A loop pedal is a piece of music equipment that allows the player to record a section (or “loop”) of music and then play back that recorded section over and over again or to layer multiple recorded loops on top of each other. The idea is that you can play a series of loops in sequence, giving the player an infinite number variations in rhythms, patterns, and songs. Every top loop pedal has different sounds, effects, features, and controls as well as different prices.
What Does A Guitar Loop Pedal Do?
Loop pedals are able to record a certain section of music and then play that segment of music over and over again. This allows the player to create complex sounds or jam with other musicians simultaneously without using dozens of different guitars and amplifiers. One guitar, one amp, and one loop pedal equals infinite possibilities for the guitarist.
One excellent example that I like is the TC Electronics Ditto Looper loop station guitar pedals for electric and acoustic guitars.
How Does A Looper Pedal Work?
Loop pedals work by recording the sound that enters the guitar and sending it to an amplifier and speaker. This recorded sound is then played back through the speaker while a different sound from either another guitar, a microphone, or other instruments are played simultaneously.
The loop pedal has these three main controls:
- The Record Switch – The red button on the top of the pedal is used to tell the loop pedal that you want to record your first “loop”. You will have to press down the Record button, and release it again before you peak the guitar’s sound and start playing over a recorded loop.
- The Switch – On the back side of the pedal is a position switch that allows you to choose whether you want the loop to be played from a different instrument or if you want the resulting sound to be sent to your amplifier.
- The Level Control – The level control allows you to tweak your recorded sound over time by turning up and down on this knob.
The loop pedals have a basic setup with the amp, guitar and pedal in a small box that can be placed on a set of shelves or under your amp (there are also rackmount versions available).
There is no way to tell where you are playing as far as song structure is concerned. Every time you hit “record” another section of the song will be played one time, and you may get different loops from using different effects.
Should You Get A Sequencer Or A Loop Pedal?
A sequencer is an electronic device that records musical performances in a more developed way. The recorded sound can be changed over time using special software instead of rewinding and replaying a recording. A sequencer can also be used to make beats and rhythms, allowing you to make music on your own without using a drummer. These devices are generally less expensive than loop pedals and have many more options like being able to put in markers where you start playing, stop playing, or change the song structures.
A loop pedal makes it easier for you to play music with other people, as you don’t have to switch between guitars and get your timing right when playing with others. It also gives the guitarist a chance to become more creative at home or in a studio without needing someone else’s help. With a sequencer you will be able to bypass the need for a drummer, giving you more time to record tracks that include sounds from multiple instruments like bass drums and cymbals (you will need a MIDI keyboard to perform this way).
The sequencer can help you learn to produce and arrange musical productions on your own without needing a team of other professionals to do it for you. Loop pedals are good for home recording and are more affordable than sequencers.