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  • Looper comparison chart


    by Jane is K.O.

    Below you’ll find a hardware loop machine (looper) comparison chart solely based on our own experience and needs (data is biased). A chart growing upon experience.
    For older models see Per Boysen’s chart.

    Close chart

    16.07.19. To be expanded.
     
    Dedicated loop machines
  • model, sound/ verdict, issues, channels, loop time, quality, undo/redo, loops/ presets, memory, battery, footswitches, reverse, pitch, time stretch, USB/MIDI/ SYNC, special features
  • BOSS RC-300 – 2012, converters sound harsh / mostly a (comfortable) playback machine, difficult WAV import or upgrade from RC50 – no ext. app for file conversion – bitdepth downgraded from RC50, Mic in – stereo in – aux in – 2x stereo out – loops 3x stereo, 1.5 sec. – 3 hours, 16/44.1, , 99×3/99, permanent – USB, -, 8 – silent – plus pedal, ??, ??, yes, yes/in-out through, unsynced looping possible – requires to switch loop & tempo sync off on already existing loop
  • Electrix Repeater – 2005, sounds hard / good for multitrack playback experiments, vintage – Not for live! CF cards go bad/hard to get – faders crackle, stereo in – 4x mono out, 0 – 49 mins (CF 256 MB), 16/44.1, 1/1, 999×4/999, permanent – CF card, -, Digitech FS-3X – FS300 – MIDI foot control, yes, -12 to +12, down to 1% – tap tempo, no/ in-out-through/ MIDI SYNC, time stretching reminds of early AKAI samplers
  • Electro Harmonix Nano 360- 2014, good / USB missing, not known yet, mono, 6 mins, 24/44.1, 1/1, 11, permanent, yes, 1-silent, -, -, -, -, -
  • LEXICON JAMMAN – 1993, warm (if slight loss of HF) / very fast looping, vintage – power supply 9V AC, loop mono – through signal stereo, 0 – max. 9/32 sec. w/ memory expansion, 12/32, -, up to 8(9)/0 – seamless change, volatile, -, 2 – silent, -, -, -, no/in-out/ MIDI SYNC, perfect MIDI slave mode
  • NUX LOOP CORE – 2015, loops may run cut off slightly at end / cheap, 16bit / bass suffers / digital sound, stereo, 6 hours, 16/44.1, 1/1, 99 – seamless change, internal mini SD, 9V, 1 – silent, -, -, more a slice than a stretch but yes/tap tempo, USB backup, 3 stop modes (stop now/ stop at end/fade out 10secs
  • Oberheim Echoplex Digital Pro – 1998, sounds good (bit dusty) / features are among best ever produced, aged caps and power might need repair, stereo, 0-198 secs., 16/44.1, undo until RAM full/no redo, 16/16, volatile – backup only via MIDI sample dump, , 7 – silent (w/ optional footswitch), yes, half time – half speed – also in record mode, -, no/ in-out through/MIDI sync and Brother Sync, loop slicing – insert new audio into loop
  • TC Electronics DITTO -2014, pristine – excellent / fast looping, Footswitch can go bad quickly, mono, 0 – 5 mins, 24/44.1 – 32bit internal, 1/1, 1/1, permanent – USB, -, 1 – silent, -, -, -, yes/no/no, smallest looper known to us
  • TC Electronics DITTO X2 – 2014, pristine – excellent / fast looping, Footswitches can go bad quickly, stereo, 0 – 5 mins, 24/44.1 – 32bit internal, 1/1, 1/1, permanent – USB, yes, 2 – silent, yes/also in record mode, half time – half speed – also in record mode, -, yes/no/no, –
  •  
    Delays with looping (or “looping” ;)
  • model, sound/ verdict, issues, type, channels, delay/loop time, bit depth/SR, mode, battery, hold button, tap, reverse, USB/MIDI/ SYNC, special features
  • Electro Harmonix Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai – 2014, sounds great – ehx typical filtered – modifiable , unknown yet, digital, stereo, 3 secs delay – 30 secs loop, 24/46.88 – internal 32bit, hold down, -, not needed, yes, yes, -, pitch & speed -12/0.5x to +12/2x – separate overdub level – restarts at beginning of loop – incl. EQ
  • Seymour Duncan SFX-10 Deja Vu 2010, BBD sound, vintage – input always on, Bucket Brigade Device, mono, 3200 ms, -, hold down, yes, no – feedback near 15h, yes, -, -, BBD sound – lovely dirty – true bypass
  • VESTAX DDG-1 1996, clear / analog input can be distorted nicely / good for special fx, vintage – potis and switches break – _very hard to replace (ALPS special kinds), digital, stereo, 1-4 – 4-16 – 16-64 – 64-256 256-1024 ms, 16/unknown, tape mode – hold button, -, yes, -, -, -, delay in 5 different ranges – table device
  • Some thoughts
    We like loopers as instruments to play with, not so much as units replacing a missing band.

    POSITIVE FEATURES
    Reverse looping, pitched looping, quick looping (BOSS and most time stretchers can’t do anything under 1.5 secs), extreme time stretching (Repeater-style, down to 1%), slicing etc. are interesting to us.
    Silent operation, foot switches in particular.
    Units must be sturdy, easy to use and repair.
    Easy, hands-free operation.
    Undo overdubs, preferrably multiple and limited only by RAM.

    DISQUALIFYING FEATURES
    Harsh sounding, bad converters, low sample rate (not with Lexicon Jamman).
    Failing parts, especially switches (TC Electronics).
    Loud footswitches.
    Nested menus.
    No short loops.
    Hard or impossible to repair yourself.
    Maladvertised products.

    Dear manufacturers: Please use quality parts only.

    Resources
    Repair broken Ditto footswitches in 15 mins.
    Original Loopers Delight
    Loopers Delight F***book page

    Check out our partly loop-based music here.

    +++
    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Jane is K.O. aka jayrope is a Berlin-based composer, producer and musician.
    More info: jayrope.com



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