A loop is the repeating of a portion of a soundtrack, and it is common in electroacoustic rock, pop, and other forms of music. Small parts of the track are continually played to make an ostinato pattern. Lengthy parts can also be continuously played; for instance, a player may make a loop of a particular verse in a song to allow him to play alongside the track. You can use music technologies such as turntables, looper pedals, digital samplers, drum machines, synthesizers, tape machines, delay units, and sequencers to create loops. They are easily programmed by using computer music software.
3 Major Types of Loopers
1) StompBox Loopers / Loop Pedal
A stompbox looper is a guitar pedal sized looper; most times, it features just one button, which is used for recording, stopping, and overdubbing. It’s a favorite for a lot of musicians, especially if they are just learning the art of looping or to use at home with no help from other musicians. A player has to press the button and start the music, then save the section by pressing the button again, you can stop there and play along with it, which is perfect or you could record more sections on the already recorded section which then creates a section that regularly plays thereby creating a loop. The only disadvantage is the fact that you can only play different sections, and you can only play one section except you choose to delete it.
There are a series of looper pedals available in the market produced by reputable manufacturers; some models are a bight complex with different features, while others are moderately easy to handle.
Straightforward loop pedals have a multi-function footswitch and a volume rotary knob to aid the loop playback volume adjustment. Most devices have a footswitch, which doubles as an overdub, undo, record, playback, stop control, and redo.
When the device is recording, an LED indicator light will light up red; it turns green when in playback mode while it blinks at the start of your loop, which helps you monitor your progress. It might take a while for you to get used to the features because you will be playing the guitar while working on the switches.
2) Loop Stations
If you have tried a series of loop stompboxes but still feel like the standard stompbox loopers are limiting your capacity to create extraordinary ideas, you might like to try. If that is how you think, then you may want to try using a loop station. Loop stations are commonly known to be used by evolved musicians and individuals that are great with looping; it is advised that you get used to looping, understand fully how it works and what you intend to use looping for before trying out the loop station.
For instance, you can get more sections to change between while still performing; You can also decide if a section should play continually or just once, also use a footswitch to switch between varying parameters, you get a group of the in-built flow of tracks and time impressions and a whole lot more. If you are a musician and you do not want to rely on a backing system while playing a series of different parts altogether, then the loop station is best for you.
If you want to use at home and keep it straightforward, these features might be immense for you. The new characteristics that the ensuing pedals may have in common are the MIDI ability; this allows you get the best out of the loop stations by connecting them with the MIDI clocks or making use of outside controllers to start particular facet of the pedal without any limitations with the buttons of the loop station.
3) Tabletop Loop Station
Beatboxers, club performers, and singers all over the world use the loop station as an essential tool in their performances. The tabletop loop station can be worked by hands, which is ideal for beatboxers, club performers and vocalists.
This equipment can be placed on a table and operated with hands, which makes it different from the pedal looper, also known as the stompbox because it is placed on the floor and operated with your feet.
The Boss RC-505 is not at all rudimental. It is more than a basic looper; it has an attitude!
As individuals have said in their reviews, using looping equipment such as the Boss RC-505 has its benefits.
Most tabletop loop devices feature a lot of evolved vocal effects characteristics for singers. In short, this type of tabletop loop device is most commonly used by beatboxers and singers.
What’s The Right Way To Use A Loop Pedal?
The frequently asked question among musicians is, “Can I use a loop pedal in the studio?” yes, you can, but it has no point. The primary function of the looper is to let you make a reoccurring rhythm track or a few nice-sounding verses to aid your solo performance. It is quite easy to record numerous backing sections just the way you like in a studio setting, but it gets harder during gigs.
It is advised to use the loop pedals during a show or while you are performing on your own. Keep in mind that loopers are incredibly relied on by a lot of street performers with beautiful results.
Loopers have more to them than to be used at live performances. They are one of the best tools for upcoming musicians to practice on. Guitar solos can also be practiced with the aid of a loop pedal; this is done by making records of rhythm sections to play with till you get your desired results. You can choose a song you like and take it bit by bit through its pitch, tempo, and changing characteristics; that is if your loop pedal can import audio files. It has been said that a loop pedal brings out your creative side, you can discover that for yourself.
Do Any Famous Musicians Use Looper?
Yes, some famous individuals use loopers. For instance, Mr. Ed Sheeran has been known to use a Boss looper during his shows and the legend, late great Les Paul. Other famous loop users are the U2’s The Edge, jazz titan Pat Metheny, Robert Fripp of King Crimson, Queen’s Brian May, Mal Webb, Gavin Castleton, Reggie Watts and a whole lot more.
Do I Need To Get Any Accessories With A Loop Pedal?
Not necessarily, loopers use a regular pedal that doesn’t need any additional accessories. You will need a power adapter or a 9V battery to help power the pedals; these are not usually included in the price, you also need cables to connect your guitar, amp, and recording tool to your equipment, but that’s all you need. Get a pedalboard if you move past the number two and three pedals in your collection.
In modern days, musicians use software devices and digital hardware to make and change loops; they also employ the use of a lot of electronic music effects. A loop pedal can make loops; it is a device that takes the signal from a guitar or any other audio source; it then repeatedly plays a recorded track.
Dedicated digital devices were made in the early 1990s to aid live-looping; that is, the loops are made in the presence of a live audience.
There are a lot of hardware loopers that exist; some come in the form of a rack unit but are basic pedals. Some of the discontinued 19” rack units are the Lexicon JamMan, Gibson Echoplex digital pro, Electrix Repeater, and Looperlative LP1.