I have the RC-20 so I can answer some of your questions. To switch between loops without using the knobs, you have to get the Boss FS-5u foot pedal. I don’t have it (yet because bending over everytime gets on my nerves) but it runs around $25. I can’t answer anything about the 5u because I don’t have it so maybe someone else can fill you in on that part.
>If you use an extra pedal to move between loops, does it move at the end of the loop, or whenever you hit >the button?
If the pedal works like the knobs on the RC-20 does, then I believe it would be at the end of the loop and you would have to press the pedal several times to skip loops. The 5u does have an LCD to show you which loop you are on.
>How difficult is it to delete old loops, start new ones, and move between them, in a live setting?
I imagine it would be difficult depending on the instrument you are playing, because to delete loops you would have to keep bending over between songs to delete the previous song you made. Unless you are pretty good using your bare toes like me and can delete loops with your big toe J One thing I wish the RC20 had was a “delete all” button because in order to delete loops, you have to turn to the loop you want to delete each time which takes about a minute or two because you have to press 2 buttons at a time to delete a loop.
> I've heard a lot of people talk about a "Undo" feature on the more expensive units, does the RC-20 have >anything similar?
Yes and no. If you are recording the first loop then there is no real “undo” feature; you just have to stop and try again. But once you get that going and start overdub, then if you goof up you can hold down the play pedal for more than two seconds and it will “undo” the goof-up while the first loop is still playing. But that’s only if you write the initial loop to the RC20 first. That’s another thing. In order to write a loop to the RC20. you have to bend over and press the “write’ button which takes a few seconds. I don’t know if it will enable you to write via the 5u (probably not) but you have to bend over each time to write the loop to the RC20 but when you do that, the track does not continue to play, it stops so you can write it and then you can start again. But if you are performing live, I guess you won’t be writing tracks.
I have heard that its good for using live, but like you, I am a “newb” to this thing so maybe I’m just a cry in the wind. But since we are both newbs, you will find frustrating the same things I have. I use my RC20 at home, so I can afford to bend over all the time, but if you are going to be performing live then I definitely recommend getting the 5u pedal switch … it will save you a whole lot of back ache and pain and you won’t have to keep bending over to change the track when you are starting a new loop.
My Cello Music http://cello.hecates.com
I'm looking to get my first looper this summer, to start doing solo bass (guitar) shows. I'm technically impaired, heck, I can barely work my VCR, so researching these complicated units has left me with some questions.
My goal is to
play live, so I'm not worried about
I've been looking at the Boss RC-20 and the Boomerang; if I use an external foot pedal to move between loops with the RC-20 (I was told you could do that), and I'm not worried about playing backwards live, is there anything the Boomerang does that the RC-20 does not?
I tried an RC-20 at a shop, but I was a bit confused by some of the controls. If you use an extra pedal to move between loops, does it move at the end of the loop, or whenever you hit the button? If it can only move one "direction" can you tap the pedal twice to "skip" a loop (say, moving from loop #1 to loop #3), or does it have to play through the one in the middle first?
How difficult is it to delete old loops, start new ones, and move between them, in a live setting? I've heard a lot of people talk about a "Undo" feature on the more expensive units, does the RC-20 have anything similar?
I hope you don't mind the "newbie" questions, I just don't want to get in over my head, or end up taking something home that doesn't do what I want. This stuff is complicated!
Thanks for your time!