The RC-20XL is a looping effect system. It only offers the capability of looping phrases/samples, no other effects are on board. This unit cannot be edited through a computer. It uses digital flash memory technology to store your samples and loops. The RC-20XL has 1/4" inputs and output for audio and pedal controls. It also offers an 1/8" input for audio as well. It is not rackable in any traditional sense.
Everything is accessible from the front face. There are several knobs for adjusting volume input/outpt and loop selection. Switching through loops is much easier live when using a separate foot switch (such as the FX-6). You also have all the options of what happens at the start and the end of your loops which can be edited using multi function buttons. Normally that is a pain but they made it a little easier by adding bright light indicators indicating what selection you are making. The manual is clear (which can't be said for most Roland manuals) and extremely helpful, especially if you want to learn how to use all the functions including auto fade, reverse and such.
I use this mainly with my acoustic guitar for solo singer songwriter sets. I also sometimes use it in my main electronic rig to loop noise samples on the fly. It is almost impossible to perfectly sync up with a steady beat like Ableton generates, so I use it on the noise samples as they don't require perfect sync to do whats intended. I feel like the sound is in fact colored a little as the mids and lows get a little muddy and the lowend gets a little cut. It works for live purposes for me as my solo acoustic sets are not played in large upscale venues. But I don't think I would bring it to a big gig, if I ever have one
What I like most about this unit is how quickly and easily I can start looping with it. All my other looping gear requires a lot of units turned on including a computer. With this little guy, I just plug in my guitar in one end, the amp in the other and I'm good to go. What I don't like is the fact that the sound quality does suffer. I also wish this thing had Midi sync. Despite the sound quality issue, I would use it a lot more if I could sync it with ableton. I also had the RC-50 for awhile but it suffered from a host of bugs and other issues that eventually caused me to sell it. I would buy this again seeing as I got it for 1/2 of what they sell for.
The Boss RC-20XL Loop Station is the ultimate device for looping and sampling. I've only got experience with the pedal in tandem with an electric guitar, but this can definitely be mixed and matched and used with other electronic instruments and even a microphone if you have an XLR to 1/4" converter. The pedal has a slew of 1/4" connections for mic and instrument inputs as well as for output, phase shift, and reverse. It also has a smaller jack for an auxiliary input. I have powered the pedal with the Boss power supply that can along with it, and I'm not sure what other kind of power supply would be able to power it up. Obviously enough, the RC-20XL isn't rack mountable as it is a workstation controlled by your feet.
The Boss RC-20XL Loop Station has a ton of features to work, so getting acquainted with everything that it has to offer will take a little bit of time. Having said this, the pedal has everything laid out clearly, there are just a lot of features to get used to. You can store up to 11 phrases at a time, so there is a knob to choose between them, as well as parameters for level, guide, mic and instrument input levels, and buttons for reverse, tap tempo, write, exit, auto start, and mode. There are two foot pedals which control the recording, overdubbing, and erasing of your phrases. Getting used to everything going on with the Boss RC-20XL Loop Station took me a little bit of practice, but Boss makes it easy enough that all it takes is a bit of time. If you're a beginner or new with looping, it might be a good idea to have the manual around as well.
The Boss RC-20XL Loop Station doesn't offer up any actual sounds of its own really, beyond throwing your sounds in reverse. However, the pedal won't color your tone in anyway other than how you set it. Everything goes in exactly the way that it comes out, which is what you look for in a pedal of this nature. I've used the pedal with a Fender Jazzmaster Reissue and a '76 Fender Twin Reverb. I just love layering different phrases and riffs, and having in total 16 minutes of recording really makes it possible to save everything that you'd like. A few other cool features on the pedal include auto quantization, and the ability to change the tempo without changing the pitch, which is really awesome...
As far as looping pedals go, the Boss RC-20XL Loop Station is probably the most complete one that I have seen to date. There are a bunch to choose from nowadays like those made by Digitech and Line 6, but Boss, as per usual is at the top of their game here. The RC-20XL is also a pretty considerable upgrade from the RC-20, as it gives you more storage space and time to work with. The price isn't all that cheap, but is about right for a looping station with this much versatility and features. I'd encourage those interested in looping pedals to absolutely check out this pedal as well as Digitech JamMan and the Line 6 JM4, but the Boss RC-20XL is definitely my favorite of the bunch.
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Marty62100's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
See other opinion:
- 16 minutes, 11 locations and two pedals (Rec-Play and Stop-Tempo)
- Between 1 TD, 1 mic, 1 in (mini jack)
- Tempo Guide (mini bote rhythm)
- Loop quantize
- Function Reverse (reads the sample backwards)
I acquired two major uses:
- Working alone on new tracks (this is useful to run a riff idea loop and improvise on it)
- Play alone (I hear on stage) for two or three pieces of my songs, it's terrible! Hop, a small rhythm djemb recorded in real time, it adds a little riff and go !!!
- For group use: I know. Admittedly I have not tried but I have to start by tent against a piece recorded on my computer, to record a riff in real time with the Boss, start the song progresses loop and ... half the time it's completely DCAL has and if is not, has become very quickly (though, my pieces are enregistrs the metronome). So either it's my foot dclenche not the right time (a possible) or the internal clock of RC20 has a small problem with the tempo (a is also possible but less).
So 6/10 is skeptical because I live use in groups.
Very satisfactory, provided you take the time to rgler and levels of output. Tip: even if the LED level of Alume rarely does, you better lower the level of low enough, especially if we add layers. If the level of is too high, the result turns out quite quickly in gloubi boulga.
Another tip is better to connect to laa loop effect of the amp or the departure / return of a mixer. In the latter case, the possiblits of balance between the source and the sample of the pedal are wider.
It's a good pedal to work alone or to feel less alone on some tracks when turning solo. I do not regret my purchase for these reasons. The use is relatively simple even if it takes a little work to master completely before the craft.
The perciste doubt for me on a live group use, testing home with a sound that montrs s'tant inconclusive see catastrophic band.
In any case, the rest of rgle not abuse, failing to turn a directory of "good old rock" Machine wash samples.