TC Electronic Ditto Jam X2 Looper Pedal review

Game-changer or gimmick? Enter TC’s latest smart looper...

  • £199
  • $299

MusicRadar Verdict

An innovative approach that doesn't quite top the company's other looper offerings.

Pros

  • +

    Clever beat sync functionality.

  • +

    Ability to slow down loops using tap tempo.

Cons

  • -

    Beat sync isn't always completely reliable.

  • -

    Not as predictable as the regular X2.

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With the Ditto X2, TC Electronic already has one of the most solid live looper pedals on the market, and with the Jam, it hopes to bring some extra smarts. 

Those changes include a beat sense tempo detector, dynamic loop editor that keeps your loop in sync and a tap-tempo global control for the loops. 

When the beat sync works, it’s basically magic. The built-in mic isn’t perfect, but a clip-on mic is included, which you can place closer to your drummer, so it can more clearly distinguish snare hits and a core beat.

It’s an impressive technical achievement, nevertheless there’s an air of gimmick to proceedings; setting up the mic isn’t hard, but it is another thing to think about, and just how much you trust the guitar tech will definitely determine whether you feel like you’re flying more by the seat of your pants or less. 

Slowing down a loop using tap tempo is a particularly nice feature and it works seamlessly for practice scenarios, although trusting a guitarist with tempo changes is hardly a foolproof move, as any drummer will certainly attest. 

The feature that drags the unit down is the way it tries to pad out to the end of a beat at the tempo it has registered. When using the looper without additional musicians, some loops seem to confuse the Ditto, leaving notes sometimes cut-off, time- stretched or garbled. 

Slower chord passages are susceptible to becoming mangled, and if you’re not playing in 4/4, then it certainly feels like the Jam is less predictable as a looper than the older X2.

Alex Lynham

Alex Lynham is a gear obsessive who's been collecting and building modern and vintage equipment since he got his first Saturday job. Besides reviewing countless pedals for Total Guitar, he's written guides on how to build your first pedal, how to build a tube amp from a kit, and briefly went viral when he released a glitch delay pedal, the Atom Smasher.