If you are suffering from a crisis and everything you create comes off as boring and plain, then there is a simple solution my friend: you have to do your research, find the best looper on the market and incorporate it in your rig. It will be hard to find a better and more interesting cure for your stagnation, as this device can change your life. It forces you to try out new things, explore the depth of your imagination and effuse magnificent notes onto your performance. Your creation will never be the same with a looper, since you will learn to step out of your comfort zone and see what the rest of the music holds for you. Though I am talking in a queer manner, I am not exaggerating even a bit. These stompboxes can actually do everything I have just mentioned. And the best part: they are not even that expensive. You can find amazing deals at a budget-friendly price point, making it a safe bet for the first looper. Today we are going to discuss Loop Core from NUX, which is an affordable, yet an extremely powerful device. It has a number of features that will introduce you to the specifics of such pedals. Let’s begin and see if this fella actually works or not!
Many musicians consider this one a clone of Boss RC-3. They do have certain similarities that would make you think that Loop Core is a copy. However, once you start playing, you will not even care, since its properties will make anything worth it. This wonderful piece of equipment has durable chassis that can hold still even with abusive owners. It has nice yellow color that shines bright on your pedalboard and soothes your soul every time you look in its direction. But these are just addition to amazing features this baby packs. Loop Core offers 6 hours of recording that can be stored in 99 memory locations. This is more than you will ever need and gives you the possibility to pre-record the whole gig if you wanted to. The recording quality is 16bit at 44.1 kHz, which is not that great compared to newer models, however, it is not bad either. You have the ability to layer interminably and create endless overdubs. This pedal can be utilized in mono or stereo, depending on what you are looking for. In addition, Loop Core has 40 drum patterns that will help you nail your rhythm and keep your whole performance in perfect tempo (tap tempo is also available). You can connect this unit to your computer and import or export desired loops or tracks, achieving more versatility than you expected initially. Loop Core has several cool features: Auto-Start mode will cause the pedal to start looping as soon as you hit your guitar, Finish mode will stop the unit when the loop ends, while Fade Out mode will switch the pedal off gradually after 10 seconds. This stompbox has typical powering options, i.e. a single battery or an adapter. In terms of connections we have mono and stereo outputs, mono and stereo inputs (Aux In acts as stereo), an input for external footswitch, DC jack and USB port.
When you look at the control layout, the first thing that comes to mind is that it is digital. The combination of LCD screen and all those buttons make it look sophisticated, however, once you break everything down, the operation becomes an easy task. To grasp the full potential of this pedal, let’s discuss all the controls we have here.
The first encoder we have here is dual: the inner one is Rhythm and sets the volume of the internal rhythm tracks, while the outer one is Loop and modifies the level of the loops. Save/Delete button on top of the panel stores the current pattern or removes it from the memory, Stop Modes allows you to select one of three modes available (Normal, Finish or Fade Out), while Rhythm button turns the patterns on/off or selects the desired one. Tap enables you to set the Tap Tempo by pressing it couple of times, Up and Down buttons allow you to move between memory slots or choose various settings, while the footswitch can record, overdub, playback, stop, undo/redo and clear the loops. We do also have LEDs that indicate on the mode of operation.
There are several key points we have to mention when it comes to the sound of NUX Loop Core. Let’s start with flaws: as I have mentioned earlier, the recording quality is not amazing. Even though you can easily turn a blind eye on it in many scenarios, you might feel that you need more for live performances (depending on how picky you are). Another downside is that rhythm patterns are amazing for practices, but are not the best for gigs. The other thing that could be considered as flaw is double tap for stop, however, that would be unfair since many other units have such configuration. That is a limitation of all single footswitch loopers and there is nothing we can do about it. On the bright side, the versatility of Loop Core enables you to achieve extremely diverse results. You can save so much into the unit that it could be enough for a whole performance or even a couple. This way you can easily download some extra tracks and jam along with them. The ability to set the tempo with tap is also amazing and the above-mentioned drum patterns could be really useful for nailing the rhythm.
On the whole, NUX Loop Core is one of the most capable options on the market at such a low price point. Though it has some minor downsides, these are just some things that you should consider before purchasing. After all, each and every unit should fit your preferences and music, otherwise even the most expensive looper will not work for you. Just consider all the versatile features, listen to a demo or two and make up your mind accordingly. Good luck!
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