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Learning, practicing, writing, rehearsing, booking gigs, rehearsing some more, analyzing final sound, writing some more, rewriting—any musician will tell you—the easier it can be, the better! That’s why the best looper pedal can be the essential missing ingredient to any song or performance. Knowing what it will help you truly harness the power within the potential.
In music, a loop pedal is a device that is designed to help you create a song in its entirety—even while you’re performing on-stage. It takes a segment of your song or of your rhythm and then puts it on a loop, playing it over and over again so you can move on with other elements of the song. On this loop, you can also add effects to it, making your sound pop beneath all the pitch adjustments, speed adjustments, and so many more effects. Some well-known artists, like Ed Sheeran, are known to use looper pedals to make their performance more dynamic.
In our review, we’re going to highlight the important features in this magical musical assister, telling you which ones are most important for the best looper pedal, like the size, looping time, USB port, tracks, and memory slots, so you know which one to choose for your best performance (and your budget). Through hundreds of hours of research and looking through and comparing various loopers, we’ve put together this buying guide to help you—in your band and in your purchase. Check out our comparison table, in-detail reviews of each product, and our buying guide down at the bottom.
The Pigtronix SPL is one of the best looper pedals on the market today. With two stereo loops that have the ability to sync with one another, you have everything you need to create good music.
You can also easily benefit from the loop 2 multiplier. You want to make it sound like you have 3 guitarists in your band? Easy. How about six? No problem. With the Pigtronix SPL’s multiplier, you can time the sound by 2, 3, 4, and even 6 times.
As an innovative musician, you can also benefit from using the various features like the series or parallel looping modes, with 9 loops present and one completely blank canvas. The Pigtronix SPL is capable of 24bit / 48kHz recording, with latency-free looping.
Even though it has plenty of power and flexibility, the Pigtronix SPL is extremely easy to operate. You can enjoy instantaneous record, playback, dub, and undo and redo features that most other looper pedals out there don‘t have. You can also benefit from the two different input connections, so you can record and overdub different instruments or even add on your voice.
You can also benefit from being completely hands-free (since they’ll most likely be busy making music) since the Pigtronix SPL can be completely controlled with your feet. It’s also USB accessible.
The Boss RC-300 Loop Station truly is one of the best loop station pedals on the market for on-stage performance. That’s because it has quite a few features that really set it apart from the rest.
With three stereo tracks that are all connected with footswitches, you can really benefit from inputting three different instruments (even a mic). You will able to record up to three hours of internal recording for those jam sessions with your band (or on-stage concerts that usually last 3 hours per set).
The Boss RC-300 Loop Station even has a dedicated fader per track, which allows you to go into your next song smoothly and not as abruptly as you would otherwise. Especially since it’s designed to be the perfect on-stage looper, there is an expression pedal so that you can control the various effects in real time.
On stage, you can benefit from the deluxe, ultra-wide control panel so you’ll be able to manipulate your music while playing live. You can also add a guitar, bass, keyboard, singers, percussionists, violinists, beatboxers, or anyone with a mic. With all these different features, you can easily record your sets—which is great, especially when you normally perform your best when you’re on stage.
Choosing the best loop pedaler to be able to perform live has never been this easy. The BOSS Audio RC-3 is equipped with three hours of stereo recording time and storage for 99 loops, which is more than enough for an on-stage, live performance!
You can also hook up the looper pedal with a USB to be able to store even more memory or manipulate your music even more on a computer or other device. The BOSS Audio RC-3 is pretty powerful. The best part? It‘s virtually pretty small, as well, built compact so that your audience can focus on you.
Especially since you’re going to be a focus on a hundred different things on stage, the Auto-Recording feature is a great thing to have so you don’t have to remember to press start while you’re on set. Even better—you can count on its “Count-In” mode that gives you a rhythm before the recording even starts.
These rhythm patterns are just the beginning. With the rhythm guide, you can shuffle through ten different types of rhythms to adjust to the music you normally play, and you can easily tap to the tempo and adjust. Not only that, the BOSS Audio RC-3 really gives you complete control, with the time signature.
Able to connect with your computer, you can easily save all your recordings.
What are its best features?
Three hours of inner looping memory
99 memory slots
Auto-Recording feature so you don’t have to touch-to-start
The Electro-Harmonix Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai is a great looper pedal that allows for various features. With the control to be able to Blend, Decay, Filter, Repeats, and Delay, you can easily get into the music madness.
You’ll be able to record and play with just a tap of the footswitch! With its multi-tap mode and delay, you can also get into the Electro-Harmonix Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai’s reverse echo, which actually allows you to playback your music in reverse! Even though the looper pedal only has up to 30 seconds of loop time, you can easily connect it to the stereo.
Through all eight of their programmable preset programs, this looper is a perfect tool for any musician looking to switch up their music. You can easily get creative with your songs—even if you’re just a one-man band!
The Electro-Harmonix Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai is large enough to make a statement but compact enough to fit into any recording studio or bedroom. You can easily setup where you play with its size. You’ll never get bored with the options, either, with various delay sounds and beautiful effects from Electro-Harmonics, you really can’t go wrong!
The Electro-Harmonix 720 is truly a rock star resource when it comes to adhering for individual artists. With ten independent loops, a musician can take his or her time in playing each individual instrument and recording one on top of the other.
You will be able to relish in 720 seconds of recording time (hence the name) and be able to access overdubbing and various other features like Stop, Undo-Redo, Reverse and Half-speed effects at the touch of a button. You can also benefit from loop fadeout (trails) mode while you’re playing and switching from track to track.
With its dual input, you can also record two instruments (or one instrument and one mic) all at once. The footswitches between the two are also quite silent, which means that it won‘t get into the actual recording.
With the foot controller of the Electro-Harmonix 720, you’ll be able to shift through three different button controllers and change the bank up or down. You can also plug in the looper pedal to an AC adapter
Whether you are going in for practice or using it during your live performance, you’ll be able to use the best looper pedal really easily.
What are our favorite features?
Has various effects and modes
10 independent loops
You can also use the loop fadeout between tracks
Extremely small and compact
Convenient playback footswitches
What could be better?
Has no USB port for storing all the extra recording
The TC Electronic Ditto X4 is the perfect source for solo guitarists who want an easy-to-use, straightforward footswitch while they’re practicing or while they’re on stage. As one of the best and most simple-to-use looper pedals out there—especially for guitarists, the TC Electronic Ditto X4 has a true bypass and analog-dry-through that can easily get you that sound you desperately need to complete your song.
The TC Electronic Ditto X4 benefits from dual loop tracks that can help you get into recording multi-track compositions or fully-fledged songs. As a solo artist, this can be pretty difficult! This looper pedal has seven loops with a recording time of up to five minutes, which is great for creating one song during your practice sessions.
You can also benefit from loop decay, allowing you to go from track to track or rhythm to rhythm without missing a single beat. As an upgrade of the original Ditto Looper, they’ve really stepped up their game with the TC Electronic Ditto X4‘s ease of use and sound quality.
Virtually, you can also enjoy an upgrade of dual loop tracks, two loop modes, loop decay, and 7 loop FX. You’ll also be able to sync this baby up to your MIDI or your stereo system if you want to play live.
The JOYO PXL-PRO is wide—and it sets itself apart from all the other looper pedals on the market because of it! The actual dimensions of the JOYO PXL-PRO are 22 x 4 x 4 inches, which is extremely different for a looper pedal.
However, because of its width, it makes it easy to use. From switching from the 8 different loop channels to controlling the dual independent 4-channel settings, you’ll be able to have full, total-access control to any settings you may need.
With just a switch of the foot, you’ll be able to switch from the 4 triggers to the Amp channel or change between effects mode settings. You’ll also have access to the tuner interface and can actually mute certain inputs over another when recording.
Even though the JOYO PXL-PRO doesn’t have a USB port, you’ll still be able to enjoy the use of it through recording and playback—especially if you’re just using it to practice on your own.
It is also extremely lightweight making it extremely portable. When you’re a traveling musician, the last thing you want is “one more thing to carry.” The JOYO PXL-PRO conceptualizes the idea of traveling light and knows that great music doesn’t have to be heavy—even if it’s used to play heavy metal!
Why are we impressed?
8 memory slots
Two different loops for music creation
Very thin and long so you can easily slip it underneath a desk in your room and control
If you’re looking to be a great musician but will start where all musicians start (dead-broke), the TC Electronic FlashBack is the perfect looper pedal for you. As one of the best looper pedals for a musician on a budget, the TC Electronic FlashBack is not cheap when it comes to sources.
It has 11 delay types, including looper-expansive delay options so your music can benefit from subtle repeat to total time-warp. You’ll also have access to 6 seconds delay and the sound quality of True Bypass, which means zero loss of tone.
Especially if you’re a guitarist, you can benefit from TC Electronic’s audio tapping technology, which means that you can help control the rest of the song by setting delay times as you strum your guitar. Total control also means you can move the toggle switch to go back and forth between 16th notes and dotted 8s.
Not to mention, even though it‘s a budget product, it also has a spillover on/off switch, as well as Delay Time, and Feedback and Repeat controls.
The best part about the TC Electronic FlashBack is that it is extremely compact—one of the smallest ones on the market. However, even though it‘s small, it’s dead useful! As the perfect travel companion, its road-ready design can follow you no matter where your next gig is!
Why is it special?
3 preset footswitches
9 different effects
Extremely compact and fits right into a case or luggage
The Line 6 JM4 is a great looper pedal to finish our product list. With 100 jam tracks by A-list studio players, you can enjoy a looping time of up to 24 minutes with this looper pedal. As a fully-featured looper, you can revel in the undo function, allowing you to go until the song is perfect.
It also has over 200 artist-created presets that can help be your resource for creating a great song. Useful for not just jamming with your band but also for performances. Designed for the solo guitarist or the band, the solo artist can benefit from trying out their new chops or new ideas with back up of the 200+ presets.
Even though it only has one loop, you can still use a great deal of it—with up to 24 minutes of recording time and space to store up to 100 jams—which probably means you won’t need much else.
The Line 6 JM4 also comes compatible with a 2GB card in the SD card slot so you can easily transfer your storage over. As an artist, you can get truly creative with time-stretching and looping.
The Line 6 JM4 also has footswitches for different features like half-speed, undo, and play/stop. This makes practicing and song-creating extremely easy.
Why is it special?
Has over 200 artist-created presets to choose from for background music
Up to 24 minutes of recording quality sound
Compatible with 2GB SD card
What are the flaws?
No USB port
Things to Consider
Choosing just one looper pedal is hard enough—you also might even have to deal with the opinions of all your band members! Whether it’s just you or you’re looking out for the whole group, in this buying guide we’re going to tell you what is and what isn’t important when considering a looper pedal.
What is a looper pedal
At this point in your purchase, you might not actually be one hundred percent sure that you need a looper pedal. Therefore, it’s actually quite important to understand, first and foremost, what a looper pedal actually does.
The looper pedal can grant way to you being able to record your music—whether it’s a simple riff on your guitar or the chorus of the song, and then store it. Once it’s stored in the looper’s system, you can press the foot switch that plays it back—and when it is set properly, will be able to play it back in a loop, over and over again.
Let’s learn a little history. Once musicians were prompted to experiment with rhythm and repetition, the looper then had to be born in the early 90s. At this point in time, “live looping” also came into play, allowing artists to be able to create loops right in front of their fans and made it possible to perform full songs—just as they appeared on the radio and how they were made in the studio.
How to use looper pedals?
Especially since technology nowadays is extremely advanced and you actually don’t need to use a looper pedal in the studio, the main purpose behind using a looper pedal is to use it when you’re performing—and usually, when you’re on your own.
In a studio, you’ll be able to fiddle with backtracking and playing tracks on top of tracks as much as your heart desires. When you’re life, however, or even performing on the street, a looper can definitely help you.
A musician knows how important practicing is and unfortunately, most of the time that means you’re practicing on your own. So, if you’re trying to figure out the last tuning bits of a song, it will definitely help if you have a looper pedal. That way you can play the rhythm you already have figured and keep playing it in the background until you figure out the perfect rhythm or tone to play on top of it. It is the perfect solution to the solo artist—whether they’re performing or practicing—but especially when they’re practicing.
As we just mentioned, the looper pedal is the perfect tool for a solo artist—or someone in a band where all their other members just got sick! The show must go on!
You might also notice that street performers who are playing music quite alone often use looper pedals to really get into their music. With each layer recorded, you can easily add all the different instruments, riffs or even lyrics in your performance!
If you’re not a solo performer and are looking into a looper pedal for your band’s performance, you are in for a treat!
Using a looper with multiple different kinds of instruments can bring your song to the next level. That’s because you can use any kind of instrument, so long as it can hook up to the pedal.
During your song or set, you can also create additional layers of music—say add a guitar in when there is usually only one. You can put more background music, more effects, and multiple levels of music.
Where can you use looper pedals?
Okay, now you know all about looper pedals and how to use them. You know which ones are best for your situation, budget, and predicament—and most of all, your instrument!
But where can you use them? You can hook up your looper pedal in a variety of different situations while playing or making music. You can use them during live performances, solo practice sessions or even when creating a song with your band.
Features to consider while choosing a looper pedal
Before you make your final decision, here are some important features that you want to consider before you ultimately make your purchase:
Especially if your rehearsal or practicing room is highly similar to a small bedroom or one-car garage, you’ll want a looper to take up as little space as possible. You can either look for a compact size, like the Electro-Harmonix 720, which is 7 x 6 x 3 inches, and perhaps not be able to take advantage of certain other features (but have more room on your pedalboard)—or you can decide that size is not really a problem and go big like the Boss RC-300 Loop Station, which is 26 x 12.8 x 6.5 inches.
Just like with anything in life, the way the looper pedal is built can change absolutely everything about it! Especially since these looper pedals are going to be used in direct contact with your feet, it’s extremely important that you get a looper pedal that can withstand a few years after being stepped on quite a bit (with or without shoes).
It’s extremely helpful to have the material as durable as possible, preferably those made of metal. That way, there is high-quality material involved, and your investment will last much longer!
If you’re planning on taking your looper pedal on-stage with you while you’re doing a live performance, you’ll definitely need to make sure that you have enough footswitches to make it worthwhile! There is hardly any point to a looper pedal if you don’t have the option to play as much music as best as possible with all the different instruments available. The more loops you’ll have, the better you’ll be and the better your music will sound!
You can also benefit from footswitches when turning different effects on and off—so having a footswitch can definitely help you expand your music.
Quantity of loops
Especially if you’re new to the whole looping and looper pedal experience while playing your music, you might not want to start off with a looper pedal that offers way too many loops.
However, entry-level and inexpensive looper pedals only give you the ability to play one loop a time. The Line 6 JM4, for example, is the perfect looper for a beginner who just wants one loop for their music.
Of course, if you do want to invest a little bit more, you can get a multi-loop looper like the Electro-Harmonix 720 which comes with the capability of recording and playing 10 loops!
The recording time can also be a factor that will make or break decision when purchasing a looper pedal. The memory and space that the pedal has inside can definitely dictate how many samples you are able to record and replay.
You might have to look into getting a looper pedal that is able to connect with a USB or SD card so you can hold much more music, like with Pigtronix SPL.
Chances are, you might not need this feature. However, if you’re looking to make some pretty cool and different music, the reverse feature can let you record a sample song and then play it backward.
Normally, most pedals will have mono output, which is just the standard. However, some other looper pedals will be able to utilize a stereo. Normally, these types of looper pedals are defined as “chorus.”
If you have two inputs, you’ll be able to synchronize your music with two instruments at the same time! You can also use it on an instrument and a mic, as well, which comes in handy when playing with a band or as a solo artist doing it all!
This feature of the loopers can have you sync your loops and music with your “MIDI” (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) devices, bringing music-making into the 21st century. For a high-quality synchronization we suggest you look at TC Electronic Ditto X4 looper pedal.
Synchronization also means that some looper pedals will have a BPM setting that can help you set a tempo, another function that sets them in perfect synchronization, and time-stretching, which allows you to pull out one layer to fit another.
You can also benefit from “auto-start,” which actually cues the recorder to start once they hear the guitar, making the job much easier for you!
If your loop pedal has enough memory or built-in space, they’ll be able to retain those loops, even in their internal storage—even after they’ve been turned off or if another loop has been added on. For example you will never loose with having 99 memory slots like in BOSS Audio RC-3 looper pedal.
Stereo or mono?
If you’re looking into the best looper pedal out there, you’ll want your output also to comply with what you have available. If you have a stereo output on your pedal, you’ll be able to run the sound through the stereo or separate amps.
If you only have one input, you might not be able to connect a mic along with your instrument.
If you really want to change up your music, you can go for a looper pedal that can alter the way it’s played back. As we mentioned before, there is “reverse.” However, there is also “half-speed” or simply adjusting the speed, in general. Especially if you’re trying to match two different sounds or inputs, the modes of the machine can be pretty handy.
Do you really need additional effects?
It all depends on what you want to achieve. If you’re simply looking for a looper pedal to practice solo, you won’t need too many crazy effects. However, if you’re really looking into making some intense music, additional effects can definitely help!
As with anything electronic and with various parts, it’s extremely useful (and looked well upon) when you take the time to make sure that what you’re investing incomes with a warranty—whether it’s for parts or in general.
Although every artist is different (especially when you’re dealing with a group of various artists), having a proper looper pedal that will help a full band can increase the sound value. The Boss RC-300 loop station is the best looper for a band. Since it comes adaptable with three different synchronized tracks, you’ll be able to put in a mic, a drummer, and your lead guitarist—all in one! You can even control each individual’s sound with various connecting units. You’ll be able to record up to three hours of music and fiddle with 16 different onboard effects, meaning something is in there for everyone!
It depends on the type you’re using. If the looper has dual input capability, you’ll be able to synchronize and plug in both your mic and your guitar—all at once. The key is in the synchronized stereo tracks.
If you’re just a solo artist, you’ll just need the looping pedal. As for the best, you’ll want the Electro-Harmonix 720—especially if you already know your stuff is moving forward. You’ll be able to tap into the “Undo-Redo” function and the reverse and half speed effects so you can easily create a song—all on your own. We can go on and on about all the different features that the Electro-Harmonix 720 has, however, just trust us—it’s the best for a solo player.
Now that you’ve gotten the buying guide, read through all of our product reviews (maybe just skimmed them), and eyed our comparison table, you probably are feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. Just to help you out to the best of our abilities, here are the three top looper pedals on the market.
The Pigtronix SPL is one of the best looper pedals out there with its two stereo loops and incredible ability to synchronize. It also has a loop 2 multiplier that can lengthen the sound 2, 3, 4, and even 6 times. Even though it seems high-tech, the Pigtronix SPL is actually quite easy to operate and great for beginners and experts, alike.
The Boss RC-300 Loop Station is one of the best loop stations on the market. Between every track, it has the ability to fade in and out of each song, making it great for live performances, as well. It also has up to 3 hours of recordable memory and 99 different memory slots so you can record as much as you’d like. You can also connect your saved music with a USB port to any device.
The BOSS Audio RC-3 is the best looper pedal for live performances because you can record onstage for up to three hours. However, it doesn’t stop there—what makes it really great is the Auto-Recording feature that makes it easy to start (it begins on cue from your instrument), so you don’t have to worry about touching it to start while in the middle of your performance.
We hope that this guide has helped you choose the best looper pedal out there for you, your band, and your next greatest hit! Rock on!