Looper pedal? Doesn't work well with distortion

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cebix
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Looper pedal? Doesn't work well with distortion

Post by cebix » Thu Dec 25, 2014 6:08 pm

Hi everyone.

Running a Gibson Explorer w/ EMG's straight into a 2006 1987X stock w/ LarMar MV with an original FX loop to a 1936 w/ T75's.

Just bought a Ditto Looper, put it in the loop and while for clean sounds it works awesome, when a little dirt chimes in well... not so great anymore. Running the amp very quiet (all settings to 10, except vol1 to 3 and vol2 to 0, LarMar barely up just to get a sound - nighttime bedroom volume).

Just laying down a single harmony - playing one note, looping it and playing another on top. It all gets mushy and the frequencies sound like they are fighting for space and well it's pretty harsh, forget about laying a rhythm track.

Does anyone have ideas what I'm doing wrong? I'm figuring the power amp section doesn't distort at such low volumes so the fx loop should be clean. Also there are people on youtube getting fantastic overdriven sounds live with multiple overdubs and I really can't get past even one overdub with an even okay sound. Some examples below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4oUvVgNXMQ


From about 2:10 on:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lImVUXq9W7U

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4onTlY_lNds


EDIT: Maybe it's just the stock loop? http://forum.metroamp.com/viewtopic.php ... 7&p=257597

Livingstoni813
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Re: Looper pedal? Doesn't work well with distortion

Post by Livingstoni813 » Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:52 pm

I've had a ditto x2 looper for about 8 months, great simplistic looper. I DO NOT use an fx loop, nor do I have a master vol on my amp. The way I use it, is to feed my entire fx line up into the looper, lay rhythms, and then lead lines thereafter. The rhythms are mostly clean enough to maybe have an rch of hair on em, and then the leads, I can overdrive as little or as much as I want, and all sounds pretty solid. I would imagine both your rhythm and lead or accompanyment are both really overdriven. Coming through one amp, could cause the sounds to compete. Actually bought a second GPM45 for just this purpose, have the rhythm coming through one amp, and play the lead through the other. Now, I have tried to run the looper into an overdrive, also into a Demeter spring reverb, and it sounded AWFUL, HORRIBLE. I have kinda noticed that using the looper to lay a rhythm, and then overdub a lead line, and having it all come through one amp, the different parts do kinda compete, but just a tad. Could this be phase cancelling? Also, I could see the probability of the looper sounding like garbage if you lay something down on it, and play it into a distorted amp, only because of my experience with trying to run the looper into an od. Set the amp up clean, take the looper out of the fx loop, feed everything into the looper without the fx loop would be my first suggestion, if you want od, kick an od on while you're laying your rhythm, then if you want od for your lead, kick it on for the overdub. But, to me it sounds like the looper does not like either having it's signal fed into an fx loop, or it doesnt like being fed into an overdriven, but, attenuated with a mv amp. Give it a go, and lemme know please, really interested to hear the outcome, especially because the ditto x2, and my Metro GPM45 get along great.

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Re: Looper pedal? Doesn't work well with distortion

Post by Livingstoni813 » Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:58 pm

Ohh, almost forgot to mention, make sure your od signal is only a tad louder in vol to the clean signal, otherwise, you can definitely drown yourself out with the overdriven overdub.

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chrisom
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Re: Looper pedal? Doesn't work well with distortion

Post by chrisom » Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:42 am

I use a Ditto looper with a pretty decent amount of distortion and it sounds great. I'm using patch 14 or 15 on a Fender Super Champ XD. It's a "Boogie-ish" level of gain...

But the looper is placed between the guitar and amp, which positions it AHEAD of the distortion. Try that. I realize this prevents you from layering clean sounds over dirty ones and vice-versa, but I can lay down the rhythm for "Stairway" then play lead over it all day long, and it sounds fine... :thumbsup:

cebix
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Re: Looper pedal? Doesn't work well with distortion

Post by cebix » Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:08 am

Livingstoni813 wrote:I've had a ditto x2 looper for about 8 months, great simplistic looper. I DO NOT use an fx loop, nor do I have a master vol on my amp. The way I use it, is to feed my entire fx line up into the looper, lay rhythms, and then lead lines thereafter. The rhythms are mostly clean enough to maybe have an rch of hair on em, and then the leads, I can overdrive as little or as much as I want, and all sounds pretty solid. I would imagine both your rhythm and lead or accompanyment are both really overdriven. Coming through one amp, could cause the sounds to compete. Actually bought a second GPM45 for just this purpose, have the rhythm coming through one amp, and play the lead through the other. Now, I have tried to run the looper into an overdrive, also into a Demeter spring reverb, and it sounded AWFUL, HORRIBLE. I have kinda noticed that using the looper to lay a rhythm, and then overdub a lead line, and having it all come through one amp, the different parts do kinda compete, but just a tad. Could this be phase cancelling? Also, I could see the probability of the looper sounding like garbage if you lay something down on it, and play it into a distorted amp, only because of my experience with trying to run the looper into an od. Set the amp up clean, take the looper out of the fx loop, feed everything into the looper without the fx loop would be my first suggestion, if you want od, kick an od on while you're laying your rhythm, then if you want od for your lead, kick it on for the overdub. But, to me it sounds like the looper does not like either having it's signal fed into an fx loop, or it doesnt like being fed into an overdriven, but, attenuated with a mv amp. Give it a go, and lemme know please, really interested to hear the outcome, especially because the ditto x2, and my Metro GPM45 get along great.
Actually when putting the looper between the guitar and the amp it sounds even worse. I don't have an OD as I don't like to use them, I thought I could get away with using the amps natural distortion when the looper is in the loop but well... doesn't seem to like it.

Doesn't like the master volume? Probably. When set up louder it all seems to sound a little better. I'm still thinking the loop is clipping even at those low volumes or something after the loop is clipping (phase inverter, power tubes). From what I understand from the 1987X schematic, the loop feeds directly into the phase inverter. Guess the looper should like being in the effects loop as most people I know of use it there... but on modern stuff, not old Marshall designs.


@chrisom: I don't know how the Super Champ works but already tried putting the looper before the amp and it sounds even worse. Those effects seem to be tamed a little bit when changing the tone of the next overdubs, like changing pickups, settings on the amp, pickup volume, etc. But then again it doesn't sound nowhere near as good as in the links I posted.

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Re: Looper pedal? Doesn't work well with distortion

Post by Livingstoni813 » Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:35 pm

So weird, ok, chkd out the tc website after reading about a few other people having the same type of issue. Have you updated the firmware on the pedal?
http://www.tcelectronic.com/ditto-looper/support/
Odd to see a firmware update for a guitar pedal, but could help.
Going on the idea that there's nothing wrong with your amp/fx loop, the possibility of this specific unit being bunk enters in.
Also, if you're runnin this thing off of a 9v battery, you might as well buy stock in Duracell, mine ate batteries like they were goin outta style until I got a plug in adapter for it. Just puttin that out there to make sure it's not something so simple as a beat, or almost beat 9v.

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Re: Looper pedal? Doesn't work well with distortion

Post by Livingstoni813 » Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:58 pm

Also this-> something after the loop is clipping (phase inverter, power tubes). If my thinking is correct, this would be the same as me trying to run the ditto into an od and having it sound like garbage.

cebix
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Re: Looper pedal? Doesn't work well with distortion

Post by cebix » Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:35 pm

Thanks for the help, I'll try to update the firmware tomorrow and post the results. As for the unit being bunk I doubt it as it works clean and also if I record ONE distorted track it plays beautifully through the amp. Add a distorted overdub however and we have stink. Being a digital unit if it was broken my guess is it wouldn't work at all.

Battery is out of the question as it doesn't have one, it only runs through an adapter and I also run my MXR Carbon Copy from this adapter and works perfect.

"Also this-> something after the loop is clipping (phase inverter, power tubes). If my thinking is correct, this would be the same as me trying to run the ditto into an od and having it sound like garbage."

Yes, your thinking is correct and if the loop is overdriving the only option is to get a zero-loss kit from Metro. However if the PI or power tubes distort... then there is nothing that can be done. Only to run the loops on a different amp... but then it won't sound as the Marshall.

cebix
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Re: Looper pedal? Doesn't work well with distortion

Post by cebix » Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:17 pm

All right thanks man! The firmware update seems to have done the trick, all works great!

Thanks again and keep rockin'.

Livingstoni813
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Re: Looper pedal? Doesn't work well with distortion

Post by Livingstoni813 » Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:42 pm

cebix wrote:All right thanks man! The firmware update seems to have done the trick, all works great!

Thanks again and keep rockin'.
EXCELLENT!!! So happy it's workin properly for ya now! :rockon:

cebix
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Re: Looper pedal? Doesn't work well with distortion

Post by cebix » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:44 am

If anyone else runs into this problem - the explanation from TC electronic is that the original firmware has a bug when the input signal is near the peak of the pedals' capability the output signal will drop down. That explains why when I was hitting hard it all sounded like fighting for space and since I use EMGs they have a quite high output signal.

Now it's all perfect, sounds mixed better and even when overdubbing the same tone it sounds right and tight.

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Re: Looper pedal? Doesn't work well with distortion

Post by theactor19 » Fri May 15, 2015 2:36 pm

Perhaps try a different loop pedal? I've got a good list of looper pedals here: http://www.guitartonetalk.com/2013/02/0 ... he-market/
http://www.GuitarToneTalk.com - Tone Tips, Pedal Reviews, Amp Reviews, Guitar Reviews. Helping you get amazing tone.

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