Looping with the Pigtronix Infinity
Pigtronix Infinity Looper: more bucks for more power
I've been using the Digitech JamMan Solo XT, Jamsynced to an Express XT, for a few months now. It's a decent setup for multi-track looping, and certainly the most powerful setup at anything near its price point, but it's got some issues where live performance is concerned. In particular, you can't erase the latest layer in a loop on either pedal easily or instantly--you have to hold the pedal down for three seconds to do so. Ditto for clearing a loop. The Jamman Stereo is a more flexible device in that regard, but it doesn't offer the flexibility in layering that you get from a Solo XT connected to another looper via Jamsync. What's a looping musician to do?
Well, this one decided to spend the big bucks and pick up a Pigtronix Infinity looper. The Infinity's street price ($449 new) is three times the price of a Digitech JamMan Solo XT (also three times the price I paid for a used Solo XT plus a used Express XT). That's a pretty hefty bump. What do you get for that money? Here's the stuff that made me drop the cash:
Better recording quality. The Infinity records loops at 24 bit 48kHz resolution. That's a big step up from the 16 bit format used in the Digitechs.
Better performance features. In particular, you can easily stop and clear loops without the drama that implies on the Solo and Express XTs.
Storage for 50 loops. The Infinity used to have only 9 slots for stored loops. Now it has 50. 50 is a lot less than the 400 you get on a JamMan Solo XT with an optional MicroSD card installed, but it's certainly more than enough to handle a gig. Following instructions provided by the manufacturer, I was able to pretty easily upgrade total loop storage to 32GB from the standard 8GB.
Two syncable loop tracks in the same device.The Infinity has two separate loop tracks, which you can sync or unsync in a variety of ways, including a mode in which the second track's length is set to 1-6 multiples of the first. Each track also has its own volume control, and each track can be overdubbed separately. Lots of potential layers with lots of control, Very handy.
MIDI sync.The Infinity can sync to an external MIDI clock. Very useful if I ever decide to pick up that BeatBuddy.
One issue with the Infinity is that even with an upgraded 32GB memory card, it doesn't like to handle very long loops (like anything longer than a minute). So it's not a great device for storing complete tracks for playback in performance. I've kept the Solo XT in my rig to handle that chore. With both in my rig, about everything I want from a looper is onboard. I'd like it even better if I could get all that in a device with the same form factor as a JamMan Stereo, but Digitech doesn't seem inclined (so far) to put the JamSync technology into a device with that form factor. (Alas.)
I could add that for obvious reasons, I'm following the news from Digitech on their upgrade to the Trio Band Creator, the Trio Plus
--which will include a looper and the ability to store songs (with or without loops) onboard and in a computer for instant retrieval. Stay tuned for more on that box when I can get my hands on one.