The best loop station is the one that fits your needs and style.
There are a lot of different features to consider when picking out the perfect device for you.
Depending on your experience level and playing style there are different types of pedals out there that will work better than others. If you’re looking for something really versatile than an all-in-one looper might work best for you, or maybe even two loops at once!
Other musicians may prefer more simplified devices with fewer options so they don’t get confused.
Loop stations are a great way to add loops and other effects to your guitar playing.
They’re an essential tool for musicians who want to sound like they have a backing band with them at all times.
Choosing the right loop station can be difficult, so we’ve put together this blog post of tips on how to pick out the best one for you!
What is a Loop Station?
A loop station is an electronic device that records a sound and lets you play it back over and over again.
The idea behind them is to get the feel of playing with other musicians, but without the need for any additional players.
These are great for guitarists because they allow you to create music on your own, or with friends!
A loop station can be anything from a small box with buttons on it, to a laptop computer program.
It’s typically used by performing artists during live shows as well as by studio musicians to record parts such as backing vocals or guitar solos.
The term “looper” often refers specifically to devices designed for use on electric guitars , but there are also stand-alone units designed for use with keyboards.
The best loop stations are the ones that serve their purpose. We pick out our top choices for you and review the pros and cons of each.
The Boss RC-1 runs on a single 9 volt alkaline battery for approximately four-and-a-half hours of life.
If you’re looking for that professional power performance, but are running low on juice, this is also an amazingly affordable introduction to AC adaptability with no need for replacing or recharging batteries thanks to the optional PSA series adapter (sold separately).
12 minutes of stereo recording time lets you do some good work while your gear drinks up all that sweet AC energy!
This is a compact pedal for creating loops and experimenting with musical ideas.
It rivals larger loop stations, but has the foot-switchable mode that you need to create complete songs on the fly. Get ready for your best ideas ever while you’re out of town!
Designed for the working musician, BOSS RC-1 Loop Station takes looping to another level.
With stereo inputs and outputs, flexible external footswitch options, the recorded phrase is retained in memory even after the RC-1 is turned off and the last recorded phrase stays in memory even after you turn the pedal off – perfect for building song ideas!
Of course it’s a Boss product so there are plenty of quality features including an all new sample rate reducer that provides high quality loops at faster playback depending on your needs.
- Super easy to use.
- 12 mins of recording time.
- Runs on a 9-volt battery.
- Can be used with an AC adaptor.
- Great for exploring your creativity.
- Clean signal.
- Cannot be cleared without a couple seconds of playback.
- No drum tracks.
The Boss Loop Station guitar pedal is like a 3D recording studio on your pedalboard.
It’s perfect for everything from getting ideas down fast to polishing the finest details of an epic solo, and it’s easy enough to use that even first-time musicians can produce impressive recordings instantly.
Record up to three different parts independently of one another, mix them together with ultra-low latency* as in multi track recording systems.
You’re also free from clunky foot pedals while still enjoying hands-free control over every aspect of each loop point: Start/stop loops, individual volume levels and more, all without ever taking your feet off the guitar!
You can create lush, complex layers of sound with this loop station.
Plug in and three tracks await. You can play each one separately or layer them for an incredible soundscape that’s anything you want it to be.
With dedicated foot switches and controls, expression pedal control for real-time effects, and up to three hours of internal recording time per session, the BOSS Loop Station is as powerful as it is easy to use.
Experiment on a looped recording until you find just the right tone, then play along while letting your imagination run wild.
You’ll love experimenting with different backdrops or beefing up a solo track—just start playing and see what happens!
- Features three stereo tracks.
- Expression pedal.
- Up to three hours of recording.
- USB connectivity.
- 3 channel mixer.
- Controls for each channel.
- Tempo change is sensitive.
- Learning curve will be needed.
This sleek device takes 10 minutes of clear looping with unlimited overdubbing and allows you to undo/redo/delete to your heart’s content.
Super precisely true bypass made it’ll never muddle up your sound with unwanted noise, bringing unmatched quality clarity that can’t be beat.
The Rowin interface will also give you precise control over speeds – which makes it amazing for practicing and improvising solo guitar pieces or composing orchestral arrangements.
And everyone loves that 1/2 speed mode!
Recording is fun but sometimes it’s not practical.
With the Rowin Loop Station, you can use your imagination and create on a stage all of your own with digital production features to back you up!
This product is high-quality which will provide durability and longevity for years to come.
It comes without instructions so be sure to spend some time learning the ins and outs.
One knob allows for adjustment of volume so that roaring sound effects are more realistic without blowing out anyone’s eardrums.
The quality speaks volumes about these speakers – they have a sleek design with an equalizer display that takes creativity and harmonies to new levels by turning them into hip powerful music devices!
- Small and compact.
- Built to last.
- Great reproduction with low noise.
- Can be plugged into a USB port.
- Great for creative songwriting.
- Features three modes.
- Does not come with instructions.
- Tuner is sensitive which affects accuracy.
Stax Mini Looper Guitar Pedal Loop Station is 10 mins of clear looping with unlimited overdubbing.
It’s easy to wipe away unwanted parts and it never drenches out your soul.
Press that foot switch, then tickle this dial to undo, redo or delete mistakes undone in seconds.
There are even separate controls for each track making this pedal deck so you could use it on an airplane as a tray table.
Use this mini looping pedal to create complex layered riffs, one-finger wahs and outrageous octaves.
Start out with a rhythm riff and then add some parts on top of it or use the looper as a scratch instrument for during solos.
The Stax is powered by a 9V adapter (not included) which has more than enough power to make your sound loud and clear.
It also features an input jack that will allow you to expand your device into stereo using two amps, effects pedals, speakers—whatever you feel like adding!
Pre-recorded background loops are even available in memory card slots so there will never be any shortage of ideas when creating original music or backing tracks.
- Lightweight and compact.
- Easy to use.
- Up to 10 mins with unlimited dubbing.
- Simple to import to PC.
- Features three modes.
- Great sound quality.
- If running straight into an amp, the sound quality will be thinner.
Best Under $100
This product was designed by guitarist at TC Electronic with the intention to make looper pedals available to a whole new generation of musicians.
The only control on this simple yet powerful item is a single level knob which will allow you to dial in the volume or tone of your loops.
This model also has analog dry-through, true bypass as well as unlimited overdubs and unload/reloads capabilities that can go for up to five minutes per file recorded into it surpassing any other “looping” pedal out there!
It’s excellent at saving time and simplifying why loopers are so versatile. Simply plug in your instrument, set the level, and let it rip.
The true bypass makes sure this pedal will never color your sound.
When new loops are recorded they’re uncompressed 24-bit audio which means even more sounds than before!
- Good for guitar and bass.
- Easy to use.
- Up to a five minute looper.
- True bypass for optimal clarity.
- Internal memory.
- Single knob use.
- Could use a dedicated off switch.
- Does not come with instructions.
Best Two Track Loop Station
Noted by Guitar Player as “a truly top- of -the-line guitar looper,” with features like stereo instrument inputs and 13 hours of cordless record time built in, the RC-500 is a pro at all levels.
All 99 phrases can be stored onboard and sent to USB Memory or PC/Mac via USB MIDI out so they’ll never be forgotten.
A 4.3″ color screen displays measure information for easy timing on stage or in the studio, while an expansive tempo adjustment dial controls everything from rock solid drum loops to wild sound effects fills all without worry that your signal will cut out during a live performance.
It also features 114 built-in drum patterns (57 variations) with 16 drum kits, along with an assignable reverb and expression ports for remote control.
This is everything you need to get your ideas moving!
It has a built in recording time of up to 299 hours at 24 bit/96 kHz resolution, which is enough for over three weeks on stand by mode.
You can choose between 4 AAA batteries or optional power supply (not included).
To make creating easier there are foot switches and expression pedals that allow you full functionality without having to take your hands off the instrument.
This allows you to create while never missing a beat.
- Amazing sound quality.
- Simple and easy to use.
- Features 13 total hours of playback.
- 57 preset rhythms.
- 16 different drum kits.
- Designed for live performances.
- LCD could be larger.
- Volume to adjust each track would be useful.
It also has some cool features, including one type of play (mono), the stereo input and output, left and right channels volume individually adjustable, high-quality sound/no noise with 10 minutes of looping time, unlimited overdubs and undo/redo function.
We love how easy it is to use with a clear professional audio design delivered to you home or stage!
If you want to be heard or add a very subtle performance or jaw dropping show this product can give you exactly what you’re looking for.
Switching up loops is a great way to get new inspiration or create the perfect song.
Slow down those hard-hitting guitar riffs, speed up and reverse that crazy solo for some wild effects, make a spooky echo for when you’re feeling atmospheric!
A compact size makes VSN Twin Looper Electric Guitar Effect Pedal Loop Station perfect on any pedal board – use it without taking up too much space.
Featuring heavy duty footswitch true bypass build quality at an unbeatable price, this pedal can really take a beating while looking good doing it.
- Slim and sleek.
- Easy to learn how to use.
- USB port to import tracks.
- 10 mins of looping.
- Good quality knobs.
- 11 types of play.
- Power adapter not included.
- Has no true bypass.
Best for Beginners
The Lekato Guitar Looper Effect Pedal Loop is the toy for you.
With nine loops, and 40 minutes of recording time, you have ample room for experimentation. It operates at a high sample rate so that your music never sounds cheap or amateur; in fact it has professional tone quality!
And if live performances beckon, continuous switching won’t make playing difficult because there’s no discordant interruption between phrases.
Best of all, the visual time indicator makes this looper easy-to-use even if you’re juggling tons of timing changes on stage.
The pedal is compact and functional, making it an easy addition to any practice setup. The sound quality isn’t compromised with noise reduction, which ensures true tones without distortion.
Easy-to-read instructions are provided inside the packaging for those new to looping and getting started quickly will be a breeze!
- Features 9 loops.
- 40 minutes of total recording time.
- Unlimited overdubs.
- One footswitch control.
- Small and compact.
- Comes with USB
- Light is always on which can be distracting.
Best for Multi-Effects
The G1X FOUR allows musicians of all levels of genre explore their creativity while experiencing the benefits of more than 70 different traditional and boutique guitar effects like chorus, flange, reverb, delay, distortion or modulation.
With 13 classic amp models including chrome classics such as Fender Bassman and Vox AC30, electric favorites like Randall CO2RTE or Matchless DC-30 1×12 Classic British Combo Amp plus internationally acclaimed brands such as Orange Tiny Terror combo amp.
Sometimes creating great music is as easy as a second hand on the clock and this makes that process even simpler with an intuitive interface and built-in drum loops, so you’re never lost in the beat.
Add some reverb to your acoustic sound or slide in those effects pedals for a must-have guitar solo without ever breaking out of tempo.
Keep time while laying down a solid groove with the onboard chromatic tuner, which supports standard, open, and drop tunings.
So no matter what type of project you have planned, move confidently through all 30 seconds of looping space or take up your instrument for emphasis!
- 71 built in guitar effects.
- 13 amp models.
- Free download of Zoom guitar software.
- Can create dynamic arrangements.
- Easy to use.
- Runs on batteries or AC adapter.
- Learning curve with Zoom software.
- Would be more convenient if all controls can be accessed by foot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions in our buyers guide!
What loop station does Ed Sheeran use?
Most may know this, but in case you don’t, Ed Sheeran is a singer-songwriter from the UK who has been touring for years.
He’s gained fame in recent years with songs like “Shape of You” and “Thinking Out Loud.”
As his popularity continues to grow, so does his demand for live performances which he’s able to do with the help of looping technology.
He’s been a famous musician for years and has relied on his custom Chewie 2 looper pedal. The looping device is capable of storing up to 100 loops!
The British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran always makes sure he can create perfect music with the help of his company, Custom Audio Electronics (CEA).
This loop station, known as “Chewy,” was made in collaboration with his tech Trevor Dawkins.
The compact foot pedal boasts an internal Boss RC-20 Loop Station along with integration into its favorite plugin Mobius by Moog Music, Inc., which allows him access to all kinds of sound effects at any time during live performances or recording sessions that would otherwise take hours upon hours if done manually.
Are loop stations hard to learn?
Loop stations are not hard to learn.
If you follow the directions (if provided) and practice, you will be creating beautiful music in no time!
The controls on a loop station make it easier for any guitarist to create music because they are like any other instrument key.
What is the difference between loop station and loop pedal?
Loop station and pedal are basically the same product. The “station” is to view it as just that, an area to create and work on your music.
What should I look for when buying a looper pedal?
There are some important things to consider before making the purchase.
First, how much recording time do you need?
Second, what type of input do you want: mono or stereo?
Third, is it necessary that the sound stays true even if you’re not playing anything on your guitar (for example: during pauses)?
Lastly, if there’s an option between two similar pedals with slightly different features; how do you know which one to get?
We suggest just trying some out as you may go through a few loop pedals and stations.
There are many different uses for a loop station, and while we’ve only scratched the surface in this blog post with our picks above, hopefully they gave you some clarity on what features may be most useful to your needs.
If not, let us know!
We would love to hear from you about how else we can help find the perfect loop station for your creative endeavors.
Whether it’s helping create new music or writing unique pieces of poetry that will captivate audiences near and far, there is no better partner than an experienced musician like yourself who understands the intricacies of sound design and has access to all sorts of technology.
Please share any thoughts below and remember to always HAVE FUN!