The guitar is one of the most versatile instruments in the world. Especially the electric guitar. And unlike most other instruments, the guitar is able to produce a wide range of sounds and effects. It's why so many people are attracted to it.
And when you pair a guitarist with a bassist and drummer, you have yourself a three piece band that can create some amazing music. Trust us when we say, it's a magical combination.
While we love the guitar and think it's an almost perfect instrument, there is always room for a little improvement.
If you’ve ever played the guitar, you know that it can sometimes be very difficult to translate the ideas you have in your head into actual music. This is because though guitars are very versatile, sometimes they aren’t versatile enough.
And that’s where a looper pedal comes into play. As the name suggests, the looper pedal is a device that is operated by one's foot. It is used by guitarists to record and loop different sections of the music they are playing.
These pedals open up a whole new world of creativity and complexity. You will be surprised with the kind of music you can make with a looper pedal. Being able to use your own riffs as your background is an unbelievable experience.
Looper pedals also make it quick and easy to alter certain aspects of the sound such as pitch and speed. Once you use one you will find it impossible to live without it.
To help you find the best pedal looper for your needs, we have compiled a list of the top 5 currently available.Let’s dive in and see what each one has to offer.
Top 5 Best Looper Pedals
OUR TOP PICK
The Boss RC-1 Loop Station Bundle comes with everything you need to start using it right out the box. It is easily one of the most straightforward looper pedals currently on the market.
While most people view a looper pedal as something you should only use once you have developed your skills, according to Boss, this particular pedal was designed for those who are just starting out.
The way the Boss RC-1 works is quite simple. Just hit the pedal and it will start recording. Step on it a second time, and it will stop recording and start playing the loop back. Hit it again, and it will start recording overdubs.
Last but not least, if you want to stop the loop, and clear the recording, just tap the pedal twice in succession.
The RC-1 comes with 12 minutes of studio recording time. This gives you plenty of time to create any type of loop or sound that you dare to imagine. And don’t worry, your recorded phases will be stored in memory.
So even if you turn off the pedal, you will still be able to come back and access the recordings you have made.
As far as construction goes, this pedal is pretty durable. It has a tough metal frame which makes it strong enough for long term use.
The underside of this pedal features a grippy material. This ensures it doesn’t slide around when you push down on it. This pedal also comes preloaded with 9 jams that can be used whenever you are practicing or performing. These 9 preloaded jams open up a world of possibilities.
If you are new to the world of looper pedals, the RC-1 is a great place to start.
- Comes with everything you need to get started right away.
- Features 12 minutes of studio recording time.
- Recorded phrases are stored in memory.
- Comes with stereo inputs and outputs.
- Allows you to create your own backing track.
- Users have complained about it breaking down after only a few weeks.
- Create your own backing track to play along with--great for learning or practicing
- The sharp-looking loop indicator displays the current loop mode (Rec/Overdub/Play)
- 12 minutes of stereo recording time--the most in its class!
- Recorded phrase is stored in memory even after the RC-1 is turned off
- Stereo inputs and outputs for the highest quality sound
If you are a touring musician, this is the looper pedal you need.
It features an all metal construction which makes it very sturdy and able to take a beating without breaking down. This alone makes it a worthy addition to your equipment arsenal.
When it comes to features and overall performance, there aren’t many looper pedals that come close to the Digitech Jam Man.
Let’s start with the onboard memory. With it you will have 35 minutes to record and loop anything that you dare to create. If 35 minutes isn’t enough, just pop in an SD card and you will have an additional 16 hours to do your thing.
The Digitech Jam Man comes with three inputs. Two for instruments and one XLR. This means you can hook it up to any instrument or mic you want. The output is also stereo which means the connectivity is an overall winner.
This pedal comes with four footswitches that allow you to easily switch between various loops, and control the playback tempo. This makes it perfect for on stage performances.
- Comes with 35 minutes of memory that can be expanded to up to 16 hours.
- Great connectivity.
- Features four footswitches.
- Great for on stage performances.
- Not ideal for beginners.
- Store over 35 minutes of stereo, CD quality loops in 99 internal memories
- Optional SDHC card can store over 16 hours of CD quality audio in 99 additional memories (198 total)
- Reverse playback
- 4 heavy duty metal foot switches for looping and loop selection; connect to your computer via USB and use the jam manager loop Librarian software to organize and archive your loops
The BOSS RC-3 is considered a great option for those on a budget. With a price tag of under $200, it is as good as it gets.
One thing you will quickly learn about the BOSS brand, is that they are the best at making top of the line looper pedals. No one can put so many amazing features into a small device quite like BOSS can.
Like many BOSS products, the RC-3 was designed for musicians who are on the road a lot. It's sturdy and uses only the highest quality components.
When it comes to connectivity, the RC-3 features dual outputs and inputs. This allows you to use two instruments at the same time, as well as connect an additional stereo supporting device. This type of connectivity is one of the main reasons so many guitarists love this pedal.
There is also a USB connection so you can easily transfer audio files to and from the device. And with up to 3 hours of loop recording, you will have plenty of time to create some amazing loops.
- Dual outputs and inputs.
- Up to 3 hours of loop recording.
- Features tap tempo so you can manually set the tempo of your pre-recorded loops.
- Built to last.
- Has only one footswitch.
The Rowin Tiny Looper just may be the best beginner friendly pedal you can purchase. It's small, durable, and affordable. It's also very easy to operate. Almost all of the functions can be used with one key.
This pedal comes with all the basic functions a beginner would need. This includes up to 10 minutes of recording, unlimited overdubbing, redo, undo, and delete.
When all is said and done it delivers 48Khz 24 bit uncompromised high quality audio.
So that you can easily upload and download your music files, the Rowin Tiny Looper features a USB connection.
And to ensure it can stand up to the pressures of a guitar player, the body is made out of high quality zinc alloy. This makes it both durable and sturdy.
This unit comes with an owners manual and a USB cable. It does not however come with a power supply. That must be purchased separately.
- Provides up to 10 minutes of looping with unlimited overdubbing.
- Has USB connection for easily uploading files to a computer.
- Very easy to use.
- Solid construction.
- Very affordable.
- Does NOT come with a power supply.
- 【LOOPER GUITAR PEDAL】10 minutes of clear looping with unlimited overdubbing. Undo / Redo/Delete function. Super precisely, true bypass. 48Khz 24 bit uncompressed high quality audio.
- 【USB FOR UPLOAD AND DOWNLOAD】Easily Import/Export the music to and from PC, with USB for uploading and downloading.
- 【SOLID CONSTRUCTION】It is make of high-quality zinc alloy.Tiny size, durable and sturdy
- 【SIMPLE OPERATION】Very easy to use, one key to achieve almost all of functions.ONLY support window system
Once you try the TC Electronic Guitar Ditto Looper Effects Pedal, you will never want to try another one.
This highly intuitive pedal provides you with everything you need to make great loops. And to keep things as simple as possible, it only has the essential features.
This looper takes a minimalistic approach when it comes to design. There is only one knob and it controls everything. You can record, undo, redo, stop, and erase with ONE knob. All can be accessed via foot commands that are intuitive to the player. In other words, they always make sense.
So that you will have total creative freedom, the 5 minute looper offers unlimited overdubs as well as undo and redo.
The team at TC understands just how important tone is. That’s why they designed the TC Electronic Guitar Ditto Looper with optimized headroom and true bypass. This ensures you always get optimal tonal integrity.
The 24 bit uncompromised audio gives you the ultimate sound quality. And don’t worry, thanks to the internal memory you will never lose your loops. Even when the unit is powered off.
- Has one knob that controls everything.
- 5 minute looper with unlimited overdubs.
- Features true bypass.
- Internal memory retains loops even when powered off.
- Does NOT come with power supply.
- 5 minutes of loop time, unlimited overdubs and undo/redo
- Designed by guitarists, for guitarists
- True bypass and analog-dry-through
- The item Ditto Looper requires a 9 V power supply providing 100 mA or more (not supplied).
Best Looper Pedal Buying Guide
I think we can all agree that looper pedals are fun. They give you the opportunity to be as creative as you want and create music that once seemed impossible. The problem is, when it comes to buying a looper pedal, far too many musicians get caught up in the specifications.
To help you better understand what you need, we’ve put together a short list of factors you should consider when buying a looper pedal.
Looper pedals play a huge part in the overall sound of your guitar. That means their sound quality is very important. No matter which pedal you choose to purchase, make sure it has a true bypass function.
This allows the sound to pass through the looper without being altered when the pedal is off. You also want to make sure it meets the 24-bit standard.
Ease of Use
No one wants a pedal that is too difficult to use. Luckily there are a lot of models on the market that are designed with ease of use in mind.
If this is your first time using a pedal, look for one that has a single knob or switch that controls everything. Those types of pedals are always easier to use. Especially for beginners.
If you are an experienced player and want something a little more advanced, then you can opt for a pedal with multiple controls.
Analog or Digital
This is probably one of the biggest debates in the world of music today. Should you go with analog or digital? Truthfully, there is no clear answer to that question. It really boils down to personal preference.
While analog pedals deliver that warm sound that musicians want, the digital pedals are more versatile and allow for more creativity. Digital pedals also tend to be the more affordable option.
Before deciding which one to go with, take the time to look at all the advantages and drawbacks of each. Choose the one that will help you reach your full potential as a musician.
Looper pedals work by storing a loop, and playing it over and over again. While most pedals offer unlimited overdubbing, each one will have a different limitation when it comes to the length of music it can hold.
Generally speaking, analog pedals can only hold a single musical phrase. Digital pedals on the other hand have memory slots and are able to hold hours of music.
The great thing about looper pedals is they tend to be inexpensive. So even if you are on a tight budget, you can still find a decent pedal.
Keep in mind that most guitarists will use the same pedal for their entire career. So while you might be on a tight budget, you should still try to invest in a pedal that can last for the long haul.
Your biggest expense will probably be the power adapter. Unfortunately, most pedals do not come with a power supply.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Easiest Loop Pedal To Use?
The easiest loop pedal to use will be the one with the fewest buttons to push. Most looper pedals in this article have one knob that controls everything. This makes them super easy to use.
How Do I Choose a Looper Pedal?
When choosing a looper pedal, there are a few important things you need to look at. The most important one is what do you plan on using the pedal for? Will it be for live performances or mainly home use?
Answering this question will help you determine which looper pedal is best for you. If you will be doing a lot of live performances, it is best to go with a pedal that has a simple layout and is easy to use.
Your best bet in this situation would probably be a simple stompbox. However, that could change depending on the type of features you need.
If you will be using the pedal at home, the size of the pedal doesn’t really matter. You can get one that is as big and clunky as you want.
There are some pedals that take a lot of time to get used to. Avoid using those pedals on stage.
How Does a Looper Pedal Work?
A looper pedal works by recording a musical passage and then playing it back on a loop. While all pedals are different, many will let you overdub a new passage over the first one. A looper also gives you the ability to change the tempo and direction of the playback loop.
If you are the type of musician who loves to experiment with different rhythms and sounds, having a looper pedal gives you a limitless canvas to create.
And don’t worry, if you make something you don’t like, you can always use the undo function to get rid of it.
Is a Looper Pedal Worth It?
Ask a hundred guitarists this question and you are sure to get a hundred different answers. That’s because whether or not a looper pedal is worth it all boils down to personal preference.
We personally believe a looper pedal is well worth it. Especially when you consider what all you can do with it.
If you are a solo player trying to develop your skills, a looper pedal will make the process a lot easier. Being able to lay down a track and practice over it will prove to be invaluable.
Other than being a great practice tool, they are also great for performances. Just imagine what you will be able to do on stage when you are basically able to clone yourself. You could literally be a one man, or woman, band.
There is no limit to what you can do with a looper pedal. If your goal is to take your playing to the next level, having a looper pedal is one of the best ways to do it.
If however you are just playing around with the guitar for fun and have no desire to push your creativity, then having a looper pedal may not be worth it for you.