Digitech has been on the market of effects pedals for a while now. They have acquired their name due to renowned stompboxes such as Whammy, different overdrive and distortion boxes, as well as multi-effects processors that do everything one could ask for. Their products have always had a recurrent theme of being durable and relatively affordable. Since they are not novices to the concept of effects pedals, they always try to catch up with newer trends and create the units that are relevant for the moment. That is why the list of their stompboxes is diverse and includes many different variations. They even have external controllers that assist the pedals that are in need of extra control. It goes without saying that Digitech pays a lot of attention to quality and details, and always strives for creating something unique and different. Some of their pedals hold a niche place on the market and sometimes are considered as standards that everybody should satisfy. The star of this article is JamMan Solo XT – a stand-out piece when it comes to the loopers. Its capabilities are not new to the brand (as they have utilized them before), however, this time they are combined in a small enclosure and make up a capable beast. Let’s continue reviewing this product and find out everything about its capabilities.
As I have mentioned in the beginning of this article, Digitech JamMan Solo XT is as diverse as it can get. This baby has so much to offer that you might need to spend some time with it in order to access all of its features. It has 35 minutes of recording time that is distributed throughout 200 memory locations. This gives you hell of a storage to work with, but there is more. It is compatible with an SD card (up to 32GB) that will add 200 more slots with over 16 hours of recording. I do not know anyone who would loop for 16 hours, however, if you were to gig all night, you would definitely be able to with this one. JamMan Solo XT has metronome with 9 rhythms and different time signatures, allowing you to master the tempo of your sound. You can set tap tempo separately and jam in desired speed pattern.
What is more, this pedal has JamSync functionality, enabling you to plug in several devices together, so that your effects are in sync with one another. It does also have Auto Quantize (you pre-record the tempo so that all of your layers have the same rhythm) and Free-Form (the way all loopers work) operation, giving you a lot of options to choose from. Plus, Solo XT has three Stop modes (Fade, Finish, Instant), Time Stretching (enables you to speed up or slow down without changing the pitch of your sound), Reverse Playback and Auto Record (starts recording once the pedal detects the signal) functionalities. This pedal allows you to copy the loops to different memory locations and save them in multiple ones. Of course you can undo, redo, overdub and do everything that standard loopers do. Solo XT can be connected to the computer in order to access JamManager XT Loop Librarian Software and download various tracks or import the ones you create with the stompbox. This baby can be powered with a battery or a power supply. Though I tried to cover the majority of features, there still are some more properties to explore. You should definitely spend some time with this one and explore everything it offers.
The control layout is steeped with switches and knobs. Since we have a lot to discuss, let’s jump right in and start exploring all the settings you can modify here.
The first encoder you will encounter is Loop Level. It changes the volume of your loops and allows you to set them to the desired value. Up and Down buttons allow you to scroll through different settings or go through the memory locations, while Rhythm Level alters the volume of the rhythm patterns. Tempo lets you choose the desired tempo by tapping this button several times, Setup allows you to access the setup mode whereby you can change different parameters, and Store saves the loops in desired locations. The main footswitch lets you start recording, playback, undo/redo, tap in the tempo or stop the recording. LCD display and LEDs will show you the mode of operation and ease up the process of utilizing this product.
If you do not own the previous versions of this pedal, you will definitely be mind-blown by the sonic capabilities of this one. As you can see from everything we have discussed above, there is a lot that this one can do. JamMan Solo XT has good recording quality and emits your sound in its original form and shape. It keeps your tone intact and retains its characteristics throughout the whole process of performing. The stereo operation gives you interesting results, while 35 minutes and additional 16 hours of recording provide you with more looping than you would ever need. Auto Quantize makes your job easier by setting the exact same rhythm for all of your loops, while the Reverse is not that unique, yet it can still deliver wonderful performance. Solo XT is the definition of versatility and will quickly become your go to looper with its properties. The JamSync and the access to the library are wonderful, as well, since they open up countless doors and opportunities. This baby will evoke your creativity and make it flow endlessly.
In conclusion, Digitech JamMan Solo XT is one of the best loopers out there. It is undoubtedly feature-laden and can give you a lot to work with. Though it is not difficult to understand, it still requires some fiddling around to figure out everything it can do. Its features are usable in practice or live settings, and will help you learn a lot about your sound and different techniques, as well. Just take a risk – maybe you will find something you didn’t even know you lacked! Good luck!
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