A pedalboard with many pedals on it offers various possibilities but at the same time, it is pressty complicated to switch between different pedals.
After adding tremolo and reverb to the clean sound of the verse, for the refrain you may want to switch abruptly to an overdriven sound. In this case you ought to be able to switch between three pedals at the same time.
How can switching operations like these be simplified?
It is no secret, that there are switchers for that. Via footswitch, such loopers activate a so-called loop (not to be confused with the recorded loop of a looper). Per loop you can connect one stompbox for a separate activation. But you can also put several effects into one loop, for example to change between verse and refrain via footswitch. But there are also differences between such switching pedals.
True bypass looper
There are true bypass loopers in all sizes: starting from one single loop up to 8 loops. Here I already wrote an article about the advantages and disadvantages of true bypass.
By looping the effect pedals, the signal path is shortened which leads to an improvement of the guitar sound (because the signal is always dampened by long cables). The disadvantage of these true bypass loopers is, that you still will have to operate several switchers to change between the effect pedals.
Therefore, it is much easier to switch with programmable loopers. Lehle for example offers various possibilities that furthermore can be connected with each other and thereby provide an individual overall solution for the whole pedalboard.
Other manufacturers which also offer extensive and individual programmable loopers that are also able to operate midi capable pedals are Disaster Area, Voodoolab, Moen, Boss and the Gigrig.
Such devices mostly allow to choose between a stompboy mode (individual switching of single effect pedals) and a preset mode (switching of effect pedal combinations). In addition, they also offer other switching options like the change of the effect pedal order and in-built preamps per effect loop.
But, although the cable paths are shorter, active loopers as well can cause besides noise. Active electronics which boosts the signal always causes or intensifies besides noise.
Before you get a looper for your pedalboard, you should always make a sketch of your board and think about the switching options you like.
And if you made up your mind, just click here, together we surely will find the right solution for your needs.