Top looper pedals – Guide & Comparison
If you’re on the lookout for the best looper pedal, you’ve reached the right place as we have compiled a list of the top products out for sale. After a careful examination of the value and quality offered by the critically acclaimed products in this category, we have reached the conclusion that the Boss Station Bundle is the one you should consider. The twin stereo tracks will help you create multi-layered loops, enjoy three hours of recording time as well as built-in loop effects. In case this product is sold out, you might want to consider the TC Electronic Ditto looper.
Highly Recommended Choices – Reviews & Comparison
If you don’t have enough time to search the market thoroughly yet you’re in need of a good looper pedal, here are a few short reviews of looper pedals to help you come closer to making an informed decision. These products offer excellent quality and great value for the money.
Boss Station Bundle (B0065KPV0S)
The product comes with two synchronized stereo tracks and the dedicated volume faders and track-select buttons will enable you to control each track independently. Everything you need to get started and play comes in just one box. You get the picks, the necessary cables, and even an Austin Bazaar polishing cloth to keep your instrument shiny.
Using the count-in option will give you one-bar of rhythm before you start your recording. Then, you can start recording the very moment you begin playing your instrument, be it a guitar, keyboard, or some other musical instrument. The massive internal memory allows up to three hours of recording time. So, let the gig start!
TC Electronic Ditto (B00FPXDRQQ)
The minimalistic style doesn’t mean you get simple features or a simple experience. By contrary, it keeps its design simple just to rock your guitar. Or make it rock. The one knob button has all the essentials needed. You can access the record, undo/redo, erase, and stop features via different foot-commands.
This looper will help you take your sound from good to great thanks to its power to produce loops in 24-bit uncompressed high-quality audio. The small footprint makes it suitable for many performers taking up little space on your pedalboard. The looper provides 5 minutes of looping time.
Electro-Harmonix 720 (B019FR8JKQ)
Featuring just one button for stop, undo/redo, reverse, and half-speed effects, this will help guitarists of all stages to improve their sound and take it from good to great. Usability is enhanced thanks to its stereo in/out features. You can use the looper to record two instruments at the same time.
If you want more grind and growl, you just need to use the built-in distortion feature. The product comes with an EHX 9.6DC/200 AC Adapter and works with 9V batteries. It measures 6.2 x 7.25 x 3.25 inches, which means it takes little space.
Digitech JMSXT (B009QU3MKK)
The product allows you to store over 35 minutes of stereo loops in 200 internal memories. The optional micro SDHC card can take recording time to over 16 hours of CD-quality audio. The Auto-Record, Auto-Quantize, adjustable BPMs, and three different Stop modes will help you improve your performance whether you play by yourself or with your band.
The auxiliary input allows you to import music from CD and MP3 players. The package includes a power supply and the USB allows you to store, share and organize your loops. You can thus transfer your loops between the JamMan Solo XT and your computer.
TC Electronic X4 (B01LXC2CUO)
This 4-button Flashback X4 is the essential kit if you are a guitarist. It features 12 delay types to cover a wide range of needs and preferences, 3 presets, a 40-second looper, and tap tempo. The product will allow you to switch between three custom presets.
You can easily set delay times thanks to the tap tempo the product features. You can even sync up with other players or with a drummer without taking your hands off the guitar. You just need to tap on the tempo. Moreover, the unit comes with 4 TonePrint slots that will allow you to load in presets via your computer or smartphone.
VOX VLL1 (B0084YFNU6)
The unit combines two independent loops and is ideal for performers interested in breaking new ground in looped gigs or getting some added expressive power. The product is lightweight and compact, therefore easily portable. The build is solid enough to allow the guitarist to use it for a long time.
If you are accompanied by other musicians, this product allows you to help them join you thanks to the balanced XLR Mic input. The dual pedal design enables the performer to use the looper to record, playback, overdub, and switch between 2 independent loops. You can record a total of 90 seconds. The looper also features twelve built-in effects.
Donner Looper (B0140V9OEM)
The product features one function knob you can use to control the volume and to make loops. You just need to press once to record and once again to loop. Then if you want to add a new layer of sounds, you will have to press once more. In case you want to undo the layer, you need to press and hold. Then press and hold again to redo it.
The product uses aluminum-alloy, which makes it both stable and solid. It measures 4.8 x 2.6 x 2.5 inches, so it takes little space. The primary function of this product is to make looping easy for users of all levels.
Nux Loop Core (B00W3IFCG4)
This loop core pedal will allow you to enjoy a maximum of 6 hours of recording time, countless layers of overdubs as well as seamless transitions between phases. Moreover, the Smart Rhythm Section comes with 40 drum patterns, just perfect for you to broaden your experience and try various combos.
If you want to record your gigs, you can simply connect the looper to a mic thanks to its Aux In feature and do so. You can then save your recordings to your computer or one of the many 99 empty slots. The solid build is ensured by the aluminum alloy housing.
Pigtronix SPL (B00A6COHN8)
The incredible sound you get to enjoy is ensured by the transparent analog pass-through and 24-bit/48-kHz HD recording engine as well as the discreet analog limiter stages. Its various features will allow performers to record and overdub different instruments on separate loops into isolated amps at the same time.
Thanks to its USB, you can transfer your recordings to your computer at a 24-bit, 48-kHz resolution, a quality that will help you mix, master or publish them. This model comes with 9 loop presets + 1 free loop and an expression pedal jack for Loop Volume that gives you hands-free control.
ZVex Lo-Fi Loop (B00DG259ZK)
The hand-painted pedal uses a specialized bootstrap circuit for the processing of your direct guitar, which results in guitar sounds boasting details you can hardly compare to anything you’ve heard before. The difference between your guitar and the machinery is made even clearer with the juxtaposition of your direct guitar against a warped recording of your own.
Since there is no analog-to-digital conversion yet 20 seconds of pure analog storage, you get to enjoy a completely analog sound with no digital markers. The product measures 2.38 x 4.7 x 1.82 inches, which means it occupies little space.
Yearly Guide & Report
Finding the best guitar looper pedal might be both time-consuming and a bit of a challenge with the great variety of such products on the market and, especially, if you are a beginner or a first-time buyer. Reading looper pedals reviews helps but that might still be confusing if you don’t know what you’re actually looking for. Hence our buying guide to help you learn more about the features to look for in a looper pedal.
What do you expect from a looper pedal?
As it happens whenever you’re looking for something you don’t know much about, the first thing to do is to think of your needs and the activities you will use your looper pedal for. If you’re very much of a live performer already, you might need flexibility whereas if you’re just practicing and jamming at home for your own entertainment, you might need something less complicated.
This takes us to a few features you should use to guide your looper pedal shopping. Choose between simple and sophisticated models. Simplicity is best for beginners or those of you interested in just practicing at home. More features, that is a more complicated looper, usually target advanced players.
Keep size and live usage in mind when buying a looper pedal. If you want one for your gigs and live performance, then you should consider models that feature hands-free access so you don’t have to bend down to change settings. If you travel from place to place, you might want to go for a portable, lightweight looper.
And then, there is the value and the quality. This depends on your budget as well as your experience. If you’re a beginner looking for a cheap looper pedal, you can go for something good and upgrade later to something awesome. If you’re more experienced and you’re not stuck on a limited budget, the offer is even greater.
Number of footswitches
After you’ve gone through the above-mentioned questions, there are a few features left that will help you find the best looper pedal. One of the most important things to consider is the number of footswitches you get with your looper. This will directly affect the way you use the looper and how much you will be able to do with it.
Footswitches are used to create and control loops. That’s why the more footswitches you have, the better. If you go for a looper pedal featuring a single footswitch, you will control its functions, i.e. record, play, stop, overdub and erase, using this one footswitch. Therefore, tapping the footswitch once will help you record while double-tapping will enable you to stop playback.
If you want to erase the loop, you will have to hold the footswitch down. The pedal you get will surely include the necessary instructions to help you get the best of it.
More footswitches, though, will give you more flexibility and control over your loops as the various functions are divided and spread over the two pedals. In case you are undecided, you might want to try a single footswitch pedal that offers you the possibility to add external footswitches to enhance your control.
Loop length, storage, and effects
The next feature to keep in mind before making a decision is the loop length. Again, this will affect what you can do with the looper. It’s best to go for one that comes with longer length in order to enjoy more options. Most loopers on the market, though, come with decent loop length to allow useful recordings.
Another thing to keep in mind is the loop effect you get with your looper pedal. There are models that come with built-in effects like “half speed”, “reverse”, and “lo-fi filter”. The great thing about such effects is that they don’t affect your regular tone when applied to your loop. For example, if you want to play the loop backward, you can use the reverse effect as the name suggests it.
One feature that will help you filter all those options out there is the loop storage you want. If you’re not interested in saving your loops, which is probably unlikely as at some point you might want to do it, you can go for a pedal that erases the loop once it is disconnected.
Then, if you are a songwriter and have live performances, and thus need to have your loops ready, you might want to look for a pedal that allows you to save your loops. Some of them come with SD cards so you can further transfer them to your computer. Some loopers will even offer you the possibility to import backing tracks and audio files.
Stereo or mono? Multiple inputs, too?
Depending on the sort of gig you run, you can choose between mono and stereo loopers. If you’re just jamming in front of your amp, a mono output will do just fine. Things change though if you want to record in stereo as you’ll need a stereo output. The market is generous enough when it comes to loopers that offer various ways of playing with stereo sound. One such example is the chorus pedal you can use to split your sound into stereo.
Another aspect to keep in mind is the number of inputs you get with your pedal. If you have many live performances and you’re interested in something to help you create more complex loops, then you might want to opt for a looper that comes with multiple inputs. A microphone input, for instance, will allow you to add vocals, a shaker, or even a tambourine.
Last but not least, consider a looper that boasts the Midi sync technology if you want to synchronize your loops with an external midi device. If you’re part of a band, this feature is a must as it will let you sync your loops with other musicians and instruments. For example, with this technology, you can make sure that your drum loop is synced up with your loop.
Frequently asked questions about looper pedals
How does a looper pedal work?
The looper pedal allows the performer to record a musical passage or capture sound clips that are played back on a loop repeatedly. They are also frequently overdubbed. Many loopers come with tempo and reverse options that will allow you to change the direction and tempo of the loop, not to mention the undo feature that will help you erase your mistakes.
Thanks to the foot switches these devices come with, the guitarist is able to control all the overdub and looping features. Moreover, most such devices can help you record your loops and even transfer them to your computer for future use.
Can I make my own looper pedal?
Yes, you can. If you want to create your own looper in order to personalize your experience as much as possible and, why not, because of the fun of it, you can make your own as the market offers all the necessary parts to build a custom looper.
You can even find DIY kits including all the items you need as well as the necessary instructions to get things done. Depending on how complex you want the looper to be and your experience, the building itself can be entertaining and easy or a bit of a challenge, though.
How to connect looper pedal
If you are an acoustic guitarist, setting up your looper is simple. You just need to plug your guitar into the looper input and then connect it to an amplifier. You can also plug in headphones if the looper you use features a headphone jack.
There are various ways to insert a loop pedal into a signal chain if you are an electric guitarist. It is best to put it at the very end of the chain or near the end, preferably before your volume pedal. This way you can control the sound before it hits the looper.
What is a looper pedal used for?
The looper is used to enhance and improve one’s playing by recording short musical passages played on an instrument and repeatedly playing them back on a loop. You can then use these loops to create various rhythms and loops of a greater complexity.
The looper can be used for solo practice, to work on rhythm guitar playing and thus experiment with various mixes of rhythm guitar parts, to compose new songs and build harmonies, or to help you become a one-man band since you can use it to add chord progressions or add and mix drum and bass parts.
Why use a looper pedal?
Whether you are a solo performer using a high-quality acoustic electric guitar or part of a band, a looper pedal will enhance your playing by helping you make more complex and creative sounds and adding various effects to them. If you practice a lot and you want to record some of those musical pieces you compose, this tool is ideal.
You can use a looper pedal to get better at what you do and help you with your practice, add effects to the pieces you play, compose songs, learn licks and work out tricky passages, and even build your own performance.
Best looper pedal brands
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, Boss won’t let you down. Having achieved legendary status among guitarists, Boss is committed to delivering top-quality products. Its looper pedals have inspired the looping scene for more than 17 years, the company being known for making some of the best pedals.
Its looper pedal series includes models for all needs, created with high-quality components and featuring a bunch of options, which makes many musicians and guitarists think of Boss when a reliable delay pedal is mentioned. The company also sells some of the most popular guitar tuner models you can find on the market.
Being one of the most appreciated companies in the field of high-end electronic audio processors, Electro-Harmonix is known as a pioneer and leading manufacturer of looper pedals. The company was the first to manufacture and sell the so-called “stomp boxes” for guitarists that changed the way musicians performed and enhanced their range of achieved sounds.
Electro-Harmonix also created and sold one of the first digital looper pedals, the 16-Second Digital Delay, a product that further enforced the company’s status as a leader and pioneer in this field. It produces pedals suitable for keyboards, bass, vocal, and some of the most appreciated acoustic guitars out there.
Many musicians think of TC Electronic when it comes to quality looper pedals. No wonder why. The Danish audio equipment company is known and appreciated for designing and importing various audio products including some high-fidelity guitar amps, computer audio interfaces, live sound equalizers, and bass amps.
Guitar effects are the products the company began with and they still are an important part of the business. This product category includes various models of pedals to suit different needs. The company sells compact pedals such as the original SCF as well as TonePrint or digital pedals. The pedals are appreciated for the great build and the quality audio performance.
Founded in 2004, Pigtronix has come to be known and appreciated for its looper pedals. The company is committed to creating and delivering pedals and stompboxes that will help musicians and guitarists take their music in new directions and allow them to experiment with more creative ways in their quest for new sounds.
The company designs, manufactures, and distributes quality loopers, modulators, synthesizers and other audio products and accessories. The audio equipment and products the company creates and sells are suitable for home practice, touring professionals, and even for travelers. The Pigtronix Infinity looper is considered by many users the most musical pedal on the market.
The American company has come to be regarded as a pioneer in the music industry thanks to the many innovations it has come up with, especially at the beginning of the digital audio revolution in the mid-80s. It is known as the world’s largest manufacturer of guitar products including highly-appreciated pedals, modulators, and preamps.
Its products are engineered by guitar buffs for guitar enthusiasts and its line of guitar products includes units that can be used at home, in the studio as well as on the road. One of its most appreciated products is the award-winning Trio pedal, a hit among users.
Looper pedal alternatives
The market is quite generous when it comes to looper pedals. You will find products to suit various needs and budgets. Now, if the products we’ve reviewed somehow do not match your wishlist or wallet, there are some other alternatives you might want to consider.
One alternative to keep in mind when looking for a new looper is the number of functions and features you get with your pedal. Such loopers you might want to take a look at include the Line 6 HD500X or the Zoom G5 whose functions are decent enough to take your solo gig or live performance one step higher. Moreover, such pedals give you more freedom and ease of use.
For example, the Line 6 HD500X looper comes with seven footswitches that will significantly boost your control over your loops and make it quite easy to use. Your overall performance will get more dynamic as you can switch between these various functions more casually. Plus, you don’t need to keep in mind all those double-tap, single-tap rules in order to enjoy the functions that raise your interest.
With this model, you will get one footswitch to record and overdub, one to play/stop, and another for undo. Plus, you get two other footswitches for reverse and half-speed effects as well as one for play once and one for pre/post effects.
All these switches are meant to add fluidity to the way you use your pedal. No need to double-tap a footswitch in order to achieve some effect as in the case of standalone loopers.
As we’ve mentioned before, your various needs decide whether you go for a standalone looper or for a multi-effects pedal. If you want to record more of your loops so you can then mix them or use for practice, the multi-effects pedals might not be that much of a great choice as they usually come with lower recording times.
For instance, the two models described above come with relatively short recording time. With the HD500X and the Zoom G5 loopers, you can create loops of up to 60 seconds whereas, with some standalone loopers, you can record even hours of your various loops.
You might want to consider a delay pedal looper that comes with an inbuilt looper like the Flashback X4 from TC Electronic. This product features a toggle that will allow you to switch between looper and delay modes. When you enable the looper, you can use the four foot switches to control different looper functions.
What’s cool about this model is that you can use the looper and still make use of the various delay types on your tone, which is different from the original Flashback pedal and something you don’t get with other loopers. The market also offers pedals that feature the looper as one of the delay types. Using a looper of this kind means that you lose the delay effects when switching over to looper mode.
Circumstances that call for various kinds of looper pedals
The circumstances in which you will use the looper are the ones to decide which one to buy. You just need to clearly identify your needs in order to buy the pedal that will get the best out of your performance. Therefore, here are several circumstances that require different kinds of loopers.
Home practice sessions
If you want a looper to practice your skills and experiment with your instrument at home or you’re just a beginner, it is best to go for something simple. Once you advance in your musical experience, you can upgrade to something more complex which features more effects.
An entry-level budget looper is ideal for such requirements or stages of experience. Go for a simple pedal that will provide you with a straightforward looper experience. Actually, less is more at this moment. Your first looper is the one you will use to get accustomed to what looping is. Sure, if you’re more experienced, even if it’s all just about jamming at home, you can go for one of those complex pedals.
In case you intend to use the looper for live performances, you might want to keep a few things in mind in order to find the best one for you. One of these things is the number of footswitches you get. The more, the better as they will enhance the ease with which you get to switch between different functions.
This way you won’t have to learn all those double-tap, single-tap rules standalone or simple pedals require you to. Ok, more footswitches for ease of use but these control buttons must be easily accessible, too. Hands-free controls are ideal as this way you will keep your hands on the guitar and use your foot to apply various functions.
Bending over every time you need to use the looper is uncomfortable and might even affect your actual performance. Instead of getting those desired cool effects, such moves can actually get you the opposite.
Size, quality, and price
The places and types of sessions you need the looper for are not the only factors to keep in mind when looking for the best pedal that caters to your needs. Size is another important aspect to consider. Jamming at home might allow you to go for a bigger pedal yet when traveling from place to place for gigs, such a looper will need more storage space.
A compact one might be a better option, although this means you might get fewer features. It should work with many lightweight travel guitars available these days, though.
Looper pedals are used with your feet. Cheap materials will break soon, therefore, make sure you opt for durable materials such as metals and high-quality components. It might be relatively easy to choose the best pedal for you considering all these factors yet, in the end, your budget decides what gets into your shopping cart. Luckily, the market offers many options suitable for different budgets.
Today’s market is not short of options when it comes to looper pedals. There are various brands worth considering and many products designed to enhance your musical instrument. First, you need to identify your needs. Be realistic and patient. You might want to experiment lots of new things, especially if you’re a beginner.
Build your looping experience step by step and if that requires a simple pedal with basic options and effects at this moment, go for that one. It will work fine even with an easy-to-use beginner electric guitar. Doing so and learning to master it will pave the way to a well-deserved upgrade.
The factors that should help you get one step closer to making the right decision are various. Keep the following in mind as the main aspects. The type of sessions you have, practice/home or live performances should decide the level of simplicity or complexity the looper should provide you with.
Ease of use is as important as the previous factor. A multi-effects looper with lots of switches will give your live performances greater dynamics. Go for easily accessible controls, though. Memory is an important factor to take into account.
If you compose a lot or want to keep your loops for further mixing and use, you need a pedal that comes with satisfying recording time or that can be used with an SD card or which offers the possibility of a USB connection.
Last but not least, size and build count a lot to the pedal’s portability and durability. If you want to enhance your performance and you liked this guide, you might want to check out some posts on fine acoustic guitar strings, a precise guitar metronome you can use, and the most resilient acoustic guitar pickups on the market.