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mini review: BOSS SL-20 SLICER/LOOPER pedal
I'm so fascinated by taking unusual wave forms
and slicing them into grooving patterns that
I ordered the new BOSS SL-20 Audio Pattern Processor
pedals before they had even been released.
I've been very busy lately so it came a week ago and
tonight I finally sat down with it.
What major fun!
This pedal will generate different rhythmic slicing patters from
any input (and some slice patterns will just sound great with only
the noise of a guitar inputted).
I don't know it well yet, but there are several salient features
(Including a simple onboard looping function_!_) that I thought you
all might want to read about it.
The pedal boasts 50 different rhyhtmic approaches but I haven't been
able to get through more than 3 or 4 in the last hour and a half
because they sound so good.
The pedal can also be used in latch or momentary mode which is fantastic
jamming with yourself (especially if you are running , as I was tonight,
a digital delay).
It has an onboard tap button and a cool lit metronone light that shoes
a red flashing light on the downbeat of the rhythmic pulse and three green
on the down beat (wouldn't if be cool if loopers came equipped with such a
No only are there multiple rhythmic patterns , including some cool ones
and form very musical rhythmic patterns and some ones with evolving
you can control the envelope of the pulses width, and attack and decay
There are no progammable rhythmic patterns which could be cool and the
set to 4/4 with 16th notes for the most part (I did find one triplet
feel as well
and there may be more amongst the 40 or so rhythms I have experienced yet,
but I'd be nitpicking to say that this bugged me.
Essentially, with a simple fretless guitar (I just had my frets on my
hideous pink strat
removed today) and playing really simple single and double note melodies
chords, I was
able to generate interesting grooves that would fit anywhere in
This thing is just a dance composing machine as the simplest kinds of
can generate a lot to work
off of and the sounds are great.
I especially loved using harmonics and bar harmonics with the combination
of the fretless and
floyd roses whammy bar that's on this guitar
With the looper included, you can hold down the on/off button for the
rhythmic slices for 2 seconds as you play
and then, the next time you hit the button, it will record a fairly long
loop that seems to be automatically
synchonized to the rhythm pattern (you have midi control too, though I
not play with that tonight)when you
truncate the loop with another press of the on/off button.
The next time you turn off the effect, it immediately erases the loop so
it's great for improvising and
playing with the grooves going and not going.
I wouldn't use it as my only looper but the ability to loop something is
awesome for me as a multi-instrumentalis.
Several times I broke my neighborhoods sound curfew because I got a loop
going that made me leap onto my drum set
to groove with it.
It is effective enough that it replaces the need for arpeggiated or
sequenced synth lines that are so often associated with
electronic music. I could concieve of myself hitting the stage with
this, a guitar, bass, drumset and microkorg
synth and playing a really covincing set of dance music for a party
I'll write more as I know more about it, but I'm very, very happy I got
Check it out if you get a chance.
ps it also has cool stereo modes though I did not use them tonight
pps it also an expression pedal to control several functions which I also
haven't tried out yet.