If you are looking for gadgets that could enhance your vocal performance, you are surely on the right page as we are going to discuss here the best vocal loopers in the market today. But before we delve into the list of the most recommended vocal loopers, let me tell you what you can do with the vocal lopper in more detail and what are the best vocal loopers that are most suitable for singers and vocal performance.
Music producers and professional singers today used vocal loopers to enhance vocal performances during recording or singing live with an audience. If musical instruments can get help in delivering the right sound, vocal performances can now rely on these loopers as well to create effects that will polish the vocal output.
Buyer’s Guide: Things to Consider in Buying Vocal Loopers
As in any device or equipment, no matter how reputable a manufacturer has been in the past, it is always best to know more about the product before handing in your credit card. Here are the things you need to look into when buying a vocal looper.
Device Design and Structure
Not all voice loopers are created the same, and these are the different types to choose from.
Stompbox Type : It comes in a box where there are pedals that you can control with your feet instead of your hands. Some people prefer this design, especially those who want their hands free to do other stuff.
Tabletop: This is the generic type where it can be controlled by using your hands just like other regular music devices. Easier for some, but it can get in the way when performing live.
Microphone Clip-On: It clips right on to your microphone stand.
Quality of Sound
Always remind yourself that all devices, even if they look amazingly well designed, can guarantee the quality of sounds. There is something called ‘Tone Suck” which refers to the signal degradation whenever changing effects using the pedals. Find out if they offer a “true bypass” mechanism to avoid getting the dreaded “tone suck.”
Storage and Looping Capability
One thing to remember is that vocal looping would require recording and overdubbing. As these steps would be done repeatedly, the storage capability of the device should be enough.
Top Vocal Loopers & Pedals For Singing On the Market Today:
There are myriads of brands of vocal looper pedals in the market. If you are new to buying a vocal looper, you would surely find it hard to select the best vocal looper pedals. So, to facilitate the process for you, we have listed here the most recommended vocal looper pedals in the market today.
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1) BOSS Loop Station Guitar Pedal (RC-300)
The BOSS Loop Station Guitar Pedal (RC-300) is one of the best options you have if you are looking for a loop station guitar pedal. It is the flagship looper of the Boss brand. It has been tagged as the second coming even before it was released. It is loaded with various features, and it is large.
Of course, the very first thing that would impress you about RC-300 is its size. It is around 21-inch wide and about nine inches from back to front. Thus, it will surely take much space in front of you.
The BOSS (RC-300) has a metal construction. It also houses 8 foot-pedals as well as a built-in expression pedal to contour your sound. RC-300 Loop Station is also equipped with familiar features, including tempo-shifting functions, one-shot, sample-like play, auxiliary inputs, undo/redo functionality, different stop modes, and rhythm tracks.vIt also has different outputs for guitar amps and subs. This means you can make your bass to come out of the bass stack instead of coming from your guitar amp. Moreover, it comes with 99 internal memory locations.
Using the RC-300, you can record up to three hours. You can also use your USB cable to connect the RC-300 to your computer. Additionally, you can export an entire lop collection from your RC-300 to your computer, and this dramatically expands the number of loops that you can store. So, you will never really run out of memory with the RC-300, for you can expand your storage capacity by simply adding an external hard drive to your system.
It comes with many built-in effects. With these built-in effects, you can easily add phaser, flanger, chorus, pitch-bend, distortion, tremolo, lo-fir, and delay effects to every recording you would make. It also features a transpose function that lets you change the pitch of the recording without necessarily altering its tempo.
You can also use the effect that turns the sound of your guitar into a bass sound. If you are a one-man-band, you will find this feature very handy. Lastly, it comes with some vocal effects that can make your voice sound more masculine, robotic, or feminine. The RC-300 has practically everything that you would need if you are looking for a loop station.
2) Boss RC-505 Loop Station
The Boss RC-505 Loop Station features two synchronized stereo tracks with built-in loop effects. This twin-pedal multitrack looper is an excellent option if you are looking for a reliable vocal looper pedal. It also features an XLR input along with phantom power. Using this, you can readily record for up to three hours on its internal memory.
The Boss RC-505 Loop Station is the most-recommended loop station that you can operate using your hands. It is perfect for vocalists, beatboxers, and even club performers. It features five stereo-phrase tracks that come with dedicated independent volume faders and dedicated controls. Additionally, it features a wide range of Track FX and Input FX for loop processing, along with sampler-style and DJ-sampling effects. It also comes with 99 phrase memories, each of which contains five phrase tracks, playback settings, and custom effects.
It also comes with a USB 2.0 port that lets you save your loops to an external device and import those loops to WAV files. It also comes with 85 Rhythm patterns that include odd-measure beats. Lastly, the Boss RC-30 is undoubtedly one of your best choices when it comes to vocal loopers.
3) Boss RC-30 Phrase Looper Pedal
Boss RC-30 Phrase Looper Pedal comes with two synchronized stereo tracks as well as built-in loop effects. As a twin-pedal multitrack looper, it is undoubtedly a fantastic option to purchase. You can easily plug in your instrument and microphone onto it. It also comes with an XLR input with phantom power. With this loop pedal, you can record directly to its internal memory up for three hours.
The Boss RC-30 features a USB 2.0 port that allows you to save the loops to an external device or import them to WAV files. Each of its twin tracks can be controlled independently and comes with dedicated volume faders as well as track-select buttons. With its Auto-Recording feature, you can easily create loops. You can also easily connect this device to your PC via its USB cable.
Boss RC-30 comes with fantastic effects that are pre-programmed. You can use these pre-programmed effects and mix them altogether to create awesome sounds. Lastly, it is not an overstatement to say that this cool looper pedal is indeed fully loaded with myriads of impressive features.
4) Boss VE-8 Acoustic Singer
Key Features: Mic Preamp, Vocal Effects, Real-time vocal harmonies, Pitch correction, Acoustic Resonance, BOSS octave, Mod Delay, Chorus Pedal Effects, USB outputs, Aux Inputs, XLR outputs, Optional battery-powered mode.
The Boss VE-8 Acoustic Singer device that comes in a champagne metallic shade offers an all‑in‑one preamp and vocal effects solution for your acoustic guitar playing and singing. It comes with a harmonizer for vocals or vocal enhancer, basic looper, and several in and out jack options for easy connectivity. Unlike other vocal looper devices, it comes with a battery power option as it can run using 6 AA batteries.
It is a powerful audio processing device for acoustic guitar players and singers. It has an 80‑second looper with vocal harmonies that you can create in real-time, offering different vocal and guitar effects. The vocal enhancer can be easily be switched on and off by pressing the pedal.
Anytime you need pitch correction while singing, it can be easily done so your vocals can blend well with the music during those awkward notes. There is no need to set a key because of its chromatic pitch correction feature. It will automatically follow along, but you can also do it manually and adjust the levels of the effects to your liking. There are several vocal effects to choose from, which in the past were only available in professional recording studios but now are available in the small compact device.
Direct DAW recording using the USB ports and Aux input into your phone can be effortless with this VE-8. It gives you complete control whenever you use it for practice, live performance, or recording purposes.
5) Roland VT-4 Voice Transformer
The Roland VT-4 Voice Transformer was explicitly designed for enhancing vocal sound quality. It comes with myriads of effects for vocal quality enhancement. Another distinctive characteristic of this vocal looper is its tabletop profile, designed as complementary to the DJs’ and sound engineers’ rigs.
The Roland VT-4 Voice is a transformer. It allows you to produce effects and reproduce them live. With this device, you can readily alter the format and pitch of vocals in real time. Hence, this one truly helps in harnessing and enhancing vocal sounds as you input them into your studio tracks, and you can do it hassle-free. Some of the powerful voice effect features like vocoding, harmonizing, hard tuning, pitch shifting, auto-pitch and more. Furthermore, the vocoder engines are able to hard-tune your singing voice into multipart harmonies to certain range of notes while you sing.
Its interface may look very traditional to those who have been using more advanced vocal processors. It has a big knob for dialing the type of effect. It also has four sliders for adjusting parameters. Moreover, it has buttons and small knobs that you would often see in traditional vocal enhancer.
Its combo of modern vocal effects and mixer style controls are great to use and allow for more versatility. The most satisfied, of course, with this device, is the Djs. Yet, an increasing number of sound engineers and singers also sing praise for this device.
Of course, not all are satisfied with the Roland VT-4. Others, however, consider some effects as too queer and strange for regular usage. These remarks can be easily done away with if you would consider the reason for which this device was designed. Roland VT-4 is specifically designed for certain music styles like those of dance, techno, and electronic music.
6) TC Helicon Voice Live Play Vocal Effects Processor
Key Features: Over 200 song/artist presets, 3-Button Vocal Effects Stompbox with Looping, Unlimited overdubs, RoomSense mic settings, Practice function with statistics feedback result, USB connectivity, Aux input with Voice Cancel for MP3 plug-in.
This vocal looper from TC Helicon is made for both professional and amateur singers. It offers all kinds of effects that artists and musicians used when performing live or recording. All these effects can be blended to your voice by just plugging in the microphone and the speaker system or just listen to your voice using the headphones. It helps you become a better singer as it would enhance your singing and make you sound as if you are in a professional studio with a sound engineer to assist you.
Over 200 popular song presets embedded on the device are artist-inspired, which means all the necessary effects that you hear when your favorite artist sing their songs would be available to you. With just a click on the genre menu button, you can easily choose any of them and start singing. If you feel that you need to adjust the level of the vocal effects, including classic reverbs, delay, hard tune, harmony, doubling, robot, and megaphone, you can do it by just hitting a separate button. This TC version has a bonus feature included in its menu called the “Practice Mode” where you will be given a feedback with statistics on your performance so you will learn about your strengths and weaknesses after each song to help you improve. For people who want to sing using songs not included in the embedded library of songs, there is an Aux input to plug in your MP3 with a voice canceling feature. Connectivity will not be a problem since there are several input and output jacks at the back of the device along with USB ports.
7) TC Helicon VoiceTone Harmony-G XT Vocal Effects Processor
The TC Helicon VoiceTone Harmony-G XT Vocal Effects Processor is specifically fashioned out for producing natural-sounding and accurate harmonies. Using smart harmony effects, the VoiceTone gives you awesome virtual backup vocals. Its harmony algorithm enables you to readily adjust the pitch of the backup vocals based on the chords used. This leads to more accurate vocal harmonies that don’t necessitate preprogramming. You can easily set the pedal according to the scale or key that you would be singing in.
Another distinctive feature of the VoiceTone is its Auto Chromatic Pitch Correction feature. This feature subtly adjusts your pitch to let it match the chords that you are playing. It can surely help you clean up some microtonal discrepancies; thus, it can make you sound really good.
8) Boss VE-20
The Boss VE-20 is a looper pedal that is sometimes called “vocal-quartet-in-a-box.” It is perfect for looping your own vocal phrases. With it, you can create 4-part harmonies. This makes your voice seem to have backup vocals. Adding to this feature, you can also mix in some cool ambient effects to enhance your vocal performance via the use of the foot pedal switch. It also allows for real-time pitch correction that many vocalists find very helpful to them. You can also use the abovementioned features in any type of music style or genre. It is user-friendly likewise.
Boss VE-20 is quite easy to operate and is perfectly designed for use by vocalists. It is, however, not an overstatement to say that the Boss VE-20 is the best among the most affordable vocal pedal. Singers should dream of having one of these vocal pedals for it is surely useful and handy. With this vocal pedal at hand, you can surely enhance and control your vocals using your foot.
9) Electro-Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper Pedal
The Electro-Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper Pedal is a compact looper pedal as big as a Micro POG, making it a user-friendly pedalboard. It features the ins and outs stereo and an input for an extra optional control pedal. Moreover, it can send your loops to many amps. It also can enable you to get creative while letting you run another instrument or mic via one of the outputs.
It features three lights at its top that show the pedal’s mode, whether it is recording, playback, or in memory mode. It also features a single-level knob that controls your loop’s volume. Another knob lets you store loops as well as choose loop modes.
And it is perfect for your live and practice performance. The Cock Fight allows you to achieve a cool cocked wash sound sans the wash pedal. With this looper pedal, you can produce the tone you want.
If you wish to have more growl and grind, you can utilize its built-in distortion or transition to the Talking Wah mode for something like a voice-box sound. If you are searching for a looper for your personal use, you might as well check out this one.
10) TC-Helicon Ditto Mic Looper
One of the best, yet affordable looper pedals for acoustic instruments and vocals is the Ditto Mic Looper. If you are a beginner in using looper pedal, you would surely find this model simple to operate. It’s a plug-and-play device; hence, it is pretty much straightforward. It features an automatic Mic gain control. It also allows you five minutes of the loop along with unlimited overdubs. Moreover, it comes with a “stop button” for the noiseless clear loop.
The TC-Helicon Ditto Mic Looper is not expensive. Although it is designed explicitly for looping vocals, you can also use it for looping acoustic instruments like guitar, banjo, percussions, and ukulele. Lastly, it is ruggedly-built for long-lasting use on the road.
11) Zoom G1 FOUR Guitar Multi-Effects Processor Pedal
The Zoom G1 FOUR Guitar Multi-Effects Processor Pedal is a compact effect processor that features several interesting functions and includes tons of effects, a looper function, integrated rhythm patterns, and an expression pedal. It also includes a built-in tuner and an anti-feedback filter. Moreover, it comes with 60 built-in effects, 13 amplifier models, 50 memory locations, and a looper for up to 30 seconds of recording.
The Zoom G1 also comes with the ZOOM Guitar Lab software to edit, create, and manage patches and effects. It also comes with 68 built-in rhythm patterns, a chromatic tuner, and a battery that could last up to 18 hours.
It is engineered for guitar. Nevertheless, you can also utilize it as a vocal looper. It can expand your creativity with its sterling features. For example, you can use its 68 rhythm patterns if you don’t have drums to create your tracks. You can also use its 65 guitar effects for managing your different instruments and for auto-save function. Its vocal looper of up to 30 seconds may be enough for you, although it is very limiting for some musicians.
You may find this looper lacking in features for quickly erasing and redoing layers. However, this looping pedal’s looks and feel are sturdy and subtle enough for its affordable price. Moreover, it is space-consuming. This vocal looper, of course, is a good buy considering its price.
Conclusion: Features that You Should Look for in a Vocal Looper
At present, the number of companies that offer vocal looper pedals is increasing. In fact, you’ll get confused with the myriads of models and brands on the market today. You can now find small looping pedals as well as medium-sized and large-sized models. Each of these models usually has something unique to offer. Some are not just simple loopers.
Some have sophisticated features with additional functions that would surely enthuse you to buy them. Hence, you would likely get confused as to which one to choose for your needs. However, if you really intend to master the art of looping and you want extensive looping possibilities, you should look for something that allows you to save a greater number of loops.
Aside from having a more significant number of looping possibilities, you should also go for one that is user-friendly. Moreover, your choice should be durable and of sterling quality.
There is no such thing as the perfect vocal looper for everyone. It would boil down to your own preference and priorities. Some people would focus on the features, and others would prefer user-friendly designs. Whatever it may be, the smart thing to do is make sure that you know what you are getting before buying it.
What Vocal Looper Can Do For Singer?
Vocal Loop or voice loop pedal is a pedal gadget that allows you to enhance your vocals with its various vocal effects. You can use a vocal pedal, for example, to repeatedly create a loop for an inputted vocal signal. This practically means that you can easily record one section of the melody while enabling you to repeat that section at the background as you record your vocals.
There are times when singers do need an extra push to go beyond what they can do, and these vocal loopers will get the job done. You can use it in various ways, such as making subtle corrections on the pitch, refining certain hoarseness, or adding a reverb effect. This device can easily do these things and more, and you do not have to hire a team of sound engineers or technicians to do it for you.
At the onset, it would be good to distinguish between a looper pedal and a vocal delay pedal. In a vocal delay pedal, the signal fades out or decays. On the other hand, the signal in a looper pedal repeats itself at a certain volume without diminishing in quality and until you instruct the pedal using your foot to stop sending the signal to the speakers.
Is it Okay to Use A Guitar Looper to Enhance Your Vocals?
Yes, even if the guitar looper is specifically made for guitars, you can also use it for your vocals without any problem. Nevertheless, when you are using a condenser mic, you should ensure its capacitor is supplied with external power.
However, if you are using a dynamic mic, you won’t need to provide your mic with external power. Thus, a dynamic mic is more often better when used with a vocal looper than the condenser mic, especially if your loop pedal doesn’t offer external power to mics.