Using a loop pedal, you can have a mini band playing the backing tracks for you while you’re soloing over it. So cool, right? Can you use a loop pedal with an acoustic guitar, though?
You can use a loop pedal with acoustic guitars. The device can add a new dimension to your guitar playing. It can record a piece of music played by you and run it back again on time. If you are playing acoustic through a mic output, you have to find a loop pedal with an XLR input.
There are other factors to look out for when looking for a loop pedal for your acoustic setup. Let’s dive into some essential information about loop pedals.
Why Should You Get A Loop Pedal?
Loop pedals are fun as they can help you create a multitrack performance with just one guitar and make layers of music. It will make your performance a boost by helping you become a one-person band.
Even if you are in a band, you can perform a new perspective using a loop pedal. You can make a percussive sound with the guitar and loop it back. You can record a whole rhythm section and then solo over it. You can make a bass line and loop it back for the entire song. You can change pitch or speed even!
The best part about loop pedals is that you can showcase your creativity and do a whole lot of stuff with these!
Acoustic Guitars And Loop Pedals
You can record acoustic guitars with a loop pedal. The simplest way to run an acoustic guitar to a loop pedal is to make sure you have onboard electronics and an output jack on your acoustic guitar.
They are called acoustic-electric guitars as they have a piezo pickup installed on the bridge.
A ¼ inch output can be directed into the input of a loop pedal. Therefore, the signal will go directly to the loop pedal, which will convert that analog signal into digital.
Then the loop pedal’s output should go directly to the amp or PA system, converting the digital signal back to an analog signal for the amp output.
If you own a pure acoustic guitar and you use mics to perform, there is way too!
You are going to need a loop pedal that has an XLR input jack. XLR cable or balanced inputs are the 3-pin connection that is used by microphones in general.
If you use the guitar’s balanced output jack, you should get a looper pedal with a balanced input jack.
You can install an external pickup on your acoustic, which is not that complicated to do. Take it to a guitar tech and install the pickup if you don’t want to use mics to record.
A Simple Flowchart of Connections
Here’s a flowchart of different types of setup you can make with the loop pedal and your instrument.
Acoustic guitar with output→Loop Pedal→Amp
Acoustic guitar with external pickup and output→Loop Pedal→Amp
Acoustic Guitar→Mic→Loop pedal→Amp or P.A. system
Acoustic guitar→Loop pedal→audio interface→D.A.W. in Computer→Speakers or headphones
Choosing a Loop Pedal
If you are new to looping tracks through a loop pedal, we suggest you go easy at first. You need a simple loop pedal that can do basic things.
You may get tempted to see some advanced loop pedals with like a million features, but these loopers tend to be very complex, and only experienced players should handle them.
You need to check on the information on how much time it can record. Newer generations of loop pedals can record more than a minute, and some pedals can loop up to an hour of audio.
For example, TC Electronics’ ditto loop pedal can record and loop for up to 5 minutes. But Boss RC 3 can loop three hours of audio which is pretty impressive. You need to figure out how much looping you are going to do and buy pedals accordingly.
Also, you should check if the loop pedal supports multitrack overdubbing, which is essential if you need to loop multiple layers of music, chord voicings, bassline underneath your playing or singing. Ed Sheeran is a heavy loop pedal enthusiast, and he uses it on his live shows.
Only For Loops? What Else Can They Do?
Don’t get into thinking that loop pedals can only play looped tracks. Almost all the loop pedals come with various features other than just looping. You can do overdubbed looping of multiple tracks.
Some loopers come with a built-in drum machine that helps you maintain the tempo and support as a percussion.
Some loop pedals even offer a bassline generator according to the loops you create. Other features come with many loop pedals, like playing the reverse audio of the loop, changing the pitch in between playing.
Like the Boss RC 30 or RC 3, some loop pedals support a recall feature that allows you to save looped tracks in its memory. It’s a pretty nifty feature if you play the same songs in different concerts and don’t want to face the hassle of recording over and over.
It’s pretty standard for many acoustic guitar players to ask – can you use a loop pedal with an acoustic guitar? If you are a novice with loop pedals, you now have the basic knowledge you needed in understanding a loop pedal.
We hope that this post has helped you know more about loop pedals and whether you can use them with acoustic guitars. Happy Strumming!