A guide for beginners and advanced users alike, this article will help you understand the basics of loop pedals and how they work. This is an in-depth look at what makes a good one and which ones are worth your money.
- 1 What Is A Pedal Looping?
- 2 Types Of Features That Loopers May Have
- 3 How Much Do They Cost?
- 4 Which Looper Pedal? How To Choose
- 5 What Are Some Common Uses For A Looper Pedal?
- 6 Live Looping Pedal Sound
- 7 Best Value Cheap Inexpensive Budget Option For Guitar Beginners
- 8 Conclusion
The first time I saw one of these pedals in action was KT Tunstall using one during a performance of Black Horse & The Cherry Tree. KT Tunstall makes use of one of these pedals amazingly!
What Is A Pedal Looping?
It is basically a guitar pedal that records and loops audio. It’s used to create the perfect backing track for your song, or simply as an alternative to using a drum machine.
There are many different types of guitar loop station on the market today, but here we will be focusing on one main category:
Looping Guitar Effects – These are usually found in the form of stomp boxes, and allow you to record your own backing tracks. They are great if you want to play along with a backing track while recording your own vocals and instruments.
Types Of Features That Loopers May Have
There are a number of different guitar looper effects pedals:
- Looper Pedal With Drum Kits – these have built in drum sounds or preset rhythms allowing you to create a drum track on the fly.
- Stereo Inputs – includes stereo tracks in and stereo output.
- Looper Pedal With Memory Storage Banks – these options allow you to save multiple loops and play them back as needed.
- Digital – these have digital output.
- Multi Track, Dual Or Multiple Line Looping Pedal – these pedals allow you to record multiple loops and mix them together.
- Looper Pedals With Serial Modes – these pedals include serial looping.
- Looper Pedal With Speed Knob Control – gives you the ability to adjust tempos of your loops.
- Looper Pedal With Backward Option – these pedals can play the loops backwards.
How Much Do They Cost?
The average price is $100-$200. If you want to save money, consider buying used. However, there are also some good choice under $100.
Which Looper Pedal? How To Choose
Which looper pedal should I get? There are so many choices out there. What makes one better than another?
The best looper pedals will allow you to play chords, loops, arpeggios, and single notes all at once. They’ll also give you the option to record your performance, which means you can save it and listen back later. Add an expression pedal for even more options.
If you’re looking for something simple then the best choice may be a looper pedal with just drums. However, if you plan on recording vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitars, basses, pianos, etc., then you’ll need more features.
Some people prefer to buy their first one from a music store, however we recommend that you do some research online. The internet has plenty of reviews and videos showing you exactly what each looper pedal does. You can even compare prices between stores by visiting sites like Amazon.com.
My best advice would be if you are new to looper pedals, start off with a basic model. Once you feel comfortable with loops, move up to a more complex looper pedal that has additional features such as multi-track recording, backup memory banks, speed control,
Should I Get Stereo?
Most loopers come with mono jacks. Unless you really need stereo sound, we wouldn’t recommend getting a stereo looper pedal.
What Are Some Common Uses For A Looper Pedal?
- Make backing tracks for yourself or others. This allows you to practice playing over a song without having to spend hours learning the entire piece.
- Performing live. It’s very handy for creating backing tracks for yourself. As long as you have a good mic set up, you can record yourself singing along to your favorite songs.
- You can record yourself playing guitar and add other instruments into the mix. All you need to do is plug your guitar directly into it and turn on the recorder.
- Create drum beats using only your hands. Simply place your hand on top of it and hit the keys on the keyboard.
Live Looping Pedal Sound
How often do you hear someone say that they want to play music live, but don’t know where to start? If you’re looking for a way to get started, then you might be interested in learning how to create a live loop sound.
Some say you can sound like an entire band!
The sound of a looping pedal can vary depending on the type of pedal that you’re using.
There are two main ways to create a live loop:
- By overdubbing audio onto existing material. In this case, you’ll need to find a microphone that works well with your instrument.
- By making “loops” of sounds. In this case, all you need is a microphone.
In both cases, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got a good quality microphone.
When you’re ready to perform, simply turn on your pedal and begin playing. While you’re playing, try to keep your volume level down so that you’re not drowning out other musicians.
When you’re done playing, turn off the pedal and take care of any business before leaving the stage.
For many people, trying to learn how to play live is easier said than done. Fortunately, there are lots of resources available to help you get started.
Here are some places where you can find information about how to play live:
- YouTube – YouTube is full of helpful tutorials that will teach you how to play live.
- Forums – There are lots of forums dedicated to helping players learn how to play live. These forums usually contain tips and tricks that can help you improve your performance.
- Books – Books offer lots of great information about how to play guitar live. They also include useful chapters on how to master techniques like soloing, improvisation, etc.
- Guitar Center – GuitarCenter offers a wide variety of products designed specifically for live performers.
Best Value Cheap Inexpensive Budget Option For Guitar Beginners
If you are a beginner looking for a budget choice that has a lot of value for the money, I would recommend the TC Electronic Ditto Looper. It is less than $100 and very easy to use.
The Ditto is a solid guitar pedal with plenty of features and functions. It is perfect for beginners who want to get their feet wet. The Ditto comes with a footswitch which makes it very user friendly. You can easily switch between recording and playback modes by pressing the footswitch.
It also only has one knob to worry about which just adjusts the volume of the loop so that you can dial in the right volume to play along with the loop.
These pedals are fun and versatile tools that allow you to add loops of various lengths to your songs. Many people use them as a way to practice songwriting or improvising.
Using one requires a bit more attention than using a traditional metronome. However, it’s worth investing in a good quality pedal if you really enjoy creating loops.