Loopy HD vs RC-300

edited January 2012 in General
Hi - new potential Loopy user here (potential only because I don't currently own an iPhone or iPad).

I've been in the process of researching the BOSS RC-300, and have been close to buying it. However, I recently came across Loopy while researching the RC-300 (since there's a post here doing a brief breakdown of Loopy vs the RC-300).

I'm strongly thinking of, instead of paying $549 for the RC-300, putting it towards an iPad instead and buying Loopy. I guess my main question is, what am I missing out on if I go this route? At least from the comparison I found, it looks like Loopy is actually an even more powerful and easier to use looper (and if I were to add things like that Behringer foot controller, I'd be able to use it in a similar way).

In all honesty, what are the cons of a Loopy + iPad + Behringer foot controller setup compared to the RC-300?


  • I have been using the setup you are talking about and I love it. I have not used the 300, but I have used RC 50 and a Jam Man and I personally think Loopy is way better for several reasons. I have a FCB1010 hooked up through the iO Dock (don't buy the iO Dock though. It has problems- go with something else for your input/output)

    1) Visual- As soon as you begin record you can see the waveform, so levels are a visual thing also the loop glows orange when recording. Once you record the audio you can watch the curser(?) move around the loop so you can see where the loop begins. If you arm a track to record or mute, the curser flashes (orange if it is armed for recording). Compare this to a couple blinking lights on a pedal.

    2) Tactile- You can manipulate every loop you create with the touch of a finger. Volume/record/overdub/erase/fade/pan and more just by touching the individual loop while it is playing. A pedal doesn't allow you to look at the thing you are manipulating

    3) Loop Flexibility- I don't know about the RC300, but I know with most hardware loopers you have to record different "levels" of loops layers and cycle between them by moving up or down between loops. Loopy lets you record or import up to 12 completely different loops and play then back in ANY combination. For example right now I am playing in a duo where we do a lot of improvising over some pre-made tracks and adding loops to those. I can open up a session with two different bass loops and some drum tracks. As we play I can, at any time switch between those bass loops, drop the drums, fade one out, record a few sax loops, then mute everything but the sax loops, record some live drums, then kill that and bring in the original loops again. This is just an example. I could do any of these in endless combinations or import some .wav files that will be automatically stretched or compressed to fit the loop timing (which you can change with a tap tempo button). Plus all of it is synced to the first loop and you can set it so that a loop you are recording can be 2,4,8,16 etc. times the length of the first one, as well as fractions of the first one (or you can have them not sync at all). I think most pedals limit you to Loop, Loop plus overdubs, next loop, previous loop. Loopy has infinite possibilities. Just sitting here I can think of about a page worth of other stuff you can do, but you get the point.

    4) Pedal Flexibility- With the FCB1010 hooked up I can assign the pedals as I want and can make them do pretty much anything you can do with your fingers. Record, Overdub, mute, solo, stop/start the whole thing, select next/previous track. There are about 10 more, but those are the ones that I remember because I am using them. RC300- two pedals do what the manual says they do. =)

    5) Recording- Loopy lets you record whole songs. Hit the large record button, start recording, looping, muting, soloing, it records the whole thing with or without your live audio passthrough, so you really can use it as your backup band and then sing along with it. Hell, you could be your own backup singer if you stay on pitch. When you are done it lets you save it, e-mail it, Facebook it etc. I don't think the RC-300 interfaces with SoundCloud or lets you e-mail that love song you just wrote to your special lady.

    I just really love this app and if you are trying to decide between this and the pedal get this. Not only will you get a vastly better looper that is way more fun to use, but in the few minutes when you can tear yourself away from music making with it, you will also find that the iPad you have purchased has other uses besides Loopy.

    While it sounds like I am a Loopy salesman, I assure you I am just a music teacher from Vermont who really likes this thing and keeps finding new awesome things to do with it. I think all the Boss pedals are awesome, but this is on a different level of creative possibilities.

    Hope this answers your question adequately and I hope my longwinded rant is acceptable in the forum. If not, sorry and I'll try to keep any other posts a little shorter.

  • Damn, @TheFrapp, I should hire you to be my marketing team ;-)
  • @TheFrapp thank you so much! You've basically confirmed some of the things I suspected - I guess I've just hard a hard time fully accepting that an $8 app plus an iPad + foot controller/etc. could be so superior to a dedicated high-end hardware looper, but it seems clearly like it would be.

    And it's nice to get the more detailed explanation/concept directly comparing how one works with Loopy compared to working with a hardware looper (things like being able to visually see the soundwaves and the loops, etc.).

    I'm going to wait and see if the iPad 3 does in fact come out in March, and in the meantime I'm going to hold off on buying the RC-300 as I had been planning. Loopy really does sound like the way to go.
  • @ Zadillo- No problem.

    @ Michael- If I thought that you had a team of any kind, I'd be happy to be on it, but I have to assume you are a one man band (pardon the not-really-a-pun). =)
  • Regarding your comment to not get the Alesis IO Dock, perhaps this newly announced Behringer iStudio iPad dock might fit the bill?

  • It is what I will be buying as soon as it comes out their stuff tends to be higher quality. They also just released a series of mixers that have an ipad dock built right in, thought it doesn't have MIDI connectivity and I'm not sure how it routes signals to and from the ipad.

  • Hey guys, I was almost 100% on the Rc-300 until I read this thread. I am looking for an easy live looping setup for guitar, vocals, synth, and bass, but not sure if the iPad can handle it.

    The boss has some pretty awesome all in one features for live use... I can set different effects for different inputs or looping channels, it has supposedly good vocal effects, it can make my guitar sound like a bass with a special effect, volume/expression pedal, etc.

    My question to you is, can you run multiple audio apps on the iPad at the same time for effects and sounds and still use loopy to record them? Basically I would like the iPad to add reverb to my live vocals, some delay to my guitar, I would like to use a midi synth when need be, all live, and all the while recording these sounds into Loopy. Is that possible, or too much to ask?

  • You'll probably be interested in my new project http://audiob.us, @lieiti
  • yeah Michael, that's a cool approach...
    but please stay away from the FX thing as long as you're not convinced you can keep up with an Eventide, a classic Lexicon or a Bricasti
    (ok, the last one's a bit over the top, but you get the idea) :D
    hopefully it won't be too long that multichannel interfaces are available
    (the most recent RME Fireface already is a step in that direction)
    As far as I'm concerned, reverb quality in apps annoys me time and again.
    First step is almost always to switch the FX part off ;)

    Regarding the RC300 (I've had a RC50 once, which had excellent sound)
    obviously it's NOT the same level of audio quality as it's predecessor
    so that point goes to Loopy :)

    cheers, Tom
  • edited April 2012
    If i may add my two cents (just joined the forum recently):

    I own Loopy HD, an RC 300 and Ableton Live 8 (I use them all for live performance, not at the same time) and there are some things that are not comparable between the RC 300 and Loopy. For example:

    1. Effects. In the RC 300 I can assign FX to the master out, to individual loops or to the input (recommended if you want to record the FX to the chosen loop). If you have enough foot switches you can assign up to four FX in the RC 300 for instant recall.

    2. For songwriting / recording / jamming, Loopy is my primary looper since I can take it anywhere. For live performance, though, it's not ideal, since you have to look at the screen the whole time to use it properly (even with a MIDI controller connected to it), and on stage thats not too sexy. Ableton Live can be used with a controller such that one never has to look at the computer screen, and the RC 300 was built for live performance (tap dancing on stage still looks neat. :-))

    3. Though the RC 300 only does 16 bit audio (compared to the RC 50's 24 bit audio), it pretty much always sounds great on stage. Loopy + iPad combo really is dependent upon which audio interface you use, and if you're seriously looking to use Loopy on stage then a rugged audio interface is a necessity; using the iPad 1/8" headphone jack simply won't do. The iO Dock is surprisingly good for stage despite being plastic, but until the audio input issue with Loopy is resolved I can't really recommend it for live use.

    4. Undo/ redo. The sooner Loopy has this, the better. 'Nuff said.

    Independent Loop lengths per looper: although Loopy allows for this when the loops aren't synced or manually in loop sync mode, the RC 300 and Ableton Live handles this automatically, which is great for purely improvised loop sessions. The 300 also has a LOOP START SYNC function, where all loop track will start in sync, regardless of tempo or time signature. (that would be a great idea for Loopy, by the way.)

    I absolutely LOVE Loopy; in my opinion it's the best software looper available next to Live 8, period. But comparing the RC 300 to Loopy is really like comparing apples to oranges, as long as Loopy is missing some key features.

    That's just my opinion, though. ;-)
  • To Csimmons> You say the rc 300 does playback at 16 bit vs rc 50's 24bit, is this enough for me to get the rc 50 instead?? Is the audio bit rate make THAT much of a difference? I'm willing to have only 22 min if the sound is vastly richer than the rc 300's 16 bit rate. What's your take?
  • hello everyone,
    for sketching and jus messing around,loopy is a great tool.but for serious loop music production,the rc-300 all day long...@loopyhead,the rc-50 has a 'bug' and no firmware has yet to fix it,the loops have a 1-1.8 second delay before they start,very very annoying and even though people have learned to 'work around' it...it disrupts the flow of music creation...get the 300,you wont be sorry,it is a computer onto itself...i dont know how serious of a musician everyone here is...but if you are a 'one man band',or would like to be,the 300 lets you be just that.the sound quality is amazing,its a 'stereo looper,3 actually'...so the 16 bit conversion is not even noticeable,the effects are 'there',but i use it more for straight looping than effects.but my friends that 'sing' love the effects,they are great if thats your thing...for the price,you get 3 stereo loopers and 15-20 effects,all in one piece of hardware,which means,less can go wrong...i love them both,but perform,record and sleep...lol,with my RC-300...hope this helps you decide.
  • @Loopyhead, in my experience so far the RC 300s 16 bit output is only a problem if you do massive layering of loops on a track, or if you use it in the studio (for that I use Ableton Live looper plug in anyway, so that's not an issue.)

    I will pickup my TC Helicon VoiceLive 2 on Monday, then I'll have a sick front end for all of my looper setups. I hope the Loopy update fixing the input problem with the iO Dock is ready soon! :-)
  • I'm deciding between these two. I'm hearing from people that, while iPad apps are great, the iPad doesn't measure up to hardware or laptop solutions when playing live.

    Does anyone actually use an iPad for looping live? I can't find any case of this on the internet. Meanwhile tons of people use hardware loopers and also laptop software (ableton).
    Is the iPad + dock + Loopy ($600) really a viable and dependable alternative when playing Live on stage?
  • @csimmons: Won't be long now ;-)
  • Hardware-wise, does the iPad + the plastic docks that are out match up to equally priced pedals when it comes to reliability and such? Loopy is great but it's the hardware I'm concerned about
  • @Michael, thank god! :-) BTW I finally got my TC Helicon VoiceLive 2 as a front end for all my looper setups (Ableton Live 8, RC300, Loopy HD/iO Dock) and I LOVE IT. waiting with bated breath for the Loopy update!
  • Neat, that looks pretty cool! The update beta's getting steadily more stable - still on track for next week, I think.
  • Just an update: A few late bugs have appeared, and I want to make sure the update is rock solid before releasing, so it may be a few extra days.
  • Just want to bump this and keep discussion going. I think the main detractor to replacing a looping pedal with an ipod+loopy is the hardware available for ios devices.
    The RC-300 comes with midi in/out, monitor out, multiple outputs, multiple inputs, input effects, loop effects, an expression pedal, and foot controls.
    In order to get an equivalent setup with an ios device, you need to buy a load of third party hardware. And the fact of the matter is, that currently all of the hardware out for these purposes is expensive, very cheaply made, and unreliable.

    But Loopy itself is amazing. It's basically being bottlenecked by the ios hardware industry, I feel.
  • Very true...I'm waiting for the behringer desk to be released... Looks like an awesome combination with loopy connected through midi pedal for hands free control!!
  • For the record (to Michael), I did pick up an RC-300. I'm still looking to pick up an ipod touch 4g and an irig to try out loopy, to see which I like more.

    To everyone else: both options - an ipod/ipad and an rc-300 - have high resale value, so there's little harm in buying both and selling the one you don't like as much.

  • Cool, @auxili - do keep me in the loop as you figure it all out, if you do pursue the Loopy avenue further.

    Pretty disappointed to hear about just how poor the hardware is right now - my interests are mainly in the software development itself, so I haven't explored the hardware field at all, other than to listen with interest to the outcome of others' investigations. Lets hope some enterprising company comes up with something better soon (it's gotta be only a matter of time, now)
  • Rc-300 has been ordered, will test and compare!
  • I was an RC-50 user but sold it and have an RC-300 on order. I also have an iPod touch so one idea that's floating around in my head is using the iPod with one of the aux send/returns on the 300. I had originally thought about using some pre-recorded tracks for songs too complex to build on the fly, but Loopy might be a better solution where I could have multiple elements stored and feed them either too or through the RC-300.

  • Hey friends, I've just bought the RC-300. Any setup suggestions are welcome as I'm fairly new to looping. I have acoustic,electric,vocals,drum machine.... into passive mixer...into RC- 300...out to powered speakers. Input level peaks quite easily. I've seen people use 2 mics? Wish I could trigger (rc-300)drum beats with foot pedal? Apparently I have to record drums to a track, then turn drums off manually. I want to silence drums at any given time. Someone should write a (live)performance manual for this.

  • After seeing Loopy HD used with the Behringer foot pedal the other day (on Sweetwater Music), I was sold. I also own an RC-300 that I've had since last December. I love it, and was excited to see how Loopy would compare to my RC-300. I also find that Loopy is definitely being held back by the current hardware. I just got Loopy today and will mess around with it some more when I get home. What I like about loopy so far is the visual aspect of it, and how you know that your loop is coming to an end. On the RC-300, I sometimes lose track of how long one of my loops are, and then I end up recording over it. I like having 12 tracks for looping vs 3 tracks on the RC-300. The undo/redo is nice on the RC-300, though. I have a small Soundesign mixer so that I can run two synths, a bass, guitar, and a mic into the RC-300. Since I just purchased Auria, I'm on the lookout for an audio/midi interface that I can use with that program that will also work with loopy.

    The iPad has been a great addition to my music, with all the synths that I've bought for it. Auria will take care of my recording needs, since I still have a Tascam 2488 mkII (and down own a DAW), and Loopy will add to my looping capabilities once I find a suitable interface for it. I'm more of a hardware person, but the iPad is really helpful in cutting down my loadout to gigs.

  • I've had an RC-50 for about 3 years and am planning to move to Loopy HD on an iPad. Running a guitar, keyboard, bass, and handsonic at the moment. I'll use an FCB1010 for foot control. Waiting for the Behringer iStudio to come out. As Nomex said, cutting down on the loadout to gigs is a major driver. I don't plan to sell the RC-50 until I'm solidly convinced the Loopy/foot control/dock pairing is solid. Does anyone know when the Behringer is going to release... apparently its been in FCC testing since Jan... which is an eternity in iPad land.

    I might get an Alesis iDock in the meantime... any words of wisdom are welcomed!!

  • edited December 2012

    @ChuckB I don't know about 'words of wisdom' but maybe 'food for thought'.

    I have an iO Dock (white - dock connection works flawlessly) with an iPad 3 and an FCB1010. It's just a hobby, so I'm not dragging this stuff around.

    iO Dock versus iStudio - If the iStudio matches the (current) online descriptions when it is released/available, it is almost a copy of the iO Dock. We'll have to wait and see if the price holds at $149. There are 5 items IMHO that differentiate it from the iO Dock.


    • Aux Input (2 RCA)
    • gain/volume knobs on top surface ( much easier access than on the sides)
    • can be attached to a Berhinger bracket for mounting on stand, rack, etc.
    • foot switch and expression pedal in jacks (iO dock only accepts 2 foot switches via 1 TRS jack)
    • **optional battery operation


    • ** correction - Behringer page states it works with 3rd generation iPad - officially (in all the online references I could find) it only states compatibility with iPad 1 and 2 (this was a big issue with the black iO dock, hit or miss even with the correct adapter).

    One question. How will it cut down on the load out to gigs? If it just replaces your RC-50 and power connection , you would now have the iPad, dock, foot control and at least 1 MIDI cable, dock wall wart and power cord for the foot controller. These items are about double the weight, and unless you already have an iPad for other reasons, these hardware items total well over the cost of an RC-300 (NEW).

    Don't get me wrong. iPad and Loopy have a lot to offer (software synths, drums, sequencers, AudioBus, 12 loops, visual cues, touch and hands free operation, etc...) and who knows what the future holds.

    @Michael - love Loopy HD and you are the best Dev IMHO

    Live life, make some MUSIC!

  • Ganthofer,

    Thanks for the great info! I'm 99% convinced I should go with the iO Dock now rather than wait for the iStudio to be released.

    For the loadout question it has to do with the overall kit, which is on a custom large Lyte board/case. I've got for the bass a tuner & compressor, guitar a wah, distortion box, booster box, Gmajor rack, and Gminor, that's all being replaced with an Avid Eleven Rack and FCB1010. Problem is where to put the FCB1010, it's natural placement is where the RC-50 is. So with a Loopy iPad I hope to split the FCB1010 functions between the eleven Rack and Loopy. I also get rid of a a footswitch I use with RC-50, and get to shuffle by keyboard related stuff better. I'll need to up a 4 channel mixer I have to a 12 channel so that I can collect all the signals for the iPad.

    The plus with the big Flyteboard/case is that I can velcro and cable 80% of my gear and roll it around when needed.

    And the added flexibilty of Loopy is a big plus.

    Thanks again for the great info!!

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