The Ditto Looper is a pedal of immense musical potential that can stretch your sound palate and inspire composition while remaining entirely intuitive.
If there’s a complaint that you can level against even the best loopers, it’s that they can be tricky little buggers. They can also be a bit stressful to use in performance. Even with all the practice in the world, it doesn’t take but a slight slip-up, or an errant sneaker colliding with a function switch and you’ve created some completely out-of-time embarrassment or summoned some preset completely unrelated to what you’re playing.
Given all that, it’s a mystery that someone out there didn’t come up with the TC Electronic Ditto Looper much sooner. This is a looper even the most dunderheaded, Luddite guitarist can use. It’s also about as small as a stompbox can get. But the best part is that the Ditto Looper sacrifices nothing in terms of sonic quality for all this convenience. And for it’s simplicity and sonic fidelity it’s a pedal that can open up a range of extended techniques for even the most conservative-minded player.
Simple Is As Simple Does
A lot of pedals—whether it’s because they look cool, represent some potential missing link in your tone chain, or otherwise come with some delicious sense of anticipation—engender satisfaction from the time you take them out of the box. The Ditto Looper is one of them. And a lot of that satisfaction comes from an almost total absence of operational apprehension—with two quarter-inch jacks, a footswitch and a single knob for loop level is just too simple to screw up! The diminutive size, (it measures just 3 5/8” by 1 5/8”) also imparts a sense of relief, for unless you’ve covered every square centimeter of acreage on your pedal board, you will find space for this thing. Like everything TC Electronic makes Ditto feels as solid as marble, and in this case, surprisingly hefty for its size. The true-bypass switch is quiet. And the smooth, just-about-perfect resistance on the loop level knob means you won’t be changing your loop level accidentally if things get rowdy on stage—it takes a concerted effort to change the settings.
The Big Bang
Cosmologists theorize that the universe exploded from a point the size of a pin. Similarly, the Ditto has a way of creating walls of sound on an interstellar scale from what seems like an impossibly minute place. Using just the single foot switch, you can create loops as long as five minutes and overdub endlessly. That formidable capacity enables you to loop an entire song and layer multiple guitar melodies for verses and choruses. And if you’re crafty and good at harmonizing and formulating countermelodies on the fly, you can put together an incredibly dense, rich, and complex improvised guitar symphony in about ten minutes—especially if you’re willing to get clever with pickup and tone settings and effect pedals out in front of the Ditto. And amazingly, there’s no perceptible signal loss or tone muddying apart from the clashing or bunched harmonics that can come from a stacked mix. The Ditto is super clean— a true blank slate.
Things get slightly trickier if you use the undo/redo function, but only just so. Holding the footswitch down activates the undo function, and you hold it down a second time to redo your loop. If you’re already working with a pretty dense collection of loops it can be hard to ace the timing of the redo hold. So it’s best to practice with a single loop underneath until you nail the timing.
Stopping the loop just takes pressing the footswitch twice quickly. Pressing and holding the switch thereafter will erase the whole loop. It’s not impossible to screw up. You can lose track of where you are with respect to footswitch clicks in the heat of a hectic performance, and there are no blinking lights that indicate what mode you’re in. But relative to other loopers that blink wildly and feature multiple footswitches, the Ditto is a breeze.The Verdict
Any player that’s resisted looping only because of intimidating hardware would be a fool not to give the Ditto a whirl. It’s a pedal of immense musical potential that can stretch your sound palate and inspire composition while remaining entirely intuitive. It’s a pedal of immense musical potential that can stretch your sound palate and inspire composition while remaining entirely intuitive. ’s not without a learning curve, but the time you spend getting a handle on the Ditto is more about honing a few very simple switching techniques and mastering your timing rather than navigating hidden functions.
If there’s a prize for musical return in relation to operational simplicity and expense, it’s hard to imagine a more worthy contender than the Ditto Looper—ever. And if you’ve ever been on the fence about looping, you may have just run out of excuses for taking the leap.
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Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
LegendaryTones, LLC today announced production availability of its new Mr. Scary Mod, a 100% pure tube module designed to instantly and easily expand the capabilities of many classic amplifiers with additional gain and tone shaping. Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
Originally released as the Lynch Mod in February 2021, the updated Mr. Scary Mod features the same core circuit as the Lynch Mod but is now equipped with a revised tube mix combo per George’s preference as well as a facelift in a newly redesigned electro-galvanized steel enclosure. As with the Lynch Mod, each run will be limited and the first run in Pumpkin Orange with Black hardware is limited to just 150 pieces worldwide.
The Mr. Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage on top of the cathode follower position, keeping note definition and articulation while further increasing sustain. Each Mr. Scary mod is meticulously built by hand in the USA, one at a time, and tuned using high-grade components. Equipped with a single ECC81 (12AT7) in the first position and ECC83 (12AX7) in the second, the Mr. Scary Mod can clean up beautifully when rolling down your guitar’s volume, and still adds scorching gain when you roll it back up. This is a gain stage that’s been tuned and approved by the ears of the maestro George Lynch himself.
“The Mr. Scary Mod excels with dynamics and is incredibly touch-responsive, allowing me to shift from playing clear, lightly compressed cleans to full-out aggressive sustain and distortion –and control it all simply by varying my guitar’s volume control and picking,” said GeorgeLynch. “In many ways, it’s an old-school approach, but it’s also so much more natural and expressive in addition to being musically fulfilling when you can play both the guitar and amp dynamically together this way.”
The Mr. Scary Mod installs in minutes, is safe and effective to use, and requires no special tools or re-biasing of the amplifier. Simply insert the module into the cathode follower preamp position of compatible amplifiers (includes Marshall 2203/2204/1959/1987 circuits) and
immediately get the benefit of enjoying a hot-rodded amp that delivers all the pure harmonic character that comes with an added pure tube gain stage. The handmade in the USA Mr. Scary Mod is now available to order for $319.
For more information, please visit legendarytones.com.
October Audio has miniaturized their NVMBR Gain pedal to create two mini versions of this beautifully organic-sounding circuit – including an always-on gain device.
The NVMBR Gain is a nonlinear amp that transitions gracefully from clean boost to overdriven tones. Volume increases from just over unity to about 10db before soft-clipping drive appears for another 5db of boost. Its extraordinary ease of use is matched by outstanding versatility: you can use it as a clean boost, push a stubborn amp into overdrive or create a just-breaking-up sound at any amp volume.
October Audio’s new family of mini NVMBR Gain pedals includes a switchable version that allows you to bypass the effect: one option features brand logo pedal graphics, while the other sports a fun “Witch Finger” graphic with a Davies knob as the“fingernail”.
The second version in the new lineup is an always-on device featuring the Witch Finger graphic and Davies knob, with the same NVMBR Gain circuit that lies at the core of the switchable version.
- Knob controls gain and clipping simultaneously
- Stunning silver hammertone finish
- Switchable versions are true-bypass, available with classic or witch finger graphics
- Authentic Davies knobs, including the “fingernail”
- 9V center negative power supply required
- Dimensions: 3.63 x 1.50 x 1.88 in
Witch Finger (always on NVMBR Gain) demo
All October Audio pedals are assembled in Richmond, VA, and available for purchase directly through the online shop. Street price is $109 for NVMBR Gain footswitch versions and $89 for the always-on device.
For more information, please visit octoberaudio.com.