Ditto LooperFeatured review by: UG Team, on october 28, 2013 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 129
Ease of Use: The Ditto Looper is simple and straightforward. A single knob controls playback volume. A single footbutton does everything else. Press it once to record a loop up to five minutes long - that's a whole lot of looping - enough for complete tunes. Hit it again to set the end of the loop and start playback, and once more to overdub. Keep doing that to your heart's desire - there's no limit on the amount of overdubs. Press-and-hold to undo the most recent audio, and tap twice quickly to stop the loop. When it's time to move on, press-and-hold to clear loop audio.
There is a bit more to the story once I actually tried the Ditto. The button is click style, which I found a bit trickier to use for looping than the kind of footpads found on some loopers that activate when you lift your foot. The Ditto's diminutive size meant it moved around rather easily, so securing it to a pedalboard was practically essential.
It's amazing that the Ditto can do so much with such a simple interface, but the one-button-does-all approach has some inherent drawbacks, all of which can be overcome with concentration and execution. You simply have to stay focused on whichever task is at hand, otherwise you can wind up, say, overdubbing instead of ending or clearing. When clearing, an audio snippet will play for a moment until the Ditto realizes the command is to clear rather than overdub. Onstage, I compensated by using my mutable stage tuner. At home, it's a non-issue anyway. // 8
Sound: Awesome. The Ditto's 24-bit, uncompressed digital audio literally sounded like a copy of whatever input came its way. I fed the signal from a Fender Stratocaster or a Godin Montreal Premier through a Blackstone Appliances Mosfet Overdrive, a TC Electronic Spark Mini Booster and a Roland RE-20 Space Echo, and then out from the Ditto to a Fender Super Champ. The Ditto's true bypass meant its circuitry was completely out of the picture when off. I appreciated that. // 10
Reliability & Durability: I brought the Ditto Looper to a series of rehearsals and gigs over the course of more than a month and it held up fine. The Ditto withstood use in the camping area at the High Sierra Festival where temperatures reached over 100 degrees and sand was flying around in high winds. It had no trouble at the Guitarfish Music Festival where the altitude was nearly 8,000 feet. The Ditto was tossed around with other pedals and trekked over thousands of miles, and it continued to perform reliably. // 10
Overall Impression: It's so small! Kudos to TC Electronic for packaging a pro quality looper in a box not much bigger than a Pez dispenser. If you're looking for something small and simple, especially for practice purposes or road convenience, the Ditto is damn attractive. The low price point makes it even more alluring. It's so small that there's no room for a battery. Requiring a power adapter for something otherwise so convenient was a bit of a conceptual drag, but since I already had a string going for my other 9V pedals, it was no problem. If you use a powered pedalboard, it's a nonissue. Being able to update the firmware via a USB Mini B cable is a nice boon. I found the process to be a cinch. Players looking to do serious looping might require something more complex, but everyone else needs to try the Ditto Looper. Even if you own another looper, the Ditto is a solid backup consideration, and it works well in conjunction with other loopers. // 9
AuraFX, on may 02, 2013 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 105
Purchased from: Andertons
Ease of Use: This is about as easy to use a looper as you can get. I'd been using the looper in the Line 6 M13 as part of my setup but to be honest I didn't like having to engage the M13 in my switching system, then having to come out of the patch settings and controlling the looper, and you only get 30-60 seconds looping. Really that's great for live bits and some testing, but if you want to use it for song writing/practice/really complex layering - you need a bigger looper. Well you did until now. The Ditto does not damage tone at all, it's true bypass when off (doesn't matter to me as it's in a gigrig switching loop for me, but if you run in line, this would be great for your tone) - and the overdubs don't seem to degrade in tone at all, just volume as you add more and more. It's incredibly simple so a quick view of the manual to get the footswitch taps needed for record, play, overdub, undo, redo and that's about it. Editing is limited to undo and redo options and altering the loop volume, so it's easy to figure out. The only downside for some people might be how simple it is. This is an upside for me - but if you want a very complex looper with stereo and multiple undo-redo layers and editable backing track recording and storage - you'll probably need something else. But if you want a pristine quality tiny pedal looper that needs no patches or editing, this is awesome. // 10
Sound: I'm using this last in my MIDI-14 gigrig switcher set up. I have different amps and guitars, so it's not really dependent on those. There is no noise, hiss, degradation or volume boost/cut - the signal that goes in is what you capture. It slowly reduces the volume of the previous loop as you add overdubs so you can gradually build up a wall of sound. The undo and redo lets you kick the loop in as a backing track if you prerecord something. It retains the last loop even when switched off, so you can play something in for a live show and just activate it if needed. I tend to use it more for songwriting and practicing solos/extra layers over the top of riffs. But you get 10 minutes looping time so you can theoretically put whole songs in to practice over if you want. And you can record and then undo your scratch solos over the top - so it's great for learning and rehearsing alone. Given the pristine tone you lose nothing, no bass muffling or treble blunting, all the dynamics are there. I love it. // 10
Reliability & Durability: This is fairly new and I was on the waiting list until they finally shipped quite late from TC. I've had a little while now so I've got used to it. The pedal is tiny (I mean tiny, about a third the size of a Boss pedal) and made entirely of metal so it's tough. The input and output jacks are all extremely slick and top of the line. The main switch is chunky and clicks easily but sturdily enough that it's not hard to do. The volume knob is the only other control and this is firm enough to stay put, but you can still operate it with your foot if you need to. As the pedal is so tiny, it can't fit a battery in, so it only works with a 9V power supply (standard Boss style) so it'll need a separate supply unless you have a pedal board multi-power set up. I can't see this thing breaking and if it does go down it's a fully relay switched true bypass pedal so the signal goes through even if it dies, so you won't cut out mid song if the worst should ever happen. If I had to try and be critical I'd say the tiny size makes it easy to hit the volume knob when trying to double tap the switch for various functions, but that's nit-picking - I'm just trying to find something bad to say so it's not too glowing a review. // 9
Overall Impression: I've been playing a few years and have quite a lot of gear, our band has a small record label contract and my live touring rig is well cared for but does still get some abuse at shows. I've used this on my studio board and it's now on my live board too. I'm definitely going to get another so it's at home on both. I love the simplicity - yes, it will not compete with a full Boss Loop station for some of the really complex looping functions and MIDI integration etc, but this is not the same niche really. This is a simple looper that records pristine quality for up to 10 minutes of loop time, it has one switch, one volume control, the LED changes colour and flashes to indicate recording/playback/undo/redo so you can always see what you're doing. It's ingenious really. When it first arrived I was expecting it to be small but I laughed out loud when I got it in the post it was in a tiny matchbox sized packet. This means it's ideal if you have a crowded pedalboard and can't justify carrying a great big 2 foot long loop station around. It will fit just about anywhere. It's tough, simple to learn, easy to use and sounds great.
My favourite feature is probably the 10 minute loop time so you can put entire songs in and rehearse or use for songwriting. Live the undo-redo feature lets you throw in chorus backing track or build up walls of sound that are cut on and off as you want.
The single switch does mean some of these functions require the correct sequence of short and long taps, so that might be a problem for some people. For that reason only I'd say if you rely on mutliple backing tracks and want a MIDI-controllable looper with all the bells and whistles, you will be looking elsewhere, but for the money, the size and the ease of use - if you just want to cram a looper on to a crowded pedal board or have something at home to write songs with - this is hands down the best idea TC have had.
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