Unsurprisingly by now, guitarists spend a lot of money on equipment and the list of items which can be upgraded is practically endless. From the guitar itself, to the headstock and even the strings, there’s always something to spend your money onl, and a pedal looper sits somewhere near the top of the list of must-have guitar accessories.
For those unfamiliar with a looper pedal, it’s a small effect unit that comes in a stompbox format and allows guitarists to record a short section of music – a riff, a melody, a verse — and then loop it (i.e. keep repeating it).
Over the years, guitarists have gravitated towards one manufacturer in particular … Boss. Check out the best looper pedals from Boss that you can currently buy.
|BOSS RC-3 Loop Station Pedal||Best Overall|
|HOEREV Guitar Looper Effector Pedal||Budget Pick|
|Line 6 JM4 Looper||Upgrade Pick|
1. BOSS RC-3 Loop Station Pedal
- Features three stereo tracks, four memory banks, and MIDI in- and out
- Easy to use
- Better than using a recording program on your computer
- Loop up to three minutes long
- External pedal controls give you access to monitor playback, overdub, clear, undo, and redo
- Runs on a single 9-volt battery or a 120V AC adapter (sold separately)
- Boss 5-year warranty
- No MIDI in or out
- Some users report the device shutting off during performances
It’s safe to say that the RC-30 is essentially a digital looper, which can be utilized in a variety of ways.
One of the main reasons to buy this pedal is that it lets you use patterns to perform in a similar manner to your favorite live loopers. You can set your loops up and include a variety of tracks in your performances so they’re just like you’d hear in a recording studio.
What’s more is that you can use the pedal to manually input various effects and rhythms to your looped tracks. You could basically create all the sounds you need to create an entire music soundtrack using only your pedal.
2. BOSS Loop Station Twin Guitar Pedal
- Multiple looping functions
- Solid construction
- Can be used with a remote
- Has a jack for an external footswitch
- A bit pricey
- Manual could be clearer
If you have an interest in harmonizing with your guitar, reviewing the best looper pedals may help you to achieve your aims. The BOSS Loop Station Twin offers two separate loops with an independent footswitch for each (there is no option for running two loops at once). It also has a dedicated footswitch dubbed the SOLO function.
It is capable of advanced multiple looping functions and can even operate without a footswitch. A master loop can be synced with another utilizing the L/R recording input. Loops can be manipulated through speed change, undo/redo, undo all, and punch in/out. And it features an auxiliary in jack so you can record an external audio source.
The BOSS RC-30 is solidly constructed with a thick metal chassis, road-worthy metal footswitches, and sturdy metal footswitches. Toggling between loops is smooth and there’s no delay in looping your guitar or recording a new action. The sound is clear with no distortion whatsoever. You can even control looping functions and parameters by connecting a footswitch to the LOOP FLC port.
3. Zoom G1 FOUR Guitar Multi-Effects Processor Pedal
- Very versatile in terms of its use
- Good array of high quality sound variations for different scenarios
- Good battery life
- Easy to use
- Includes the ability to create user presets
This is a top rated product. It is a full-featured pedal that will allow you to control various aspects of your sound, both for the beginning and advanced user. This is a looping and multi-effects pedal all in one gadget. It gives you both hands-free recording and much more. This comes with the ability to record in one-second increments as well as whole measures. This is an all in one digital pedal.
It goes from 30 seconds to four minutes and has an unlimited amount of overdubs. This is very user-friendly with LCD text that is easy to follow. It is also very easy to navigate, which allows you to set up and get going in a flash. It includes 89 drum settings, 84 rhythm patterns, 256 instrument sounds, 172 different effects, and 50 preset drum kits. It is very versatile with all of the essential controls you need right on the surface.
4. Vox VLL1 Lil Looper Multi-Effect Pedal w/Power Supply
- This is a great value option for loopers
- Easy to use
- You have lots of options to play with
- Solid build
- Fantastic sound quality
- Lots of convenient features
- Comprehensive control range
- Optional accessories available
- This is an excellent choice for live performances
If you’re looking for a looper pedal to give your live music performances a bit of a boost, you should give the Vox VLL-1 a try. This pedal offers a generous run time of about four hours on just one 9V battery. Plus, the design is dead simple – with two footswitches, a footswitch for bypass, and a small button at the corner of the pedal.
You can easily press the footswitch to record and stop while bending down to tweak the range and repeats of your loops. You’ll also get a live button that will let you record loops that will be played back in real-time, while you continue to perform.
The pedal weighs about 2 pounds and measures about 7.75 inches in length, which is small enough to set up on a crowded pedal board. You’ll also get the benefit of a bypass footswitch.
5. HOEREV Guitar Looper Effector Pedal
- Looks great and is very durable
- The pedal is sturdy and it can last for years
- Note that this is a guitar pedal so it’s not for piano
- The controls are really easy to use and it shows they were well-thought out
- It’s great for those who only have one guitar as it allows you to a lot of looping
- It saves a lot of room for other pedals
- It’s really good because it creates really clean loops that sound really nice
- It’s an effective latency tool for those who aren’t already armed with studio software
- You can create nice looping MIDI backing tracks for your songs
- It’s way less powerful than it needs to be
- It’s not a good audio playback unit
- Certain effects need a mouse
- It doesn’t allow you to change the tempo of the loop
- You have to use the delays built into the pedals to change the speed or pitch of a loop
6. Pigtronix Guitar Looper Effects Pedal
- For live performances and studio recording
- Great sounds quality
- 12 seconds of loop time
- Not very heavy to carry around
- Flexible foot switch can be used to control pedals
- Relatively inexpensive
The Guitar Looper from Pigtronix is an excellent way to add to your collection of sound effects. Whether you need a hidden recorder for a performance, or you want a way to layer up vocal and guitar parts, this loop pedal will surely come in handy.
The pedal’s design is simple, and it’s highly responsive to the movements that you make while playing. It has a standard, two-button design that is lightweight and won’t take up much space on your pedalboard. The pedal’s footswitch has a built-in toggle switch so that you can control certain effects or different loops during your performance. There’s also a tap tempo function that helps you get the timing of your loops just right.
7. TC Electronic Guitar Ditto Looper Effects Pedal
- Easy to operate and record loops
- No experience or background required to create loops
- Can be controlled via footswitches or a MIDI controller
- Headphone output for silent recording/rehearsing
- Li-ion battery for portability
- Seamless, stop-free recording
- Adds intensity to performances with loops without the need for a backing band
- Great for recording full-band performances and using as a drum machine
- Record up to 5 hours seamlessly
8. Electro-Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper Pedal
- Reversible loop, which means you can loop in reverse
- Has a built-in expression pedal
- Backwards playback mode
- Extended stereo functionality
- Works with an AC adapter or with a 9V battery
- Clean signal path
- 3.5mm input/output jacks
- Low-power consumption
- Looping replays too quickly on playback sometimes
- No undo option
- Button labeling is a bit confusing
The 720 Stereo Looper Pedal is one of the best looper pedals available for the money. You can create up to 119 loops at a time with the Instrument and Auxiliary inputs. The maximum recording time on this pedal is about one hour. It has an LED display that gives you information on your looping as you are creating it. A memory backup saves up to three hours of your looping if you have to shut off the pedal. There’s also a reverse mode and a stacking mode that allows you to layer recordings.
This looper pedal is a loop sequencer that allows for a live performance of sound. You can record up to 119 loops of digital audio, with adjustable levels. The pedal will record up to one hour of sound. It can be powered with an AC adapter or with a 9V adapter. You can also use a 9V battery.
9. Digitech JMSXT Jamman Solo XT Stereo Looper Phrase Sampler Pedal
- Ideal for live performance
- Solid construction
- Great customer service
- Extensive features
- Highly portable
- Exceptionally stable foot switch
- Comes with free-upgrade option
There’s no denying that the Digitech JMSXT Jamman Solo XT is one of the best loopers for guitar for its price range. You can achieve amazing results by looping up to four hours of stereo material at the same time (or one hour of mono material).
The Jamman offers a duo of vintage and modern sounds. It also has some high end features like reverse and double stop. While live usage allows you to create instrumental backing tracks to accompany your vocals, there’s also a practice mode for practicing your solos or vocal melodies.
Regardless of whether you’re an expert player or a beginner, you’ll find this pedal easy to use. And with its spacious, backlit display and ergonomic design, it’s also a breeze to navigate. Best of all, you can use it with any standard guitar, acoustic guitar or bass instruments.
10. Line 6 JM4 Looper
- Loop up to 18 minutes of 3-band-isolated audio
- Plug directly into amps, pedals, mixers, computers or recorders
- Separate left and right channels for ambient sounds or submixing
- Store up to 99 loops in long-term memory
- Line 6 ToneCore 2.0 modeling
- USB connection
Here’s an affordable and feature-rich looper pedal that would be perfect for the budding guitarist/singer-songwriter. The Line 6 JM4 is one of the most feature-rich loopers available on the market. It’s easy to use, durable and affordable. The loop length is pretty generous and it’s capable of recording 3-band-isolated audio. Additionally, you can choose between plenty of different recording time options. The pedal also has a plug & play feature that enables you to record live sessions.
The pedal has an Aux In/Out, so you can combine the recorded loops with the dry signals for added creativity. The footswitches come with a stomp-ready design. Finally, the product ships with free software to transfer, edit and save your recorded loops.
11. Other Acoustic Guitar Effect Pedal
- Bass boost function
- Loop function
- Recommended for beginner guitarists
- Works with both acoustics and electric guitars
- Dual footswitch controls
The Other Acoustic Guitar Effect Pedal is a decent looper pedal that can work with both acoustic and electric guitars. It features a loop function, a boost function for the bass, and dual footswitch operation. It’s also recommended for beginners, as it’s easy to use and portable enough for travel.
This pedal has a blue-and-white color scheme, with a full-sized guitar pedal body. The pedal has a maximum 10-minute loop recording time with unlimited overdubbing. It also has a bass boost function, which allows you to add additional volume to your bass line.
According to reviews, this Other Acoustic Guitar Effect Pedal operates just like other standard pedals. The sound quality is decent, and it’s lightweight and easy to use. It has an AC adaptor, and it’s quite simple to set up, so you could start playing around with your loops in no time.
12. Boss SL-20 Slicer Pedal Audio Pattern Processor
- Great for real time application, working in the studio, live performance, and looping
- Auto punch function allows for easy punch pattern recording
- 5 minute looper time
- Double jacks to manage input and output
- DC 9V adapter included
- Control features can be disabled during practice if you are not using them
- Can be used with a TU-3 or TU-80
- Sturdy design
- Accommodates any length of guitar cable
- Can be used as an extra pedal for live performance
The Boss SL-20 slicer is a great pedal for players of all levels, working in different situations. Its addition to your guitar pedalboard can allow you to manage your practice time, allowing you to concentrate on learning certain songs. Its functionality also allows you to practice in a loop for performance when you’re ready to put the pedal to use for live shows.
13. Bonsai Loop Station Looper Effects Pedal Unlimited Overdubs 10 Minutes of Looping
- For almost all skill levels
- Great for ambient soundscapes, complex rhythms, and killer solos
- Loop effects can be recorded in real time
- Lightning-fast editing
- Full loop library for tons of inspiration
- No computer necessary, all you need is your iPad
- Looper effects run along a separate track
- Unlimited overdubs are limited to 10 minutes maximum
With the Bonsai tuner and looper, you can record loops and overdubs in real time, and take your performance to a new level. With unlimited overdubs, you can compose and experiment for hours. You can even record drum patterns along with your guitar and vocals.
There are on-board looper effects – delay, reverse, glitch, chorus, flange, parametric EQ, filter, distortion, and reverb – that you can tweak to create unique performances.
The looper effects are accessible without touching your computer, making this a great choice for travel. Plus, it’s easy to use and offers unlimited use.
14. Donner Looper Effects Pedals Unlimited Overdubs 10 Minutes of Looping
- This is the top guitar looper in the market
- Suitable for any skill levels
- Overdub looping with 10 minutes of recording time
- Easy and fun to use
- Quick and easy setup
- Great for novice and expert loopers
- Perfect for single, alternative, pop, jazz, rock, and country songs
- Switchable guitar loop mode
- Footswitch optional
- Comes with a USB memory backup and supports both Mac and PC
- * Volume knob could be longer to reach some of the more accessible places
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the best looper pedal for guitar?
There's no best looper pedal for guitar.
Let us explain: there are simply too many options when buying a looper pedal for guitar. Factors that you'll want to consider include: budget, design, features, versatility, and possibly, even aesthetics.
Because of these varying definitions and requirements, there is no best looper pedal for guitar. Understanding this concept is important if you are going to choose the right pedal to meet your requirements.
Hopefully our list, reviews, and guidelines have helped narrow down your options. We understand that finding the right looper pedal is no easy task. Whether you're an experienced guitarist who has played for years or a beginner learning to step up to a looper pedal, you should take into consideration everything on this list before choosing a model.
What is the best looper for live performances?
The best looper pedals for live performances is not something we would recommend for at-home practicing. However, if you are someone who appreciates the experience of live performances, then having a looper pedal can take it to a whole new level.
In order to record or loop properly, you want to have a looper that doesn't have a bunch of other distracting features. In this case, the more features a looper pedal has, the more chances there are for something to go wrong when you have less time to adjust and adapt the performance.
In our opinion, we feel that the most important features of a looper pedal for a live performance are:
- Noisy foot switches
- Number of pedals
- Connectors and adapters
- Ability to edit loops/signal in real time
What is the easiest looper to use?
The beauty of using a looper pedal is the ability to record an idea and not having to worry about hitting "record" again. This is actually a big part of what makes them so easy to use. However, the stress-free factor can also be its biggest drawback.
The more simple your looper pedal is, the less features it will have. This means that you will have fewer options (most of which you probably wonÊ¼t use), and you will likely have fewer controls found on the pedal itself.
If you are looking for a pedal that makes looping fun, try a pedal with less features and fewer controls.
Our Top 10 Ultimate Guitars list came out Dec 17th 2012, and here's the link to it.
The top 10 had some great stuff on there. My only complaints were that I wanted more pictures!
Is a looper pedal necessary?
Given the ridiculous number of vocalists recording on a looper pedal, it becomes hard not to wonder what the advantage is. Is a looper pedal more necessary than, let’s say, a delay pedal, a reverb pedal, or a pitch shifter?
As it turns out, a looper pedal isn’t a necessity, necessarily, but it can certainly come in handy. When used well, a looper can loop your rhythm and let you make small tweaks to the timing and pitch of your vocals which can help you get them just right.
The power of the looper is well-known among solo artists and vocalists, and their use isn’t nearly as limited as one might think.
However, not every guitarist has a need for a looper pedal.
Looping pedals are a great piece of gear to have in your guitar arsenal and can be extremely helpful in getting even your most complex ideas to come to fruition. If you’re looking for the top 10 loop pedals, maybe you should take a look at this article.
|BOSS RC-3 Loop Station Pedal||Best Overall|
|HOEREV Guitar Looper Effector Pedal||Budget Pick|
|Line 6 JM4 Looper||Upgrade Pick|