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Boss RC-3 Loop Station   

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The BOSS RC-3 Loop Station adds a powerful new single-pedal looper to the company's industry-leading lineup of pedal-based loop recorders, featuring ...Read More

Available 01-26-2017

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OVERVIEW

Three hours of recording, stereo I/O, and much more!

The BOSS RC-3 Loop Station adds a powerful new single-pedal looper to the company's industry-leading lineup of pedal-based loop recorders, featuring high-powered digital signal processing, stereo operation, and cutting-edge features. Powered by the ESC2 DSP chip, the RC-3 Loop Station offers musicians powerful, great-sounding recording and manipulation of loops live and in the studio.

Housed in BOSS' popular single-pedal chassis, the RC-3's new features include true stereo ins/outs and up to three hours of onboard stereo recording and loop storage. 99 onboard memory slots are available for storing your creations. The RC-30 also boasts a USB 2.0 port for swapping and managing WAV loops with your computer. An aux in jack for portable devices and a key selection of onboard rhythms including real audio drum loops come standard. Connect an optional BOSS FS-5U Foot Switch for additional foot control if desired!

FEATURES
  • Three hours of onboard recording time
  • High-powered DSP from BOSS' ESC2 chip
  • True stereo I/O
  • 99 memory slots
  • USB 2.0 port for swapping/managing files with your computer
  • Aux in jack
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
BossRC-3 Loop Station
 
3.8

(based on 45 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (20)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (6)

85%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (20)
  • Excellent sound quality (19)
  • Responsive (11)
  • Versatile (10)
  • Good selection of effects (6)

Cons

  • Difficult to use (4)
  • Limited selection of effects (3)

Best Uses

  • Home studio (13)
  • Amateur recording (11)
  • Performances (10)
  • Outdoor events / games (3)
  • Practice (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (22), Professional musician (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Does the job as good as my JamMan Solo

For my type of live looping and layering, song creation and rehearsal, the Boss RC-3 is equal to the JamMan Solo. Now that I have both, I have been able to...Read complete review

For my type of live looping and layering, song creation and rehearsal, the Boss RC-3 is equal to the JamMan Solo. Now that I have both, I have been able to test them side by side. I like the RC-3 for the battery option and stereo i/o, I like the JamMan solo for the memory card option and the 3-button (stop, program up, program down) footswitch option. Either looper works well for me and now that I have both, I can actually use them chained together or one thru the guitar pedal board and the other through the mixer fx buses.
I've been using my trusty DigiTech JamMan Solo for a solid year now and love it... I needed a second looper for more complex songs (too bad the RC-30 does not allow the individual loops to be different lengths) The reason I got the RC-3 instead of a second JamMan Solo is because the RC-3 will also run on a 9-volt battery. I have a Roland Cube Street (also battery powered) and wanted to use a looper in place where there is no electricity, such as busking, house parties, performances in small shops, campgrounds, etc. The RC-3 has everything that the JamMan Solo has except that the JamMan accepts a memory card (a feature I use a lot for writing and exchanging songs) I picked up a external footswitch to enable one-click stops and the external a/c adaptor for uses when there is electricity. Just as with the JamMan Solo, the RC-3 adds no noise or signal degradation and it works stand-alone or thru the effects send/return of my board. I also like the stereo inputs/outputs. Operation is solid and although it takes time to master the footwork when using a looper, understanding how the RC-3 functions takes minutes... I have read that there is a 'delay' on the RC-3 when switching between two pre-loaded loops but since I don't use it this way, it is not an issue for me.
I am writing this review after using the pedal in only a few rehearsals and one live performance, but the metal chassis and solid controls make me think the quality is top-end, as with all the Roland/Boss gear I have. I am still using Boss pedals that I purchased in the 80's and they do not fail. I still purchased the extended warranty for peace of mind...just in case there's a surprise down the road...
For the purposes that I use this device, it is a good value. Of course I wish these things were less costly however, it is like having a song writing tool, timing and rehearsal 'clone-of-yourself-metronome' AND a backup guitarist all in one little box.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Almost great. Too many small flaws.

3-1/2 out of 5 stars, really, although I regret buying this on impulse without doing more research. It's almost a great product, but considering its relatively high price it's disappointing that...Read complete review

3-1/2 out of 5 stars, really, although I regret buying this on impulse without doing more research. It's almost a great product, but considering its relatively high price it's disappointing that Boss cut corners and didn't get some of the details right.

The good stuff about the RC-3 is obvious and easy to find online--it loops, has lots of memory and I/O, is easy to use, and is excellent for practicing and song writing--so I'm focusing on the less obvious bad stuff:

- Various online sources, including, until recently, the Boss and Roland websites, claim you can specify tempo incrementally. Unfortunately this is not true. There is no tempo display and it's tap tempo only, which is a ridiculous pain in the neck. At the very least one should be able to fine tune the tempo in 1 BPM increments with the increase/decrease buttons, even if the tempo isn't also displayed. And no, unlike the Jamman Solo, you can't use the pedal to tap in the tempo--you have to get down on the floor and use the dinky little button.

- The drum beat and tempo reset to their defaults if you change the phrase number, even when the new phrase is blank. That means you can't record several versions of the same thing, or different parts of a song, without re-setting the beat and tempo. BUT, as noted above, you can't set the tempo numerically, so it's impossible to get the same tempo. Great. (Please tell me I'm wrong on this.)

- Built-in time signatures are 3/4 and 4/4 only. No 7/8, 5/4, etc. Boss's marketing department was inspired on how to play this--the web site says, "You can also specify the time signature." Uh, thanks, but the choices, which Boss conveniently neglects to mention, are almost as limited as the color of a Ford Model T. ("Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.") I should add that one of the 4/4 beats is a 12/8 shuffle, and that one of the 3/4 beats is a 6/8 shuffle and another is 9/8, but that doesn't excuse Boss's mendacity. It's clear they are trying to hide their product's shortcomings.

- The 10 built-in drum beats are very basic and are not adequate. There's a reason you can't listen to them on the Boss site. There are actually 20 beats, since there are versions for 3/4 and 4/4, but with all the storage space on this thing, surely Boss could have included more. Even the previous model, the RC-2, had 30 (?) beats.

(Yes, you can recording and import your own rhythms to get any time signature and pattern, but recorded rhythms are part of a loop--they can't be re-used without re-importing, the number of measures can't be changed, changing the tempo usually sounds crummy, and the volume can't be adjusted independently of the guitar playback.)

- The 5 year warranty is parts only. Labor is only 90 days. Return shipping is on you, and if you choose not to get the repair after receiving an estimate, then you are charged for the review anyway. I could not locate warranty info on the Boss site, and the documentation that comes with the pedal is a wonder of obfuscation: "... this product will be free from defect in materials and/or workmanship from the date of purchase until the period of time indicated for this product." Uh huh. And what "period of time" would that be and where would it be "indicated"?

- Power supply is not included.

- Buttons are mushy, rubbery stuff like a tv remote. Probably saved on costs, but the durability is questionable.

One other note: I'm using the RC-3 in a guitar amp's effects loop. It works so far, but, unlike the Jamman Solo, this is not a mode that is recommended in the instructions.

Reviewed by 45 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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4.0

Good for practice and learning

By swallen56

from Lake Whitney, Texas

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Good Selection Of Effects
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio
    • Performances

    Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

    I needed something to practice with and learn new genres of music. The RC3 is perfect for that and works very well.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Good product.

    By Ron

    from Coos Bay Oregon

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Compact Design
    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Good Selection Of Effects
    • Responsive
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Performances

      Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

      Great pedal, I will be using it a lot.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Might be excellent, can't tell yet

      By Will

      from New Orleans

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Good Selection Of Effects

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

          I think it will be great, but it is difficult to know as the user manual is a disgrace. Boss/Roland should revisit that one and get it right. I had to go onto UTube to learn how to use it.

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great for practicing & developing technique

          By Jim R

          from Polson, MT

          About Me Experienced

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact Design
          • Excellent Sound Quality
          • Responsive

          Cons

          • Limited Selection Of Effects

          Best Uses

          • Home Studio

          Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

          Great for practicing alone, as you can lay down several parts (rhythm guitar, bass) and then play along finger picking or flat picking leads and solos. The tap/drum effects are limited, but enough for what I do. Great for improving your timing, and hearing all the little mistakes on playback that you sort of miss when playing a song. I moved away from the guys I used to jam with, so now I can still jam with my own band in a box.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          About transposing.

          By Fletch

          from Columbia, MO

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Compact Design
          • Excellent Sound Quality
          • Good For Collecting Ideas

          Cons

          • Limited Selection Of Effects
          • Wish It Transposed

          Best Uses

          • Events
          • Performances
          • Songriff Idea Collecting

          Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

          I love my Boss rc-3 looper. Has some limitations but I got it for a specific use. I have saved hundreds of riffs and song ideas on my phone voice recorder but there is not much I can do with that. So I bought this to use instead. Now I'm busy recording the ideas off my phone and can use these as the basis for songs and can enjoy playing over them. I have been learning open tunings, so many of my new ideas are in that tuning key, but I want a way to transpose them easily. I may someday go for the rc-300 which has that effect. If it only the rc-3 had that one effect, that, and a better drum styles selection, it would be 1000 times improved for my use. In the meantime, does anyone know a quick and easy way to transpose these tracks? It would be great if I could do them in batches on the computer. I wonder if that would effect the drum parts? I do have Cakewalk Guitar Tracks but it could take forever to do that for hundreds of tracks to sveral other keys. Maybe there is a good open source program? I do enjoy my looper. Sure need that transpose effect though. Thanks

          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great practice tool

          By Belco

          from Idaho falls

          About Me Experienced

          Ask me a question

          Pros

          • Compact Design
          • Excellent Sound Quality
          • Good Selection Of Effects
          • High quality

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Don't Need Anyone Else
            • Home Studio

            Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

            The RC-3 replaces several people when you want try out a new sound?

            (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Keeps getting better but;

            By Jumpback

            from SoCal

            About Me Professional Musician

            Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

            It's an awesome unit, but the drums are no good, the RC-2 has a way better drum selection and function

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Worthwhile addition...

            By BluesCHASER

            from Jamestown, NY

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

            • Compact Design
            • Excellent Sound Quality
            • Responsive
            • Versatile

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Melody Development
              • Practice Timing

              Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

              Certainly works as advertised. As you would expect, it takes just a bit of practice to get used to the controls....especially volumes on recorded tracks. Use caution to avoid sonic blasts & get some continuity among memory slots.

              A great tool to just lay down a rhythm track and play leads or develop different melody lines over. You can change up endlessly...& the rhythm player never tires or grumbles. The backing tracks you make can be easily deleted and reworked if you like.

              Get a non-latching footswitch (single or double)and connecting cables if you don't have extras. You will certainly want a power supply source for this as even a new 9v battery is short lived (few hours).

              (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              RC-3 Loop Station

              By slider

              from Little Rock, AR

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Compact Design
              • Excellent Sound Quality
              • Responsive
              • Versatile

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • A Practice Tool
                • Home Studio

                Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

                I had an RC-2 which I used as a practice tool for playing guitar and dobro. I recently bought the RC-3 which stores up to 99 loops. The RC-3 does a lot more than I use it for. I just record some guitar tracks, loop them, and practice my playing along with the loops. These little boxes have had a major impact on the speed with which I have progressed in my playing. I would recommend a looper like this to anyone who is looking for a good way to practice and experiment with their instrument.

                (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great tool Like it a lot.

                By Gary6531

                from Florida

                About Me Experienced

                Ask me a question

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Compact Design
                • Excellent Sound Quality
                • Responsive
                • Versatile

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Amateur Recording
                  • Home Studio
                  • Performances

                  Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

                  This is a great little tool for practice and performance. Easy to use and stores a lot of songs for rhythm, bass, drums to make a full performance. I am just getting to see it's capabilities after using just a couple of weeks.

                  Displaying reviews 1-10

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