In this article, we’re going to be discussing what the best vocal looper units are, that are available to purchase in 2021.
Well, just in case you are unfamiliar with what exactly vocal loop/voice loop pedals are, they are vocal effects pedals which contain the functionality to repeat an inputted signal and output it repeatedly, whilst still allowing for the output of a real-time signal.
This essentially means that you can record a section of chords, or accompanying guitar melody and then have this repeat in the background whilst you record vocals, or vice versa.
This kind of effect is heavily used by such modern-day musicians as Ed Sheeran and Matt Corby.
It’s important to note, there is a difference between a looper pedal and a vocal delay pedal, with the latter having the signal decay and fade out, whilst the looper pedal’s signal repeats at the same volume, without depreciation, until the footswitch is pressed and the pedal is instructed to stop the signal being sent to the speakers.
If you’re here, you probably want to know what the best vocal loop processors are, alongside the reasons for this, well we’ve included our top …. voice looper pedals below, alongside video demonstrations of them all in use, so you can get a full idea which one will suit your needs more.
Best Vocal Loop Pedals For Singers
Let’s get to it! Here are the top 7 vocal looper pedals of 2020:
TC Helicon – Ditto Mic Looper
- Simple to use looper pedal for vocals and also microphone amplified instruments.
- Ideal for someone who wants a plugin and goes solution, with a Loop button and a Stop button
- Ability to overdub and undo instrument layers, to help build up the vibe and atmosphere and take it away, remember, it’s only in silence do we really appreciate the sound.
- Loops are automatically saved within the unit and remain there even when the pedal is off, so you can easily load the loops.
- When deleting a loop, the processor seems to play 1 second of the loop that you want to delete before permanent deletion, hence it can be incredibly annoying for an audience, therefore we recommend turning down the sound if you are deleting loops whilst on-stage.
WHO IS THIS PEDAL PERFECT FOR
This looper unit is perfect for someone looking for a less expensive vocal looper unit, with the idea to use this in practices and small live performances.
After the feedback we’ve received about this unit, we would recommend this to a hobbyist singer/songwriter/musician.
Boss VE-20 Vocal Performer
- All-in-one Vocal Solution (Looping Harmonies, Delay, Doubler, Creative Effects, Phantom Power )
- A great solution for someone after a single pedal (less gear to carry) for live shows
- Battery Operated
- Real-time pitch correction pedal
- 38-second (mono) voice loop recording
- Been around for nearly 10 years, some might say the hardware is outdated.
- Doesn’t include a power adapter
- Doesn’t automatically detect musical key changes
Technical Specs of Boss VE-20 Vocal Performer
The BOSS VE 20 Vocal Performer is not primarily a vocal pitch correction pedal, it’s essentially an All-in-One vocal effects pedal solution, and is designed and produced by Boss, so you know it’s high quality.
The pedal is 1.6kg it’s not the lightest in the world, but it more than makes up for it in its ability to add such creative vocal effects such as radio effect, strobe, and vocal distortion pedal effects.
Allowing for 38 seconds (mono) of looped recording, which is useful for singer-songwriters looking for an innovative way to build up their song’s live instrumentation, layer by layer, directly in front of their crowd.
The pedal also includes Phantom Power, so it is able to power condenser microphones, such as the Rode NT2A.
DigiTech Jam Man Vocal XT
- Highly compact looper pedal that’s very easy to use
- 10 minutes of looping time… Wow!
- +48V Phantom Power
- Silent Clear Functionality
- Built-in dbx Studio Quality Microphone Preamp
- Double click to stop the loop, which can put timings out (I.E no one-click off switch)
Who is this pedal perfect for
The JamMan Vocal is perfect for the avid live performing singer/songwriter and band member.
DigiTech has really thought out the design of the pedal and its functionality in particular.
The addition of Silent Clear, which essentially lets you delete a recorded phrase without requiring you to play it first, which eliminates one of those awkward moments on stage.
With that being said, this is definitely a contender for one of the best looper pedals around.
TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3
The TC Helicon VoiceLive 3 is the ideal multi-effect vocal solution for singers who are really serious about wanting to incorporate that studio refined sound within their live performance.
The processor has over 500 loaded presets and many more features shown below
- ‘Roomsense’ & ‘Natural Play’ (For effective real-time harmony/pitch correction analysis)
- 45 Minutes Looping time (8 Mins per track limit) – That means you can record plenty of vocal loops!
- Midi Synchronization
- Vocal Effects – Including Vocal Reverb, Delay, Harmony, Doubling, Hard tune, Transducer, Umod, Vocoder, and Rhythmic)
- Guitar Functionality (Tuner, Reverb, Delay, Umod, Distortion, Octaver, Rhythmic, Wah-Wah, Compressor, EQ, Amp Modelling, Control per preset)
- 1 XLR in, 2 XLR out, TRS in (Vocals), Instrument In/Thru, Guitar Direct Out, Aux-in, SPDIF, Headphone Out, Exp pedal in.
Now this will be the perfect multi-effects processor for most professional singers.
However, if you’re looking for increased looping time (5 Hours in total – 8 Mins per track limit),
with the capability to play backing tracks, then I would suggest looking at the VoiceLive 3 Extreme.
The only downside to this device is that it lacks the Midi Syncronisation that the original version has.
TC Helicon Voice Live Play
TC Helicon Play Electric
TC Helicon Play Acoustic
You might be wondering, what exactly is the difference between all of these TC Helicon Play processors.
Well, the core functionality is exactly the same,
- Roomsense Functionality
- Pitch Correction
- Microphone Control Functionality with MP-75/MP-76 and Sennheiser E 835 FX
- Tap Tempo
- Vocal looper pedal functionality (15/30/60 second intervals)
- Vocal effects (Reverb, Delay, Harmony, Doubling, Hard tune)
However, the pedals differ in their guitar effect functionality, as you can see from the chart below.
VoiceLive Play VoiceLive Play Electric VoiceLive Play Acoustic
As you can see from the VoiceLive Play, Electric & Acoustic comparison chart.
Despite the pedals looking very similar and having an identical core functionality, there is a huge difference in guitar effects functionality.
Therefore, for singers who play either the electric or acoustic guitar, the VoiceLive Play Electric or VoiceLive Play Acoustic is certainly the most appropriate processor to choose from.
For singers who do not need the added functionality of having an integrated guitar effects processor, I would suggest using the original VoiceLive Play.