In my latest post I mentioned that Digitech’s JamSync works: I can sync my JamMan Solo XT to my JamMan Express XT, no problem. Now I’ve discovered that it does…

In my latest post I mentioned that Digitech’s JamSync works: I can sync my JamMan Solo XT to my JamMan Express XT, no problem. Now I’ve discovered that it does something I hadn’t expected and that I’ve wanted for a long time.

From left: JamMan Solo XT, Express XT, FS3X footswitch, RP360XP

From left: JamMan Solo XT, Express XT, FS3X footswitch, RP360XP

The thing that JamSync has surprised me with is this: it will not only sync one looper to another; it will sync two loops that are of different lengths, where the second loop’s length is multiples of the first. For example, I can take a two-bar drum loop running on the Solo XT and sync the Express XT to it with a 4-, 6-, 8-, etc. bar loop.

Wow! One of the drags of multi-track looping has always been that you have to lay out the full loop–which can be pretty long if you’re looping an entire song form–before you can add additional parts. Traditionally, the first track sets the length for all the others. That means the audience has to sit through a whole lotta loopin’ (or a pre-recorded track) before you get to something deeply meaningful.

No more. Now I can loop a 2-bar drum part and add a 12-bar bass part, or loop the rhythm track for an entire song form over that drum loop. This is a great implementation of the sync function, and there’s no question in my mind now that I will replace my JamMan Stereo with a combined Solo XT and Express XT setup. I’ve already said that the Solo XT sounds better; now that I know it can do important stuff that the JamMan Stereo can’t, the contest is over.

I paid a total of about $165 for this setup: a used Solo XT with power supply at $94, a used Express XT at $45, and a 32-gigbyte Micro SDXC card at $15. (I need more than 50 minutes of loop time in my setup, so the card is essential.) That’s a pretty good deal for a looping setup that takes up less space than the JamMan Stereo (which cost me $200 used), sounds better, and does more. Ah, better living through electronics.

Stay tuned for some cool loops as I jam my way to familiarity with this new setup.

10 Comments

  1. R, you might want to hold back on recommending the XT – have you tried the management software XT – how in god’ s name do you change the tempo of a file you imported from pc/mac?

    Every file you import – like a sample loop you prepare – stays at 120 bpm.

    You cant change it – so say a file you import at 80 will be 120 – change that to 80 in the device and yr screwed.

    massive fail.

  2. ok – you can go into the xml file inside the sdhc card and edit that – but cheezzz…. for every loop???

    This truly awful stuff.

  3. @Mark: we’re agreed that Digitech’s attitude towards the software it produces is lackadaisical at best. I wonder often why a company that makes such excellent hardware is so slow to realize that the software is just as important.

    My best guess is that the vast majority of Digitech’s users Just. Don’t. Care. Most of the people using their loopers probably don’t do a lot of loop management–they just loop live on stage or in rehearsal and are happy with that. People like you and me who think of our loops as a resource for further development are in a small minority.

    Anyway, for those of us who do use loops to compose (and as support for live performance), the obvious alternative is to use the loop management features in one’s DAW. Cakewalk Sonar’s tools for adjusting tempo are far superior to Digitech’s, and that’s where I go to supplement the few editing features and functions Digitech has supplied so far.

    Stay tuned for an open letter to Digitech on this very topic.

  4. Hi Richard,

    Your original post is very helpful. thank you very much..

    Just wondering if you have answers to these..

    I plan to put up two solo XT and one vocal XT and sync all three.
    The FS3X foot-switch will be plugged on the MASTER solo XT.

    Questions:
    1. when all three are recording/playing/overdubbing and I press the MODE switch do all three stop at the same time?
    2. if I press and hold the MODE switch, will all three loops (that are not yet stored) get erased?
    3. if all three loopers have existing loops and are all stopped (as in Question 1) what happens when I press the MODE switch once again? do all three play their respective loops or will it be just the MASTER?

    Thanks in advance!
    Cheers!

    -jef

  5. @Jef: Very interesting ideas. I don’t know enough to answer the questions. Check with Digitech support at digitech/com/support. Good luck! thanks< RH

  6. I now use the RP500 in my rig instead of the RP360XP because the RP500 has all those useful footswitches and tap tempo for delay, overall a very nice machine for performance. I still use the RP360XP for recording–it has a great sound.

  7. Does the looper on the RP 360 xp sync with the other loopers? Does it give you 3 synced tracks?

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