I’ve been a long time fan of phrase loopers. Not only are they a great practice tool, they can add an entirely new dimension to a jam session with friends or a live band setting. Most importantly, they are fun. My first looper was an original Boomerang. This was a monster-size device that was designed to be completely controlled with the feet. I still consider it to be a great looper. After the Boomerang, I’ve tried different versions of Digitech Jammans and Boss RC loopers. While fun and capable, I never quite bonded with either the Digitech and Boss loopers even though they were clearly technically superior to the Boomerang. Finally, I purchased a Boomerang 3. I was in heaven. The Boomerang 3 is clearly the easiest and most powerful looper on the market; however, it is limited by not having the ability to store loops, play prerecorded samples or drum patters. As I’ve never found the need to store loops, I’ve never considered this to be a negative.
Recently, TC Electronic released their entry into the looper market, the Ditto. This one knob, one button, tiny pedal is the smallest, simplest looper on the market. Because of its small size, it can be easily fit on any pedal board. Best of all, the Ditto is completely transparent sounding. Even though I had the Boomerang 3, I felt compelled to try the Ditto. After living with it for three weeks, I highly recommend the Ditto for any guitarist that wants to dabble in looping. With only a single foot switch and a volume knob, any player should be able to come up to speed in no time. My intention was to attach the Ditto to my Pedaltrain Mini as an always available looper.
After the three weeks, I’ve decided to return the Ditto. There’s nothing wrong with the Ditto, it’s just that the Boomerang 3 has features that I considered essential. With the Ditto, you can create a single loop and you can overdub on top of that loop almost infinitely (or until the loop is just a sonic smear). With the Boomerang’s three independent loops, you can easily add, delete, and layer loops. The Boomerang has the unique ability to record a single measure rhythm and then automatically multiply/expand the single measure as you add layers. Also. the Boomerang has an adjustable decay so that your earlier loops fade away are you add new layers of loops. Other than the fact that both the Ditto and Boomerang both allow you to create loops, they are hardly comparable. The Ditto is analogous to a one shot Derringer and the Boomerang is like a revolver.
While any looper is a fun and useful tool, unless you’re willing to shell out the coin for a Boomerang 3, the Ditto is probably a great best bet and value for most players.