When TC Electronic released the Ditto Looper a year back, it was heralded for its pleasantly superb mix of compact design and user friendly controls – two features that are definitely not commonplace in the looper pedal world. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find a looper pedal not made from TC that doesn’t come with a sizeable learning curve thanks to the myriad of presets and buttons that seems to be standard with their ilk. Boasting a single effect knob, one footswitch and an impressive five minutes of looping playback – not to mention unlimited overdubs – the Ditto Looper was a resounding success for the company. It makes sense then that TC Electronic would capitalize on their previous effort with the Ditto Looper X2, the next phase in the evolution of their looper pedals, but is it a worthy successor or a step in the wrong direction? Read on to find out!
The Features of the Ditto X2
Whereas the Ditto Looper was clearly made for those new to looper pedals, the Ditto Looper X2 looks aimed at a more seasoned audience with its wealth of extra features, all while retaining the user-friendly build so lauded in its predecessor. First things first, the Ditto Looper X2 is obviously a bigger pedal which might be seen as a drawback by those that loved the compactness of the previous Ditto, but considering the multitude of nice features added, it’s a small price to pay. And speaking of extra features, the biggest addition the Ditto Looper X2 brings is the FX Footswitch which can be used to either activate effects (such as reverse or half speed) or as a dedicated stop switch, each of which is selected with a clearly marked toggle switch.
Another great feature added to the Ditto Looper X2 is the ability to import and export your loops to a PC or Mac via USB which greatly adds to its versatility, especially for those out there that need a specific set of loops for gig. Not only that, but this also gives the ability to use your created loops in your favorite DAW. This feature is controlled by another toggle located on the left of the face which controls the ability to store and delete loops. The main knob can then adjust the volume of the backing track being transferred to the pedal.
TC Electronic also decided to bestow the Ditto Looper X2 with stereo inputs and outputs which is great news for players wanting to use this pedal in connection with more complex amplifiers and effects rigs. It comes packing five minutes of loop time, unlimited overdubs and 42-bit audio, ensuring high quality sound. The Ditto Looper X2 also features True Bypass and an Analog-Dry-Through that guarantees zero tone coloration and maximum signal integrity, even when the pedal is off. And speaking of off, the Ditto Looper X2 is powered by either a 9-volt power supply or two 9-Volt batteries.
The Ditto X2 in Action
As mentioned above, the Ditto Looper X2 remains as simple to use as its smaller predecessor which is great news considering it was essentially its golden feature. If you’re familiar with the original, the Ditto Looper X2 will actually be much simpler to use thanks to its second footswitch. In the original, its single footswitch controlled every operation – recording, overdubbing and clearing a loop – as well as stopping the loop which required a double click. Although it was easy enough after some practice, it could become particularly tricky in high stress live situations. With the Ditto Looper X2, the new right footswitch can be assigned as the stop switch making the process much easier. If you’re already comfortable with the single footswitch operation of the original, you can do the same with the Ditto Looper X2 and leave the right footswitch open to controlling the two included effects; half-speed and reverse.
To operate, you simply press the left footswitch once to begin recording, again to play what you just recorded, once more to overdub and press and hold to undo or redo. And depending on your choice, double click the left or single click the right footswitch to stop. To clear, simply hold the footswitch down.
The half-speed effect essentially slows your loop and drops it down an octave, giving it a very satisfyingly strange and transformative feel that can work nicely with half-time song part, breakdowns or solos. When it comes to the reverse effect, one word comes to mind: psychedelia. If you’ve messed with a reversing effect on a DAW or effects rig, you already know how easy it is to become lost in the rich textures and mystifying sounds that can do much for opening up your sonic possibilities. But like looping itself, successfully using these two effects will take practice in order to master, especially if you’re considering using them live – just a few missteps in timing can turn a lush, intoxicating melody into garbled messiness.
While its bigger chassis might turn off those who don’t have much pedalboard room to go around, the increased size of the Ditto Looper X2 is a small price to pay for the extra features and increased playability that TC Electronic managed to squeeze into this pedal. You get the five minute loops, unlimited overdubs and 24-bit audio of the original along with added effects, stereo in/out, PC/MAC import/export and a second footswitch – making an already user-friendly pedal even easier! All in all, TC Electronic once again managed to prove that you don’t need a huge amount of switches and buttons in order to create a powerful and intuitive looper pedal by surpassing last year’s effort in almost every way. The Ditto Looper X2 is a definite winner and worth every penny!