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Looper's Delight Review #2 of the
Electrix Repeater

by Progster
September 14, 2001

Repeater issues:

No metronome count-in available. Unlike the Echoplex Digital Pro (a unit with its own issues), the Repeater is not "bar smart" with respect to quantizing a recording. Astounding!

Pressing Rec to end a recording immediately restarts the pattern on a connected external drum machine instead of allowing the pattern to play to the end of the bar. This makes it impossible to smoothly record loops in a live fashion with a drum machine.

There is only 1 level of undo. Once you've begun to record a 2nd overdub, there is no way to undo any earlier overdubs (except redoing the whole loop from scratch).

Footswitch control (Digitech FS304, in this case, identical to FS300, per Digitech) does not exactly mimic button presses. For example, you cannot stutter trigger with the "play" foot button as you can with the actual play button on the front panel.

The metronome sound on/off is done via a "long" front panel button push. It is not doable from the footswitch, or (apparently) via MIDI.

Standard metronome options such as "sound during play", "sound during record", "sound always", "sound never" are completely unavailable.

The pitch shifting (tested on guitar chords), sounds terrible.

The circular blinking tap tempo button is visually annoying – much more so than a simple blinking LED would be. There is no way to defeat the blinking.

Also, several bar-like LED segments in the „division‰ area of the display chase their tails around and around in a very visually distracting way to no apparent purpose. This is not defeatable.

The user's setting for the metronome volume is not retained across power cycles – it comes back on full blast each time.

The erase loop function is accessed as a "long" push on the Undo button. Except on the first pass of a brand new loop recording, the erase loop function is not available from the footswitch.

The unit relies on a special external power supply, connected to the unit by a custom connector with tiny pins. This rigging is non-standard and fragile.

There is no power switch (just a "sleep mode").

The unit always exits trigger recording mode after one pass, requiring the user to reestablish this mode for each subsequent retake. IOW: you set up trigger record, you record a loop – badly, you erase the loop, then you must set up trigger record again – with manual button pushes. You can't enable/disable trigger record from the footswitch, and you can't set the Repeater to always use trigger recording for a "fresh" pattern.

Stopping the Repeater after recording always sends a MIDI STOP command to a connected drum machine. There are definitely times when you don't want this behavior, but repeater gives you no choice.

To summarize: There is no way to let a drum machine free run while recording loops quantized to bar boundaries. There is also no way to use the Repeater as the timing master while providing yourself with a count-in to establish the rhythm before loop recording initiates. Catch 22, happy tap dancing sucka!

What can I say good about it:

- Time stretching to an external MIDI clock sounds good

- Having 4 mono racks (or 2 stereo tracks) beats having only 1

- A loop trim function is offered

- It will remember loops

With the exception of these items, I find the user experience of the Repeater distinctly inferior to the Echoplex Digital Pro – the unit I was counting on the Repeater to replace!

I was really looking forward to this unit, but the Repeater completely fails to live up to its promise, IMO. Spending several hours with it produced intense dissatisfaction rather than the (expected) seamless looping experience I was hoping to buy. Perhaps Electrix will release a software update to address the problems mentioned. Perhaps not. Caveat emptor. YMMV.


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