What loop pedal or loop pedal + other pedals can allow me to control loops like I want?
January 28, 2012 1:57 PM   Subscribe

What type of loop pedal can do what I want?

I am looking to get a loop pedal for a guitar. Here is what I want it to be able to do - all via foot control:

1)have a bunch of layers I can record on

2)be able to "mute" any single or multiple layers on the fly. This could be preprogrammed - for example there are four switches - one of which mutes all but layer 1, another all but layer 3 and 5 etc...

3)have a foot switch that can raise the tone of layers playing (so I can change key on the fly). Preferably, it could also raise the tone of certain layers. This could also be a preprogrammed bunch of switches much like described in 2)

What is the product I am looking for? Do I need more other more specialized pedals that specialize in other thing (especially regarding points 2) and 3) ?)

posted by figTree to Shopping (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure if it can do number 3 but I think the Akai E2 Head Rush can do most, if not all of what you're looking for. I believe KT Tunstall uses in this video. Hope that helps!
posted by rinsemedown at 3:05 PM on January 28, 2012

I guess I'd probably use a computer for this, with a midi pedal board. There are some very nice free looping programs, and also this is the kind of thing ableton live is pretty good at. I don't know off hand if there's a pedal that by itself will really do exactly what you want but there are some good ones out there. I've heard good things about Roland's Loop Station.
posted by RustyBrooks at 5:26 PM on January 28, 2012

I don't know of any pedal that does all that, but the Electrix Repeater is a four-channel loop module which responds to MIDI control. You could possibly pair it up with a programmable MIDI footswitch board.
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:20 PM on January 28, 2012

I'm not sure I've ever heard of something that can accomplish all three of these, even with assistance. The previously mentioned Akai can certainly be used to layer, but I'm not sure there is any way to do the kind of layer removal you want. Short of a custom system, the gold standard for that kind of thing is the Boomerang Phrase Sampler. Unfortunately that's still not going to solve number three. While the boomerang has a few built in effects (octave for instance), it doesn't seem to offer a generalized pitch shifter. The other phrase sampler I've seen in use is the Digitech JamMan, which Mike Sullivan from Russian Circles seems to use to great effect (he has a headrush on his board as well).

Bottom line is you may need to put the phrase sampler and an independent pitch shifter into their own loop and merge them back with your hot signal down the line.
posted by yeoldefortran at 6:25 AM on January 29, 2012

I haven't really used any loopers myself, but your question got me curious & I went poking around the intarwebs.

Add my voice to the chorus of, "You're asking a lot of a dedicated looper pedal, I don't think such a product exists that will do everything you want."

Check out the Electro-Harmonix 2880. It'll do 4 tracks, with layering on each track, plus your live playing. It has some pitch-shift ability. I didn't get deep enough into the manual to figure out how detailed you can get controlling the 2880 with a MIDI foot controller, but I still don't think it'll do all that you list. For example, the pitch-shift is (I believe) global, not for individual tracks.

I think a software solution with MIDI foot controller is your best shot, as RustyBrooks suggests.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:27 AM on January 30, 2012

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