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.
Top Customer Reviews
This is a pedal designed by guitarists for guitarists. But I use it for guitar, sax, and vocal (you can use the Rang's stereo as two mono split channels!).
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.
Contrary to my initial impression, the Rang is in fact built very well. The problem I had with the 2 duds was with the processor, not the way the unit is wired. This third units is sweet. Unlike other loopers built on the "stomp box" model, the Rang is light to the touch. The foot switches are precise, and there is no lag time in recording or play back.
There is tons to say about the logic behind the design of the operations of this looper but the one thing I've really come to love so far is that you can "synch" layers and tracks: unlike any other looper I've tried, the Rang III knows where 1 is. That is incredibly helpful.
The Rang is a cut above but, frankly, most loopers seem designed by geek-dorks who only want to make ear candy and do tricks (roll over and beg), so it only had to be smarter than mere audio bling to win top prize. A maker still needs people to be able to figure out how to use the tool, and that is where I knock the Rang down a star. Mike Nelson & Co. are funny tech writers, but they write like engineers: this button does this, and if you press these two in tandem.... That's wrong: tech needs to be written from the user's PoV. Write me sections on Quick Start (synch and free style), on how to split a single (reduced to a dorky table in the Rang's manual), on how to lay down a beat and then loop A & B parts over that.
I've purchased two Boomerang III loop pedals in the past two months. One I bought from Musician's Friend, the other form Amazon. This pedal is exactly what I want: a performance level pedal with multiple channels that lets the player work with loops of multiple length. It has none of the gag-me special FX that Boss et al foist upon consumers who don't know how to make their ear candy the old fashioned way. Plus, it's made in the USA. Perfect, right?
But I returned both pedals because they simply did not work. I'm not an audio engineer but I know enough to be able to diagnose simple problems. And the Rang III simply is not built very well. The unit I got from Musicians Friend seemed to work, except for an annoying pop. After a few minutes of playing, though, that pop turned into a full-on howl -- like feedback, but full of distortion and grunge, like a cry from hell. NOTE: I tried different guitars, cables, amps, and power sources in order to try to isolate the problem to anything other than this $500 pedal. No dice. I contacted Rang customer service; I heard back from them, got a great friendly note, but five days had already passed and I had already returned the pedal for a refund.
As I told the guys at Boomerang, I wasn't giving up on their looper. I ordered another from Amazon, hoping I'd catch a different manufacturing batch that had missed the wiring problem that plagued the first one. Alas, this one was worse: one of the unit's buttons did not work at all (indeed, out of the box, this unit behaved vastly different from the earlier one) and it, too, had a bad noise problem. The second I hit Loop 2, a horrible clicking took over. Back it went.
I bought this unit because of the positive reviews from other users on Amazon. I've always wondered if some of the reviews we see here are "loaded": produced by people close to the business doing the selling. I don't know what Rang's story is, but I'm bummed to the max about not having been able to purchase a usable unit.
Another thing potential buyers should be aware of is the horror of the Rang III's user manual. There is a Quick Start guide that is anything but. Having spent many years as a technical writer, I feel I know how to compose this stuff. Rang, like Boss and all the rest, are strictly from hunger: they write the manual button by button, totally ignoring the way people actually use the product. And that's not just lame, it's insulting.
I hope users with a positive experience will respond to this review, especially letting me know where they got theirs. I recently talked to an industry pro who said these manufacturers only sell "B stock" on the large web retail sites; I think that was sour grapes, but my experience with this pedal makes me wonder.