Vocal looper pedals open up a new world of possibilities for singers. These state-of-the-art devices have a range of features installed that can be used to create layers of vocals and effects.
For solo musicians who want more dimensions to their performances, vocal looper pedals are the perfect solution. With many variations on the market, this article will help you to narrow down your search and find the best vocal looper pedal to suit your needs.
Best Vocal Looper Pedals for Singers
When it comes to vocal effects pedals, TC-Helicon boasts an extensive range of quality offerings. The Ditto Mic is a simple vocal looper pedal that provides a straightforward method for creating unlimited overdubs.
Featuring two footswitches and single rotary control, the Ditto Mic allows you to loop harmonies and vocal percussion without complications. The stop/erase and loop switches are used to instantly record vocal sections of any length.
There's also a useful redo feature for correcting any mistakes that may occur when creating your vocal loops. Additionally, the Ditto Mic can be used by drummers and percussionists to record basic loops and then add decoration retrospectively.
With USB connectivity, this TC-Helicon vocal loop pedal can easily be plugged into a computer or laptop. Combined with the popular VoiceSupport app, the pedal provides you with access to presets and updates for the best possible performance.
Although the Ditto Mic may look like your average stompbox, it is much more than that.
Part of the TC-Helicon vocal processor line, this studio-grade pedal houses a high-quality mic preamp and exceptional A/D conversion. It is also compatible with the MP-75 mic for handheld operation.
The VoiceLive 3 Extreme by TC-Helicon is the latest addition to the popular range of vocal looper pedals. Building upon the undeniable success of its predecessor, the 3rd edition has four-times more memory and many other improved features.
Offering complete control over the shaping and enhancement of your vocals, the VoiceLive 3 houses a long list of processing effects. These include modulation, reverbs, delays, and distortions.
The looper function is controlled using one of the ten footswitches, tapping once to begin the loop, and again to set the length. You can store your user presets within the internal memory and access them instantly using the toggle footswitches on the left side of the pedal.
TC-Electronics' highly respected TonePrint technology is also present in the VoiceLive 3 Extreme. This feature gives you access to effect presets and amp models that can be incorporated into your vocal loops.
For importing and exporting settings and updates, the VoiceLive 3 has USB connectivity built-in. You can store samples, backing tracks, and loop ideas within the pedal, and process them using the onboard effects units.
There’s also the useful addition of a performance recorder, which captures your loops in pristine 24-bit audio and saves them directly onto a USB flash drive, allowing you to listen back and review your live show.
3. Boss RC-300
The Boss RC-300 is one of the most powerful loop pedals on the market. An all-in-one hub for your looper requirements, this pedal houses three separate stereo tracks which can all be recorded and played back simultaneously.
With the looper pedal, you can record up to three hours of continuous audio to the internal memory. Then, once the loop has been created, you can add effects and process it to your liking.
In total there are 16 onboard effects installed within the RC-300. These effects are all optimized for looping and include the classics such as reverbs, delays, and modulation along with filters, lo-fi settings, and transition effects for blending sections.
There’s also a dedicated percussion and rhythm section built into the pedal. With tap tempo, a variety of metronomes, and pre-recorded drum loops, adding percussion to your vocal loops couldn't be easier.
All of the loops you create with the RC-300 can be instantly stored using the USB port. In the same way, you can import and export WAV files and add samples or loops to your existing compositions.
There’s even phantom power for condenser mics if it is required.
The range of effects pedals offered by Electro-Harmonix is nothing short of remarkable. If you can think of an effect, chances are EXH produces exactly what you are looking for.
The 1440 Stereo Looper is an easily operable loop pedal with streamlined performance and functionality. With a total of 20 independent loops onboard, you can use this pedal to create layer upon layer of vocal tracks and blend them all.
Along with the top layer of 1440, there are four rotary controls which are labeled Level, Tempo, Overdub, and Mode.
Each of these knobs is pivotal to creating the final loop and can be used to adjust the output after the original vocal track has been captured.
There are stereo inputs and outputs installed on this EHX vocal looper, so you can send it into an effects rig or record vocals and instruments simultaneously. Also, there are some useful and unique features for adding expression to your loops.
The adjustable fade out time is a great tool for seamlessly linking loops and preventing sudden spikes in dynamics. Additionally, the reverse button allows you to instantly flip your loops and create trippy, ambient sounding textures.
1440 also has a USB port so you can easily store, save, and transport your loops from the pedal to a computer or laptop. These loops can then be integrated into your DAW and developed further.
5. Boss VE-8
The Boss VE-8 Acoustic Singer is more than just a vocal loop pedal. With its intuitive, retro-looking design, a plethora of effects options, and multiple performance-enhancing features, this pedal is a great choice for vocalists of all styles and abilities.
Compatible with both vocals and guitars, the VE-8 Acoustic Singer is the perfect tool for creating authentic loops. The 80-second looper allows you to tap out drum rhythms and play along with them, or add them to your recordings.
For singers who are still learning their craft, the onboard pitch correction will be a welcome addition. This function not only keeps your vocals in tune, but it can be used as an auto-tune styled effect too.
The Loop function is triggered by pressing the large circular footswitch on the bottom right of the pedal. There is a separate section for editing guitar and vocal tracks, and level controls for the overall output.
Indeed, one of the most important aspects of a vocal looper pedal is the ability to reproduce audio with pristine clarity. The VE-8 can do so thanks to the pro-grade vocal preamp which houses multiple effects and enhancers.
6. Boss RC-500
If you need every looping possibility at your disposal, the Boss RC-500 could be a perfect choice. Featuring aesthetics that pay homage to the classic Boss processors of years gone by, the RC-500 offers complete control over vocal and instrument loops.
An improved version of the hugely popular RC-30 looper, this Boss pedal features a newly added color LCD, expressive onboard drum tracks and samples, and a seemingly limitless amount of stereo recording time.
Whether you need to record beatboxing for percussion, intricate guitar licks, or layers of vocal harmonies, the RC-500 has got you covered. It's a wonderful tool for taking your live performances to the next level, or for composing new ideas.
Offering a staggering total of 13 hours of glitch-free audio looping in 32-bit stereo, the RC-500 proves that quality and quantity can co-exist. You can blend different tracks within the loops in real-time, and edit them using the onboard effects.
There are 114 drum tracks readily available within the pedal's memory bank, and you can even create your rhythms. With USB connectivity, it's easy to back up your loops or import audio tracks to improve them.
What Makes a Great Vocal Looper Pedal?
Some looper pedals are best suited to tracking guitar parts and samples, while others have qualities that make them perfect for vocal performances. Here are the key attributes and qualities you need from a vocal looper pedal.
Number of Tracks
Firstly, it’s important to establish the number of independent vocal tracks you’d ideally need from a looper pedal. The more tracks you have, the more harmonies and textures you can add to your loop compositions.
If you like to use vocal percussion, backing harmonies, and lead vocals in your performances, then you should look for a looper pedal that has at least two independent tracks. This will allow you to group the backing elements and have a track spare for lead parts.
It’s also important to remember that vocal looper pedals that offer a high number of independent tracks require more focus and practice to master. The increased options come with the trade-off of having to remember what is recorded on each separate loop!
XLR microphone inputs are used to record vocals onto a loop pedal. Many vocal loop artists connect different microphones to their pedals so that they can use the best-suited mic for particular aspects.
For example, if you choose a vocal looper with multiple microphone inputs, you can connect a rugged dynamic mic for recording louder vocal parts, as it will handle the transients effectively.
You could then use the other input to connect a microphone better suited to recording conventional vocal tracks. If the looper pedal offers +48v phantom power, you could even hook a condenser up for maximum clarity.
Another key aspect of vocal looping is adding effects to your recorded tracks. While some singers prefer their vocals to be dry and natural sounding, many like to add reverb, delay, and other effects.
Vocal looper pedals with onboard effects preset provide you with an easy and quick way to alter the sound of your recorded vocals.
If you don’t have much experience in the field of processing or mixing, presets are a great way to learn the basics of how certain effects alter the sound and feel of vocal loops.
Some vocal looper pedals allow you to use the onboard effect presets without having to use your hands, which essentially means you can focus on your performance and not interrupt your flow by having to bend down to adjust their settings.
Vocal looper pedals are mainly associated with live performances or jamming with yourself, however, they can also be used as great compositional tools.
If a vocal looper has an output that can be sent directly to an audio interface and into your recording software, this will allow you to form your ideas within the pedal, then develop them further on your laptop or computer.
USB connectivity is also commonly built into vocal looper pedals, which means you don’t even need an audio interface to upload your ideal to your recording software.
In the modern era of music performance, more and more musicians are operating alone rather than with a band. Thankfully, technology has advanced enough to make it possible to create full-sounding tracks as an individual.
Vocal looper pedals are a brilliant way to make your live performances more exciting and interesting to the audience. Whichever you choose from this list, I’m certain you’ll enjoy countless hours experimenting with it.