BOSS RC-1 Loop Station – Buyer’s Guide

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Introduction

Loop stations appear to be portable devices used for recording music in real-time and playing it on a loop. This way, one person can create live music that sounds like a band playing simultaneously. It is not an essential part of a guitar pedalboard, but loop stations are popular both among aspiring musicians and professional guitarists.

How do they work?

Essentially, a player records a short section of music to a loop station, then plays it back. Then you can add a new layer or stop the sound of the old one. The result is an emulation of the simultaneous playing of several guitarists. Loop stations are especially useful for solo practice as they add an effect of band playing. The process is usually controlled with a footswitch to make it comfortable for the musician to switch between record and playback modes.

What makes a good loop station?

Loop stations may vary in functions. On one side, the more functions they have the better it is for the musician. But on the other side, the more features are available, the harder it is to operate the sound. To find a good station, it is important to find the correct balance of functionality and usability.

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Comparison Table

In order to guide you through different options and to easier understand the differences between models, we have prepared a comparison table of several popular loop stations.

BOSS RC-1 BOSS RC-10R Ammoon Looper Mini Ditto TC Electronic Looper
Average price $135 $280 $44 $100
Recording time 12 minutes Six hours 10 minutes 5 minutes
Digital screen No digital screen A digital screen No digital screen No digital screen
Rhythm presets No rhythm presets 260 presets No rhythm presets No rhythm presets
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BOSS RC-1 – Plug and Play

RC-1 is a loop station suitable both for aspiring guitarists and professionals as it combines the essential features with high usability. We have selected the “BOSS RC-1” model as it might be a balanced choice thanks to presence of simple control and wide functionality at the same time.

Readable design

In terms of design it is important for loop stations as it has to be illustrative and let users to quickly understand  the process of recording. BOSS RC-1 is comparably small, but the captions and indicators are large enough to easily recognize the selected mode and start the loop session immediately. The pedal is available in red. The front side is split in two. In the upper part there is an informative LED display. We will describe it below in more detail. In addition to the display, in the upper part there is a “Level” controller, which is responsible for the output signal volume. The entire lower part of the front side is occupied by a footswitch with a rubber overlay and the “BOSS” logo. Also at the very top there is a “Check” indicator, which indicates the workin state.

Manual

BOSS RC-1 offers two inputs and two outputs. So it supports stereo. The outputs are located on the left side of the pedal. On the right there are the inputs. Also. on the right there is an input for external footswitch connection. The device is powered by one 9-volt battery and may be used with an 9V DC adapter. In keeping with the best traditions of the “Boss” company, the adapter is purchased separately. The battery lasts on average for 4-5 hours of unstoppable use.

How to use Boss loop station RS-1

The pedal loop station has three modes that are easy to switch with only one knobfootswitch. Guitarist simply hits the pedal once to start recording. Then when he hits the pedal again it’s going  to go end the loop and immediately go into playback. To add a new layer, just repeat the procedure. One hit starts the record, the second hit stops the record and immediately plays the recorded piece. With the help of Boss loop station RS-1 you it is possible to  break down the loop. In the middle of the composition if you want to eliminate previously added layers just hold the footswitch for 2 seconds and looped sound disappears. If you want the looped sound to appear, again press the footswitch for 2 seconds and the melody will continue. To stop the melody, hit the footswitch twice.

To restart the pedal and delete all recorded loops in “silent” mode (after the stop) press the footswitch for 2 secconds. The instructions are captioned on the body of RC-1. There is no need to remember the controls.The built-in memory supports up to 12 minutes of stereo recording

Led indication

LED indication is the super power of Boss loop station RS-1. The indicator itself is a circle divided into 12 parts by LEDs. It resembles a watch dial. In loop recording mode, the indicator lights begin to fill the circle, simulating the movement of the second hand. After completing a full circle, filling begins anew. This way the guitarist always understands which part of the recorded loop is currently playing. In overdub mode, the display has changed to red and green which indicates that the player is still adding layers on top of the original. In “silent” mode LED indication disappears. This feature allows you to conveniently add and remove sounds at any time you want.

RC-1 Loop Station Demonstration

The BOSS RC-1 is our simplest and most user friendly Loop Station ever, and it’s a ton of fun!

Conclusion

Compared to other models, BOSS RC-1 might be a good loop station solution for any guitarist. There are stations on the market  with more varied features, but RC-1 has all the essential functions and is easy to use. Which makes it ideal for practicing or for playing live on stage. The multifunctional footswitch improves the user experience greatly . Pedals from other manufacturers have models with multiple pedals. This is inconvenient when recording a loop. The guitarist must constantly aim at the pedal in order to turn the loop on or off at the right time. In the case of the Boss loop station RS-1, this does not happen. An informative LED display will help you choose the right moment to change the melody. And the ability to play in stereo makes the RS-1 pedal a serious competitor to expensive pedals.

PROS:

  • User friendly design
  • BOSS sound quality
  • Small size
  • Comfortable control
  • External footswitch input
  • Silent mode
  • Informative LED indication

CONS:

  • Less features than in RC-10R
  • No digital display

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Buyer’s Guide

The selection of a loop station is very individual, but with our buyer’s guide it will be easier to make the choice.

Determine your needs

Before making the purchase, it is important to understand the features you want the loop station to provide. Think of what record time you need, how many inputs and outputs you will need, make sure all the necessary modes are available, consider the power options and the device memory.

Design matters

The design might not seem the important parameter to consider, but with loop stations it is important. You should be able to read the necessary information at a glance.

No distractions

Any effect pedal should help create music, not create inconvenience. Think about how many foot switches and controls you need to play more comfortably, what information about the loop should be shown, and what is unnecessary and distracting.

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Conclusion

Modern loop stations can be great partners on the way to learn how to play the guitar. In addition, they are able to make a real concert out of a solo performance. But inexperienced guitarists find it difficult to predict how convenient the loop station will be. The Boss loop station RS-1 is a truly handy and informative pedal. The sound quality is on the top level. Its cost is slightly higher than the cost of similar pedals in terms of functionality, but bif amount of positive reviews and the recognized quality of “Boss” products make Boss loop station RS-1 the best choice in terms of price-quality ratio. In addition,  its usability is on a plug and play level, making it a good choice for those who don’t like to re-read long instructions in order just to switch on the device.

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FAQ

Is there any memory?

BOSS RC-1 is capable of recording up to 12 minutes and stores the file even after the device is turned off.

How do I control the device?

The loop station is controlled by pressing the pedal section. For example, to stop recording, you have to press it twice.

Is there a warranty?

All the products by BOSS come with a 5-year warranty.

Will I need an extra cord?

Yes. As the loop station is connected between your guitar and your amp, you will need an additional cord.

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