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Z-Vex Lo-Fi Loop Junky

mungenast@earthlink.net asked about the Z-Vex Lo-Fi Loop Junky and the 
Boss Gigadelay. Eric W has a lot of information about using the Gigadelay 
as a looper, as I recall, and at least one other person on this list 
(stan, I think) has mentioned using a Loop Junky. 

The Z-Vex website for the Loop Junky goes into more detail than I will:


There are links at the top of this page to sound samples, and a 
demonstration QuickTime video (the video is big, not for dialup modem 
users). The entire short user's guide is online at this page, too.

Based on the definitions given on 


I consider the Z-Vex Lo-Fi Loop Junky a "performance-oriented sampler" and 
not a "current real-time looper". 

There are two big limitations of the Lo-Fi Loop Junky for looping: 

1) it does not record sound-on-sound. You can record a loop, but not 
overdub onto the loop. You can of course play live over the playing loop.

2) It *is* lo-fi, since it's based around an old telephone answering 
machine chip. It makes the Akai Headrush E1 or original Boomerang sound 
audiophile-grade in comparison :).

Corollary to 2): Since the playback is so lo-fi, you cannot play along 
with the loop transparently. The sample sounds entirely different in tone 
from your live signal that is passed over the playing sample. 

Accept those two limitations and what you get is a twenty-second 
sampler you can carry in your pocket, that does not need a wall-wart AC 
adapter (Z-Vex gear has ridiculously long battery life in comparison to 
any other battery-powered pedal I've ever used), that stores the sample 
indefinitely until you erase it, and is built like a very small tank. 

You can control input volume and output playback volume of the loop 
sample.You can also alter a "tone" control to roll off hiss of the loop, 
and change depth & speed of a vibrato for the loop. You can do this live, 
while the loop is playing, assuming you have a free hand to knob-tweak. 
There's a small switch to protect the sample so you can't unintentionally 
delete it.

I use an Akai Headrush E1, RC-20 LoopStation, and Electro-Harmonix 16 
Second reissue as my performance loopers. I rarely take my Repeater to do 
a show. I almost always have the Z-Vex Lo-Fi Loop Junky in my bag or set 
up as my third inline looper, in case any of my loopers fail for some 
reason as a backup. There's nothing to fail on the Loop Junky as long as 
I change the battery roughly annually (not really an exaggeration). If I 
had to leave one of the three (Headrush, RC-20, Z-Vex) home, I'd probably 
leave the RC-20 home.

So it's very limited in comparison to anything in the "true looper" tools 
section, but I still like it for its indestructible stripped-down 
minimalism. It's pricy, but so are hardened and embedded systems in the 
computer hardware world. 

Steve B
Phasmatodea     http://www.phasmatodea.net/
Subscape Annex  http://www.subscapeannex.com/