hey, music nerds....
March 9, 2010 7:30 AM   Subscribe

What's the best live looping equipment?

Asking for Mr. Llama:

What's the best live looping equipment? There are an awful lot of looping tools out there, now even some for the iPhone, but I'd be interested to know what MetaFilter recommends, with the most important aspects being smooth UI and nimble sound manipulation during a live musical performance.
posted by A Terrible Llama to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I know you want to know which is the best but I use the Boss RC-20XL and I love it very much.

(I don't know if it the best, but it is really, really, really good! easy to use, and has every imaginable feature)
posted by archivist at 7:55 AM on March 9, 2010

If Mr Llama is comfortable with a laptop, Ableton Live is made for live use and it comes with a Looper for... looping (remote controllable so you don't have to operate the laptop).

Personally I think the UI is smooth and you can do everything from nimble to terrible sound manipulation. The whole program and it's philosophy is built around performing live, and performing loops.

It does take little effort to learn and master, being a full program means there's more to know and to mess up than on a pedal. If she just wants a thingamathing to do it, listen to the thingamathing advisors.

Ableton Live
posted by gmm at 7:57 AM on March 9, 2010

nimble live sound manipulation = ableton live.

does mr. l play acoustic instruments/sing?

the boss loopers are great, indestructible, but they don't do sound manipulation (aside from reverse or slow)
posted by kimyo at 8:25 AM on March 9, 2010

Ableton Live + Boss or Roland MIDI pedal switches
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:37 AM on March 9, 2010

Personally I'd be too afraid to use a laptop for live looping, but many people do.

I got into looping via the line 6 DL4, and now have an M9. While it's still very short on time, relative to other units. It's very compact, suuuper easy to use, and you can do quite a bit with different effects chains going into the loop.
posted by tremspeed at 9:18 AM on March 9, 2010

I use an Electrix Repeater, a hardware console box which has the best UI of any looping tool I've seen. Everything is laid out clearly on the front panel, with nice tactile buttons and knobs. You never have to go digging through menus, doing fancy double-taps on buttons, anything like that. It's all just right in front of you: every function has its own physical control. You can also plug in a pedal to control the basic record/play/pause/overdub functions, for handsfree use.

My whole live-PA performance system is built around the Repeater. If it broke or got stolen I would immediately go hunting for another one. It is not the cheapest device and not the easiest to find, but it is definitely the one that fits my style the best.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:50 AM on March 9, 2010

Thanks all. Mr. Llama will be looking into these!
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:18 AM on March 10, 2010

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