I'm imagining a pedal that can loop or save rhythms and chords played on a guitar. I also imagine a pedal for bass notes and/or a guitar that plays bass notes as well harmony like a keyboard. On the the other to have rhythms that I could manipulate as background it would be good, or to do loops with parts of drums from songs for example.

I am out of the new music technology any advice would be welcome. What are the best devices to do this?

  • Besides the already mentioned information, Ableton Live is another good program for live performance along the lines of what you're asking. The learning curve is much steeper though.
    – Tony
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 19:02
  • Using live to do some looping and put drum beats is rather elementary and not so hard to do. And it's much more flexible than stomboxs loopers, which requires much precision. With live you can edit your loop afterward. Not that hard. Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 11:36

3 Answers 3


You are describing a loop pedal. All the major effects brands make loop pedals, with Boss arguably being the brand leaders with their Loopstation range.

Loop pedals vary in complexity. The simplest ones just let you record a short loop, and overdub more layers as it loops.

More advanced (and expensive) loop pedals have features such as:

  • recording and saving hours of loops
  • switching between loops
  • combining input from more than one instrument/microphone
  • loading/saving from a computer
  • synchronising to drum machines/sequencers
  • built in drum machine
  • built in multi-effects (reverb, distortion, delay etc.)

If you search YouTube, you'll find plenty of demonstrations of loop pedals in action.


Besides the loop pedal of @slim's answer, perhaps you are also looking for a harmonizer.
A harmonizer combines the pitch of your original tone (or sound) with one, or more, copies of that tone that has been pitch shifted (by some means of signal processing) to form harmonies according to predesignated rules such as for instance a perfect fifth, or triads of the C major scale. Of course you can create the harmonies by looping; the harmonizer however creates it instantly so it's a different tool.


Another item that might fit the bill is a midi sequencer/tone-bank like the Dr. Rhythm Section.

  • Nice organ sounds.

  • "Guitar fretboard" input buttons.

  • Ok drumsets. Sadly, the nice drumsets are on the preset kits where you can't change the other instruments; and I never could find a way to copy a preset drumkit over to a user kit.

  • Easily confused A/D converter mode actually listens to you play and generates midi notes. BUT, don't play two notes at once and don't expect all your little ghost notes to go through. It does let you thump in a bass-line on your low E string and move on to adding chords on the organ fairly quickly.

  • Accepts an external midi keyboard to play the organ for reals.

  • Build patterns (measures) out of notes; build songs (cadences) out of patterns.

Sorry this sounds like a pitch, but this is the only such product I've owned and can personally vouch for.

  • Software can do this too, Band In A Box(pgmusic.com) comes to mind.
    – user6164
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 8:23

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