Loopers/Phrase Samplers?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by BillyK, Nov 25, 2005.


  1. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

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    Never owned one, never had a reason to. I know nothing about 'em.

    But now I am working on some jazz tunes at home need to lay down quick rhythm tracks for playing jazz melodies and improvization. I am using a cassette-based portastudio, but there is obviously no way to lay down a quick track and loop it. What the hell do I buy?

    - Loop Station?
    - DigiTech JamMan
    - Boomerang?
    - Line 6 Guitar Port?
    - Something else?

    It's gotta be practical, and dare I say, somehow reasonable affordable??
     
  2. JKoeth

    JKoeth Supporting Member

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    I'm looking into getting the Jamman but I'd love to hear what others have to say. The Jamman is supposed to have better sound quality and more memory than the Loopstation.
     
  3. drolling

    drolling Member

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    I've got both and my vote'd be for the JamMan. Better sound quality and removeable CFC's being the main reasons.

    The Boss comes w/flashy sounding samples that are fun to 'demo', but have no practical purpose, whereas the JamMan's loaded w/bass & drum loops in various styles & guitar-friendly keys, to have the first time looper up and jamming right out of the box.

    If you're stuck on Boss products, for whatever reason, I'd suggest holding out for the RC-50 which will be able to run 3 loops simultaneously. It's scheduled for release sometime next year and the tentative price, according to Roland Japan, will be around 50,000 yen ($425 USD?).

    For more info & pics of this new looper, use the search function ("Boss RC-50").
     
  4. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the quick replies guys. The Jam Man certainly is interesting. I've gotta research it a bit more...
     
  5. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

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    Hey drolling:
    You've got mail!
     
  6. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    I've got the older Loop Station, the RC-20. I would love to upgrade to one with more options- and use both of them in conjunction to have multiple loops on tap and to be able to select them on the fly without pre-recording anything.

    I will search about the RC-50, though. I would love to an easily-footswitchable way of scrolling through thre live loops. I have the extension pedal for the RC-20 (basically a one-off 3 switch box from ebay), but mainly for easy access to the reverse function, as you can't save a loop without getting on the floor. Saving them with the little buttons onto the memory would be really useful for saving ideas for playback at a later time or rehearsal is very useful, though, I'm glad it's there. I would also like to see a way to instantly delete a loop without holding it for 2 seconds, although you can get it to work OK if you time it out just right on the fly, but I don't think I always can factor "one one thousand, two one thousand" just right immediately before recording a new loop. Maybe teach your drummer a bunch of exactly two-second fills or something, but this is another reason why independently selectable live loops would be nice, you could simply stop the current loop, use a second loop pedal or a separate looping function and then after you've bridged the gap you could then waste 2 seconds holding down the "stop" button on the first looper.

    The sound quality seems to be decent. If I got a new looper that had 3 independently selectable loops, I think I'd put this one elsewhere in my chain for other functions- maybe use the RC-20 exclusively for my harmonica mic and the "electrified" melodica I'm planning on getting, I could even rig it where it simply shares the same signal path as the Deluxe Memory Man's wet output on my switching system without getting out a soldering iron or sending it back to Poland for modifications.

    OK, must go and investigate RC-50...
     
  7. tiltrite

    tiltrite Member

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    maneco loopers look great, but how to get one? fmogearshop doesn't seem to have any in stock.

    boomerang v.2?
     
  8. jonny guitar

    jonny guitar Member

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    I have a RC20 that I bought for that very purpose. I don't need any longer than the 5 minutes loop time because I like to practice my comping skills as well as my leads....I just erase what I am not working on. For my needs the cheap price of the RC20 works great (too bad I bought it when it was expensive). Alot of the options of the upgraded ones are more geared towards live playing so why pay for them if you don't need them.
     
  9. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

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    Great feedback. Thanks.

    More research!
     
  10. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Yep, I have a Loop Station XL. I too use it for your exact purpose and I'm real pleased with it. As for sound quality, I can't say that it remotely sounds "poor". But, I've not used some of the many loops mentioned here. It sounds nearly identical to what I just played, like a good recording… does add a bit of treble, and I mean A BIT.

    I have several jazz standards recorded, saved with bass lines and chord changes for instant recall. For instance, I have “loop 5” on a sticky note at the top of “Footsteps” in my Real Book, at a gig I just switch to that loop.

    16 mins of loop time, good sound quality, storage of 11 loops and portability make it perfect for me.

    Although, that new JamMan looks killer, if you’ve got the cash for it check it out. If you can find a Loop Station used for cheaper I’d go for it too if the features are a match.
     
  11. mprvise

    mprvise Member

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    Just purchased the Jam Man yesterday. I've only had about two hours to toy with it but so far I'm really pleased. Sound quality is good and it has more features than I will probably ever use. One feature I'll probably use sometime in the future is the USB port - I don't think the Loop Station has one. And the Jam Man is about the same price as the Loop Station brand new. I ended up getting mine for 260.00 new via a "good guy" deal at a local guitar store. :) I think the "street" price is around 299.00.

    Aaron, you'll have to check it out next time you're over at the house. :cool:
     
  12. Bruce

    Bruce Member

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    I have Boss RC-20XL and it's great. I use it to practice with and also on live gigs and have never had a problem with it. I had a Digitech Jamman and although the sound quality was slightly better, it had a really bad problem with both noise and high pitch hum. I went through my pedal board and when I took it out the problem went away plus you have to use it's own wall wart. I use to have an Eletrix Repeater and I had the same problem with that as the Jamman so I'm thinking that it might have something to do with the compact flash card. I also had a Boomerang and it was the easiest to use but not enought memory and way too noisy. Am looking forward to the RC-50 and hope it's going to be at the NAMM show out here in Jan.
     
  13. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Look forward to it!

    How's that Eternity treating ya???
     
  14. mprvise

    mprvise Member

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    Played it on a gig last night. Will do so again tonight. AWESOME! Liked it so much I ended up using the TR overdrive channel for slightly dirty and the Eternity for higher gain lead tone. Will be ordering one soon, probably next week. Thanks for the trial loan. :cool: You still diggin' the OCD?

    Back to loopers (so as not to totally hijack this thread), I did some research and talked to a few players I trust, and for my money RIGHT NOW the JamMan was the best I could find for the money. I was looking for something functional but not crazy expensive (as this was my first try at a looping device). YMMV.
     
  15. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Yeah, I'm diggin the OCD with my tele. Is probably too fat with my PRS's.

    Glad you got a looper mprvise!

    It is one of the greatest practice tools to be gifted to we gitar playa's! We'll hook up and put some loops together!
     
  16. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Just noticed that the Boomerang was mentioned in the 1st post and it's come up a couple of times in this thread.

    I've got one & in spite of its quirks I really like it. Lots of players are dumping theirs for these new style loopers, but for sheer ease of use, the 'rang still has a lot going for it.

    As I said in another thread, the 'rang's an 'old style' looper that behaves more like a delay pedal. I guess it's what I'm used to (my old Lexicon JamMan's design is similar), so I still find it easier to use 'on-the-fly' than the new Boss/Digitech pedals. It's very easy to change speed/throw'er in reverse/and most importantly - control the loop volume w/your foot, making it a breeze to use in a live setting.

    There's an interview w/John Scofield in GP w/a picture of his live rig- a Boomerang AND an RC-20 (the XL hadn't been released yet).

    Where the current crop of loopers excell is the huge memory & ability to store loops once powered down. As aarondavis says, this makes them idea for laying down accompaniments to solo over in *one-man-band* situations - but I'm finding them impossibly awkward to use as real-time loopers. Maybe I'll get used to them, but I doubt it somehow, as I've never been able to work the Electrix Repeater into my stage rig either, and I've had it for years.
     
  17. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    I believe the new rc-50 has the ability to sync it's metronome with an external midi device.

    for live looping with a band, the DD-20 is all I need. My rc-20xl is quite phat, though. there is definitely a change in tone, but for use as a backing track, even in a live situation, I can't imagine how this is a problem.

    The only reasons I would get the jamman would be: improved quality (noticeable degradation of sound when changing the tempo to a slower setting); USB setting (though I've had no need for them).

    A looper is an indispensable tool, especially for jazzers
     
  18. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

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    "A looper is an indispensable tool, especially for jazzers"

    I agree 100%! I am using a cassette-based portastudio now, and it's not easy to get what I want done.

    I may look around for a deal on a used RC-20 or may build some funds for the Jam Man. Wait, Christmas is coming, right??
     
  19. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Ah man... I use it real-time all the time, it's easy. I agree, they are suited for "one-man-band" things. With a drummer it's nearly impossible, unless they can really hear the loop. But, In my Jazz duets I have 6 or 7 loops saved. The rest is just real time. If you tried to set the tempo live, that'd be a pain. But if you just press record, it's instant. (what I do).

    I know there are better loopers out there, but I'm more than satisfied with the RC-20XL.
     
  20. drolling

    drolling Member

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    GAHHhH! *MIDI*.... I think the Repeater's the only toy I've got w/MIDI out..so many little boxes w/MIDI in, MIDI thru' and I've been trying to ignore it all for years.

    Time to take the plunge...

    splatt, could you please recommend a small midi controller keyboard? I wouldn't know where to begin.. Brand? Model?

    Like I said, I've got other stuff (drum machines, harmonizers) that I could hook up to a controller. It's starting to sound like fun..
     

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