Gear Review by Mr. T.

The TC electronics looper pedal : The “Ditto x 2 “. RRP approx.. $170 AUD.
I have resisted getting one of these but now I know I was kidding myself. These units are brilliant. You can back yourself and with practice you can make accurate loops on the fly in front of an audience and never have to put up with 5 people other people with unstable egos ,mental health issues and hidden agendas (a.k.a leading a band).

If you play an instrument then keeping up the interest and motivation to practice a lot in order to improve can go through peaks and troughs . I bought this unit to remove all the troughs. Designed chiefly for an electric guitarist or an electric bassist, this unit works for keys, vocals and other instruments too as long as you can mic. them up .

 

Basically it is a foot controlled digital version of a tape loop unit. You can use it to record unlimited overdubs for up to 5 continuous minutes to make backing tracks for practising and to come up with ideas. For people who are not interested in using electronics for inventing and composing new music (The Jazz police) , it is very useful for recording a whole jazz chart chord sequence as written into a loop of chords or a bassline.

I have worked out how to loop both parts on bass and guitar on a Wayne Shorter chart for example , using 3 amp.s and an A/ B box ( a line splitter). You need to use an external real metronome for the loop to be any good. You need to make no mistakes or the loop will have the same error at the same place in time over and over again. Once you have nailed the backing track you can play the melody or the head in multiple harmony parts and solo over the chords in real time and real harmony. How can that be wrong?

This unit has many features which are useful and interesting. You can play the solo back in reverse like a backwards tape and play the chords to that in real time. You can record some overdubs backwards while the basic loop is going forwards. You can do simulated tape vari sped recording use a half time setting to record a slowly played phrase and when you return the playback speed to normal the phrase comes out very quickly and an octave higher.

There is a standalone start and separate stop foot control switch and you can erase a dud overdub without wiping everything. So yes it has a computerized memory function. You can store a backing track for dumping onto a computer and you can easily wipe everything with a long tap of the foot when the unit becomes clogged up and craps itself as all digital units eventually do.

The lights tell you which function is operating and you can save the best backing tracks to a hard drive via a USB out with which the unit comes equipped with the right lead for the that. There are many other useful functions and they are intuitively simple and user friendly features.

If you add delay , chorus, phase shifters , overdrive and other effects / stomp boxes before the input jack to the looper you can make some very ambient music not unlike that heard on the classic ambient tape loop based LP by Fripp and Eno : “ Evening star”. You can record loops with effects and using two amp.s and the stereo output play the lead without effects thus creating a contrast . Using an 8 track machine such as a TASCAM home digital recording unit, you can record many loops on one droning key center or one chord and then mix and match then using the mixing console like a musical instrument .

The possibilities are quite broad. I can recommend this Looper unit and the MXR A/B box , both of which allow you to play in stereo or multi amp. Your output for stereo effects processing. Both units use an ac/dc 9 Volt adapter. Batteries for any digital tool will last about 10 minutes if you are lucky. You will need to go to the website for TC electronics and download the complete instructions manual and the link to accessing some generic pre fab backing tracks.

So go and Buy a “Ditto x 2 “ looper pedal . Go for it that is what they say these days!

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