What could be more interesting than watching your favorite band live? Though in different circumstances I would ask this question rhetorically, today I have an answer to it. Something that can be even more exciting than that is listening to a solo musician and wondering where all those sounds are coming from. You see one person on stage but you are enveloped with multi-dimensional sounds. It is something mysterious, yet it makes your blood flow faster and your heart beat with enjoyment. Such inspiring results are created with the help of loopers. They provide musicians with the ability to layer different characteristics on top of one another and produce pieces that nobody has heard before. They can also be amazing for practices, as they can help you perfect any impurities in your craftsmanship. These wonderful pedals can take up a whole real-estate, but we do also have some compact variations. The stompbox we are talking about today is from our beloved Vox. Lil’ Looper is a small, but capable device that can definitely change your life to the better (and I am not even exaggerating). It has a lot up its sleeve and will deliver something unique with each attempt. If you are looking for multi-skilled looper, then you have to stay with me till the end. Let’s begin!
Even though the majority of loopers out there follow the similar patterns, there still are certain characteristics that set particular units apart from the bunch. Vox Lil’ Looper definitely stands out with the versatility it has regardless of its compact body. This baby offers two independent loops that can be layered on top of each other or utilized separately. They have 90 seconds of recording time in total, which is not bad in most cases. Keep in mind that you do not have the ability to save your loops in the pedal or transfer them to any other device. This means that you can only create pieces on the fly and forget about them for good. The great thing is that you can switch between the above-mentioned loops with the footswitch, which can be really convenient during practices or live performances. Lil’ Looper has Loop Quantize function – it enables you to set the exact length of each loop according to the chosen rhythm. In addition, this baby offers 12 different effects, including pedal, modulation/delay and simulation effects. You will come across the well-known distortion and overdrive, as well as some chorus and bass or radio emulations (these are just several of the available options). This creates the possibility to amplify the character of your loops and create some weird, yet interesting flavors. And there is more. Lil’ Looper has a metronome that will help you to perfect your rhythm. Its input accepts both guitar and mic, giving you even more options to work with. It also has an input for external footswitch that makes everything accessible with your feet and an output for your headphones. Let’s not forget that this baby runs on 6AA batteries or a 9V adapter. It is clear as a day, Vox took matters seriously while designing this pedal and we can all see how amazing the results turned out.
I will be honest, when I first saw this pedal, I almost got a heart attack. This thing looks a bit scary in the beginning. But as you start scrutinizing it closely, you start noticing that it is actually straight-forward. It is as if you can see through all the controls, which can be really convenient if you do not like fiddling around. This baby has a couple of LEDs that show you the modes of operation. This can be rather handy during live performances as you will be able to see what is going on even from far away.
I do not think it will be the act of stating the obvious if we discuss the duties of each control. So, Lil’ Looper has two footswitches, which are in charge of Loop 1 and Loop 2. They can record, playback or overdub your loop, so they are basically the main players here. Effect Knob (which is not labelled by the way) allows you to choose between available effects and modify two parameters (depending on the effect), while the Effect Button selects the type of the effect. Loop Level/Value alters the volume of the playback, auto recording mode, metronome or time signature, and sets the parameter of the effect. Then we have four more buttons: Auto Rec, Metronome, Tap and Clear, which are rather self-explanatory in my opinion. The combination of these controls will expose you to additional functionalities, and since we cannot stay here all day, I highly recommend exploring the manual.
Rather than providing you with a lot of memory or storage, Vox decided to focus on live performance with its Lil’ Looper. And such configuration is simply genius! Everything this pedal offers is extremely powerful – the effects sound fantastic, the looping options are interminable and tap tempo is rather handy. It is not just for novices and practicing scenarios, it is a perfect tool for professionals who know a thing or two about their sound. This baby requires some time to understand, but once you get the hang of it, it unleashes the beast hidden in its small body and engulfs you in madness and craziness of overdubbed effects. Though all of its functionalities are worth mentioning, I think that the star of the show here is Loop Quantize. This feature guarantees the exact same rhythm with each loop and makes you sound even better. You will not fully grasp what I am talking about, unless you commit yourself to this one and start performing!
On the whole, Vox Lil’ Looper is one of the best options if you are looking for a versatile beast. Not only is it a badass looper, but it is also an amazing multi-effects processor. The quality is outstanding no matter what you look at and the sounds will keep you attached to the pedal for days. Do not be lazy to see what it has up its sleeve and you will never say goodbye to Lil’ Looper. Good luck!
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