Looper pedals are incredibly handy to have for both practice and live performances. As you may or may not know, looper pedals are often referred to as ‘loop pedals’ or ‘looping stations.’
These pedals give you the ability to record a tune and allow you to play it back with only the press of a button (or foot should I say!).
One of the great things about looper pedals is that any instrument can make use of them – it doesn’t just have to be your guitar. Plug in your piano, keyboard, or any other instrument, and you will be ready to start looping in no time.
If you are reading this right now then you are probably looking for a looper pedal that you can use during a live performance. Truth be told, there are lots of great looper pedals out there right now for you to choose from.
In saying that though, we only want to be looking at the best!
In this article we will be checking out all of the best looper pedals for live performances, so you can buy your next looper with confidence.
Best Looper Pedals for Live Performances Comparison Chart
5 Best Looper Pedals for Live Performances
1. BOSS RC-3 Loop Station
- Small and compact pedal
- Store up to 99 loops
- 3 hours of recording time
- Inbuilt USB port
- Power with 9V battery or AC adaptor
Sitting at the top of our list is the BOSS RC-3 Loop Station, which is one of the successors of the original loop station, the BOSS RC-1.
The BOSS RC-3 is a very powerful yet surprisingly compact looper pedal. One of the best things about this pedal is that it gives you up to 3 hours of recording time, which is enough for any musician to make use of.
In addition to this, the RC-3 also allows you to store up to 99 loops, which will give you the option to replay these tracks at any time. You will be able to save all of your recordings thanks to the built-in USB port of the pedal.
Furthermore, you can also upload WAV files from your computer to the RC-3. This will allow you to play along with all of the songs and tracks you love. Just keep in mind that there is a limit to the size of the files that you upload to the pedal, which is a hefty 1.7 GB.
You may also know that the RC-3 has inbuilt drum tracks. These drum tracks will allow you to keep track of the beat while you are on stage or in the studio. You will find that this feature is incredibly useful to have in many situations.
The auto-record feature of the RC-3 picks up on when you start playing and instantly starts recording. In addition to this, the pedal also features a count-in mode that will, obviously, count you in before the pedal starts recording your instrument.
It is so easy to undo or redo your tracks as you play along!
You can power the RC-3 using either a 9V battery or optional AC adaptor. If you are playing live then you will probably always have it hooked up to an AC adaptor, but it is still a cool option to have regardless.
The last thing I want to mention about the RC-3 is that it is also very user-friendly. It won’t take you long to get accustomed to the simple layout of the pedal, which means you can spend more time using the looper, and less time trying to figure out how to use it!
If you are looking for a fantastic looper pedal that won’t take up much room on your pedalboard, then the RC-3 may just be the pedal you have been looking for. I can definitely say that this is one of, if not the best, looper pedals that is around right now for live performances.
2. TC Electronic Ditto Looper
- Simplistic 1-knob design
- 5 minutes of looping
- Incredibly small and compact
- Saves the previous loop when powered off
- 3-Year warranty
Sitting at second place on our list of the best looper pedals for live performances is none other than the TC Electronic Ditto Looper, which is a fantastic looper pedal that is built by guitarists, for guitarists!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this pedal, the Ditto Looper is known for being an incredibly small but versatile looper pedal. In fact, the pedal is only 1.9 x 1.9 x 3.7 inches (48 x 48 x 93 mm) in size.
We weren’t joking when we said the Ditto Looper was small!
The Ditto Looper features a 5-minute looper for you to make use of. In addition to this, the pedal also lets you record as many layers as you want over each other, which allows you to be as creative as you want to be.
When you plug your instrument into the Ditto Looper you will be happy to know that the integrity of your signal will be preserved as it travels through the pedal. Ultimately, this will result in an undisturbed signal that has the highest amount of clarity.
As you can probably tell by the images of the product, the Ditto Looper is an incredibly simplistic and straight-forward looper pedal. The pedal features 1 x control knob that is used to adjust the level of the loop, and a footswitch to activate and deactivate the looper.
At a glance, you may think that the Ditto Looper is quite fragile due to its miniature size, but that is where you would be wrong. The pedal features a sturdy die-cast metal enclosure that is sure to stop it from getting damaged from the uncertainty of live performances.
When you turn off the Ditto Looper you will find that the pedal will remember what you recorded previously. This is all thanks to the internal memory of the pedal, which will make sure you have access to the loop that you set up earlier.
If you are looking for an extremely compact looper pedal that you can fit in the palm of your hand, then look no further than the Ditto Looper. Furthermore, the Ditto Looper also comes with a 3-year warranty that will cover the pedal if it is to get damaged during this time.
3. Donner Tiny Looper
- Miniature-sized pedal
- 3 Looping modes
- 10 Minutes of looping
- Unlimited overdubs
- Simplistic and easy-to-use
The Donner Tiny Looper is another incredibly small pedal coming in at only 1.4 x 1.6 x 3 (36 x 40 x 75 mm) inches in size and weighing in at a mere 210 g. This is easily the smallest looper on our list by far and is possible even the smallest looper ever made.
The first thing I want to mention about the Donner Tiny Looper is that it gives you a full 10 minutes of looping with an infinite amount of overdubs to go with it. In addition to this, the pedal also features true-bypass functionality, which means that your signal will not be altered in any way as it passes through the pedal.
In all honesty, the Donner Tiny Looper is rather study considering its miniature size. This is all thanks to the aluminum alloy casing of the pedal.
One of the features that sets the Donner Tiny Looper apart from all of the other looper pedals is that it features a 3-way switch that can toggle between 3 different looper modes. These 3 looper modes are:
- HALF SPEED (plays loop at ½ speed)
- NORMAL (plays loop at regular speed)
- REVERSE (reverses the sound of the loop)
As you can see, the Donner Tiny Looper gives you quite a bit of room to experiment with these different modes. With a bit of time, you may be able to find the perfect loop you have been looking for.
There isn’t really too much to say about the Donner Looper as it is an incredibly simplistic looper that does exactly what it was designed for… and that is looping! This pedal is by far the easiest and most straightforward looper that you can use.
Once you have plugged in the Donner Looper it will only take you a couple of minutes to figure out how it works. This is a great option for those of you who are new to looper pedals and want something simple and affordable.
If this sounds like something you would be looking for in a looper pedal, then the Donner Looper would be a great option for you to consider.
4. Electro-Harmonix Canyon Delay & Looper
- Versatile looper pedal
- 11 Effects for you to choose from
- Durable housing
Coming in at number 4 on our list is the Electro-Harmonix Canyon Delay & Looper for those of you who want a bit more than just a plain-old looper pedal.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Canyon is one of the best-looking looper pedals out there right now. This pedal is easily identifiable by the canyon artwork on the front of the pedal. You best believe that this pedal is sure to look amazing on any pedalboard.
The Canyon features a bunch of awesome effects for you to play around with. These 11 effects include:
- LOOP (looper)
- ECHO(digital delay)
- MULTI (multi-tap delay)
- DMM (Deluxe Memory Man)
- VERB (reverb + delay)
- SHIM (shimmer)
- MOD (modulated delay)
- REVRS (reverse delay)
- TAPE (tape delay)
- OCT (octave delay)
- S/H (sample & hold)
As you can see, there is a wide variety of different effects for you to choose from. The looper gives you a max loop time of only 62 seconds, which is a bit low compared to most of the other looper pedals that are featured on our list.
The Canyon comes in at 2.75 x 4.5 x 2 (70 x 115 x 51 mm) inches in size, which is the typical size of most pedals out there right now.
If you are looking for a looper pedal that does a whole lot more than just looping, then the Electro-Harmonix Canyon Delay & Looper would be an amazing fit for you. Alternatively, If you are looking for just a straight-up looper pedal, then you should check out one of the other looper pedals that we have featured on our list.
5. Electro-Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper
It was hard to decide on who would finish last on our list today, but we have gone and put the Electro-Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper in this spot. Regardless of sitting in the last spot, this looper pedal is still a fantastic pedal amongst all the other looper pedals on our list.
Unlike the Canyon Delay & Looper, the 720 Stereo Looper has been designed specifically for looping. So with that being said, you will come to realize that this pedal is not as versatile as the Canyon, but it makes up for that with some amazing features.
The 720 Stereo Looper gives you up to 720 seconds (12 minutes) of stereo recording time. In addition to this, you are also given 10 independent loops with an unlimited amount of overdubs at your disposal.
This looper pedal is a great option for those of you who are looking to take it up on stage with you at your next performance.
One of the great things about the 720 Stereo Looper is that you can easily undo/redo your loops at any time. In addition to this, you will also be able to replay your loops at ½ speed and even put them in reverse for a cool sounding loop.
You can power the 720 Stereo Looper using either a 9V battery or AC adaptor, which makes it perfect for on-the-road use and stage performances. The looper pedal comes in at 4 x 4.75 x 2.25 (102 x 121 x 58 mm) inches, which is one of the bigger looper pedals on our list today.
Overall, the 720 Stereo Looper is still a fantastic looper pedal that can be used for live performances. I have no problem recommending this pedal to either intermediate or advance looper pedal enthusiasts.
How to Use a Loop Pedal
Some of you may be wondering, “how do I use a loop pedal?”
If this sounds like you then don’t worry, we have got you covered!
The first thing that you should know is that the functionality of a looper can be separated into 3 different parts, which are:
Looper pedals will often have a button or footswitch that can be pressed down in order for you to start recording. Pressing down the button a second time will stop this recording process.
Many looper pedals will allow you to record another, or multiple tracks, over the first one that you have just recorded. This is what is known as ‘overdubbing.’
Looper pedals are quite easy to use once you have got the hang of them. It won’t be long before you can impress all of your friends with your newly-found looping skills.
Well, there you have it guys!
This was our take on the best looper pedals out there right now for live performances. Hopefully, you were able to take a few things away from this article, and are now one step closer to finding the perfect looper pedal for your needs.
There are so many good looper pedals out there right now, so it was actually quite a difficult task choosing the best ones. I think we have done a pretty good job though, so you can buy your next looper pedal with confidence that you are getting a high-quality product.
We would love to hear your thoughts about our looper pedal recommendations that we have listed today. Do you agree/disagree with us? Give us your thoughts on who should have placed first on our list!
Alex is a man of many talents. He’s been playing music since he was young, and has been the main content writer at Tone Start for the past few years. Alex loves to play around with different styles of music and enjoys listening to anything from country to classical.