Review: TC Electronic Ditto X2 Looper

The tiny TC Electronic Ditto Looper conquered with its ultra-compact form, simplicity, true-bypass, and 24-bit uncompressed audio, but the new big bro Ditto X2 adds capabilities that should satisfy even experimental loopers and make it a more powerful tool for practice or live performance.
By ED Friedland ,

THE TINY TC ELECTRONIC DITTO LOOPER CONQUERED WITH its ultra-compact form, simplicity, true-bypass, and 24-bit uncompressed audio, but the new big bro Ditto X2 adds capabilities that should satisfy even experimental loopers and make it a more powerful tool for practice or live performance. Unlike its Mini-Me brother, the X2 takes up 1.5 spots on your pedalboard—is it worth it?

The two-pedal layout is convenient and flexible—the loop switch can be configured to toggle between Record>Playback>Overdub, or Record>Overdub>Playback. A quick double-tap will stop the loop, and holding the switch down deletes the track, but the fx switch can also be assigned via mini-toggle as a dedicated Stop/Delete switch. The fx switch also controls the Reverse and half-speed effects, which can be employed separately or together. The effects can be applied to an existing loop or while recording for interesting playback results. Another upgrade is the ability to store your loop internally—push the left mini-toggle switch up, and the X2 stores the current loop in memory in both AIFF and WAV formats. Connect the X2 to your computer via USB, and it becomes a drive that will easily import or export these file types, as well as convert imported mp3s. The large loop level knob controls the current loop level, but pushing the left mini-toggle downward assigns the knob to the backing track, allowing you to achieve a balanced mix. A pair of q" inputs and outputs give you mono or stereo capabilities, and the unit will run on a 9V battery or a standard 9V power supply (not included). The X2 has up to five minutes of loop time with unlimited overdubs.

GETTIN’ LOOPED

Using the Ditto X2 is intuitive once you remember the sequence of functions triggered by the loop switch. The plug-and-play factor is high, but working with some of the advanced features requires a little manual time. I plugged a Carvin Vanquish 6-string into the mono input, the mono output to an amp, and set about laying down a simple four-bar groove. I’m accustomed to the Boss-style footswitch, so it took me a few tries to get used to the more active feel of the TC. Once acclimated to the mechanism, it became easy to snip the loop at the proper time. (The TC does not have an auto-quantize function, so you’ll have to keep time all by yourself.) I played three-note chords over the bass line, utilizing the handy Undo function until I got a perfect take. Reverse and half-speed effects are not something I would typically use much, but they have come to be seen as standard functions in modern loopers. Each effect worked simply, and extra coolness points were earned for being able to use both simultaneously.

One of the X2’s selling points is being able to store loops and backing tracks, and TC partnered up with Jam Track Central to offer a pack of eight free downloads. With USB, you can connect and register the device online to retrieve them, but the tracks are designed for guitarists, and not suited as bass playalong material. (TC also offers free downloadable StarJam loops created by its artist roster, including bassists Roscoe Beck, Divinity Roxx, and Janek Gwizdala,) However, I easily uploaded an AIFF file (sans bass) to the X2 by dragging it to the Track folder of the Ditto drive. Once disconnected from the computer, the Ditto reverts to loop function. I dialed in a good mix between the backing track and the current loop, and jammed away.

The X2 offers enough expanded capabilities to distinguish itself from its smaller predecessor, though the larger footprint will be a consideration for those with overcrowded pedalboards. But the X2 more than earns its keep—the audio quality is excellent, it’s easy to use, it has advanced features, and it’s well priced.

SPECIFICATIONS

TC ELECTRONIC

DITTO X2 LOOPER
Street $179
Pros Great audio quality, stores backing tracks
Cons Included Jamtracks for guitar only
Bottom Line Packs studio-quality audio and features into a mid-size pedal.

SPECS

Max loop length 5 minutes
Audio 24-bit uncompressed
Controls Loop, FX, Store/Backing track level, FX assign, Loop level
Input ¼" x 2
Output ¼" x 2
USB Mini-B USB port
Power 9V, AC adapter (not included)
Dimensions 5.3"w x 4.44"d x 2.13"h
Weight 1.13 lbs
Made in Thailand
Contacttcelectronic.com