The best loop stations offer you flexibility.
Not only that, but they make your job of performing 10 times easier (cheaper too)! Use a looper and there’s little need to hire a full band or hordes of backing singers to create a buzzing vibe. Instead, through the magic of a looper (and the help of midi), you can build up a song layer by layer in-front of your fans. How rad is that?!
A quirk that, as you can imagine, can instantly set you apart from 99% of artists; use a looper and suddenly you become very niche. Hardly a bad thing, as ‘niche’ is what gets you noticed. Just ask Ed Sheeran or Tash Sultana. Put it this way, build a track from scratch with a loop pedal and suddenly everyone’s backing tracks (even those performed live by a band) seem a bit ‘vanilla’. But that’s not to say loopers are reserved exclusively for artists. Oh no…
For musicians, loopers are just as important! Being able to layer tracks makes it super easy to give your sound depth . Neither is bad for understanding what sounds go well together or getting a feel for the part you play in a band. So much so that we can’t understand why loop pedals aren’t ‘on trend’. Exactly why to help you get a piece of this trend early (i.e. before it snowballs), we’ve listed 11 of the best loop stations for vocalists, performers & guitarists.
Here because you want to know what is the easiest looper to use?” Or just curious as to which is the best cheap looper pedal? Use the menu below to get all the answers you need in 1 click…
The best loop stations @ a glance…
13 of the best loop stations you can buy in 2022
When it comes to buying a loop station, you don’t just want to buy any looper – you want to buy the best loop station for you. Subtle difference, but one that you can’t afford to neglect. Why? Because loop stations are actually quite varied. There’s those that are purely designed for looping, and there’s others which are more ‘add-ons’ or just part of an effects pedal.
Exactly why we’ve done all the legwork for you, and compiled a list of the best loop stations you can buy in 2022 (dedicated loopers), as well as those effects pedals that also come primed with a looping function + those which are more angled towards beginners.
* This article is over 8000 words – so we’d advise you grab yourself a cuppa before you start.
The best loop stations (dedicated loopers)
1: Boss RC-500 Loop Station
If you’re after a mid-sized looper that can function as part of your pedalboard (opposed to being the entire thing), then you cannot afford to gloss over the Boss RC 500. Reason being that this looper is arguably the most versatile looper the boffins @ Boss currently make. Fact.
Built to replace the RC 30 looper, the RC 500 bears many similarities with its bigger brother. Think of it as an RC 600 that’s gone on the SlimFast. So just like with the 600, the RC 500 gives you 32bit audio quality, 99 phase memories, 16 built-in drum kits, time stretch, a bunch of loop FX and a whopping 13 hours of recording time! It also comes with built-in phantom power (for condenser mics) and is made of metal too, so feels just as solid. Heck, it’s even equipped with the same colour LCD screen. However…
Where the RC 500 really shines is usability. So unlike with the 600 where the majority of the options are buried within the menus & submenus, the RC 500 retains physical buttons. And that’s not the only perk! There’s also a nice pair of faders too, all of which make it super easy for you to adjust the composition of your loops. For instance, with the quick flick of a slider, you could have Track 1 looping every 4 bars, while Track 2 loops every 8.
And if that wasn’t enough, this is one of the few loopers on this list that can also be battery powered. A nice touch if you’re a looper who’s often on tour or just constantly ‘on the go’. And yes, having 3 foot-switches can seem quite limiting compared to other loopers on this list, but – if you’re a guitarist who’s after a verse/ chorus arrangement, 2 tracks is really all you need.
So is this looper a worthy successor to the RC 30? Erm… hell yeah! Unless you’re a pro-level looper, the RC 500 simply has to make your shortlist.
What makes the Boss RC 500 the best looper?
2: Head Rush looper board (with built in AI)
What happens when the Boss RC 300 has babies with a super computer? The Headrush Looperboard. A loop station that (let’s be honest) is by far one of the most advanced loopers on the market. And nope – that’s not just some casual claim! Check out how this loop station operates and you’ll soon see how it differs in comparison to the rest of the pack.
Unlike your traditional looper, the Headrush Looperboard runs on software, thanks to its quad cortex processor. And therefore, has the ability to evolve over time; through firmware updates Headrush can not only make the pedal more intuitive, but also ensure the looper doesn’t lag behind in terms of features. So, if a new looping trend comes along or rival loopers become more advanced, they can simply program it in. Talk about future-proof!
But it’s not just in terms of tech, where the Headrush raises the bar. The audio you get from this looper is HQ too – 24 bit to be precise. And it’s not like you’ll find it hard to record into this looper. Headrush give you over 8 hours of onboard recording time – not to mention 4 tracks that can hold up to 99 loop layers each! So as you can imagine, the Headrush Looperboard is no slouch when it comes to ports. There’s SO many – try saying them all without running out of breath…
4 XLR inputs, 4 jack inputs, 1 aux input, 2x XLR outputs, 2 large jack outputs, a headphone output, midi in/out/thru, 2 USB ports for dongles, 1 USB port for audio interfaces & an SD card slot (… and breathe). Couple that with its impressive time-stretch features, in-built HQ effects, as well as that responsive 7 inch touch display, and you soon realise that to pick fault with the Headrush Looperboard is actually quite hard… not that it’s stopped us.
If we had to be picky, we’d say that an all-metal build would’ve been nice, especially considering that it’s a foot-based looper, and therefore will be subject to a lot of punishment. Plus, while 24 bit audio is good, it’s not ‘drop-your-jaw fantastic’. Recent Boss loopers boast 32 bit sound. But with that being said, if you’re after optimum control over your sound & workflow, the Headrush is still the undisputed king.
What makes the Headrush Looperboard the best loop station?
3: Boss RC 600 loop station
For those after a hands-off approach to looping, look no further than the Boss RC 600. Why? Well that’s because it’s taken the recipe of the RC 300 (its popular predecessor) and pretty much doubled up on everything. And that’s despite the RC 600 being significantly smaller & lighter, yet feeling a more solid! This looper is built like a tank! Perhaps the reason why it’s called the RC 600, opposed to the RC 300 MK2?
Compare the two, and you’ll soon see what we’re getting at. While the RC 300 was considered a game-changer just because of the fact it had in-built effects, the RC 600 1-ups it straight off the bat. The 600 gives you a whopping 49 input effects & 53 track effects – any 4 of which can be used simultaneously!! There’s also a whole host of built in rhythms too – over 200 to be precise! Couple that with the jump in bit depth from 16 (the RC 300) to 32, and it’s clear to see that the RC 600 is certainly the most capable foot-based looper Boss has ever made. Period. Finito. End of story.
Speaking of capability, the level of inputs/ outputs on the RC 600 are also impressive too. Opt for this looper and you’ll get 2XLR inputs with phantom power, 2 sets of stereo inputs + 6 outputs including USB type B & midi! You’ll also get the same uprated LCD display that you find in the RC 505 MK2, which makes the looper SO much easier to control during a performance situation. And yet, despite all these features, Roland has (we think) priced this looper rather low.
At the time of writing this blog, the price difference between the RC 600 & its RC 300 predecessor is around £150. Not a particularly pricey upgrade if you ask us, considering just how much more you get for your money with the RC 600. If anything, for the most highly-specced looper Boss has ever made, dare we say… that’s cheap. So much so that to label the Boss RC 600 as one of the best loop stations, could well be a valid comment.
What makes the Boss RC 600 the best loop station?
4: TC Electronic DITTO Jam X2 looper
If you’re serious about looping, then you’d be silly to overlook the Ditto Jam x2. Why? Well, that’s because as far as budget loop stations go, it’s pretty hard to beat. On a ratio of ‘size & features – price’ it’d almost certainly come out on top. However, it’s size is what really attracts us to this pedal.
Consider all the features you get & just like the Digitech Trio (below) & you really do wonder how TC Electronic managed to cram SO much inside such a small body. For instance, aside from 2 foot switches, the Ditto X2 also gives you: 5 minutes of looping time, unlimited overdubs, built-in loop FX, undo/redo, a true bypass & enough connectivity to satisfy even the most nerdy of guitarists.
The connectivity that we found particularly useful was the USB slot, as it allows you to enable what TC are calling Backing Tracks. A function that allows you to not only export loops from the pedal directly to your computer, but also import audio directly into the pedal. So be that a bunch of loops you’ve mashed together in your DAW, or a full-blown song, you can import virtually any piece of audio into this looper.
For performing live, such flexibility is ideal, as it’ll allow you to prepare for a show ahead of time. Plus, the way the Ditto X2 functions is also useful on stage. The second foot swtitch has 2 functions. It can either be assigned a specific effect or be used as a sole ‘stop’ button. The latter being extremely useful when live, when precise timing is key.
And then consider that the Ditto X2 is more than small enough to fit comfortably in a backpack as well as run on 2x 9V batteries, and suddenly it becomes very hard to pick fault. In fact, if you’re a travelling musician, we think this is one of the best loop stations you can buy full stop.
What makes the Ditto Jam X2 the best looper out there?
5: Boss RC-505 MKII loop station (ideal for beatboxers)
Beatboxers listen up – this is likely all the loop station you need.
That’s because unlike the majority of loopers, the Boss RC 505 isn’t one you control with your feet. Being a tabletop looper, it’s very much hands-on. In which case, if you’re a guitarist, you’d be best glossing over this looper & checking out something like the Headrush Looperboard (above) or the Boss RC 600 (below). However, if you’re a vocalist or beatboxer, you’ll be pleased to know that…
The Boss RC 505 MK2 is a HUGE improvement on the original RC 505, which has been around for well over 10 years! In comparison it’s so much more flexible. Not only does the 505 MK2 boast more in the way of recording time -a hefty 13 hours!! But it also gives you more space in which to work. Now, by that we don’t mean the footprint has got bigger (although it has ever so slightly). What we mean is that no longer are you limited to just 5 tracks and a few effects.
With the RC 505 MK2, you get a whopping 10 assignable buttons, each with 2 banks – i.e. double that of the previous gen . All of which allows you to have far more effects at your fingertips. What’s more, thanks to a new perk called Bounce Mode, you can now combine tracks together as a way to maximise the amount of tracks you have available. So really this new RC 505 gives you the ability to create more complex tracks in a far more gradual fashion. Ideal for looping pros, but also those beginners who’s still actively learning the art of looping & finding their sound.
Not only that, but with the 505 MK2 you also get a far more intuitive & larger LCD display. In fact, it’s the same one you get on the RC 600. A small touch that goes a long way during a live performance. Although, our favourite feature has to be the addition of what’s called marker points. Think of these as like points at which you save a video game. Generate a marker point and with the click of a button, you can immediately jump back to where you left off.
All of which goes a long way towards making the RC 505 MK2, a sound designer’s dream. It’s more powerful, flexible and usable than ever before. But does that make it the best loop station in 2022? Potentially.
What makes the Boss RC 505 MK2 the best loop station?
6: Pigtronix Inifinity 2 double stereo looper
You’d imagine that with a looper of such small form factor that you’d sacrifice a lot in the way of functionality. An assumption we agreed with, until we discovered the Infinity 2 by Pigtronix. A small compact loop station that really does pack a LOT of features, especially for a 2-track looper!
That’s because, while two loop tracks doesn’t scream “FLEXIBILITY”, the way the Infinity 2 uses its dual setup really is rather clever. Heads up: this is not your conventional 2-track looper! So while the two tracks can of course be used to record 2 separate loops, it’ll also allow you to switch between them simultaneously. A feature of the Infinity 2 we really like, as well as the fact you can erase a loop silently, while another is still active. This looper is a bit of a boffin!
Plus, dual loop mode is great for building full songs too. In fact, it’s ideal if you’re doing ‘verse/ chorus’ type looping, as switching between the 2 tracks is super simple. So as you’d imagine, layering sounds with this looper is a breeze. And as far as building loops goes, we find it hard to fault. The LED lights in particular, (which blink red, amber and green depending on your function), make it easy to tell what’s going on. In fact, we’d say there’s very little about this looper that’s overly complex. Fantastic news for any budding beginner!
In fact, switch the looper into single loop mode & it becomes the ideal place for learning, not to mention experimenting with sound. Do so and you unlock a whole host of new features. The main one being that inactive foot-switch, which actually becomes an extra source of control. Map certain functions to it & it can help you build your loops faster & more accurately. Our favourite use for this is as an ‘undo’ function.
Saying that though, the real party-piece for us, was this looper’s built-in decay effect. Something that (in short) gives you the control over how long sounds are played before being faded out. Therefore, as a live looper, this pedal allows you to create truly one-off soundscapes that make each of your performances 100% organic & unique.
Sound aside, this looper also a gymnast when it comes to adapting your setup too. On the back you get 2 sets of ins and outs that accept both mono or stereo. Plus heavy duty two foot-switches – one of which functions as two buttons! And if that wasn’t enough you even have the option to connect an external pedal to further increase your amount of foot-switch control.
To put it bluntly then, this looper is proof. Proof that when it comes to buying a loop station, size isn’t everything (no innuendo intended).
What makes the Pigtronix Infinity 2 the best loop station?
Best single track loop stations for guitarists
7: Nux Loop Core looper pedal
As a beginner, you need something simple. And that’s where the Nux Loop Core comes into play, as it’s essentially a budget Boss RC-3 looper (now the RC-5). Compare the functionality & you’ll find very few differences. So here we go…
This looper pedal gives you a whopping 6 hours recording time, as well as 99 user memories. The same amount of user memories you get with the Boss RC 500/ 505/ 600!! You also get 40 different drum rhythms too. The first being in 1/4 time, while the last 20 are in 3/4 time. As for recording quality, that sits at around 16bit – the same as you’d get with a CD. And at just over 250g, this looper isn’t exactly heavy either. It could easily be concealed in your coat pocket!
What’s more, this looper is a joy to control too. A particular feature we’re fond of is the 3 stop modes that you can choose from. These include: an abrupt stop, a stop once the loop is finished and a stop that fades out over the course of 10 seconds. And as far as saving your loops – that’s not much of a challenge either. Simply hook up the pedal to your computer & you can back everything up from there. You can also import the audio into your DAW too.
We also like how ‘old school’ this looper feels. Get your hands on it and you’ll see what we mean. All the buttons and knobs, aside from being useful, are easy to hand. Changing settings when they’re buried within a complex menu structure can become a pain. However this looper isn’t all perfect. Some of the drum rhythms could be regarded as a tad cheesy, and the build (while great) isn’t quite up to par with the equivalent Boss looper.
But with that being said, if you’re a beginner on a budget, then this neon-coloured looper could be all the loop station that you need.
What makes the Nux Loop Core a great looper?
8: Electro-Harmonix 720 Stereo looper
The best loop stations make the art of looping easy.
Exactly why for anyone who’s after a user friendly looper, we’d say you can’t go far wrong with the Electro-Harmionix 720. A loop station that compared to others in its category, doesn’t try to dazzle you with umpteen different features or FX. It’s simple, easy to use and really all you’d need if you’re looking to sample looping for the first time.
The 720 gives you access to 12 minutes of loop time & has enough internal storage for up to 10 loops. Now granted, those figures aren’t what you’d call groundbreaking, however, they’re not meant to be. Consider the price and for what you get, this looper is actually darn good value. For instance, there are few loopers in this price bracket that boast 24 bit audio. Sound that’s on par with the £500+ Headrush Looperboard!
And that’s a theme that you really do sense when using this pedal. Electro-Harmonix haven’t gone for the ‘cram 1000 features into a tiny package‘ approach. Instead, they’ve focused on quality. Something that really does show! All the buttons on this pedal, both of the loop FX (Reverse & 1/2 Speed), as well as the foot switches, feel really solid & well designed. With this looper, there’s no major ‘button-wobble’ or irritating clicky switches either.
Even the screen is simple, but intuitive. We’re particular fans of the Fade mode, which you can tell’s active by the large ‘F’ displayed on the screen. A setting that allows you to actually choose (in seconds) how long it takes for the end of the loop to fade out. From a performance perspective, this is fantastic & a major perk of this choosing this looper!
In which case, if you’re not here for anything overly technical & just to find a solid built looper that’s user friendly and sized appropriately for life ‘on the go’, then you really need to check out the Electro-Harmonix 720. Arguably one of the best compact loop stations on sale today.
What makes the Nux Loop Core a great looper?
The best guitar effects pedals with built-in loopers
9: Line 6 POD GO multi-effects pedal (with looper)
Guitarist who’s searching for a kick-ass effects pedal as well as an intuitive looper? Keep reading…
That’s because there’s few pedals that fit this description as well as the Pod Go by Line 6. A powerful effects pedal that comes equipped with over 300 effects and an intuitive 1-switch looper. As you’d imagine from Line 6 – the brains behind the notorious Helix – the sounds you get in the Pod Go are top notch. In fact, we’d say most are on par with those you find in the Headrush Looperboard. Yep – they really are that good!
Therefore, it’s little surprise that looping with this pedal is such a joy! The 4.3″ colour interface, which just so happens to be taken from the Helix Professional Range, is extremely user friendly and straight forward to operate. For beginners, there’s not much of a learning curve. And while some may wince at the sight of buttons, if you ask us, they’re actually a welcome addition. Reason being that this pedal gives you a choice.
You can either use the buttons to navigate this pedal, or fall back on the included software, which turns most adjustments into a simple ‘drag & drop’ affair. With the looper for instance, you can simply drag it to the place you want it to sit in the signal chain. How simple is that?! Get hands on with the Line Go and you’ll also notice the stand-out build quality. Any floor-based looper needs to be rugged, and the Line 6 is no exception. The entire pedal is fabricated of aluminium and all the buttons have a real satisfying click to them. It’s not too weighty either (2.5kg), so to tour with, the Pod Go is also a good choice.
Now obviously, with the Pod Go not being designed solely to be a looper, it’s by no means the best loop station out there in terms of options. If number of rhythms & acres of recording time are what you’re after, then something by Boss would be the way to go. However, if you’re after an impressive effects pedal that also offers you the capability to loop, then the Line 6 Pod Go is tough to beat.
In fact, we’d say you’d struggle to find better functionality for the price. Safe to say, the Pod Go is certainly one of the best effects-looper combos you can get your hands on.
What makes the Line 6 Pod Go the best loop station?
10: Digitech TRIO Plus band creator + looper
Guitarist without a band?
Then look no further than the Trio Plus. A guitar FX pedal (with looper) that really does open up your sound capabilities. Reason being that this loop pedal will actually play along with you! Feed it a simple chord progression and (providing you’re in the right mode) it’ll match that up with a set of drums and bass. Clever stuff! Only, that’s just one of the quirks you get with this funky little pedal.
Sound variation is where the Trio Plus really shines. Despite its compact dimensions, this FX pedal grants you access to sounds from 12 different genres – everything from Jazz, Folk & Latin to Hip Hop & RnB. And if that wasn’t enough, for each of these genres you then get another 12 sound variations! All of which means the Trio has ‘sound design’ written all over it.
So don’t be fooled by its small form factor – the Trio Plus FX pedal packs a LOT into a small space! And it’s not like there’s much of a compromise in terms of FX quality. Yes if you’re a seasoned ‘Jimi Hendrix type’, they’re probably not for you, but for 99% of casual players they’re impressive. As is the fact that you can record & export all your audio via a simple micro SD card.
A feature you’ll be grateful for when using the looper, which while only 1 track, is more than enough for most musicians. Aside from unlimited overdubs across 230 seconds of looptime, the looper is also 5-part (you have 5 assignable buttons on which to record your loops) & crucially, can even be connected to an external FX pedal, should you want to switch up your sound even more!!
Ask us & when it comes to an FX/ looper pedal combo, you’ll be hard pushed to find anything of this size & price that trumps the Trio. And with this overview, we’re really just scratching the surface. The only way to appreciate just how good this pedal is, would be to click the link above & buy it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed…
What makes the Trio Plus the best loop station of 2022?
11: Line 6 HX Stomp multi effects pedal (+ looper)
After a looper, but also after tones of HQ effects? The wait is over.
As any keen guitarist will already know, Line 6 have a reputation for making some of the best guitar effects pedals you can buy. Their Helix series being one of the best. So when the company announced the HX Stomp a couple of years back, we got excited. That’s because aside from the same 300+ effects you’ll find in Helix LT, Floor or Native, this effects pedal also comes with a built-in looper. In fact, there’s two of them!
With the HX Stomp you get a 1-switch looper, as well as a Shuffling Looper. Difference being that the 1-switch is much as it sounds – a built-in looper that’s triggered by one of the 3 foot switches. Whereas the Shuffling Looper is a little more complex. In fact, it’s more of a sequencer, so while it does require a bit of a learning curve, once teamed with the Helix app, it really does work well.
Using which you can adjust a whole host of different parameters, from the octave, reverb and repeat to other more technical measurements like slice and sequence length. Use HX Stomp with the app and you get a far more control over your overall sound. Then team this with Stomps’ built-in amp models as well as impulse responses, and its not hard to see why this looper is an industry favourite. It’s SO well-rounded!
And yet, in terms of size, you wouldn’t think it. That’s because arguably the best thing about HX Stomp is its size. Being a 3 switch looper, it’s compact. So aside from being the perfect size to fit in the front pocket of your guitar bag, it also functions well as part of your pedalboard. A large part of which is down to those 3 foot switches.
Being capacitance touch, they managed to cram a lot of functionality in just one button. Pressed once and they’ll Play/ Stop recording. Pressed lightly & they’ll shift you into edit mode. Press and hold and they’ll allow you to change how they function. All of which has gone a long way towards helping Line 6 cram SO much functionality into this tiny 3-switch box.
One that when teamed with the HX Stomp app, we think you’d be balmy not to shortlist!
What makes the Line 6 HX Stomp the best looper in 2022?
Want to see the HX Stomp looper in action? Check out Chad’s tutorial below…
Here’s the best modular looper…
12: Strymon Magneto stereo looper pedal
Sound designers listen up!
If you’re after a looper with a whole host of other capabilities, then the Magneto by Strymon may be the way to go. And that’s because looping is just one of the party tricks of this vintage tape machine.
You see, not only is the Magneto a looper, but it’s also a sound-on-sound sampler. Not to mention the fact that it also includes a whole host of HQ effects such as: infinite echo, reverse, audio scrubber, tape saturation, self oscillator, phase sampler and even pitch-shifted delay. All of which are miles beyond those you’ll find in your conventional Boss or Headrush looper. This is certainly one of the best loop stations when it comes to having control over your sound.
Plus, being modular means that the your overall sound with the Magneto is far more malleable. Hook it up to other modular pieces of kit and you can expand you sound capabilities far beyond those of any conventional looper. In fact, do so & the possibilities are virtually endless! But equally, that’s what makes this looper so hands-on, and therefore only really makes it appeal to tech-minded guitarists and sound designers. For vocalists or performers the Magneto is too faffy. Plus, there’s no mic input, so…
But then again, for HQ instrumental sound it’s hard to trump the Magneto. Strymon have a reputation for making some of the best guitar pedals out there, so to be honest the clarity you get with this pedal is hardly surprising. Now granted, looping may not be its primary function (merely a mode), but if you’re after a wide breadth of sound capabilities – looping being one of them – then the Magneto pretty much ticks all the boxes… & perhaps even adds some of its own.
Let’s just say that for the amount of sound design you can do with this looper, the price is rather generous.
What makes the Strymon Magneto the best loop station?
Surprise! Here’s the best loop station for beginners…
13: Boss RC 300 loop station
Now just to clear you may have heard us talking bad about the RC 300 throughout this blog. And you’d be right to pull us up on it. Not only have we made it clear that all the next gen Boss loopers run rings around it in terms of features & functionality, but also that now in 2022, it’s looking a bit prehistoric. BUT (and that’s a big ‘but’) that’s exactly why we’d say the RC 300 is hands-down the best loop station for beginners in 2022.
You see, if you’re a newbie to looping you need to be aware of one thing – it’s complex!! Complex to the point at which you’d most likely be overwhelmed (and potentially even throw in the towel) if you were to make your first looper something highly advanced like the RC 600 or Headrush Looperboard. Both of which are class-leading loopers because of for their technical prowess – not so much their appeal to beginners.
Why? Well that’s because as a beginner you need to focus on the core fundamentals, and less so on the all the intricacies of sound design. In which case, a looper like the RC 300 is pretty much perfect. Unlike its more modern successors, it doesn’t bamboozle you with 100s of FX options or have buttons with umpteen different modes. Neither does it burry half of its controls in layers of software and menu options; the majority can be controlled through physical knobs or switches.
In fact, it’s this simplistic stripped-back approach that (we think) makes it the ideal ‘go-to’ for any beginner. Yes, the 16 bit MP3 audio leaves a lot to be desired, and the layout can be a bit problematic. Quite why Boss put the Master Volume next to the Master Start/ Stop pedal we’ll never know. BUT it’s all these quirks (cough) shortfalls, that encourage you to adapt and learn. Two of the most important qualities of any rookie musician.
So while the Boss RC 300 may be a dinosaur in a technical sense, don’t dismiss it. For a pro musician, granted, it may look like a backward step when compared to the RC 600. But for any keen beginner, that just makes it the perfect springboard.
What makes the Boss RC 300 the best beginner loop station?
Which loop station is best? Our editor’s choice…
When it comes to whittling down the best loop stations and finding the one that’s right for you, you need to ask yourself these two sets of questions…
- What type of artist am I? And what do I want from a loop station?
- How experienced am I? Will I be able to comfortably use this loop station?
That’s because really the best loop station for you, is the one that’s suited to not only how you play, but also you overall capabilities as a looper. Otherwise you could end up paying big bucks for a loop station, but not being able to get the most out of it. Hardly the ideal scenario! Hence why when it came to deciding on the overall ‘best’ loop station, we gave up.
So instead of coming to one conclusion, we’ve actually come to three: the best loop stations for advanced looping pros, as well as the best looper for vocalists & the best budget loop station. So hopefully you’ll be able to track down the looper that’s right for you.
So to kick things off, we’d say that if you’re an advanced performer who’s got a sizeable budget and is already educated in the art of looping, then you can’t really go wrong with the…
Headrush Looperboard (Best Loop Station For Advanced Looping Pros)
We say so, because the Headrush is more or less the closest you’ll get to a custom looper. So for anyone wanting to follow in the footsteps of Ed Sheeran & his legendary Chewie 2 Looper, then the Headrush would be a wise choice. It’s future-proof thanks to it running on hardware, customisable beyond belief & gives you 24bit audio that even in today’s world is no slouch.
However, in the case that you’re a vocalist or performer who’s after a looper that’s a bit more ‘hands on’, then we’d say a Boss loop station would be a wise choice. More specifically, the…
Boss RC 505 MKII (Best Looper For Vocalists)
Why? Well, that’s because the RC 505 MK2 is, not only a VAST improvement on the MK1 (which it replaces), but it’s also more handy for vocalists. With it being a table-top looper, you can have SO much more control over your loops, in comparison to a looper that’s operated with your feet. And that’s where the 505 really shines.
With it being hand operated, everything’s (as you’d expect) easy to hand – very little is buried within layer upon layer of complex menus. The sheer amount of assignable buttons make this looper pretty much ideal for performing live. Plus, the 32bit sound quality is class-leading too. Exactly what you need to capture the detail in your vocals.
Although if you’re on a tight budget, but serious about looping, then we’d say Boss is yet again the way to go. Only this time, we’d say you’d be best opting for the smaller (& cheaper)…
Boss RC 500 (Best Budget Loop Station)
Now obviously, if you’ve got a super strict budget, the RC 500 may not be a viable purchase. In which case you’d probably be looking at something along the lines of the Nux Loop Core or the Electro-Harmonix 720. However, if you can stretch to the RC 500, we’d say it’d be more than worth doing so.
Consider just how much functionality you get with this looper, as well as how much is shares with its bigger brother, the RC 600, and in terms of value, it’s almost impossible to beat. Not only that, but it’s small form factor means that you can also daisy-chain it with other pedals to expand your setup.
So, while it’s not the cheapest looper on this list, in the long run we’re confident the RC 500 would not only be the best value loop station, but also the most flexible too. In short, if you can afford it, we’d say you’d be loopy not to give it a try.
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Or, if you’ve still got as burning question about the best loop stations, keep reading to discover even more about why these nifty effects pedals are such a great addition to any setup…