I found what seems to be a foot switch for electric guitars in a box labeled "looper". I was curious and opened it, but there doesn't really seem to be anything interesting in it. (A power connector, a switch, 4 audio jacks, 2 capacitors and an LED)

I don't see how this could be a looper. (Wouldn't a looper need some sort of storage and audio chips?)

I'm curious what else this could be then? And how you are supposed to use it. (There are no labels, not even for the voltage of the power connector.)

Here are some pictures I took: footswitch_top footswitch_side footswitch_back footswitch_inside

  • As Laurence Payne mentioned, the term looper for a pedal has two meanings. One is the kind you were thinking of: recording and playing back audio loops. The other is what this pedal does: turns on and off a bunch of effects called an "effects loop". See also loooper.com Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 16:46

3 Answers 3


Simple solution - open the box! follow the wiring. It probably re-routes an input to different outputs, so, for example, a guitar or mic can be plugged into it, and pushing the switch sends that signal to a different place - different amp., maybe through pedals or not, or through two different set-ups.

Or, the opposite to connect two at one time, alternating with another two when the switch is operated, to a single input. Not easy to follow the wiring from the pics, sorry.

The led will not need a lot of volts - and will be polarity conscious. There's probably a tiny resistor in series with it, so 9vdc should do. Maybe it changes colour dependant on circuit selected.

Now I've looked at all the pics, it seems like a sort of A/B/Y switch. Not as looper as we know them...

  • That would make sense. I just connected a 9V power supply and pressed the switch a couple of times, but the LED doesn't light up.
    – Forivin
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 12:43
  • 1
    It may need a jack to be plugged in as well to light the led.
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 13:06
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    You were right. Well, sort of. It's kinda weird. I only had to connect the negative wire of the PSU and the PSU didn't even have to be turned on. So it's probably just acting as some sort of grounding and the power required to make the LED light up comes from from the audio source... Weird design, but I guess it works.
    – Forivin
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 18:30

Seems to be a simple routing box - the input can be sent to an external 'Effects Loop' (hence the name) or not. The LED indicates whether the loop is switched in or not. The capacitors reduce switching 'click'. Or radio interference.

  • 1
    Oh, now I get it. I'm not sure if I understand your last sentence correctly, though. Are you talking about debounce or some sort of noise reduction?
    – Forivin
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 12:52
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    Actually, they're more likely there to kill RF interference.
    – Laurence
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 13:20

There are two usages of the word "looper" at play here: the one you are thinking about, is the device, which records a phrase and plays it in a loop.

However, there is also the notion of an "FX loop" or "looping a device into a signal", and a looper is a device which can insert and remove other devices into and from that FX loop. Oftentimes, these loopers are much larger, with more inputs and outputs, allowing a number of FX pedals to inserted and removed. Sometimes, you can even change the order in which the loops are connected, moving the device more into the territory of a signal router. Rocktron, Palmer, and Voodoo Lab are some well-known brands of such products.

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