Loop Pedals and Samplers

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From '60s ambient artists, Brian Eno, and Frippertronics, looping and sampling has evolved into a mainstream way to create instrument-based music. Reggie Watts, Kaki King, Ed Sheeran, Minus The Bear, Radiohead, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner are just some of the contemporary musicians who have used looping and sampling effects to add layers to their live performances. And it’s impossible to ignore the influence disco, hip-hop, and other sample-based and electronic music has had on the popularity of loopers.

What is the best looper pedal for live performance?

Looper pedals come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny and influential TC Electronic Ditto, to the powerful Boss RC-300 Loop Station. If you’re a solo musician, a pedal that can run several parallel or sequential loops and save samples is probably on the checklist. You may also want a device that can implement MIDI to sync with another sampler, or manage multiple inputs for when you switch to synth or bass.

Bedroom jammers are often happy with simple loopers. Guitarists playing in a band will appreciate features like tap tempo and one shot looping via secondary or external footswitches. For more information, read our guide on "The Best Looper Pedals on Reverb."

Can I use a looper pedal in my amp’s effects loop?

Certainly! Just be aware that the placement of your looper pedal in your signal chain will affect. Gain and effects before the looper’s input will be part of the sample; gain and effects that follow the looper pedal will only be applied to the recorded loops if they’re on when the loop is captured.

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