Category Archives: Review

Best Looper Pedal for Guitar

I love a good looper pedal. Those who know me knows I am absolutely crazy about this great tool. A looper pedal is to me THE MOST IMPORTANT PEDAL in any guitarists’ collection of pedals. Why? Because everyone needs to practice to get better and there ‘s no better pedal that will encourage and inspire practice than a good looper pedal. That’s why, I feel obligated to my readers to do a post on the BEST LOOPER PEDAL for Guitar, some sort of a buyer’s guide for you. I will not do a comprehensive (and often boring reviews) as what other websites have already done so I’ll give you what is my take having owned and used them extensively.

Please note that I feel it’s a duty in the music universe to only list looper pedals that I feel is THE BEST for the different reason a player may want to use a looper for. So these reviews will end with a mention of what it is BEST RECOMMENDED FOR. I left out pedals which I’ve used that doesn’t make the mark for the best recommendations. 

So enjoy!

#1: TC Electronic’s Ditto Pedal

This one does its job. Period. You cannot go wrong with this space saving looper pedal. I have nothing but only good things to share. Not because it is rich in function but because it does its job so well. Just to have a looper pedal to loop and play over whether in practice or live, I have to say its precisely the minimalist and simplicity of function that I find it appealing to use and use a lot. It inspires me to play and who can debate that product from a world-class company like TC Electronics which rate amongst the best studio equipment makers in the world would inspire anything less than the best from its users. Unlike many more feature rich units, the sound quality is top notch and doesn’t leave any players with the feeling that something is missing. It’s really innovative engineering and an inspiring tool to play with. If I could, I’ll give it a 110% recommendation as your first (if not your main practice) pedal.

PRO: Space Saver & Excellent Sound Quality
CONS: Limited Function But Maybe It’s A Feature and Not A Con After All
BEST RECOMMENDED FOR: Those who wants your first looper pedal or those who needs a main practice pedal. If you do not wish to look for another anymore (or at least anytime soon).
IF THAT’S YOU, THE BEST BUY IS FOUND HERE ( $149 $79) .


#2: Boss RC-3 Looper Pedal

I have enjoyed my time with a Boss RC-3. The first comment of this pedal is that it has 99 slot of user presets which is huge. Also the looping time is whopping 3 hours. Immediately that means lots and lots of room for backing tracks. For those who love to practice on backing tracks and that means hours and hours (and hours) of practice fun. It also has a little Rhythm Machine to add to the thrill of using this. The only thing that made this short lived on my pedal board was because of its compromised sound quality. That seemed to bug me and make me feel that something is missing when using it. I have read that it could be because it record audio in 16 bit format and some say it has a higher noise level compared to others. Yes, it could be that which made me feel something is missing, but for those who loves to jam on a huge library of readily available tracks you download, look no further.

PRO: Feature Rich For Practice & Huge
CONS: Tone Suck Compared To The Best Loopers
BEST RECOMMENDED FOR :  PEOPLE WHO LOVES PRACTICING WITH BACKING TRACKS
IF THAT’S YOU, THE BEST BUY IS FOUND HERE( $276 $179) .


#3: Digitech JamMan Stereo

I have used this LIVE before because of its ability to move up and down loop tracks. You can lay loops for different parts of the song. While this means the extra footswitch makes the unit bigger but it makes it a really useful feature for LIVE performance. Another good point is that it has a metronome with different rhythm sounds. That makes practice more fun and can add a bit more live band sounds to your otherwise solo performance. I used this as my main looper for quite a while.

PRO: Rugged Chassis & With Great Feature For LIVE Performance. 
CONS: Bulky If You Don’t Have Space On Your Pedal Board
BEST RECOMMENDED FOR:  SONGWRITING & LIVE PERFORMERS
IF THAT’S YOU, THE BEST BUY IS FOUND HERE( $449 $249) .

#4: Ammoon AP09 Nano Looper

When I first bought this pedal for review, I must admit, I was intrigued by its size. Yes it’s super nano-sized chassis and cute little box caught my eye but in my mind, I was doubtful to expect much of its sound quality. However, when I got it, I was pleasantly surprised. Even though it is made in China with a straight off Chinese brand Ammoon, the quality is very good considering its price of only $33. Being the lowest price in the whole lot I’ve listed here, I’m totally impressed by the quality of this pedal even though it is made in China. But come to think of it, are we surprised that it is? Are they many such budget pedal not made in that Asian republic in one way or another?

Pro: Super Affordable & A Good Space Saver, 
Cons: Chinese Brand (For Those Who Thinks That Matter)
BEST RECOMMENDED FOR:  THOSE WHO ARE CURIOUS WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT LOOPERS AND WOULDN’T WANT TO SPEND THE ACTUAL PRICE OF A REGULAR PEDAL
IF THAT’S YOU, THE BEST BUY IS FOUND HERE (ONLY $33) .


#5: Electroharmonix 4880 Looper

I’m recommending this new version of what is the similar pedal compared to the  older version (the 2880) that I have right now on my pedal board. It has lasted a whole year and that’s not a easy feat for a looper freak like me. It has all the basic function of a looper but its feature that allows me to tweak the tracks like an old analogue 4 Track Recorder had me sold. It has separate volume slider and the panning knob for each of the 4 tracks reminiscent of my old Tascam or Fostrex multi-track recorder days. I use it because it has all that I need for a looper plus more and for all that nostalgic reasons. Yes, it is indeed pricier than others but there are attractive extras I get which include features like “Octave” that enables me to lay a “bass” guitar with my normal e-guitar by adjusting the pitch and it has the weird psychedelic “reverse” feature that Electroharmonix is so great at (I used to have one of their delay Memory Man With Hazarai that made me crave their psychedelic vibe). The downside of this pedal is certainly its price. Note that I have to a buy a separate footswitch for me to operate this unit hand’s free. But because I’m a big sucker for tools with a good vibe, this is still the pedal for me. A good vibe inspires me to use it more and that to me is what matters for the gears I choose to use. Well, that’s me. And if that’s you too, High Five! Otherwise, there’s a whole lot more of the first 4 to consider.

Pro: The Cool “Vintage 4 Track Recorder” Factor
Cons: Need A Separate Footswitch To Play Live
BEST RECOMMENDED FOR:
 PEOPLE WITH AN VINTAGE SOUL LIKE ME
IF THAT’S YOU, THE BEST BUY IS FOUND HERE( $637 $478) .


Thanks for reading the above reviews. Hope you’ll find one for your use and join in the WORLD OF LOOPERS. Have I ever told you it is the most important pedal you can ever have?

What’s So Good About The Soundbrenner Pulse?

I’m not an early adopter of new technology. But for the Soundbrenner Pulse I changed that. I bought one even before it was released because it was such a good idea. So what’s so good about the Soundbrenner Pulse that made me do that?

Soundbrenner Pulse is not like any you have ever seen in the past. Two of the most novel ways to describe it are

1. It’s metronome you can wear like a smart watch and

2. It’s the metronome of the 21st Century.

The latter is because instead of the normal click we are so familiar with, it uses a haptic vibration that pulses on your skin as if its a part of you. That way, you don’t hear the beat but you feel it. Hence it means developing your inner sense of rhythm can be so much easier.

It was launched in the global crowdfunding platform Indiegogo in 2016. When I stumbled upon it, I was immediately captivated. I supported them and that was my first every crowdfunding project I did.

The Metronome Is An Important Tool Musicians Wish They Don’t Have To Use

Deep inside I knew I needed one.

Students of music inevitably encounter the metronome in their learning but many hated to be associated with one. Many music teachers affirm its importance. In fact, my first guitar teacher recommended that I use one on the FIRST DAY of my lesson seeing how rhythmically capable (or rather not capable) I was.

No wonder John Petrucci, Dream Theater’s guitarist extraordinaire highlighted in this Top 3 Practice Tips in Guitar World article that using a metronome as the 1st of his top 3 tips for practicing.

I believe the big reasons people don’t use it is the same as why I don’t use one in my 20 years of playing until now. A traditional metronome is PLAIN UGLY and has THAT FAMOUS IRRITATING CLICK.

We all know that irritation click. It haunts us in the house when our sister or brother take piano lessons or in school during our ensemble practice.

Well, that’s my sentiments and relationship with a metronome. Torturously, it is something I was forced to use but on my own WON’T.

For too many years, I’ve freed myself from the dread but something important suffered.

Yes, my sense of timing and beat took a real beating

Some may be born with a good sense of rhythm but for normal human beings like me, I need one. But the past hasn’t been favourable for me. That has become my sad story of how I lost good timing all these years to needing to look ‘cool’.

Now Unlike Others, For the First Time, A Metronome Looks Cool

Apple computers have proven to us that slickness is what we want. And the Soundbrenner Pulse has that kind of vibe.

To have a metronome that is wearable is an indigenous idea. Why nobody ever noticed our everyday challenge to having a metronome near when we need one?

Not only does it allow us to wear it, it comes with 2 type of straps to allow us the choice where we want to wear it on. The short one for the wrist and the long one for the arm or thigh or anywhere else in the body you can strap over.

Many people put it on their ankle or thigh! Soundbrenner is exploring a longer strap to be worn across the chest.

Wherever you wear it, it’s a cool gadget that you want to be seen with. At one point, I was wearing it the whole day because it is a fashion statement.

And it never fails to be a conversational piece. I sold more with one strapped on to me as a demo than showing it from the box.

No More Irritation. Don’t Hear The Beat, But Feel It

Instead of the annoying click, the vibrating haptic pulse beats against our body and helps us not just hear the beat but feel the beat. In noisy environments, that’s a great advantage. Even in not so noisy ones, it is a great way to make the beat work like its a part of us. Having the musical instrument beat with the human instrument, to me is an idea that is worth more than the price of the USD 99 admission.

Because It’s not uncool and not irritating to use….

Using It Means Better Rhythm And Hence Better Guitar Playing

I got this at the same time I discover Victor L Wooten’s The Music Lesson (which is one of the other recommended tool from me) and my musical exploration took a big turn to the better.

It truly was the tool that came at the right time to help me turn from playing bad to good guitar. The Music Lesson changed my philosophy about music. It helps me believe playing good guitar is a mindset as much as it is a skill. To know that rhythm is so much more important than notes is a powerful mindset change for me.

This device earned one of the Top 3 Recommended things for us to play good guitar.

Loving Something To Change From A Fan To A Salesman.

You see, I have loved the Soundbrenner Pulse the first time I lay my eyes on it. It was something I loved so much that it changed me from a fan to a salesman.

I was so excited about it and feeling a sense of responsibility to tell as many people as I can about it that I wrote to Florian Simmendinger, the CEO of Soundbrenner if I could represent them to introduce it to my world (The Singapore market, where I’m residing). I wrote a passionate long letter and with my raving reviews and begging, he allowed me to do it.

Selling Hundreds & The Sale Keeps Growing

The first 12 units sold out in 3 months. The second orders of 24 each all went quickly. Today I’ve sold hundreds and the sale keeps growing. And after this one year plus of owning and selling them, I still continue to use mine regularly. I have to honestly say that it has helped me improved my timing so much that I feel that I don’t need to use it anymore but I take it out for practice almost every week to hone my new rhythm skill.

It Is For Other Creative Applications Too.

Admittedly twice, I went to bed with it, using it to provide the pulse to rock me to sleep. I stopped doing it only because of concern that I have not researched enough if this is safe practice.

In the year that I sold those, I was occasionally surprised by people who buy it for other applications. No not just for Christmas, birthdays, or valentine day gifts which by the way, it is a perfect one.  Buying one for your musician friend, it is almost guaranteed a novelty that you’ll not be accused of not being thoughtful of your gift. But I’m not talking about just as gifts, but other applications as creative as the mind can imagine possible. Like once I had a beat-boxer who beatbox in an acapella group came and buy one from me. Then a few months later, a runner who wants to maintain constant heart beat when he runs. There’s also a boxer and a gym instructor getting it for reasons I frankly could have guessed but I really didn’t ask.

So After All’s Been Said, So What’s So Good About The SoundBrenner Pulse?

Let me list them out …

1) It’s cool so I use it all the time.

2) It’s wearable, it goes with me so I use it all the time.

3) It doesn’t click but pulses on your skin, it feels part of you , it helps to build my inner sense of rhythm

4) It gets improved and updated via firmware so my unit gets better as the team upgrades and makes improvements.

5) I get to train in other measures or styles I normally would not without it.

6) I can sync with another player I am playing with if he or she has one.

7) When I’m playing and recording there is no click track that bleeds into my recording.

8) Because I can wear in any parts of my body (well almost any) and if I wear it under my clothes, no one needs to know that I’m using a metronome

I can go on but most importantly because I keep using it, I keep improving. That’s the key in learning music, practice practice practice.

If you are in Singapore, you can get one from me at MyO’Things at Carousell.com. but otherwise, Amazon carries it now. It’s USD 99, not a lot of money for what it can do for you. I cannot recommend anything better to help us play good rhythm guitar and help us grow not only as a guitarist but as musicians. Now anyone is able to play better not just guitar, but piano, bass, drums and everything else where the beat is essential.

I also believe when we beat better together and being in line with life’s rhythm, we become better not just musicians but great human beings.

Enjoy this innovation as I have never enjoyed one as I have the SoundBrenner Pulse.

Buy It Cheapest At Amazon Here ….

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