New Looper from Roland - Boss RC-50!


Loosely translated from classic Rolandspeak....

"Popularity model LOOP of the BOSS twin pedal series STATIONRC-20XL the colorful input/output terminal and the new model which adds the function of completeness are born in the base. LOOP STATION RC-50 which corresponds to stereo input/output in addition corresponds to also music compilation is the new performance tool not only solo performance of guitarist/?????, as the real time sampler for DJ."

Sounds pretty cool.

I'm in...
Damn - I've been looking for something that adds the function of completeness! Is Musician's Fiend marking these down yet?




I can't read Japanese....


Silver Supporting Member
Crap. It's friggin' huge. It's also gonna cost a fortune. I was hoping for an upgraded RC-20XL.

The search continues...


Hey, thanks for posting the pics screamingdaisy!

Just grabbed this off the Looper's delight mailing list. Still sounds interesting to me..

-Works like 3 RC-20XLs
-Each "Phrase" can be independently recorded/played back/overdubbed
-On/off states of each "Phrase" can be controlled freely
-A "Patch" consists of three "Phrases" (i.e. it's a 3-stereo-track-looper)

-Two "Play Modes";
a. Multi Mode - 3 Phrases in a Patch can be combined freely
b. Single Mode - Switching between 3 Phrases

-Max recording time: 24 min (stereo)/49 min (mono)
-one shot/reverse/fade in "etc." playback modes
-Fade outs and Loop ending settings can be adjusted even when phrases are not
being played back

-Sub Out can be assigned to specific Phrases or the guide tone
-Max. 4 exp.pedals/footswitches

-Playback speed can be altered in realtime, by tap tempo or via expression
-Can force Phrases of different tempos to play back in the same tempo ("Tempo
Sync" feature)
-Loop Quantize during recording
-MIDI tempo sync

-USB Connectivity
-Settings can be stored on computer
-WAV import/export (16 bit/44.1kHz/Stereo/Mono)
-Comes with a Loop Phrase CD


What features are new on the RC-50 compared to the RC-20XL?

Max. recording time: 49min (mono)
3 simultaneous Phrases max.
Storage of 297 Phrases max.
379 rhythm patterns
7 pedals
Connectivity for 4 external footswitches
Expression (?)
Sub Outs
Playback Speed Realtime Control
MIDI tempo sync

What can you control off the expression pedals?
Phrase Level,
Phrase Pan,
Current Level (the level of the "Current Phrase")
Current Pan (panning of the "Current Phrase")
Guide Level
Patch Level
Patch Tempo
note: the "Original Tempo" cannot be controlled from the exp.ped.

Level and Tempo ranges are as follows:
Level: 0 - 200
Tempo: 40-250

So how does the "tempo" feature work in relation to playback speed? Can
Phrases with different tempos be played back at the same tempo, or in other
words, in sync?

"Original Tempo" / "Patch Tempo":

When a Phrase is recorded, its tempo settings are stored as an "Original
Every patch can have a tempo setting independent of the Original Tempos, and
this Patch info is called the "Patch Tempo".

Every Phrase may have a different tempo. Let's take this example --

Phrase 1: 100bpm
Phrase 2: 120bpm
Phrase 3: 80bpm

In such a situation, we don't know what the master tempo is. This is where the
"Patch Tempo" comes in. You can have each Phrase lock to the Patch Tempo, or
not. Elaborating on the above scenario, you can have a setting like this:

Phrase 1: 100bpm / Tempo Sync: ON
Phrase 2: 120bpm / Tempo Sync: ON
Phrase 3: 80bpm / Tempo Sync: OFF

When you apply a Tempo Sync, Phrases having different Original Tempos will play
in sync, with the same Tempo.
Assuming a Patch Tempo of 120, playback of the above example will be as follows:

Phrase 1: Playback speed will be faster than the original recording (100bpm),
at 120bpm.
Phrase 2: Playback speed happens to be the same as the original (120bpm).
Phrase 3: Tempo Sync is off, so playback speed will not be altered.

-Expression Pedal Control of Patch Tempo
The Patch Tempo can be altered in realtime from an expression pedal such as the
max. and min. values for the tempo are user-defineable.

When recording on top of a prerecorded Phrase, can I record just the new stuff
onto a different phrase?

In Multi Mode, the playback/recording of three different snippets can be set
totally independent of each other.

An example would be to record on Phrase 1, then record something on Phrase 2
while Phrase 1 is playing back.

You can also overdub on the same Phrase, if you so wish.

Can you record simultaneously off the Inst., mic, and Aux inputs?

Yes. All inputs will be mixed and recorded within the same Phrase.
Adjustments can be made from the Input Level section.

It's not possible to record the different input sources on independent tracks
(Phrases) though.

Terminology - What's a "Phrase", "Patch", and "Current Phrase"?

Phrase: Think of it as one loop. A "phrase" is Roland lingo for a loop.
Patch: It's a collection of three loops. RC-50 has 99 Patches.
Current Phrase: To record a loop, you need to specify where you're recording.
The selected Phrase is a "Current Phrase". Rec/Play/Overdub operations are
always applied on the Current Phrase. Likewise, the indicators show the status
for the Current Phrase.

One selects the Current Phrase by stepping on the Phrase 1/2/3 switch.

What controls are available via MIDI?

-External MIDI sync
-Program Change/Control Change transmission: When switching a Patch, Program
Change messages are sent. External footswitch and expression pedal operations
are also sent as Continuous Controller messages.
-Pach Changes from external controllers
-Other operations from external controllers (CC#1/CC#7/CC#80): Via MIDI, one
can adjust parameters that can't be controlled from the RC-50's footswitches or

Both Global and Patch settings can be altered via CC's. It's possible to
specify whether every parameter is Global or applied only on a Patch.

So what can you do via USB?

- Backup of user data onto a computer
- Recovery, by sending settings store on a computer back onto an RC-50
- Export of RC-50 phrase data onto a computer (WAV)
- Import of WAV files in a computer, onto an RC-50

RC-50 acts as a USB mass storage class device.
It doesn't act as a USB MIDI device.

Can I punch in sections of Phrase while overdubbing?

There are 3 Overdubbing Modes, and one of them is "Momentary Punch-in".

a. Overdub - Records material on top an existing Phrase.
b. Replace - Overwrites material onto a Phrase; acts like a single-tap delay.
c. Momentary Punch-In - Overwrites material only while the Rec/Play/Overdub
pedal is depressed. Great for correcting parts of a Phrase.

There's an Overdub Mode switch dedicated to the feature.


I'm glad I've got my GAS under control. While the RC-50 is pants-wettingly sweet, at least I still realize that my rc-20XL is more than enough for my needs


Originally posted by splatt
looks interesting, even though the UI appears..... roland-esque.
it seems they've folded-in some functions from both the EDP and the repeater.

i wonder at least these 3 things:
1) when "sync'ing" phrases' tempi, is original pitch maintained, or ???,
b) is there a way to manipulate the pitch of any phrase (or patch) either internally or via external midi, and
3) can one freely switch between the unit's "modes" of operation on-the-fly, either internally or via an external midi-controller?

i wonder.

dt / spltrcl
Yeah, I was wondering about that too. Again from the LD mailing list, someone was kind enough to address some of these questions

There's 2 modes of operation.

1) 3 loops all playing at once, with individual on/off and volume control. ( and individual Reverse)
2) 3 loops available one after the other (like edp NextLoop)

It's an "upgrade" of the RC-20XL, and many of the features are described in a similar manner.
So how about you RC-20XL owners chipping in to put us right?

>Each phrase, becoming independent, because sound
>recording/playback/over dubbing are possible, by the fact that it
>combines on/off solo performance of complicated constitution
>corresponds with room.

It would seem that you can overdub (as RC-20XL).
It looks like you can do this independently on 3 simultaneous loops.

I think it highly unlikely that it's possible to run 3 loops of different length. ...and quite likely in mode 2) all 3 loops have the same length, which would make that feature much less useful.

It does MIDI sync.

It can time stretch, but not pitch shift.

NO feedback control( RC-20XLer's please put me right if need be)

24bit recording?
From what I've experienced of Roland/Boss stuff it's unlikely the analog part of the electronics will be good enough to tell it's more than 16bit. (because of the few pennies they save on cheaper chips) Not that the quality is an issue, just to note that the "24" is probably pointless hype.

I'd like to try Midi syncing one to my EDPs, ..but on it's own it lacks (it seems)
1) feedback control
2) any way to change length of a loop ( except by stretching)"

Still sounds like an improvement over the 2 RC-20s I've got cabled together (one's an XL), and it's gotta be smaller than my 'Rang...


Sorry. No idea. But it's a Boss - how expensive could it be?

Apparently, it was demoed at a big gear show in Tokyo, so at least that pic above should be real thing and not some photoshopped artist's rendering. The preliminary images of the DigiTech JamMan were very different looking from the actual product, when it finally hit the stores..


Silver Supporting Member
Yeah, I'm still trying to find the perfect looper for me. I was planning on getting the new Jamman but read that it's no good for live use. Now I may get the RC-20XL. I'd like one that fits on my board and the dual pedal size will. The new RC-50 is way too big. I'll use it mostly for practice but would like good live capabilities as well.


I've got both the Boss & the DigiTech, and at this point I prefer the DigiTech for its sound quality/CFC compatability. It's really no less awkward than the RC/RCxl for live use- they're both a pain.

Can me old-fashioned, but for real-time, on-the-fly looping I'm still a lot more comfortable w/my good ol' Lexicon JamMan & my Boomerang+.

When I finally upgrade the clunker that I'm typing this on, I'll be loading a 'lite' version of Abelton that came w/my BlackBox. I've been told that it's not much for recording, but a pretty good looping tool.

and I said I'd NEVER plug my tele into a computer...


I just contacted Roland and they told me that the RC-50 won't be released until sometime next year. They'll probably show it at the winter NAMM show here at the end of January.


Gold Supporting Member
Looks like it's available now from places like Sweetwater and Sam Ash... Anyone have any personal experience yet??


I'll be loading a 'lite' version of Abelton that came w/my BlackBox. I've been told that it's not much for recording, but a pretty good looping tool.

I've got the full version of Ableton. Pretty much alright for recording, but absolutely FANTASTIC for looping.


thebot said:
I've got the full version of Ableton. Pretty much alright for recording, but absolutely FANTASTIC for looping.
And I finally got a computer that's smart enough to digest the software, but I'm fumbling thru' the tutorial at this point- steeper learning curve than my old 4 track tape machine...

I've heard that the free recording software that comes bundled w/Macs (garageband?) is very easy to use..struggling w/technology really drains my creative juices - I'm on a fuzz box binge at the moment.. Just gimme ONE BIG KNOB and bring on the noyz!


dave_fisher said:
Looks like it's available now from places like Sweetwater and Sam Ash... Anyone have any personal experience yet??

Nah, I had my friend who owns a music store order me one from the NAMM show out here last week and and the guy from Roland said they won't be available until April or May

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