Why Do I use DigiTech JamMan Solo XT Loopers

The Short List of JamMan Advantages

What is LOOPING:  I’m certainly not an expert, and there are many who’ve been doing this for a decade or more.  Every looper has their own unique approach.  I’ve been live looping for the last 4 years and my current style is loosely defined as structured phrase looping.  I build ‘songs’ using the loopers.  There are many approaches to looping, and not all of looping is ‘live looping’.  Some artists use samples or pre-recorded loops and construct mashups or formulaic structured songs.  Others use heavy effects and build ambient drone-based soundscapes, others entice arhythmic, atonal sonic paintings.

Rejyna Looptober 2014 Tour Rig

My live looping rig on my Looptober 2014 Tour

LOOPING METHODS: There are software and hardware loopers.  In each of these categories, there are multitudes of options for inputing sound and manipulating it with repeats, effects and layering.  I use foot-pedal based hardware loopers, specifically, the DigiTech JamMan Solo and JamMan Solo XT loopers.  I spent my first three years looping with one JamMan Solo.  I then did a lot of research before building my new looping rig which has five JamMan Solo XT’s time-sync’d so that in effect, I now have a scalable multi-track recorder on the floor.

It looks daunting but once you take it for a spin, it is quite intuitive – as long as one pays attention…

There are plenty of fancier loopers out there, but I chose the JamMan Solo XT loopers for it’s unique and empowering ‘live’ application options like:

  1. solid layering/stacking with no playback lag between adjacent loops
  2. saving a loop while the looper is playing back, and saving to up/down slots for overdubs and subsequent ‘chained playback’
  3. patch up/patch down/stop with the FS3X external footswitch
  4. syncing with 1/8″ TRS cables (which, btw, opens up more possibilities using 1/8″ TRS splitter cables for multiple masters) 
  5. indiscernible changes in tone even after layering
  6. native uncompressed .wav files

There are other advantages to the JamMan like the $150 price being less than half what similar powered loopers go for, yes the Boss RC-3 lists at $199 but it does NOT do the first 5 things on the above list.  In fact, no other looper has all 5 of those features that I find are critical to live performance, song creation, rehearsal and jamming with friends.

Rejyna JamMan Solo XT Save Modification

Save With Your Foot

The JamMan Solo and Solo XT also have a button layout that allowed me to do a ‘save with your foot’ modification by adding a little piece of plastic (shelf endcap) with velcro, making it even easier to create very complex multiple patch variations, all sync’d to the master.   It’s a ‘Hillman Black Plastic Cap for Angled Metal – 1″ – P/N H# 12300’ attached with Velcro (like a hinge) so it sits just above the save switch requiring only a light touch to save the currently playing loop.

As in introduction to the sync’d JamMan approach, I’ve posted a video of one of my simpler live looping songs and annotated it with notes expelling what I’m doing with my feet.  

The song in the video is ‘Looking For You‘ from my newest CD, IDIO, and was recorded using a single JamMan Solo Looper for all the musical parts. [Rejyna on CDBaby]

Rejyna Idio CD

IDIO, by Rejyna, recorded on a looper

 One of my goals is to inspire others to give looping a try.  As a live effect, songwriting tool or collaborative adventure, once a person experiences ‘playing with themselves’, many find it hard to give up the habit.

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