Hidden settings tips and tricks for the rc-2 loop station

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Hidden settings tips and tricks for the rc-2 loop station
Looper pedals are a one-man band's best friend. (Dimitri Vervitsiotis/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Boss' RC-2 Loop Station is a condensed edition of the RC-20XL and has much of the same functionality in a smaller and more affordable package. Looper pedals record a guitar part you play into them and then set them repeating on an infinite loop for you to jam over. There are no hidden button combinations on the RC-2, but there are tricks and tips to help you get the most out of your looper.

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Undo/Redo Tip

The RC-2 has an "Undo/Redo" function. This allows you to erase your last overdub and is useful if you make a mistake but don't want to restart your loop. With some creative use, this is a great tool when songwriting or performance. If you want a melodic backing in a chorus section, play it the first time through, and then "Undo" it for the verse. When the chorus comes around again, hold the pedal down to "Redo" the phrase, and you can harmonise with the melody for the second chorus.

Auto Record

If you want your guitar part to come in to the recording instantly, you can set the RC-2 to "Auto-Record." Instead of having to time your playing to start on your initial pedal-tap, set the RC-2's "Mode Dial" to "Auto." The "Mode Dial" is on the right hand side of the RC-2. Now you can tap the pedal to prime the RC-2 for recording, and it will start recording the loop as soon as you start to play. This makes it less likely that a minor timing error is going to get into your loop.

One Shot Playback

You can use the RC-2 like a sampler and play phrases through once. Turn the "Mode Dial" to the bottom left. The icon has one looping arrow and one straight arrow. This is used to toggle between looping playback and "One-Shot" playback. Press the "Tap Tempo" button to switch between the two. When "One-Shot" mode is active, the "Loop/One-Shot" indicator in the top left turns red. If you set "One Shot" mode, and cue up 11 phrases you want to include, the RC-2 becomes a phrase sampler.

Adjust Playback Tempo

You can slow down the playback of any phrases you record with the RC-2's "Tap Tempo" button. Simply tap the button at the pace you want the track to play back at. The RC-2 does this without changing the pitch. You can use this for many different reasons, but a good application is to use the auxiliary input to import a portion of complex playing you want to learn. Record it onto the RC-2, and then slow it right down. This allows you to take your time and work out how to play the song. If you need to get yourself up to speed to play something, increase the tempo in gradual increments as you practice. The RC-2 becomes a learning companion with this feature, as well as giving you the opportunity to see what "Stairway to Heaven" sounds like at super-speed.

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