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Loop pedals are a great way to create music: you can play live and record loops of your performance, and they are very popular in the studio as well for recording drum beats, bass lines, and other musical ideas.
The advantages of using loop pedals are that they give you freedom to experiment with different rhythms, beats, and melodies without having to worry about making mistakes or getting bored with the same old song, making them perfect for any musician who is looking to grow their musical skillset, as well as experimenting in your songwriting.
In this article we’ll dive into the best loopers and looping station models for your guitar: let’s start!
1. BOSS RC-500 LOOP STATION (THE ALL-IN MODEL)
The Boss RC-500 Loop Station is definitely one of the most complete and feature-packed tool when it comes to looping, combinining quality of the sound (with 32 bit of audio quality) with versatility (two loop tracks and mic&stereo instrument input), rhythms (with an integrated drum machine) and effects for your recorded tracks.
The built-in storage allows you to record up to 13 hours of playing (and 99 slots for the loops), and the two loop tracks can be used separately for songwriting and for different presets, useful for live and gigs, but also combined for more compless and multi-layered sound patterns.
You can also use this pedal for your vocals, plugging in the microphone’s cable, and further adjust the setting with the possibility of using an external expression pedal, as well as the MIDI input/output with TRS and therefore compatible with drum machines and DAW, thanks to the MIDI synchronisation.
BOSS RC-500 FEATURES
- Two tracks looper with options for internal mixing and lots of edit options;
- High-sound quality with 32-bit in floating point processing;
- 13 hours of internal storage for recording divided in 99 different and independent slots;
- Mono/Stereo input and output with an external XLR input for the microphone with phantom powering;
- Loop Effects (repeat, scatter, shift and vinyl flick) for the edits;
- integrated rhythm section with drum machine, with 57 presets with A/B variations and 16 different drum kits;
- Compatible with MIDI thanks to the mini TRS input/outputs (allowing, with the MIDI and the “normal” Input/outputs, to connect DAW, external footswitches, external expression pedals and other drum machines);
- Clear and easy to read multi-colour LCD screen that show the mode of the loop station and allows to change settings easily
- 13 hours of recording with 99 tracks;
- lots of drum machine presets;
- compatible with almost anything thanks to normal input output, MIDI and TRS;
- LOOP FX available, as well as editing options;
- Easy to read LCD for on-stage changes of settings and seeing the current mode of the looper
- Being one of the most complete loop stations comes at a cost, and in this case the average price is about 300-350$.
- No charger included
2. TC ELECTRONIC DITTO (THE BUDGET SIMPLE MODEL)
The TC Electronic Ditto is a loop pedal.
Almost nothing more to say about this: if you’re searching for nothing more than a loop pedal, this is definitely the best option, as you’ll get a high-quality looper, and a sound that won’t alter your general guitar sound when you use this.
The minimal approach of this pedal can be great if you’re searching for a first try with the loops or if you already know that you want a loop pedal and nothing more than a loop pedal: if you’re searching for lots of extras, built-in stuff or drum machines then it’s probably better to look at another model.
TC ELECTRONIC DITTO FEATURES
- 5 minutes of loop recording time;
- unlimited overdubs, and the functions for edit undo and redo;
- robust metal housing and very durable overall (just don’t throw it down of a valley and you can use this for years and years probably);
- very high sound quality with uncompressed 24-Bit sound;
- True Bypass and analog-dry-through (it won’t alter your guitar sound like lots of other models in fact);
- High quality sound;
- simple and easy to use;
- it won’t alter your sound;
- low price (usually about 80-90$)
- No charger included
- simple (not really a bad thing, just don’t buy it expecting lots of extra stuff)
3. LEKATO GUITAR LOOPER PEDAL
The Lekato Guitar Loop Effect is another budget-friendly pedal (price is usually about only 50$) that comes with 9 slots for recordings and a total storage time of 40 minutes (with each slot that can contain a maximum of 10 minutes of track, obviously keeping in mind the limit of 40 minutes of the pedal, so you won’t be able to store the maximum lenght in all the slots).
Another good thing about this is the integrated tuning function, that you can enable pressing at the same time the two button right under the only knob on this pedal.
Other features are the visual time indicator, displaying the state of the current loop, and a great quality of the sound with 48k/24bit sampling rate and an Analog Dry-Through designs, as well as the USB port built in the durable metal shell of the pedal for importing/exporting loops compatible with both Windows and Mac.
LEKATO GUITAR LOOPER FEATURES
- 9 slots for your tracks, up to 10 minutes for a single recording but keep in mind that the total of the tracks must be of 40 minutes;
- Clear looping with unlimited overdubbing, as well as record, Undo/Redo, Stop and Erase, with unlimited overdubbing;
- tuner function;
- metal shell;
- USB port for import/export of the loops;
- high quality sound with 48K/24 Bit Sample rate;
- Analog Dry Through design;
- Colourful LED display working as a visual time indicator
- 9 slots for 40 minutes of recording
- high sound quality
- tuning function included
- metal housing and very durable overall
- can be connected to both Windows and Mac (it comes with an included USB cable
- one of the cheapest
- Power supply not included
4. EHX STEREO LOOPER 720
The Electro-Harmonix Stereo Looper 720 is an intuitive looper that comes in a metallic chassis (and therefore is very durable) and is also very “quiet” in your signal chain, as it doesn’t make noticeable noises and other background noises that can happen with pedals and the built-in circuits.
It can also store loops in the internal memory storage (up to 10 independent loops and 12 minutes of stereo recording time) that will also remain when you power off this stompbox, and it has a separated stop button/footswitch that can be really useful when playing live.
Another plus for this is also the included power supply that will come together with the pedal at home, but if you want to use it with DAW and other tools you don’t have MIDI support in this pedal.
EHX STEREO LOOPER 720 FEATURES
- You can store up to 10 different records and up to 12 minutes of stereo audio;
- undo/redo options and two buttons for 1/2 speed and reverse playing for your loops;
- the audio is clear and uncompressed, with 44.1 kHz sample rate and a 24 Bit A/D/A Converter;
- Power supply included
- metallic chassis
- usually noiseless in your signal chain without background noises
- 10 spots for loops and up to 12 minutes of stereo recordings;
- separated stop button for live playing;
- power supply included;
- relatively low price (usually about 150-200$)
- no MIDI support and no XLR
5. DONNER CIRCLE LOOPER EFFECT
The Donner Circle Looper Effect (with Built-in Time Display and Drum Machine) is a low budget pedal, especially considering that with the price of about 100$ you also have an integrated drum machine included (while the Ditto pedal in this list only has a looper for the same price).
The pedal has a display showing the lenght of the loop and the current progression, as well as the loop mode (between Record/Overdub/Play).
The drum machine on this has 100 different drum patterns, from 10 different music styles and 10 different settings of the metronome built in.
DONNER CIRCLE LOOPER EFFECT FEATURES
- 40 recording slots, with each track that can last up to 4 minutes and a total of 160 minutes of recording time;
- high quality sound with 44.1 kHz and 24 Bit Sampling;
- 100 drum grooves from 10 different styles and with 10 different metronome settings;
- display showing the duration of the current loop and also the mode enabled at the moment on that effect pedal (Record, Overdub or Play);
- Two MONO inputs that can be used for a Stereo sound
- lots of recording slots and a very good total recording time
- lots of drum grooves
- display is very useful in live performances
- low price (about 100$)
- Power Supply not included