The Boss RC-20XL, a looper pedal, is primarily designed for use with a guitar, but it can be also used with vocals and electronic drum kits. Looper pedals enable the user to record a musical phrase and set it playing on a continuous loop. The musician can then overdub onto his previous recording, adding new sections on top of the previous recording and stacking up the sound. Learning some tips for using the pedal can help you get the most out of it.
Make Learning Songs Easier
The RC-20XL has a "Tap Tempo" feature that allows you to change the tempo of phrases you record as well as phrases that you import from a CD. After connecting your CD player to the "Aux In" jack on the back of the unit, you can record the audio from it, then tap the "Tap Tempo" button at your desired playback tempo. The "Tap Tempo" button is directly underneath the "Guide" dial. This feature does not alter the pitch of the recording, so you can play back a solo slowly, then work out how to play it yourself as the section loops at a reduced speed.
Sample Musical Phrases
The "One-Shot Playback" function on the Boss RC-20XL lets you use the looper pedal like a sampler. Select it by holding down the "Shift" button and pressing the "Loop/One Shot" button (also the "Auto-Start" button). The "One Shot Phrase" LED will illuminate when the mode is selected. The LED is located to the right of the "Phrase Select" knob. The "Shift" and "Loop/One Shot" buttons can be found underneath this LED light. The selected phrase will play back once from start to finish and then stop. You can't overdub in this mode. Either select a new phrase or press the left foot pedal to start playback again.
Fade Out Between Songs
If you're performing with the RC-20XL, setting the unit to fade out instead of stop is a good way to finish songs. You can adjust this by changing the "Stop Mode." Hold "Shift" and press the "Stop Mode" (also "Mode") button. This is located on the far right-hand side of the unit. Press the "Stop Mode" button until the desired "Stop Mode" is selected. The "Center Cancel" indicator will flash if the fade-out stopping mode is activated. Release the "Shift" button when you have selected your desired "Stop Mode."
Stay in Time
The RC-20XL has a couple of useful functions to help you keep your loop in time. Select the phrase location you wish to record into, and then tap the "Tap Tempo" button at your desired speed. The LED light above the button will flash at the tempo entered. When you begin recording, the "Loop Quantize" feature will automatically adjust the recording to finish in time with the tempo entered. Turn up the "Guide" dial to hear the metronome click to help you stay in time.
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