What is it?
The world was changing for practice and singer-songwriter performance when TC Electronic launched the Ditto looper pedal in 2013. Compact tools for recording riff ideas, musical motifs and playing along, for testing songwriting ideas in the moment, the potential of the looper was becoming clear.
Fast forward seven years and a lot has changed. The looper pedal is now a pedalboard perennial. and TC Electronic's Ditto looper has undergone a few evolutionary stages – with the fully tooled Ditto X2 station joined by the compact true bypass Ditto in mini-pedal format.
The pandemic, too, has changed things. With players spent in isolation, away from their bandmates, they are turning to the looper in search of an accompaniment to play too. Indeed, in 2020, the Ditto topped Reverb's best-selling pedal of the year list.
Like the Ditto, the Ditto+ shares the super-compact mini pedal format, but it adds a bright LED screen to the enclosure, with left-and-right arrow buttons sitting aside the Looper Level control. It's tiny. And what is truly remarkable is that you have a full 60-minutes worth of 24-bit recording and looping time available.
Performance and verdict
One of the most important qualities a looper can have is ease of use. That was especially true for the Ditto. It was intuitive, fuss-free, high-quality. It is super-popular as a practice tool, a means for grabbing ideas on-the-fly and getting creative with them, because no one had to read up on the manual to get things started.
That said, the Ditto+ has a little bit more to it. Is it confusing? Not at all, though we are still amused that TC Electronic put a Pong easter egg mode on the pedal. Press and hold the right control button as you power the unit up and you can play a game of Pong on the LED.
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Otherwise, the basic record and playback functions are easily accessed. Press the footswitch once to record your loop. Press it again to play and then again to overdub – and you can overdub ad infinitum. Hold the footswitch down for two seconds to delete your loop. Hold it down for a further two seconds to bring it back, and simply double click to delete it all and start afresh.
As mentioned above, you have an hour to play with, all at high-quality 24-bit audio. The LED screen lets you know where you are at. There are 99 slots available for saving various loops, with the arrow control buttons on hand for cycling through your options. Upload ready-made loops or audio backing tracks in WAV format to the Ditto+ via USB.
Another cool new feature is the Extended Loop Mode, which allows you to overdub your original loop and if it is longer the Ditto+ extends the original loop so it aligns with the overdub. It can be very handy. Simply hold down both control buttons and the unit will ask you if you want to engage the mode.
Pressing down the control buttons also allows you to control the level of your backing tracks and your overdubs. Say you want to turn the backing track down but leave your overdubs at the same level, hold both buttons down and navigate via the left and right buttons. Easy.
And that's the thing: the Ditto+ is easy. It not only extends the functionality of the original Ditto format, upscaling the recording/playback time, it does so without alienating guitarists who just want to get this thing up and running ASAP.
MusicRadar verdict: An hour of 24-bit audio, 99 programmable sessions and an Extended Loop Mode makes the Ditto+ a clever upgrade, well worth your time and money.
- TYPE: Mini-size looper pedal
- CONTROLS: Level, left and right menu buttons
- FEATURES: 60 minutes of 24-bit looping time, 99-slot memory bank for sessions, Extended Loop Mode, import/export WAV loops, 2.6cm x 2.6cm colour LCD screen, true bypass, analog-dry-through
- SOCKETS: Input, output, Mini USB, DC in
- POWER: 9V DC 100mA
- CONTACT: TC Electronic