Boss has just announced new additions to its already impressive Loop Station product family. The new RC-5 and RC-500 will feature all new updated technology and offer up to 13 hours of stereo recording.
Boss Loop Station
The RC-5 and RC-500 are the newest members to the Boss Loop Station pedal range. Both pedals feature 32-bit AD/DA and 32-bit floating-point processing, onboard rhythms, phrase memories for storing loops, backlit displays, and have 13 hours of stereo recording. You can also use a footswitch, an expression pedal, or MIDI for advanced external control support.
The new Boss RC-5 comes in the familiar stompbox Boss pedal format as that of its predecessors. It has full stereo I/O and, according to Boss “the most advanced interface available in any stompbox looper”. An LCD changes colour to let you know when the pedal is in record, overdub, or playback mode, and the multi-function parameter knob lets you navigate through rhythms, system settings, and more. There are two buttons for the Rhythm, an On/Off and one for Tempo, and two more that access Memory and Setup. The RC-5 has 7 different drum kit sounds to choose from.
It also has MIDI I/O on TRS jacks, which is a nice touch for players with advanced systems. It not only conserves space, but enables remote operation from MIDI and foot controllers, including MIDI sync with drum machines and DAWs.
The new Boss RC-500 has two mono-stereo instrument inputs as well as a dedicated microphone XLR input (with phantom power). The two tracks can be used independently, or layered together for multi-track texturing. Two faders adjust the volumes of the tracks, and there is a dedicated knob for the mic level. Like the RC-5, the RC-500 also features MIDI I/O on TRS jacks. It has 16 different kits to choose from.
The three footswitches labelled Rec/Play, Stop, and Track Select are self-explanatory, but can be also be assigned to custom functions. For example, you can route left/right inputs to separate tracks, send the guitar or microphone signal out to independent tracks, turn effects on/off, or start stop rhythms. The RC-500 comes with several Loop FX, including repeat, scatter, shift, and vinyl flick.
Next generation loop pedals
Both units come with a reverse function, 57 pre-installed rhythms, and 99 phrase memories to store loops in. The loops can be backed up to your computer via USB, and WAV files can be played back through the BOSS Tone Studio, to use as backing or jam tracks.
They’re not cheap, but Boss has been making loop pedals for a long time now and these new generation pedals should raise the bar for all loop pedals that follow. What do you think? Would you pay close to £200 for a loop pedal?
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