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Old 08-14-2012, 02:57 PM
tfs4473 tfs4473 is offline
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Default Anyone play live with a looper?

I'm wondering about the benefits of using a looper to playing live. It would be nice to be able to occasionally set a backing rhythm and play over it (such as looping the main chord progression for "Locomotive Breath" and then playing the flute solo -- with guitar -- over it).

If you do use a looper, which one and how well does it work for you? I'm thinking I want something very simple and reliable.

If not, why not?

Thanks.

Thom

(Geez... seems like I never run out of questions for you all.)
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:59 PM
scienceisgolden scienceisgolden is offline
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Yes, the Boss RC3 loop Station pedal....most useful addition I've ever made to my gear in 40 years. Play with yourself (not in that way). Great for both electric and acoustic electric. The quality is excellent..the audience doesn't even know you are playing over top of your own track (or 2 or 3) and you come across as the world's greatest guitarist.

Anyways...any acoustic performance it's the guitar....loop peddle....amp.

Go to youtube and see it used.

It's also really good for practice and play back. Only downside it's a battery pig so I use an adapter.

They sell for around $200 but i got mine for $110 used but still in the box. I got mine through placing a local wanted ad. there's some fancier Boss loop Station with another pedal, etc. but this one is 'simple' and a no brainer to use live.
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfs4473 View Post
I'm wondering about the benefits of using a looper to playing live. It would be nice to be able to occasionally set a backing rhythm and play over it (such as looping the main chord progression for "Locomotive Breath" and then playing the flute solo -- with guitar -- over it).

If you do use a looper, which one and how well does it work for you? I'm thinking I want something very simple and reliable.

If not, why not?

Thanks.

Thom

(Geez... seems like I never run out of questions for you all.)
Hi Thom...
When my gigging partner can't make a gig, and I feel like going, I'll sometimes take my Boss RC20-XL.

I've tried the smaller single pedal unit, but it has too many drawbacks for live use. The dual pedal permits starting a loop anywhere in the song, and then stepping on the stop button to 'hold' that section for later when I want to solo (single pedal version cannot do that).

And I can start and stop a loop, then kill it while I continue to play (without restarting it...single pedal version cannot do that).

It also has better control over the input volume and the loop volume (separate controls which can be adjusted on the fly).

The latest version (Boss RC-30) also permits a mic channel to be added to the loop...

I find them simple, intuitive, and fun when not overdone. The audience can begin to wear thin with too many antics. They came to hear me play, not to watch me record and play along.

I'm not at the level of a Phil Keaggy who does amazing wonders with his loopers.

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Old 08-14-2012, 09:35 PM
slewis slewis is offline
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Thom, I started doing solo gigs a little over a year ago after playing in a duo for many years, and the looper can do a lot for a solo performer, I think. I use the Boss RC20XL too, and believe me, I keep it pretty simple. Over a three-hour night, I probably use the looper on about 10-12 tunes, playing leads over live-recorded song verses and choruses. I won't say my timing is perfect yet, every time, but it doesn't take too much practice to get the hang of it, and it usually goes real well. As was mentioned, too, loopers are great for practicing with. What I personally find tiresome is performers whose act predominantly consists of "building" songs with loopers anything more than a little. When the song starts with an egg shaker or a beat on a guitar for four measures, then four measures of something else and maybe four more of something else -- and that happens more than once a set or so -- OK, I get it, now get on with the song. But yeah they're very cool and I've consistently read that the two-pedal Boss or Jamman units are certainly the most widely used. Go for it!
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:04 PM
Hotspur Hotspur is offline
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I've heard great things about the Boomerang. If I was going to buy a loop pedal, that's probably the one I'd get. It doesn't have removable memory, but is super flexible for live looping.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:25 PM
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Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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I've heard great things about the Boomerang. If I was going to buy a loop pedal, that's probably the one I'd get. It doesn't have removable memory, but is super flexible for live looping.
Yep. I've had quite a few loopers, starting back with the original JamMan, and on up to the Boss RC-50 monster multi-looper. I've had the original Rang, the RC-2, the newer JamMan, Line 6 DL-4, and others (?). I finally tried the boomerang (III) a few months ago, and all the others promptly went on ebay. Extremely easy to use and more power and flexibility than anyone should need (as long as you don't want to store loops and don't need a drum machine). Hard to put into words what the advantage is, and I put off trying one for a long time because I read the manual online and didn't really "get it", but it's just extremely well thought out, amazingly flexible and powerful while still being brain-dead simple to use. Among other things, the buttons are so easy and so fast to press - a seemingly minor point, but one that makes a huge difference when you're trying to be precise in your timing. Sounds excellent, too, is stereo, and has more than enough loop time. Everyone's needs are different, but if you just need a real time looper, with none of that other stuff, this one is pretty impressive.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:31 PM
scienceisgolden scienceisgolden is offline
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One major benefit of Boss pedals is there's always a lot of info how use them Youtube videos, etc. On top of that they have good reps ...I can call up the rep (Rloland) who does my region and he's eager to help out with any issues.

There's lots of really good equipment by different manufacturers out there these days but be sure that you can get help, if needed, using it to full advantage. I like Doug's comment above about keeping it simple..my major beef with most pedals is they do too much. Probably 95% of us end up using the same 2 or 3 settings or features.

Last edited by scienceisgolden; 08-14-2012 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:59 PM
el_kabong el_kabong is offline
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Well, I'm preparing for my first public use of mine - a Jamman Solo - combined with a little more out-of-the-box tech, the recent addition of a dedicated acoustic-midi setup with a Roland synth.

I have to admit that I'm still a bit leary of the whole process, but it seems to be the best way of approaching some of my compositions. I have solo acoustic versions - most started there - and, while they are fine and (I hope) can stand on their own merits, I can't help but want to "paint the whole picture".

Let's face it, that's what "bands" (and orchestras) are all about, painting the whole picture. The problem with bands....well, that's a whole 'nother topic, isn't it? There's lots of reasons that you shouldn't take advantage of technology, so long as it's use is artistically valid. But that goes for technical skills, effects pedals, etc.

Art can be hard. But, trying to do it is almost always a lot of fun
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:50 PM
tfs4473 tfs4473 is offline
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Lots of good info here, thanks. Also, lots of mentionings of the Boss products.. any thoughts on the DigiTech loopers? I'm thinking specifically about the Jamman Stereo (sort of the direct competition to the Boss RC-30).

Thom
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:10 PM
Hotspur Hotspur is offline
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What are you goals with the looper? How do you see yourself using it?
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:28 PM
DavidE DavidE is offline
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I use a Boss RC20 (not even XL) for some simple looping. I use it for songs where I want to play a solo (Peaceful Easy Feeling, Amie etc....) or where I want to play two guitar parts (and maybe a solo too) like I Saw Her Standing There or Fast as You (Dwight Yoakum). I try to keep it as simple as possible since I'm often playing, looping and singing. I do multiple part looping in a simple song: Steve Miller's Come on and Dance.

It doesn't always work right since I'm looping live, but I get it 99% of the time and when I don't get it right the first time, I usually get it the second time.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfs4473 View Post
I'm wondering about the benefits of using a looper to playing live.
Well, if would you sound like this guy, I'm sure people will love you.
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:59 AM
tfs4473 tfs4473 is offline
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Originally Posted by Hotspur View Post
What are you goals with the looper? How do you see yourself using it?
For me it's a suppliment for live performances. I have software on my PC for recording, and there's plenty of backing tracks on the web for simple jamming.

I'd like to be able to record a short rhythm sequence while playing live, and then play over it. Most recently this would have been handy in "Locomotive Breath" for the flute solo (played on guitar), or "Learning to Fly" for the electric solo. Things of that nature.

Simple is good in this case. I don'e need a lot of effects or complex multi-layering. Just a means of occasionally adding a layer or maybe two to a single guitar performance.

From reviews I've been reading, however, I am beginning to think that the two-button pedals offer more versatility in calling up pre-recorded loops. Also, the more one can do without bending over to fiddle with controls the better it seems for live use.

A friend leant me a DigiTech Jamman Solo for a few days, so I'll see how it does.

I would appreciate any comments folks have on the ease of using their loopers in spontaneous situations.

Thanks.

Thom
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:52 AM
Hotspur Hotspur is offline
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It's not just about pre-recorded loops. (Although if that's important to you, it eliminates the Boomerang from consideration).

Two pedals (or more) because there are a lot of different functions you need. Start a loop. Stop a loop. Record over a loop. Switch between two loops. etc.

How easy it is to hit the pedals accurately and on time is also really important. Timing matters a lot.

I did some research into loopers a while ago, and it became immediately clear to me that, for me (with no interest in prerecorded loops) it's a no-brainer. I'd buy the Boomerang without a second thought. It's the one that's really designed with completely live performance in mind.

Something like the Boss RC50 is really designed for a complex set where you use lots of different prerecorded loops in succession.

The RC30 or Jamman Stereo are somewhere in between. They're more flexible but have some real compromises which make live performance trickier.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:36 AM
Ghostpicker Ghostpicker is offline
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[QUOTE=scienceisgolden;3145549]Yes, the Boss RC3 loop Station pedal....most useful addition I've ever made to my gear in 40 years.

+1 on the Boss RC3 - I love this thing. It's great for practice, playing live, and composing. Killer piece of equipment.
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