In this review we will be checking out the BOSS RC-1 Loop Station pedal! Tone Start will be covering everything you need to know about the pedal before you go out and buy it. We will be checking out its features, sound, performance, durability, and provide you with our overall opinion on the pedal.
- Simple and easy-to-use
- Compact design
- Three modes: recording, overdub, and playback
- Stereo inputs and outputs
- Loop is stored in memory even when switched off
- Powered by a 9V battery or AC adaptor
- Ability to plug-in external footswitch
If you have any experience or knowledge about guitar pedals then you would have most-likely heard about BOSS. BOSS are responsible for manufacturing a wide-range of effects pedals for both the guitar and bass. The company was founded back in 1973, and is a division of the Japanese manufacturer Roland Corporation. Many popular artists are affiliated with BOSS products, including big names such as Steve Vai, Eric Johnson and John 5.
WHAT IS A LOOP PEDAL?
“A guitar loop pedal records short passages played on an instrument and plays them back in a repeating loop. Loops can be mixed together to create complex rhythms and harmonies from layers of simpler parts. Usually a loop pedal is used to create a backing that you play along with.”
Pedal switch: The pedal switch allows you to switch between three modes: recording, overdubbing, and playback.
Level knob: The level knob controls the volume of the loop phrase being played back.
The BOSS RC-1 works through the use of the footswitch. Here is how the pedal is operated:
First tap – begins recording loop
Second tap – plays back loop
Third tap – begins overdub recording
Fourth tap – plays back loop
Tap twice in quick succession – stops playback
Hold down for 2 seconds – erases loop
The BOSS RC-1 provides up to 12 minutes of stereo recording time. The loop will remain stored even when the pedal is turned off, which is handy when you want to save the loop for later. It’s a great pedal to improve your playing ability by easily creating your own backing track to play along with.
BOSS have a variety of loop stations to choose from including the RC-3, RC-30, RC-300 and the RC-505. The RC-1 is easily the simplest one to date. It is extremely easy to use with a very small learning curve.
The circular 24-segment LED display located on the front of the pedal is easy to read and indicates when the loop starts and ends. It also shows what mode you are in (rec/overdub/play) at a glance. The pedal is great for inexperienced loop pedal users, but is simple enough to appeal to more experienced users too.
I found myself using the looper primarily for soloing over different chords I had saved on the device. The pedal is not just for use with electric guitars either, it can work with vocals, basses, or anything else that can provide an output signal. My friend would even loop the sound of his own beat boxing, which he would then sing over after it was recorded. That’s just one example of the many uses the BOSS RC-1 can provide.
The pedal takes one 9V battery to be powered on. An adapter can also be used, which will have to be purchased separately to the pedal itself. Like all new BOSS products the pedal comes with a 5 year warranty guarantee. So you can rest assured knowing if there’s any issues that it can be replaced easily.
If you do use the BOSS RC-1 to loop vocals and it doesn’t come out well then the quality of your microphone is probably the source of the problem. So make sure you consider the quality of your equipment before buying the pedal.
One of my favourite things about BOSS pedals is their insane durability. You can tell they are built to last, and suitable for use anywhere. On the road, or at home, the RC-1 will not let you down in terms of overall durability and longevity. I don’t see this pedal failing for many years at least.
BOSS RC-1 VS. BOSS RC-3
There are a few notable differences between the two loop station pedals. In short, the BOSS RC-3 is more superior to the RC-1. We will be writing an article in the near-future to discuss the major differences between the two pedals.
The BOSS RC-1 is a terrific pedal for its price. If you are looking for a simple, compact, easy-to-use, and sturdy looper pedal then it’s a no-brainer. I would definitely recommend this to beginners and advanced musicians alike. The biggest downside of the RC-1 would be its ability to only store one loop at a time. If you are looking for a bit more functionality then I would recommend checking out one of the other looper pedals from BOSS, such as the RC-3.
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.