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.