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Looper for live solo guitar use question

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Whoa Tele, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Holic

    869
    Oct 15, 2013
    East Texas
    One more thing about having a dedicated "stop" stomp switch: when you're done soloing and want to go back to playing rhythm, it's nice to just step on one button once (in rhythm with what you're playing). Makes for an easier transition.
     
    El Tele Lobo likes this.

  2. BrightonRT

    BrightonRT TDPRI Member

    20
    Mar 17, 2015
    Brighton, MI
    Hitting the stop button on the Ditto X2 while recording does save the loop and prevent playback. It takes a lot of practice but is a lot of fun once you get used to it. You do have to be a little choosy with songs, but anything like a regular 12 bar blues or a very consistent (and relatively short) chord progression will work.
     

  3. thesamhill

    thesamhill Tele-Meister

    488
    Dec 20, 2010
    Harrisburg, PA area
    You might want to think about this part of your question as well.

    How is your monitoring situation? For solo acoustic gigs I have a powered speaker that doesn't point toward me (for feedback reasons). I can't hear it well during gigs- and you need to hear that loop. I ended up getting a cheap powered floor monitor to pull this off, which meant I needed a mixer too.

    Also, for the soloing it helps to have a boost and a different enough tone to get separation from the loop, otherwise the solo is lost.

    IMO the best approach is just to start with the cheapest looper you can find and see if you actually like the mechanics of looping. Like @Ira7 and others noted, it takes a fair bit of practice just to get to the point where you can turn the loops on and off in time.

    You also have to learn how to play a loop that sounds good ~as a loop~ meaning simple strumming patterns, etc. The Stevie Snacks guy did a vid on that, link is below. EDIT: this specific part starts at 3:48 but the whole vid is kind of useful for using looper as rhythm + solo.

    By the time you get the basics down, you'll know what features you want- silent clear, off-board start/stop, volume pedal on the loop, solo boost, a looper for mic or just guitar (egg shaker, anyone?), etc. That's when you get your actual looping rig, and sell the old looper or keep it for messing around in the practice room and not having to set up the full rig.

    Also, FWIW, don't forget that the stereo loopers actually have two separate loops in them, they don't get mixed down. So you can run guit in the "left" channel and out to the amp, and a hand percussion mic XLR-to-inst through the right and out to a PA. Opens up some possibilities even for the cheaper loopers (like Jamman Express).

    Loop vid:
     

  4. Mike_LA

    Mike_LA Tele-Afflicted

    OMG nevermind learning how to use a looper, I give up . . . this guy is amazing.
    Steve Via on the fly . . . .
     

  5. Doghouse_Riley

    Doghouse_Riley Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    55
    Sep 11, 2016
    L.A.
    This why I use the FS-6 footswitch with my RC-3. I have the option to stop it with the RC-3 footswitch and the loop will start playing immediately. If I stop it with the FS-6 footswitch it stores the loop and then I can trigger it later with the RC-3 footswitch.

    Example: Mama Tried - I had to rearrange from Hag's original to one more like the Grateful Dead version. But I sing it more like Hag. So I play and sing the first verse normally. Beginning the second verse is where I start a loop so RC-3 footswitch once, sing and play the 2nd verse, then FS-6 switch at the end stops the loop and stores but doesn't play it. I sing and play the chorus then hit the RC-3 switch and play a solo over the verse chords. Hit the FS-6 at the end of the solo and resume playing and singing until the end.

    I also have the option of playing to loops I've made ahead of time as well as loops I've made in Garageband and then downloaded to the RC-3. I don't like this option as much. I find it difficult to sync the time and getting good levels with prerecorded things.

    Another cool reason to have the FS-6 footswitch with the RC-3 is that the left footswitch toggles through memory slots. I've saved various loops just to practice to and it's nice not to have to bend down to access them.

    Working with the RC-3 has given me an idea of what I want in my next looper. That said, I'm glad I got the RC-3. Even though I see it's limitations for solo live performance it's still a great tool and even when I get a more sophisticated looper I will keep the RC-3 for practice and such.
     

  6. Whoa Tele

    Whoa Tele Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 20, 2009
    Smyrna Ga.
    Thanks everyone. I think I will start off with the Ditto X2. Even if i can make it work live it should still be a good practice tool.
     

  7. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Holic

    995
    Jun 25, 2016
    Midwest, USA
    Had a Boss RC20xl. It was good, but had too nuch features that i don't need or know how to use. It was a tone sucker so I tried a TC Ditto X2. I loved its simplicity and true bypass. But I wanted the ability to record a 2nd progression. So I eventually got the TC Ditto X4. It is a keeper!
     

  8. Mike_LA

    Mike_LA Tele-Afflicted

    check out this demo of the RC300
     

  9. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2013
    KS
    You'll get kick out this. It's all in the toes.

     

  10. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2013
    KS
    And this man, after seeing him live Solo back in 90's was why I bought Lexicon Jamman rack.

     

  11. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley

  12. Anker

    Anker TDPRI Member

    11
    Feb 10, 2018
    Cranbury, NJ
    TC Ditto looper ALL THE WAY.
    Been using it for years & loooove it.

    I tried the Boss Loop station RC3 - was able to borrow it for a while from a friend. It just didn't work for me. The Ditto has no knobs & options except for volume.
    I use it exactly for what you're describing.

    Example: Tom Petty "You Got Lucky"
    Play verse chords 1x to get the groove - all 3 of them!
    Start recording on looper to record 2nd round - those 2 rounds are my intro
    Engage looper to replay the chords & sing over them with minimal fills over the 1st verse.
    Stop to play live through the chorus & sing
    Engage the looped verse again to solo & start singing the next verse whenever the hell I want.

    No need to worry about levels or other settings.
    It's definitely the looping pedal for someone with my mental capacity.
     
    Minimalist518 and El Tele Lobo like this.

  13. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    northwest
    Ditto is fine. Yes it is hard. If you are off a micro second when you hit the switch it's embarrassing. You are singing, and playing, and have to hit that perfect. What I do is two dittos and a dual switcher after the Dittos. I can kill the loop immediately with the switcher if I get the start, or even the exit wrong! Also, two dittos is nice because, you may want to record loop two different parts of a song. Like verse, instrumental intro/outro and bridge etc.
     
    Doghouse_Riley likes this.

  14. Doghouse_Riley

    Doghouse_Riley Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    55
    Sep 11, 2016
    L.A.
    THat's why I like my Infinity. It's 2 loopers in one box. With midi sync.:D
     
    schmee likes this.

  15. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    northwest
    That looks pretty slick. I've been holding with my Dittos waiting for the looper market to get better and smarter. All a matter of timing at this point I guess. Up until recently it seems the designers forget about how you have to use it, while singing and playing and....
     
    Doghouse_Riley likes this.

  16. Doghouse_Riley

    Doghouse_Riley Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    55
    Sep 11, 2016
    L.A.
    Well, have a look at the EHX 95000. If I were buying today that's probably what I would get.
     

  17. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2013
    KS
    This is actually very important. Don't step on your own sonic space. You have learn to hold back and be your own contrast. Dissect your playing and break it into parts, making each unique enough to stand out. Otherwise you just end up with this drone that becomes very boring.
     
    El Tele Lobo and schmee like this.

  18. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Friend of Leo's

    Mar 29, 2007
    Manassas Park, VA
    Being honest here, I think I'm a pretty solid singer and ( very?) good guitar player, and play solo and band gigs, with a lot of variety ( albeit older stuff)

    I bought a Ditto ( a few years ago) thinking "I can show off some good lead guitar, playing against my own rhythm Guitar, and this will sound great!" ( Have no desire to do the trippy layer stuff, just play along with simple Country/blues rhythm, etc.)
    I swear I gave up after 1/2 hour!( at home)

    I don't know if it just having the one button, but I could not do anything in sync- I was late, and spazzy. Plus if just felt unnatural, just not me.

    I realized that I was just much more solid by myself ( I will play unsupported lead guitar in the middle of many songs) playing the way I always have, as I've developed my own style...

    I may revisit, but man it was frustrating for me!
     

  19. Doghouse_Riley

    Doghouse_Riley Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    55
    Sep 11, 2016
    L.A.
    Loopers aren't for everyone. IMO, they should be approached like you're learning a new instrument. I know it took me longer than 1/2 hour to learn to make clean loops. After a year and a half I still screw them up sometimes.
     
    Chiogtr4x likes this.

  20. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Friend of Leo's

    Mar 29, 2007
    Manassas Park, VA
    When the Ditto first came out, I thought it would be perfect. As $$ has always been tight for us, I basically waited a few years to get one; had $100 bucks to spare.
    So with all that expectation, working with it ( unsuccessfully!) was like a let down in one way, but it also made me realize that after 40 years of playing, I've done fine without it!
     
    Doghouse_Riley likes this.

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