A looper pedal is undoubtedly a useful tool when writing songs. It can help you create loops of rhythms, allowing you to fuse together the different parts of your song and make cohesive and great-sounding music. With the looper at hand, you can also save details of what you have just played to help you remember the notes used in your song..
Although everyone can write a song, not everyone can make a good song arrangement, for the arranging process of a music piece requires more than just writing lyrics. It necessitates being mindful of some intricate factors. For example, it requires figuring out the best length for your song and putting together drums and rhythmic components.
Moreover, sometimes arranging entails having a full-band setup or using programmed drums and rendering your song’s driving harmonic components. Nevertheless, in my case, the use of loopers often facilitates my arrangements, given the fact that I often do not have the benefits of arranging songs with my bandmates. So, if it is useful to me, its use may also come in handy to you.
Types of Loopers That Are Suitable Songwriting
When it comes to using loopers, you will find that there are myriads of brands and models of loopers in the market today, which makes choosing a bit confusing. However, loopers can be categorized depending on one’s level of expertise; thus, it will help to know these categories:
1) Basic Loopers
If you are new to using loopers and your tune has typical solo sections, you can always go for the basic loopers. You can start with a basic looper just to get the hang of its use before you transition to more advanced loopers.
2) Intermediate Loopers
If your songs come with verse and chorus, and you are desirous of giving your chorus and verses that extra oomph, you can use intermediate loopers that come with more features that could add additional sonic elements to your song progression.
3) Advanced Loopers
If you want to utilize the more recent and more advanced features of current loopers in the market today, you can go for a loop station. The loop stations come with tons of effects and many other features that let you craft your song to a masterpiece level. However, the use of more advanced loop stations requires more practice, more advanced skills, and a higher level of experience in making music.
Most Recommended Loopers for Songwriters
Given the myriad of looper pedals in the market today, you will sometimes get confused about which one to purchase to begin your songwriting endeavor using a looper pedal. However, you can make the choosing process a breeze for you by knowing the following most recommended looper pedals for songwriting:
1) Boss RC-300 Loop Station
There is no doubt that the Boss is a big name when it comes to looping, and one of its best loopers for songwriting is the RC-300. As a replacement for RC-50, the RC-300 measures more than 21 inches wide and around 9 inches from its back to front. It is designed to support three stereo loops, making it the go-to pedal for serious songwriters and loopers.
Its layout, of course, is for a three-track operation. With the BOSS RC-300, you can create very complex multi-part arrangements. You can make up to three hours of phrases that you can store at any time while allowing you to control each stereo loop separately using the six footswitches. You can also bring together all three loops using its Start/Stop pedal.
You can begin by stomping on Record on a track. Then when done, you can press the Record pedal of the next track to begin playback on the first track and recording on the next track simultaneously. Each track also comes with its volume fader control, allowing you to adjust your preferences.
The BOSS RC-300 comes with onboard effects, a total of 16, along with seven modulators, three vocal effects, delay, lo-fi, filter, distortion, and a transpose feature. It also comes with a guitar-to-bass converter. Moreover, it features a Loop FX pedal for deactivating and activating effects. This pedal will indeed come in handy if you are a serious songwriter who engages in complicated song arrangement.
2) TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme Guitar/Vocal Effects Processor
Well, TC Helicon doesn’t need any introduction, for this company is known for rolling out great loopers. One of its great products is the TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme Guitar/Vocal Effects Processor that offers high-quality audio processing. It also makes use of Roomsense technology that lets you listen to music to help you create harmonies and make use of other effects in real-time. It lets you integrate your guitar and instruments and features guitar-specific effects like Tuner, Reverb, Umod, Delay, Distortion, Rhythmic, and Octaver.
Moreover, it features Wah Wah, EQ, compressor, Control per preset, and Amp Modelling. It is also capable of a 100 audio-backing track. Besides, it comes with hundreds of vocal presets (downloadable) along with 250 factory presets. It also comes with 4x expanded memory and adaptive tone for compression, automatic EQ, de-essing, and gating.
The RC-10R also lets you make an audio recording, automation, looping, and backing tracks. With this looper, you can quickly record vocals and guitars to your USB or tyour DAW. It also features an independent headphone mix for IEMs and dedicated outputs for stereo guitar, stereo PA, and monitoring.
So, with all these benefits and features, you can change your guitar sounds, trigger a new backing track, and add effects to your vocals. With a pedal like this, you can indeed achieve much and enhance your songwriting and arranging capability without needing other musicians’ help.
3) BOSS VE-8 Acoustic Singer
If you are a singer-guitarist, you will find the use of BOSS VE-8 ACOUSTIC SINGER an appealing option. It can deliver that extra edge for you to stand out above the rest. It is simple and easy to use and can provide your voice and guitar sound that studio quality that you are desirous of.
The BOSS VE-8 ACOUSTIC SINGER is an all-in-one effects and preamp solution for singers who also play guitar. It lets you dial in the sophisticated Boss sound processing using its intuitive controls. It also features four ambiance effects types with chromatic pitch correction for your live performance and many more. Besides, it lets you create natural vocal harmonies instantaneously while allowing you dramatic processing like distortion, hard-tuned electronic voices, and radio voice effect.
The BOSS VE-8 features a dedicated guitar channel that comes with acoustic resonance, chorus, reverb, tuner, and other effects, along with a notch filter and phase invert. It also allows for a recording time of up to 80 seconds, enabling you to loop vocals and guitars. Moreover, it features a memory mode, letting you store and recall fifty of your favorite settings.
The BOSS VE-8 lets flexible connections with the stage monitors and PA system. Moreover, it allows for a USB connection for easy connecting to your PC. You can run this looper pedal using six AA batteries or through its AC adapter. No doubt, as a singer/guitarists, you will find this pedal easy to use and handy when performing live or engaging in writing songs within the confines of your room.
4) BOSS Guitar Looper Effects Pedal (RC-10R)
The BOSS Guitar Looper Effects Pedal (RC-10R) is engineered to set out a radical change in the looper pedal’s rhythm section. It lets you utilize interesting patterns, throw in fills, and use drum kits. It features a classic red color scheme with a couple of footswitches and LED displays with rhythm on the right and looping on its left. It also features level dials positioned between the LED displays. The main display, of course, sits at the top with two buttons and a dial at its side for controlling the menu functions.
With the RC-10R, you can add multiple dubs to your guitar layers, and it is easy to use. Its looper parts come with two tracks for creating verse/chorus structure. Its rhythm section, however, comes with a bit different workflow. You simply give the pedal a bit of tap to begin your rhythm section playing, and then another tap to add fill-in. You can also transition to a different pattern variation by only holding down the footswitch for a couple of seconds.
You can also set it on a Sync Mode. This mode lets you seamlessly sync the looper and the rhythm sections. This will surely help if you want to put together a song-type flow of arrangement. Moreover, it offers drum intro and outro section patterns, allowing you to create a whole song. You will surely get attracted to this RC-10R, for it offers unlimited possibilities of looping for songwriters.
5) Boss RC-1 Loop Station
The Boss RC-1, of course, is the most simplistic and user-friendly loop station you can ever find for songwriting. Its release in 2001 led the way to the continual release of looping products by this company. On its top panel, you will find a new loop indicator that comes with a 24-segment LED in a circular pattern. With this LED, you can quickly figure out the current status of the different modes like the Rec, overdub, and play modes.
The Boss RC-1 offers a maximum of 12 minutes of recording time (stereo), allowing you to capture extended performance with ease. With this looper, you can connect stereo instruments like a synthesizer. It can also be powered using AC power, or run it using a battery.
The Boss RC-1 Loop Station is straightforward to use and user-friendly. It also allows for flexible external footswitch choices. Moreover, it retains the recorded phrase in its memory even if you have already turned it off. It also comes with a five-year warranty.
One apparent downside of RC-1 is its 12 minutes looping time that is only limited to only one channel, barring you from recording on a separate channel. Nevertheless, as a tool, you can indeed utilize this looping pedal for songwriting.
Arranging a song may take much time, especially if you have a band setup wherein each instrument has to be recorded individually by your band members. Nevertheless, you can make the recording of a song easy by utilizing useful gadgets like the looper for songwriting. Loopers come in various designs and features. So, when choosing the best looper for songwriting, you should choose the looper that comes with tons of features that could make your songwriting easy.
You can lay out the drum lines and other instruments with the right loopers without needing a full-band setup recording. Besides, you can bring in the needed harmonies for your songs without needing the help of other artists and musicians.