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This article was originally published in issue #24
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It's not until you actually sit down with a looper pedal and start experimenting that you realise how much fun it is and what the possibilities are. For instance, I have a Swiss Jazz Flamenco guitarist friend who lives in Spain, gigs solo all round Andalucia playing great nylon string solo guitar in bars and restaurants and with the aid of the original TC Ditto looper he creates great grooves and back drops that he improvises over while you eat your Tapas. So if you are a solo guitarist, or just someone that could do with some extra guitar parts grooving away in your band, then this latest offering from TC Electronic is for you.
Firstly, TC Electronic simply does not make a bad, or even average, product, in my experience. Everything the company puts on the market is state of the art when released and seems to have been designed by guitarists who actually know what the average player wants from a product. It's also usually as good as it gets when it comes to sound and design. Even TC's humble tuners are world-beaters and the original Ditto looper was a modest little pedal that took no space on your board but did the business brilliantly.
Now TC has given the original Ditto a bigger brother called the Ditto X2. It now has an extra switch that can have three functions dependent on where you set the onboard mini toggle. It can be an instant stop switch, or it can half time your loop, or even reverse it. As fun as these last two options are, in the real world most of us will most welcome the instant stop function, because on the original Ditto, you have to do a quick double tap to stop your looping goodness.
The Ditto X2 also has stereo in and out which can lead to some nice sonic possibilities. You may not have realised this (a surprising number of guitarists don't), but taking your signal to two amps doesn't make things stereo: you're just getting a mono signal out of two amps. But bring stereo delays and reverb pedals into the equation and suddenly a whole new world of sonic looping opens up to you. There is no reason why the original mono Ditto couldn't be put in front of stereo effects to do the same thing, but it's nice that TC has included the option on the Ditto X2. There is also the undo redo function as you loop, which enables you to wipe the last overdub you recorded if you don't think it's your best take, just by holding down the foot switch
Another very cool new feature on this pedal is the inclusion of a USB port, enabling you to upload your favourite loops into your computer, or even download backing tracks or pre-recorded .wav files from your computer to the Ditto. TC even includes a USB cable with the pedal. Very thoughtful and very cool.
It almost goes without saying the pedal is true bypass and gives unlimited overdubs with five minutes of sample time, which should be more than enough for most. This version will also run off a battery unlike the original, and stores your last loop when it's powered off. It is still smaller than most other loopers out there, so will not take up much real estate on your board.
The whole thing adds up to a well thought out product for not much more outlay than the original. Both have their merits, but I think for the instant stop function and the USB port alone, this would be my looper of choice and I bet it will be yours, too.
So TC does it again with yet another great product from the guys in Denmark. Even better is the impressive price for such a top professional quality unit. It's one thing to make such consistently great products, but TC constantly delivers at affordable prices, too. I'm a fan.