If you’ve ever been to a one-man show and been amazed at how a single person seemingly has a full band playing with them, then you’ve come to the right place. Sure, some musicians play with backing tracks, but the real impressive live sets come from skillful musicians and a Loop Pedal or one of the Best Loop Pedal Apps.
Loop pedals are guitar pedals that record and play back whatever is in the loop, allowing the musician to overdub, record over the track, or play along with the loop. The more loop tracks and overdubs a musician has, the more layers they can add to the song.
How does a loop pedal work?
Loop or Looper pedals record any audio that is sent into them, whether it is from a microphone that is plugged in through a quarter-inch cable or from an audio interface. Some smaller loop pedals have guitars plugged directly into them, but that limits you to only the guitar.
These loopers include a footswitch, which, when pressed, will start recording whatever is playing. When pressed again, it will stop recording and start looping whatever was played. This can be repeated over and over again, therefore creating a multi-layered track single-handedly.
So now that that that’s covered, technological advancements have brought us all the functionality of a stompbox to our smart devices. So today, I’ll be taking a look at some of the best loop pedal apps currently on the market and find the perfect one for you…
Best Looper Apps
Jam Looper is easily the easiest to use and coolest looking looper on this list. Its bright colors and simple to use interface make it the perfect pick up and play looper app.
There are two tiers, one free and the other paid. The free version has all the functionality of the paid version but limits you to only four tracks. But, if you’re just having fun with a group of friends, four tracks will usually be more than enough.
If you want to use the app in a professional setting, like playing a small gig, then the pro version offers up to 8 tracks for only $5.
Synchronization is done automatically, and there aren’t many options to tweak things, with a simple volume mixer on each track. Therefore, if you want a more comprehensible looper, this app is not for you.
Loopy HD (IOS) – Best iPad Loop Pedal App
Next in my rundown of the best lopper pedal apps, if you’re on the iPad or iPhone, there is no better and more versatile option than Loopy HD. This looper app comes jam-packed with everything you want and even some things that you never knew you needed. It has up to 12 loop tracks, each with their own volume control.
It is a paid only app but costs only $5, which makes it an absolute steal for any artist who wants to use loops. Whether you want to jam with friends, play music in a live setting, or experiment with ideas for new songs, Loopy HD is perfect.
It can also link with Ableton if you want to record your sessions onto a DAW.
What makes Loopy HD better than the rest is its compatibility with all other Audiobus compatible apps and devices. This means applications like Drum Session or SynthMaster, that support MIDI devices, can be used with Loopy HD.
Loopy HD itself also supports MIDI, so you can control the loops with a foot pedal, which is invaluable for live gigs.
I found Loopify about three weeks ago when they launched their latest update. It is currently still in early access on the Google Play Store, so you’ll have to join the beta program to use it.
When it comes to looper apps on Android, Loopify has replaced my previous pick, Loop Station, as my new favorite. The paid version is only $4 and comes with all the bells and whistles needed to use the app for live gigs.
With the paid version, you can get up to nine channels, with the ability to merge channels on the fly, as well as control each one’s volume and panning.
What makes this app great is all the audio effects that can be added to each track separately, like chorus, reverb, compressor, and distortion.
The latest update also added support for USB devices, which means you can connect an external audio interface to your phone, if it supports it, and use it for latency-free recording and looping.
Loop Station is pretty basic, which makes it great for beginners and casual users.
It has some basic features, like infinite overdubs, like the rest on here, but there is one catch. With Loop Station, you record a single track and then record overdubs. This means that you cannot control a specific recording or track separately.
This makes it less suitable for live gigs but great for recording ideas or jamming with friends.
LoopStack, similar to Loop Station, lacks some extra features but is simple and quick to use. However, it is better in terms of versatility, with four separate tracks to record with and the ability to merge the tracks. Each track has its own volume control and reverb if needed.
The metronome is also easy to use, but the loop time only goes up to 32 seconds, so it won’t work in a live gig setting at all.
LoopStack is a paid app with a free trial, but honestly, paying for an app as limited as this isn’t a great option, unless all you want is to record ideas, or play with your friends.
Looking for more great Apps to enhance your musicality?
Then check out our reviews of the Best Music Key Finder Websites VST Plugins Apps, the Best Music Theory Apps, the Best Vocal Range Test Apps and Websites, the Best Guitar Games, and the Best Apps and Games for Learning to Sight Read Music you can buy in 2021.
Best Loop Pedal Apps – Final Thoughts
With musical technology moving forward at a rapid pace, buying a real looper pedal is a thing of the past. Everything is moving to digital, and learning to utilize these apps will open up doors you didn’t think were possible.
I hope you can find a looper app that works for you; whether you want to just have fun with your friends, or use it for live gigs to amaze the audience and earn some cash, there is one on this list for you.