

Top 8 Looper Pedals - According to Guitarists


Brice Winschel of Coffin Fit

Facebook


What's the best looper pedal?

EHX 720

Features
  • 3 footswitches/buttons.
  • Optional external footswitch control for selecting loops and Undo/Redo.
  • 12 minutes of loop recording time.
  • 10 selectable, independent Loops that remain in memory until you erase them.
  • Reverse and ½ speed effects at the touch of a button or a footswitch tap.
  • Footswitch selectable for Stop or Effects.
  • Handy playback progress mode with seek function.
  • Unlimited overdubbing.

Get this pedal on Amazon.

What makes it awesome?

I know there's a bunch of great expensive boxes out there ready to bring your loving neighbors hours of joy with just a single riff, but I gotta go with EHX's 720. Reason 1: I own it. Reason 1 is by far the most important reason. All other reasons pale in comparison to reason 1. Reasons 2, 3, and 4: It has all the functions I need out of a looper within a budget without stepping into a more complex "where the hell's the manual" realm. Gotta get a 3 button controller for it. It frees up the 2 buttons provided and allows you to have one button to record, a button to stop, one to undo and two to scroll up or down tracks to start a separate new loop mid song. Sometimes when the recording capacity is 50%+ full it will ocasionally glitch out, combining all the tracks into one loud horrific screech for about two n a half seconds leaving your audience and band mates temporary stunned and terrified. Awesomeness!


Steven Lickenbrock

Website | Facebook


What's the best looper pedal?

Line 6 DL4

Features
  • 4 footswitches/buttons.
  • Optional delay of up to 12 seconds.
  • 14 seconds of sample loop memory.
  • Stereo in and outputs.
  • 16 digital effects such as Tube Echoplex, Space Echo, Deluxe Memory Man, and more.
  • Expression pedal input.
  • 18 factory presets.
  • True bypass.

Get this pedal on Amazon.

What makes it awesome?

I was never big on digital pedals that had multiple features, but this pedal was a game changer. Its design, features, tone, and functionality was so innovative whenever it was released and it plays well with every other pedal on my chain. In fact, it tends to smooth out my tone as well. This pedal came out in 1999 and Line 6 never released an updated model. Most newer pedals in my experience, aren't ever a straight up, revolutionary thing. Companies do their research, find pros and cons of other pedals, and create something new based on what the consumer would want. Line 6 did this perfectly, in my opinion. I tend to prefer analog products over digital, mainly for tweaking and tone options, however this pedal changed my whole perspective. I'm a singer/songwriter first and foremost in the band, and I don't have time during songs to tweak my pedals. In a live setting, it has been the most reliable pedals I have ever owned.


Miguel Sequeira

YouTube


What's the best looper pedal?

Boss RC-20XL

Features
  • 2 footswitches.
  • Up to 16 minutes of record time.
  • Save up to 11 independent loops at a time.
  • Undo function to easily to create perfect loops.
  • Built-in auto quantize for accurate loop timing.
  • Change the tempo of your loop without changing pitch.

Get this pedal on Amazon.

What makes it awesome?

The only loop pedal I used was the Boss RC-20XL, and I thought it was wonderful.

  • It's very simple to use even if you have no previous experience of using loop pedals. The left pedal is used to record, play and overdub, and can also be held for a few seconds to undo the last overdub. So, you give it a tap to start recording, and another when your opening phrase is completed.
  • Recording time of 16 minutes.
  • ‘Auto-Record’, which is a useful little tool that sets the machine to start recording when it picks up sound from your instrument. In other words, when you start playing, it records automatically.
  • Is an affordable option.

Jacob Hoffman from Drop the Act

Website | Twitter | YouTube


What's the best looper pedal?

Boss RC-300 Loop Station

Features
  • Three stereo tracks with dedicated footswitches and controls for each one.
  • Dedicated fader for each track.
  • Expression pedal for real time control of your effects.
  • Up to three hours of internal recording and 99 onboard memories.
  • 16 onboard effects.
  • USB storage.

Get this pedal on Amazon.

What makes it awesome?

You can literally be a one man band with this pedal. Using a looping pedal takes a lot of skill and is an art form in its own right. This pedal beats the rest, when it comes to looping, and you can loop fairly easily with this pedal. When I first tested this pedal out, I was overwhelmed with how much I could do with it, but after some tinkering around that feeling subsided. I recommend this pedal to people who been playing for one month or even 50+ years.


KVN MCDermott from Cave of Swords

Website | Bandcamp | Instagram | Facebook


What's the best looper pedal?

TC Electronics Ditto Looper

Features
  • One footswitch and one control knob.
  • Five minutes of recording time.
  • Small, so it doesn’t take up space on your pedalboard.
  • True bypass.

Get this pedal on Amazon.

What makes it awesome?

After a couple years of swapping different loop pedals on and off my board this is the one i stuck with. They are dirt simple and I really don't need anything too feature laden for my style of playing. They do the one thing they're made for pretty well and the timing of the loop function felt natural right out the box. Plus, they're super cheap so you can grab a couple and place them in different spots thru your signal chain for when you wanna build textures and layers.


Seth Michael Keil from Powder River

Bandcamp


What's the best looper pedal?

Best looper depends on what exactly you are using it for. I use a tc electronics dittox4 for my guitar because I need stereo ins & outs and I don't need to store loops.

TC Electronics Ditto X4

Features
  • 4 footswitches
  • True bypass and analog dry through.
  • 7 loop effects.
  • MIDI sync.
  • Loop decay.

Get this pedal on Amazon.

On my synth board I use an EHX 45000 for mostly because it has separate headphone and monitor outputs.

EHX 45000

Features
  • 4-track looper with intuitive hands-on controls.
  • Records and loads MP3s and WAV (16-bit/44.1kHz) on up to 32GM SDHC card media.
  • Includes 4GB SDHC card for up to 125 minutes of recording time.
  • Adjustable loop speed over a two octave range.
  • Reverse recording and playback.
  • MIDI support.
  • Stereo mix-down track - bounce your mix to free up tracks.
  • Built-in metronome.
  • USB port lets you backup/restore from Mac and Windows PCs.

Get this pedal on Amazon.

What makes them awesome?

The dittoX4 is great because it's simple and intuitive. It can be used easily right out of the box but can be tweaked and customized to mach your playing style.

The 45000 is more complex but do just about anything you'd need it to do live. I also use it for recording.


Jeremy Aitken

Bandcamp


What's the best looper pedal?

Digitech JMEXTV JamMan

Features
  • One footswitch
  • Small, so doesn't take up much pedalboard space.
  • Stereo inputs and outputs.
  • 10 minutes of recording time.
  • True bypass.
  • Multi-track looping.
  • Compatible with a 9V Battery or PS0913DC Power Supply.

Get this pedal on Amazon.

What makes it awesome?

The digitech jam man has been an awesome addition to my board. It's very compact which is the main reason I bought it. I also really like the simplicity of the usage of the pedal as well. It has 10 minutes of looping which is more than enough for any person to need!



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