As a guitarist, your job is to use a looper pedal for recording your riff or chord sequences and play it back afterward in a loop. It lets you add a second part over the top, recorded and added to the loop again for next time when it comes round. Hence you ‘overdub’ your musical passages to play it back on a loop with the help of a looper pedal. This adds to the beauty of the musical piece.
Most loopers can even change the direction and the tempo of a playback loop. They act like efficient recorders placed at the end of the chain so that whenever you use pedal combinations, it can hear it and record for future use.
Rockstars like Ed Sheeran, Chris Martin of Coldplay, and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park fame all use loop pedals to boost their versatility of the arsenal. ‘Looping’ is where they record a musical phrase and have it repeat or more appropriately on ‘loop’ with the help of a hardware or software or both to create a ‘looping’ effect.
So, for those who have basic requirements and are completely fine with the benefits a budget looper can provide, let’s start out the list of best cheap looper pedals without further ado.
Boss RC-3 Looper is a feature-packed, compact, skillful looper pedal under budget. It is a well-managed loop station for creative musicians.
Priced under $200, the Boss RC-3 offers an industry-standard loop line with a bold and beautiful red and black finish boasting a compact size. It is very sturdy, made with high-quality components for effective traveling. It has over 95 internal memory-banks and can play up to 3 hours of loop recording.
The tap tempo on the device helps to manually set the tempo of any pre-recorded loops. All recordings are controlled via the compatible footswitch. Moreover, a dual knob with five buttons is present to cycle through the memory banks, using your hands of course, while setting the rhythm and determining other parameters.
On the backside of the device, an AUX input is there to connect a 3.5mm headphone or any such device. You can connect it to any two instruments simultaneously through the dual outputs as well as inputs. You can use any stereo-supporting device to connect it down the equipment chain. Also, a USB cable can be plugged in to transfer the WAV audio files if you find the need to use any third party samples and loops.
Musicians who are looking for unlimited looping with some powerful features in a cost-effective loop station, the Boss RC-3 is a must-buy for them.
The Lekato loop pedal is mainly designed for loop effects in an electric guitar. Hence, guitar players will be more benefited from this cheap looper pedal.
With a versatile and easy-to-use design, the looper has a solid grey colored aluminum alloy construction. It affirms the durability of the device besides being super mini size for more convenience. The sound quality beats any other cheap looper found under such a price range. It produces a loop in a 24-bit converter unit providing uncompressed high-quality performance. Also, the Analog-Dry-Through design makes the dry sound pass-through all tweakings and remains purely unchanged.
It has only one on/off knob beside another ‘level’ knob. Hence, you won’t find it difficult for a moment to control and customize your loops. Apart from the essential looping features, it allows clear looping with unlimited overdubbing up to five minutes. You can even capture, undo/redo or stop and erase through different foot commands. Furthermore, you can easily import/export music files to and from your laptop with USB for any .wav file upload/download, just by connecting an external pedal.
Under $50, this is probably the cheapest loop pedal you can find in the market.
Musicians who are just getting to notice the various know-hows of looping will mostly benefit from using the TC Electronic Ditto Looper. With a simple easy-to-use control panel, it’s almost like buttery smooth to add those looping effects into your song.
With a simple yet efficient design, the Ditto looper pedal from the TC Electronic boasts a compact, durable and convenient structure with only a turn on/off knob and a controlling knob. Thus, highly suitable for guitarists, now you can use it to add the looping effects either in a straightforward manner while giving a stage performance or solo jamming sessions. Moreover, it features true bypass and analog-dry-through technology so the pedal remains unchanged with all 24-bit uncompressed audio.
It provides up to 5 minutes of looping time where you can overdub innumerable samples all on the top of another, maintaining consistent sound quality. But it doesn’t allow you to save any looping for future use. Press once to start the recording, press it again to save and to record another on top of it, and finally hold down to erase. Do the same every time like rinse and repeat! It takes almost zero space on your pedalboard, so never use it in dark and dim lights on stage. An AC power adapter is included with the device.
TC Electronic never lets down its customers when it comes to providing excellent audio with superb build quality under budget. Their Ditto pedal also doesn’t stand afar.
Priced under $100, the CNZ Audio Re-Pete GLP-50 stereo looper is designed for experienced professional musicians who are in dire need of some amazing features to add to their looping phrases.
With a uniform quality and highly robust construction, the Re-Pete Looper provides an unbelievable level of versatility for experienced guitarists. The design is quite quirky with a combination of red and white, hard to notice the directions and labelings at the same time.
The device consists of dual inputs, a mix knob at the top, two controlling switches on left and right, and two-pedal chains besides a few more knobs. All these knobs and switches make it difficult to memorize at first. In fact, you need to spend time understanding the different functionalities of the device before starting your practice with looping.
It might be a bit overwhelming initially but it’s worth the time and effort. The looper allows for up to 10 minutes of recording time with unlimited dubbing. The dual inputs let you access two instruments simultaneously creating a stereo output. Each output volume is adjustable independently. The left footswitch controls the capturing, playing back, overdubbing, and erasing of the phrases besides the multi-colored LED indicating the mode of the pedal.
The mix knob at the top allows you to adjust the sound levels of each loop. The right and left rocker switches let you control the right stomp switch stoppage from FX and forward/reverse settings respectively. To top it all, you can easily upload or download your recordings through the micro USB port using a cable and create your own loops through mix and match over the compatible software for Windows PC. The pedal requires a 9V DC power supply. Therefore, you are getting all of these just under a hundred dollars!
If you have moved on from a basic and simple looper pedal and are searching for a professional quality device, then the Re-Pete stereo looper from CNZ Audio is just the right option for you.
Next, we have the Nux Loop Core Deluxe Bundle which is typically designed for a mesmerizing live performance.
Boasting a sturdy yet compact design with some ultramodern features, the Loop Core Deluxe Bundle comprises the deluxe pedal and a dual footswitch. It features the dual outputs and inputs that let you access two instruments at the same time and also connect to a stereo rig down the line for additional depth.
With the new and upgraded high-tech hardware, it can record your loop phrases up to 8 hours! Yes, you heard it right. It’s a beast with unlimited loop layers in 24-bit high-res audio quality. It can save up to 99 memories in the bank and consists of 40 different drum patterns starting right from the pop, rock, jazz to blues, and many more to use besides the automatic tap-tempo feature.
Thus, you can very well figure out that it can be used for any live stage performance for 8 hours straight. In fact, you can import and export various audio files through a USB cable for more efficient looping effects.
This one is a next-level high-tech looper pedal priced only under $150.
The next best cheap looper pedal on our list is the JamMan Express XT from Digitech. This adapts some amazing features within a budget-friendly design.
It is a compact-sized well-built stereo looping pedal offering 10 minutes of internal recording time with the help of the True Bypass Operation. It features multiple JamSync loopers synchronization on a rugged all-metal chassis unit.
Powered by both AC adapter and polaroid batteries, this pedal is a trusted name among high-quality cheap looper pedals in the market. The three LEDs on the front board lets you easily record, dub, and play the loops. The pedal access controls to record, stop, play, undo, and redo the overdubs whereas the true-bypass footswitch removes the looper from the signal chain. Therefore, you receive an unmatched productive experience while creating loops on this pedal.
The predecessors of the JamMan range looper pedals have a lot to say about its quality and sound clarity. The Express XT model is no different.
Next up is the TC Electronic Flashback 2 delay pedal in a bundle kit.
The primary benefit of having this looper pedal is the customization of your own delay signature tones. With the help of the TonePrint Editor, you can now import celebrity-tweaked signature sound effects on 3 TonePrint slots, add delays and voila – your own delay signature is ready, at no extra cost of downloading the TC Electronic’s software.
Moreover, it offers eight FX type cool effects using the newly updated Flashback 2’s own delay algorithm. Among many other effects like analog, dynamic, crystals, and jazz, the iconic 1985 TC Electronic dynamic digital delay fame 2290 FX is like a cherry on the top. It comes with 40 seconds of looping along with 20 seconds of delaying your music phrases apart from the unlimited overdubbing option.
It also guarantees zero tone loss for the True/Buffered Bypass switch and kill-dry on/off feature present onboard. So, now you don’t have to worry about the dry sounds that remain unchanged due to the analog-dry-through circuitry even if the pedal is on/off. But the best part is that it comes with a Blucoil AC/DC slim and sleek power adapter with US plug, a 2-pack Blucoil right-angled patch cable for pedal effects, and also a 4-pack thin celluloid guitar picks of different colors from the same brand.
Now you can easily boost up those looping phrases by adding delayed effects on this Flashback 2 looper and delay pedal from TC Electronic.
Finally, on the list, we have a quirky bright red colored mini looper pedal called BOSS RC-1.
It’s a tiny, compact, space-saving pedal having a tiny footprint. Though it may not get crushed if you unknowingly put your weight on it as it’s made up of sturdy materials, it can seriously save up some space in your performance area. Bearing some identical features with the TC Electronic Ditto Looper, this pedal has some extra pioneering features like 11 memory banks to save up to 11 different loops each with half an hour’s recording time, 8GB of internal storage capacity, and an easy change of tempo to either fast or slow speeds.
But, most importantly, you can import, export, edit and manage your saved loops by transferring them to your computer via the USB port with a cable. The attached SAVE button is dedicated towards capturing your inspired loops. In fact, it can record and playback the phrases with 24-bit audio quality.
BOSS RC-1 is a worthy successor to the Wally model. Ideally suited to experienced guitarists, the BOSS RC-1 is an amazing possession to own.
Stompboxes and Loop Stations are the two most popular and widely used loopers having some benefits and flaws of their own.
A stompbox is a simple looking pedal-sized looper for guitar with a single button for recording, overdubbing, and then stopping the recording. You need to press it just once and start playing your musical piece, press once again to save the part, and then again add if you want another phrase, or else just solo over it and voila! You’re done.
You can choose to record more and more phrases on the top of every previously recorded phrase and use it for endless repetition afterward. But, you are limited to play different musical phrases and can only play it over a single phrase unless you delete it.
When the stompbox loopers restrict your potentialities, loop stations come to the rescue. To let your creative juices flow and the unique original ideas implemented, a loop station comes in handy. These are for more advanced musicians.
So, first, understand the functions and propensities of looping before buying a full-on loop station. These are used to add more phrases to switch between in the middle of a performance. You can decide to play a phrase once or for unlimited times by using an external footswitch to change the different parameters, rhythm tracks, and time signatures on a looper station. You can even play different parts all at a time. Loop stations are ideal for those who don’t really depend on a backing track.
But for beginners, loop stations can be a bit complicated and overwhelming whereas, advanced musicians with distinct creative ideas won’t feel the need for a stompbox looper. Better determine your level of experience, choice of requirement, and style of music before buying a suitable looper pedal.
No matter what music style you play or what’s your requirement, a looper pedal will benefit you in every possible way. There are many looper pedals available under budget in the market that provide quality features and functionalities.
But, in order to buy the best cheap looper pedals, you will have to pay attention to several things like the purpose of a looper pedal, why do you want it, for solo practicing or for a live show performance, want to use it for saving your loops for later use or for creating loops on the go and don’t want to overcomplicate things as such.
Traits like easy usability, flexible functionality, value for money, live usage along with the size and quality play a major role in factoring the best cheap looper pedal. So you need to consider every pros and con of a looper pedal and understand the most important thing you want to have in the best cheap looper pedal.
We get it, you are here because the title of the article says best cheap looper pedals. So you want all the effective qualities in an inexpensive looper pedal. But before diving into the list, let’s first get the know-how of some of the most common problems of having a cheap looper pedal.
High-end looper pedals are generally priced at around $500 to $800. On the other hand, cheap loopers are available at only $100. So, why is the margin so high? There’s certain stuff that plays a part in differentiating the advanced quality loopers from the basic ones. Yes, you heard it right. The simple and most basic loopers are that much cheap and easy to use.
Other factors such as the number of footswitches, external pedal options, stereo/mono feature, multiple inputs including the loop length, effects, and storage quantity with the MIDI sync feature discriminates a cheap looper from a high-end one.
Cheap loopers are mostly used for private jamming sessions by adding limited loops using some basic functionalities on a simple and easy-to-use user panel. So, even if you desire to become a creative genius you can’t really experiment and explore with a cheap looper pedal.
We have tried to make the list as precise as possible by including different types of loopers which are the most reasonable and are needed by different types of musicians. We hope you have already selected the right one for yourself.
But, with the latest technologies, most companies are coming up with a new looper pedal every day. So, if you have already read the list and come across a cheap looper pedal that we have missed out, share it with us. It might help out a fellow reader and broaden our list.
Now the only thing left is to start recording and mixing those loops into your music. All the best for your musical journey.