Best Looper Pedal: Most Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide Included
Are you looking for a way to improve your guitar playing capabilities? Maybe you simply need a powerful tool for helping you with songwriting tasks? Both of these things can be enhanced with the best looper pedal. These days, they are more powerful than ever before and they are more than just sophisticated units. In order to help you with the choice, we decided to test the most popular models on the market and to present you a buyer’s guide. Let’s start this amazing journey.
Why do you need a looper pedal?
At first sight, it may look like a simple device that has just one purpose, to record and play the recording. But, if we take a closer look, we will see that the best looper pedal is a powerful tool that can be more than just helpful. Now, we will reveal which the main purposes are.
If you are looking for a practice buddy, you will definitely need a looper pedal. The alternative is to have a teacher or an actual person next to you who has plenty of patience, excellent knowledge and who is ready to play with you when you need him. All of this is complicated to find and if you have another beginner to practice with, you won’t be able to improve your skills.
A looper pedal is the best practice buddy. It will completely replace the need for another musician and you can use it whenever you want, as long as you need it. In addition, it is an affordable alternative that doesn’t occupy a lot of space.
A looper pedal for songwriting is an excellent choice as well. Here we can see one simple purpose of the device. It will help you play and play over again a specific part of the song as often as you need. The bottom line is you will be able to hear and create a complete picture of how your new song is going to sound.
One of more interesting purposes of the looper pedal is its ability to behave as another guitarist or a completely different instrument. Yes, this is actually possible and we can see that a lot of professional musicians use looper pedals as a substitute for another musical instrument. Of course, this is possible with high-end models that are designed with suitable features.
In a nutshell, you can use the best guitar loop pedal while live performance and while practicing. It is far from uncommon for professional musicians to use this device while performing live anywhere on the planet. It is also very common with beginners who are still learning how to play properly and who want to reach professional levels. When practicing at home or at your garage, a looper pedal is something that will assist you with the knowledge and the capabilities you can reach.
That being said, you won’t have a lot of purposes in a studio for a looper pedal. After all, in a studio it is easy to add another instrument and to use all the features a looper pedal can provide.
Buyer’s guide for the best looper pedal
Before anything else, we must mention that you should determine what you actually want from your new looper pedal. Are you looking for simplicity or for an advanced model? Simple models are affordable and come suitable for basic functions. More expensive models are advanced and offer more features, obviously. Anyway, we believe that the main factors to take into consideration are the ones below.
Number of footswitches
Probably the most important element of a looper pedal is the number of footswitches. All of these devices are controlled using these switches and they can make a difference. In most cases, you will get a model with a single footswitch. You tap it one time to start recording, tap it twice to stop and hold the switch to delete the loop. It is a bit complicated and may limit your performance.
A unit with two switches is a more preferable choice. You will be able to use it easily and you can create more loop and arrange them accordingly. Some models come with 8 footswitches so you can imagine how powerful those looper pedals are.
We must add that some models come with external footswitches. What this means is that you can add an extra switch which is also controlled by your feet. Some models support this feature, while others don’t, so make sure you take the factor into consideration when looking for a new product of this kind.
The length of the loop
It may sound complicated, but this factor actually refers to the length of the recording capability. Most, average musicians will need between 30 and 60 seconds of loop lengths, meaning that looper pedals with up to 60 seconds of recording capabilities are the sufficient choice. If you are planning to use a looper pedal for a long period of time, even when you improve your skills, then a longer recording capability is definitely recommended.
Mono or stereo looper pedal
This is one of the biggest questions. If you want to record and play multiple sounds, meaning that you run a stereo rig, you will need a stereo looper pedal. If you are running a mono rig, then there is no need to purchase a stereo looper pedal.
We believe that stereo looper pedals are a bit better choice. You never know when you will need this feature and it is better to have it ready than not to have it at all. Keep in mind that if you get a mono looper pedal, all the sounds will pass through mono looper, which means that the end result won’t be satisfactory.
More than one input
Here is the thing. Most looper pedals come with a single input feature, which suggests that you can use one device to transfer sound to the pedal. But, if you want to use more than just one input, you won’t be able to do so. In that case scenario, you are going to need a looper pedal with more than just one input.
This feature is more than just important for those who are looking to add bass kicks, shaker effects or etc. while playing a guitar. If you play an electric guitar and you are not interested in this feature, move to the next factor.
Modern looper pedals usually come with a few effects that you may find appealing. For instance, it may support reverse and half speed effects. Reverse simply means that the loop will be played backward and half speed means that it will play the loop at 50% of the speed.
While these effects sound thrilling at first, they are mostly useless. Almost all musicians try them a few times in life and they never use them after that. It is something that can be fun, but it is usually far from mandatory.
MIDI synchronization is useful if you have more than just one device that supports MIDI. By using it, you can sync the operations between the looper pedal and the second unit. Of course, if you don’t use MIDI-powered devices, there is no need to consider this factor. The best loop station will usually support this system, which is useful if you are planning to upgrade your rig and enhance your capabilities over time.
You should remember that most looper pedals come with short-term memory. This means that as soon as your pedal is disconnected, a loop will be deleted. This may be an issue, especially if you are using it for songwriting purposes. Luckily, new models come with the ability to transfer the loop to your computer using a USB cable. Some even have a slot for a memory card, so your loop will be saved after you are done practicing.
Don’t ever forget that a looper pedal will be under your feet the entire performance. As such, you should consider the material it is made of. Metal and steel are the most obvious and the most desirable materials. They will make sure the pedal stays like new after years of use and it won’t fail during your performance. All models we tested and included in the list are capable of withstanding hours of use.
If you are looking for a looper pedal that should match your guitar and style, a color is the best option. Sadly, just a few models on the market come with this advantage.
Top 5 Looper Pedals
For those who are looking the Best Looper Pedal for live performance or the best model with the most sophisticated features, this one is the obvious choice. It is the most advanced looper pedal you can own today and it is loaded with features, with effects and with advanced capabilities. Of course, all of this comes at a price, but you will have the ultimate looper pedal.
The attention to details is impressive. You get the stereo features, even better storage capacity and plenty of effects. We must add that RC300 is dedicated for professional musicians who will be able to use the full power of the looper pedal. It is generally complicated for beginners and you will need hours just to understand how it works.
We mentioned that the number of footswitches is one of the most important factors when looking for a new looper pedal. If this is your primary factor as well, then you will love this model. It has 8 footswitches which is stunning, period. You also get an expression pedal which can be used to control different rhythms in real time.
3 hours of recording time
We said that a looper pedal that offers between 30 and 60 seconds of recording time is a sufficient model. This one is much, much better. All future owners will be able to record up to 3 hours of loops and there are 99 memory slots. This means that you can store 99 loops at the same time. For most of us, this isn’t something we actually need, but it is nice to have this capability under your feet.
- Storage memory
- 99 memory slots
- 8 footswitches
- Loaded with features
- Isn’t suitable for beginners
The Electro-Harmonix 720 may be the best looper pedal for you, especially if you are looking for an excellent balance between the price and features. This particular model will provide up to 12 minutes of loop time, which is sufficient for most users. It has 2 buttons which are easy to use and carefully positioned. In addition, it also has the ability to record 10 loops at the same time.
Standard features include reverse, half speed and etc. In essence, it is a durable and well-made looper pedal that offers all you are going to need and all the features you are actually going to use. We also liked the fact it is made of high-quality steel and the footswitches can withstand rough usage.
Yes, you can use the looper pedal to record up to 2 instruments at the same time. Of course, you can use it for a single instrument when needed. It is a nice addition, knowing that a looper pedal is ready to meet your higher requirements when you have a need for them. Most musicians like and prefer stereo looper pedals and we are some of them.
AC adapter or 9V battery
It is possible to use the looper pedal with an AC charger or with a 9V battery. While a charger is included in the package, the battery isn’t, but it is far from an expensive addition. We liked this advantage simply because it allows for you to use the pedal literally anywhere.
- 12 minutes of recording time
- Can run on a 9V battery
- High-quality footswitches
- Metal construction
- Poor customer support
- 10 memory slots
The NUX Loop Core Guitar Effect Pedal is definitely an appealing choice. We all liked it a lot and we believe that it is going to be the most obvious choice for some of you. An impressive advantage is 6 hours of recording time which is simply stunning, if you know that most, similar models have less memory than this. Add the well-made metal case and you get a powerful looper pedal that can be used for multiple purposes.
The tested model also feels solid and you can feel the quality while holding it in the hand. But, you will also notice that the buttons for controlling various features are not ideal. They are made of soft rubber and the navigation is slightly complicated. It looks like this unit is made to be used every single day, for heavy-duty applications.
99 memory slots
You already know that the top model on our list has the ability to record up to 99 loops at the same time. Well, the NUX Loop Core Guitar Effect Pedal has the same capability but is far more affordable. As such, it has to be one of the main advantages of this particular model and we were impressed with it. If we add the 6 hours of recording time, the possibilities are truly endless.
Available in different colors
Most of the looper pedals are available in just one color. We usually test and can see black models that are considered to be standard on the market. On the other hand, we can see that this unit is available in 7 different colors. It is a nice advantage for musicians who want to stand out from the crowd and who want a looper pedal that is 100% unique. There is no need to mention that all versions are made in the same way.
- Available in different colors
- 99 memory slots
- 6 hours of recording time
- Value for money
- One footswitch
- Buttons for controls
It may be this is the best guitar looper for professional and intermediate musicians. What is there to like about this particular nit? The first thing we noticed is the red finish. It looks sexy and cute. But, the entire pedal is made of metal, so it is tough and very strong. You can use it for hours per day and it will stay intact. Don’t forget that Boss offers 5-year warranty for this model, so it is far from an ordinary looper pedal.
The next best thing is the input. You can use multiple instruments and you can save up to 99 loops at the same time. This is the highest number of loops available in looper pedals and you won’t be able to find a unit with a higher number, nor do you need it. There are two more advantages we would like to include.
This is a unique system which is focused on adjusting the temp of the loops. Basically, a musician will use the footswitch to adjust the temp of the recording while playing. Adjust the feature, press a footswitch and you are done. It is easy to use and it may be more than just useful for some musicians.
The USB port is based on 2.0 technology which will meet the most demanding users. It is used to transfer the loops from a looper pedal to the computer using a USB cable. Without any doubt, most musicians need this feature and they will find it mandatory on the next generation of looper pedals.
- USB port
- Tap tempo
- Metal construction
- 5-year warranty
- Built-in drum beats
The TC Electronic Guitar Ditto Looper Effects Pedal is an entry-level model that is designed by guitar players for all kinds of musicians. It is beautiful and it looks elegant, actually more expensive than it actually is. On our test, it performed well and we were overall satisfied with the result. You will have to know that there is one input and one output and the pedal requires 9V to operate. However, there are a few surprises with this model.
As we have mentioned, it is an entry-level looper pedal, so beginners will be the most common future owners. For that kind of knowledge and if you are on a tight budget, this model is more than just worthy. It will help you improve your skills and you will be more than just satisfied with the overall result.
Available in three versions
What if you like this model and the performances, but you need extra footswitches? Well, the same model is available in X2 and X4 variations. This means that you can have it with 2 or 4 footswitches if you like. We actually tested all versions and they are great. However, the price of the X4 is slightly higher than we would like. On the other hand, the X2 is great value for money.
5 minute recording
For all beginners, a loop recording with a duration of 5 minutes is more than they will need. It is even sufficient for live performances and for musicians who need an advanced looping pedal. Keep in consideration that this is the most affordable looper pedal on our list, so you can deduce that the performances are above average.
- Available in 3 variations
- 5 minutes of recording time
- Easy to use
- Looks excellent
- One footswitch
- X4 variation is expensive
In the end, all we can say is that the best looper pedal has to be the BOSS Multi Effect Processor (RC-300). With 8 footswitches and advanced features, it is the most powerful and the most sophisticated unit on the market and it will stay like this for a longer period of time. We give it 5 out of 5 star rating and we believe it is a masterpiece. Of course, be free to consider other models if you are looking for a more affordable version with advanced features.