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Vocal looper pedals are invaluable tools for singer-songwriters and solo vocalists. These innovative devices allow singers to compose original loops in real-time, adding a new dimension to their live performances.
Loopers have come a long way from the relatively simplistic designs of the first models. They’re often filled with processing tools, effects, and game-changing features for vocalists to enjoy.
If you’re a singer who wants to expand your possibilities onstage and in the studio, check out our selection of the best vocal looper pedals below.
In a Rush’ Round-Up
Vocal Looper Pedal Reviews
With its robust chassis and durable design, this device is ideally suited to singers who frequently perform live shows.
Creating vocal loops with the VoiceLive 3 is quick and straightforward. It facilitates three-phrase looping so that singers can layer harmonies and other vocal tracks to be played back in isolation or together.
There’s also an instrument input, so singer-songwriters can plug in their guitar and use the TonePrint modeling feature to access numerous amp sounds and effects.
Another aspect of the VoiceLive 3 which I found impressive is the adaptive tone feature, which tracks your vocals and ensures that they sound polished and professional by adjusting EQ and adding compression.
- 50 vocal loop slots
- 3 track looping
- Automatic mic gain setting
- This looper pedal includes a wide range of effects and processing tools for vocal tracks
- Backing tracks can easily be imported into the pedal to enhance live performances
- Automatic instrument tracking generates vocal harmonies based on key and pitch
- Some of the onboard controls require hand-operation
A vocal looper pedal rarely offers three channels that can be recorded and played back simultaneously, but somehow Boss has managed to achieve this without overcomplicating the operation.
I believe the key to this vocal looper pedal’s performance is its intuitive layout. Each stereo looper channel is triggered using an expression pedal, which makes layering vocal harmonies and building sections surprisingly easy.
Furthermore, the RC-300 is brimming with effects that can be applied to vocal loops. Offering everything from smooth reverbs to scorching saturation, this pedal is great for experimentation.
Finally, the RC-300 vocal looper isn’t limited to live performance use. With USB connectivity, you can save any loops you create to a computer and incorporate them into your recordings.
- Includes 16 effects
- 3 stereo looper channels
- Internal memory bank stores up to 99 original loops
- Allows singers to easily create complex vocal loops by using the three stereo channels and expression pedals
- Loops can be transferred for mixing on another device and used for studio recordings
- Includes a three-channel mixer with faders, making level-setting quick and easy
- Unsuitable for vocal duets or ensembles due to singular XLR input
Due to its retro design, I was expecting the VE-20 to be a fairly primitive looper pedal for singers. However, upon further inspection, I discovered an array of modern features.
The phrase looper allows 38 seconds of recording on a single mono track. Additionally, you can layer three-part harmonies over the original loop, then process them using the onboard effects.
If you often worry about staying in tune, the real-time pitch correction tool will provide you with newfound confidence when building vocal loops.
I’d also recommend using the double-track feature which the VE-20 includes. This effect adds strength to vocal loops, without making the recordings sound overly processed or artificial.
- Onboard phantom power for condenser mics
- Automatic pitch correction
- 38-second phrase looper
- Pitch correction tool tracks vocal loops or live audio from your mic and automatically rectifies any wrong notes
- Unique effects including vocal distortion and a radio-style preset add character to loops
- This pedal is incredibly easy to use thanks to its intuitive control layout and simple design
- Can’t be used to record multiple separate vocal loops on stereo channels
The control layout makes it easy to start, stop, and erase vocal loops with hands-free operation. Singers can then adjust the level of the loops using the central rotary knob, which is useful for fade-outs at the end of a song.
Although the Ditto pedal doesn’t contain the advanced features offered by many of the looper pedals for singers featured in our guide, it’d the perfect option for impromptu performances and composing vocal loops.
To ensure pristine sound quality-Helicon has used a studio-grade mic preamp and analog to digital conversion that you’d expect to find in a professional recording studio.
Finally, by pairing this pedal with the TC-Helicon MP-75 vocal mic, you can conveniently control its looper functions using the switches on the microphone.
- Ultra-quiet microphone preamp
- High-quality A/D conversion
- Unlimited number of overdubs
- Features a very basic control layout that simplifies the looping process
- Vocal loops are recorded with detail and clarity, with no loss of sound quality during conversion
- Compatible with VoiceSupport app which increases the pedal’s capabilities
- No onboard effects or processing tools for mixing vocal loops
The XLR preamp installed in this pedal is of the highest quality, as we’d expect from a Boss vocal processor.
When creating vocal loops, you can incorporate pre-recorded percussion tracks and other forms of backing using the overpassing feature.
In stereo mode, the vocal looper allows for up to 30 seconds of looping before the section repeats. In mono, you gain an extra 30 seconds but lose the ability to split oops into separate tracks.
A wide selection of vocal and instrument effects are included with the VE-500, making it the ultimate tool for shaping your onstage sound. Thanks to the powerful FX engine, you can run a total of nine effects simultaneously when creating your loops.
- 60 seconds of mono vocal loops or 30 seconds in stereo
- Space for 99 users presets
- High-quality 32-bit ADA conversion
- This pedal includes a range of advanced tools and features for vocal editing
- Nine of the onboard effects can be applied to vocal loops at any one time
- Automatic harmony generation adds a new dimension to your vocal tracks
- May seem complicated initially if you don’t have much experience with vocal processing
First and foremost, this pedal is a versatile looper of both acoustic instruments and vocals. Offering up to 80 seconds of looping, there’s no limitation on the material you can create in real-time.
In addition to enhancing live shows, the VE-8 is also highly useful for songwriting and recording. If you come up with a vocal loop that you enjoy, you can capture it in your chosen DAW via a USB connection.
With an onboard chromatic pitch corrector, this loop station for vocals can help singers to build confidence in their tuning. This feature sounds surprisingly natural and doesn’t jump too quickly between notes but rather eases them into the correct pitch region.
To make your vocal loops sound more interesting, you can add reverbs, delays, and other electronic effects to the pedal’s output.
- 80-second vocal looper
- High-quality mic preamp
- Auto chromatic pitch correction tool
- USB direct recording makes it easy to capture loop ideas into your recording software
- This device is specifically designed for looping acoustic guitar and vocals
- Includes an onboard tuner, several vocal and guitar effects, and feedback elimination
- Best suited to vocalists who also play acoustic guitar
Vocal Looper Pedals – Buyer’s Guide
Vocal looping can transform a singer’s live performances, by making it possible to add and remove certain parts during a song.
Although vocal loop stations have been around for quite some time, the past decade has seen significant improvements in their capabilities. Dedicated pedals for vocal looping are now very popular amongst singers who want to make their live performances more engaging.
Let’s explore the key aspects of vocal looper pedals, so that you can better understand how they work and how to use them most effectively.
How Vocal Looper Pedals Work
Creating a loop using a vocal looper pedal is very easy. In most cases, you simply press down a footswitch or expression pedal when you want to loop to begin, then press it again when you want the loop to end.
The length of time between these two presses of the switch determines the loop length. Some vocal looper pedals offer up to 90 seconds of looping, while others may offer 60 or 30 seconds.
When you press the stop button, the vocal loop will instantly repeat from the beginning. You can then add overdubs by hitting the record once again.
The process of looping takes time to perfect, and at first, you might find that the loops are slightly too short or long, which makes them drift out of time.
It’s therefore a good idea to use a metronome when practicing your singing with a vocal loop machine. Some pedals include audible and visual click tracks which can help you practice your timing when looping.
Mono vs. Stereo Vocal Loops
An important decision to make is whether you require stereo vocal looping, or if mono looping will be sufficient for your needs.
A pedal that offers mono vocal looping will only allow you to record onto one channel. Therefore, any overdubs you add after the original loop has been created will be played back as one recording, and cannot be separated.
Stereo vocal looping pedals allow you to record onto multiple channels so that you can cause different recordings to drop out or come in at varying times by triggering them using a dedicated pedal.
For example, if the voice looper pedal facilitates three-channel looping, you can record a main vocal part on one channel, a lower harmony on another, and a higher harmony on the final track.
Then, when playing the loop back, you can choose when the harmonies come in to accompany the main vocal track.
Vocal Loop Storage
Vocal loopers pedals are undeniably useful onstage, but their usefulness for composing is often overlooked.
Many of the best vocal looping pedals have internal memory which can be used to store the loops that you record, for later recall.
This is handy if you come up with an idea that could potentially be turned into a song. You can simply capture the loop in the pedal’s memory bank, and come back to it later or even output it into your recording software using a USB or aux connection.
Onboard Vocal Effects
Using vocal effects, such as reverbs, delays, and distortion, can transform your loops and make them more interesting.
Many voice looper pedals have onboard effects which can be applied to the live output, or to loops that have already been recorded.
Harmonizers and auto-pitch correction are two effects that are often included on high-end vocal loopers.