Boomerang III Phrase Sampler (E-156)
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- True StereoOver 17 minutes of recording time (mono)6 independent loopsPlay loops sequentially or simultaneouslyUndo/Redo capabilityLoop extend'Loop copyReverse lead liveAuto fade outMetronome with loop quantizeOctave down effect (for bass line creation)Reverse playbackLayer mergingWedge shaped.Made in Texas
- Includes AC power supply adapter in the box.
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Boomerang III Phrase Sampler (E-156) This powerful pedal continues the Boomerang tradition of a simple user interface but adds many new features customers have requested. It records in true stereo (or mono), and has over 23 minutes of mono recording at 24KHz/16 bits and over 9 minutes at 48KHz/20 bits. There are 6 independent loops that can be played sequentially (verse/chorus/bridge use) or simultaneously. In the latter mode the loops may be synched or played totally independent from each other. After the primary loop is recorded, there are additional ‘layers’ that can be recorded. The layers can be silenced, played or re-recorded. Additional material may be stacked on (added to) any of the layers. This provides a multilevel undo/redo capability. The user can assign a number of interesting and useful functions to a ‘Bonus’ button. We anticipate having the following functions, and possibly more: loop extend, loop copy, octave down effect (for bass line creation), metronome with loop quantize, reverse playback, reverse lead live, auto fade out and layer merging (combining all layers to free up memory). There will be a variety of signal routing options and a Pedal Link™ system so multiple units can be synched. It will be about half the size of the Rang™ Plus. As with our earlier models there will be no MIDI or USB connectivity, and no permanent storage of loops. We will insure that the pedal is easy to operate and as intuitive as the current one, but it will be deeper if you want to explore the new features.
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Now that that's out of the way, I'll get on with the review: Sound quality is EXCELLENT. Features are INCREDIBLE. Construction is SOLID. And it's MADE IN THE USA. I've been using and getting to know this fairly complex device for just over a month now, and I am extremely happy with it.
The best thing about the Boomerang III is the 3 INDEPENDENT LOOPS (4, if you need them); they can be run all synced together, in series one after another in any order, or completely free style. There's a bit of a learning curve; there's a lot to absorb, as far as what to push when and how to set things, but the manual is very clear about every mode of operation, and if you apply yourself, and PRACTICE, you'll get it.
Right out of the box, it's set for series operation, meaning, you record Loop #1; when that's done, either tap the button again and start it playing, or tap Loop #2 to immediately begin recording another section. Same again for Loop #3. By the time that's done, you now have 3 phrases recorded, any of which can be cued up to begin playing when the current one is finished. All 3 loops can be overdubbed, and any or all of the three can be stopped and erased independently of the others.
The only serious competition this one has is the Infinity Looper by Pigtronix, and I can't speak to that one; I owned one for about 5 days, and it may have been a defective unit; I could not get it to correctly do any of the stuff it was supposed to do. Another thing about the Infinity was that the computer software required to catalog loops and install updates to the firmware was one of those annoying pieces of software that REQUIRES a later Mac OS system than the one I have. My Mac is NOT capable of updating past OS 10.6, so that just immediately locked me out of the Infinity looper.
If you want just a basic one-shot looper, there are lots of very inexpensive and very good ones: the Digitech JamMan Express, TC Electronics Ditto, and others. If you want more flexibility, and a machine that will stay with you and inspire you, the Boomerang III is it! There are lots of good videos on YouTube, including a couple from Boomerang itself, which do an EXTREMELY good job of demoing this unit. Check them out.
The advantages of the Boomerang vs. the competition:
All in one unit; sync and serial modes; flawless audio quality; bonus button (undo, reverse, octave, etc.); seamless loops with flawless timing; MIDI sync (recent update); up to 4 completely independent loops; 4.5 minutes recording time fully stereo; infinite stacking on each loop.
The Boomerang for practice:
The "serial" mode allows you to use each loop track as a discrete section. For example, you could record the rhythm for an A section of a song on one loop, and then the B section on another loop. You can then play those in a sequence: start one loop and then you can "queue up" the next one by also engaging it right after. Once the first loop finishes, the second plays. So you can keep activating the next section to play all the changes of a song and then solo over that. This is as useful for practice as it is for writing especially since you can repeat the same section ad infinitum.
The Boomerang for creating & performance:
The "sync" and "free" modes are great for live performance or exploring and writing on your own. The "sync" mode allows you to create a master loop and the remaining loops will quantize with that master automatically even if they are longer (ie. will extend to 2x, etc. also known as multiply). The non-master loops can be turned on and off independently. "Free" mode gives you completely asynchronous loops for total ambient bliss or Reich-ian avant garde compositions.
The Boomerang is a tool that suits a broad range of applications and is rare in that it does all of them better than any other looper. There isn't a time when my Boomerang doesn't get used when I'm playing guitar ... it's entirely integrated into my playing.