Electro-Harmonix 45000 review

Is it a looper or a multi-track recorder? Err, it's both

  • £359
  • €439
  • $634.94
The 45000 can enable you to quickly produce complex four-track loops

MusicRadar Verdict

The 45000/controller combo is by no means a cheap option, but that multi-track functionality is seriously impressive and could be exactly what experienced loop fiends are looking for.

Pros

  • +

    Multi-track functions. Clever features like separate monitor output for metronome.

Cons

  • -

    Expensive.

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EHX may call it a multi-track looping recorder, but the 45000 (an updated version of the 28000) has more in common with a PortaStudio-style multi-tracker than a standard looping pedal - it's got no footswitches, for a start! Of course, that's remedied by adding the foot controller (an additional £95): hook it up with a standard jack lead, and it offers all the footswitching you need for any serious live looping.

The 45000 records its loops (up to 100) as wav files to an SDHC card slotted into its side - the included 4GB card offers up to 125 minutes of recording time. There's also a USB connection, so you can transfer any loops you record to a computer or load any sound files into the 45000.

"You can also send the metronome to a separate monitor output, which is indispensable for keeping excited drummers in sync"

There's loads of connectivity on the 45000's back panel, too, including inputs and outputs in stereo or mono plus a headphone output, which can deliver a handy onboard metronome. You can also send the metronome to a separate monitor output, which is indispensable for keeping excited drummers in sync with your precisely timed loops.

You can record those loops freeform or use the quantize function to aid timing. A 45000 'loop' consists of up to four tracks. The first track you record sets the loop length, and you can then record complementary parts on the other tracks, or overdub on any track.

That means you can quickly build up some extremely complex loops - especially since each track has its own fader - and you can mix down all four tracks onto a stereo mixdown track, freeing them for re-use. That leaves you to manipulate tracks or whole loops - there are buttons to instantly reverse your sounds or run them at half-speed an octave down, while the tempo slider offers adjustment of speed and pitch.

"The 45000 is more than just a looper - it's a very useful machine for practice or composition "

While you can do plenty using the 45000's controls when it's sitting on a tabletop, the foot controller is essential for full functionality. It adds footswitches for record and play, track select and switches for scrolling through and selecting loops. It also shows the number of the current loop on a small display, something the main unit doesn't have.

The 45000 is more than just a looper - it's a very useful machine for practice or composition with some headphones plugged in or through your amp or studio monitors. EHX has even provided some cool drum loops on the SD card to play along with, or to use as a springboard for songwriting, and it's dead easy to quickly layer guitar parts on top of each other.

For live use, the separate footswitch lets you keep the main unit tucked away somewhere, saving underfoot clutter and offering plenty of opportunity for creative performance.

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.