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Re: Boss RC-50

At 02:29 PM 1/21/2006, Doug Cox wrote:
>Sorta blows my mind that very few of the new mass-market loopers have 
>feedback control.

Of the new stuff at the show, both Looperlative LP-1 and Electro-Harmonix 
2880 Super Multi-Track Looper have feedback control.

Looperlative seems straightforward. You can set feedback independently on 
any track, and feedback is always happening.

In the EH 2880, feedback only happens on the active track, and only while 
in overdub. It shares the feedback control with the output level for the 
track, which seems kind of odd. So if you are setting feedback for 
overdubbing, it affects the track mix while not overdubbing. And if you 
have a particular track mix set, it affects feedback when you go into 
overdub. I asked them why they did that, and they didn't have any good 
explanation. I also asked why they restrict feedback control to just one 
track, and only while overdubbing. They didn't understand why anybody 
want feedback any other time. They just have it as a way to prevent the 
loop from overloading. It almost seemed accidental that they have it at 
all, but it is there.

Boss RC-50 is unclear. The fade in/out function can be set over a complete 
range of values, but I don't know if overdub can continue while it is 
fading. (for that matter, I don't really know what this function does 
exactly, since I didn't see it demoed.) It definitely is not a featured 
thing about the product.

The looper in Guitar Rig does not have feedback. (there is a delay module 
with feedback control however.) The NI marketing guy who demonstrated it 
me was again clueless why anybody would want feedback in a looper. He said 
it would be impossible for them to do it because it is a sample based 
looper, and it wouldn't work in the design architecture.

>The Boss demo-guy not even knowing what it was seems to reinforce the 
>that this (IMO) fundamental feature is getting ignored.

at least at Roland, yes.

The RC-50 engineer was at the show, and the demonstrator went looking for 
him for me but could not find him. I left my card, hopefully he contacts 
me. I'd like to ask him why.

>Hello static wall of sound!


Their ad copy even says "create a perfectly synced wall of sound live 

although if you just use loopers to play guitar solos over pre-loaded 
rhythm loops, maybe this doesn't matter so much. that is how it was mostly 
being demonstrated.

However, other than the feedback thing the RC-50 is pretty cool. It has 3 
stereo tracks in a loop preset. Each is like a separate RC-20xl. You can 
have 99 presets, with different pre-loaded loops, parameter 
and whatnot for each preset. The tracks in a preset can either operate in 
parallel (all playing together) or sequentially (for verse-chorus-bridge 
type stuff). Tracks can be different lengths or sync'd together. The 
can be independently put into reverse or overdub. It can do time 
per track to match up tempos. Nice big pedals for selecting tracks. No 
deeper functions like multiply, insert, copy, etc.

There is a quantize mode for lining commands up to loop boundaries. It has 
a USB port and loads .wav files directly. Also midi in and out, with 
claimed midi clock sync both ways.

It does not have a CF card. They said Boss prides itself on making 
that are very reliable and can hold up to a lot of abuse on stage, and CF 
cards are not reliable enough. that is probably true. the CF connector 
was definitely not intended for rugged industrial applications like music 

Price is supposed to be $785 list or something like that, about $500 

It will be nice when some people really get RC-50's and report back on 
real-world usage. It is very hard to get a the details at a NAMM demo in 
the Boss room.


Kim Flint                     | Looper's Delight
kflint@loopers-delight.com    | http://www.loopers-delight.com