• Gift Certificate
  • Track Order
  • Help
  • Feedback [+]
  • Ship To: US Flag
  • Shop by Department
  • Hot Buys

MF MD HG Ask Our Gearheads 07-08-14

Boss RC-3 Loop Station  

  • Write a Review
SKU 
#H71077000000000
Best Seller

Overview

  • Three hours of onboard recording time
  • High-powered DSP from BOSS' ESC2 chip
  • True stereo I/O
Description & Specs
  • MSRP:
    $318.50
  • Your Savings:
    - $119.50
  • Your Price:
    $19900

In Stock & Ready To Ship

Gold Coverage: (What’s This?)

+ Add to Wish List
See All Boss Looper & Sampler Effects Pedals
Boss

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

Add exciting new textures and creative touches to your songs with the powerful RC-3 Loop Station from BOSS!

 
Customer Reviews
Loading....

Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
BossRC-3 Loop Station
 
3.7

(based on 37 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (17)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (6)

79%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (14)
  • Excellent sound quality (13)
  • Responsive (8)
  • Versatile (7)

Cons

  • Difficult to use (4)

Best Uses

  • Home studio (10)
  • Amateur recording (8)
  • Performances (7)
  • Practice (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (15), Professional musician (4)

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 37 customers

Sort by

Displaying reviews 1-10

Back to top

Previous | Next »

 
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.

    Comment on this review

     
    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.

      Comment on this review

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Thumbs up

      By Travis

      from Omaha, NE

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Excellent Sound Quality

      Cons

      • Battery Consumption
      • Volumes Are Tricky

      Best Uses

      • At-home Practice
      • Improvisation

      Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

      If you have bad timing, using this pedal is going to take some practice - because for your initial phrase, you have to end it on the beat perfectly. As this was not a problem for me, it was absolutely brutal to watch my friend struggle with even the simplest chords progression loops, because apparently using his feet while playing guitar is near impossible.

      Great for improvising. Make a loop with some chords, and have at it with some scales and solos.

      Stereo output is so sweet. I have an amp on each side of my room.

      The drum tracks are fun and great to use, but there are only ten, so don't think you're going to get all fancy with it, they are just for keeping a beat.

      As I mentioned as a con, the volume levels on the pedal can be brutally unforgiving. If you have a good volume set for the drum track and for the rhythm pattern, matching the volume of your guitar on your amplifier, then you are just fine. But if you go to turn the volume up on your amp, MAKE SURE you turn the volumes on the pedal down. I'm pretty sure I damaged my Fender Frontman 212R with the loud drum beat by accidentally blowing the house up when I hit go on the pedal after turning myself up. Also, it tends to compress the volumes of overdubs to the original phrase you recorded, but it is possible to adjust accordingly.

      Also, this pedal has given me some back pain haha. When using it you are constantly bending down and bending over to press one of the many buttons that are needed to use the looper. I recommend setting it on top of something, or sitting on the floor..

      P.s.
      This thing eats batteries like nothing else. I've had it for two weeks (Christmas) and am already on my third 9v.

      Comment on this review

      (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      So Awesome

      By erock

      from Loudonville,Ohio

      About Me Experienced

      Ask me a question

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Excellent Sound Quality

      Cons

      • Limited Selection Of Effects

      Best Uses

      • Home Studio

      Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

      really enjoying getting to use this ...

      Comment on this review

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Great Update, Highly Recommended

      By Pete A

      from Philadelphia, PA

      About Me Professional Musician

      Ask me a question

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Aux Footswitch Jack
      • Compact Design
      • Huge Amount Of Storage
      • Stereo In And Out
      • Stereo Inout
      • USB connectivity

      Cons

      • Footswitch Is Ambiguous
      • Record Mode Knob Is Gone

      Best Uses

      • Composing
      • Performances
      • Practice Tool
      • Tone Evaluation

      Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

      I've been using the RC-2 for a few years and when I saw that the RC-3 had a big memory upgrade, I purchased it immediately. The RC-2 had 11 memory slots and 15 minutes of recording. The RC-3 has a massive 99 memory slots with over 3 hours of recording. The USB 2.0 port allows users to back up their loops as audio files on their computer. I use loopers on solo jazz gigs mainly. I have a master list full of a bunch of standards that I record bass lines and light comping so it's like playing over a mini rhythm section yet still has the quiet ambience of solo guitar. You can't ask for a better practice tool. It's also useful to loop yourself and then stand far away from the stage to hear how you'll sound in the house.

      My only complaint is that the pedal is set on "normal" recording mode by default every time you turn it on. I, like most people I would imagine, use the "auto" record mode exclusively. You have to set this by holding the tap tempo button and selecting it every time you turn it on. The RC-2 had the recording mode selected with a knob, so you can just turn it to "auto" and never touch it again.

      The footswitch is something that a lot of people don't like. Timing the end of your loop accurately is extremely important so that your loop maintains a constant tempo. The buffered "Boss-style" footswitch can be frustrating as it doesn't have a click point. I've messed up the timing only a few times so it isn't a big issue in my mind. I just press down quickly and very firmly. In any case, there's a Jack for an aux footswitch that has a clear point of activation to solve this.

      Players of all styles and skills will find the RC-3 extremely useful, but I would especially urge jazz players to pick this pedal up because it's so great for practicing improv over any type of progression you can record, especially entire standards.

      Comment on this review

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great pedal for practicing at home

      By G

      from New Jersey

      About Me Experienced

      Ask me a question

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Responsive
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio

        Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

        This is a great pedal. I use it for solo practicing and also to cone up with new songs or melodies.

        Comment on this review

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Fun, Fun, Fun...

        By Mr.MamboJazz

        from Collingswood, NJ

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

              The RC-3 LOOP STATION is a great music tool to improve my improvisations. It has lots of features, plenty of recording capacity and is easy to use. I wish I had it back in the heydays of salsa, pachanga and merengue.

              Comment on this review

              (11 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              Way too much looper for me

              By ToddAllenHooper

              from Tennessee

              About Me Experienced

              Ask me a question

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • Difficult To Use
              • Not Responsive

              Best Uses

              • Performances

              Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

              This is a great looper pedal, Boss makes quality pedals, but be forewarned it's a lot of pedal to try and figure out. The drum patterns are good for playing along with, but switching modes and overdubbing got way too complicated for me.There are a lot of options with limited knobs and pedals that made it not so easy to use for me. I swapped it out and got the new Ditto Looper which is much simpler to use. I'm a guitarist and simply want to be able to layer 2-3 layers and jam along with them. The Ditto records it at the tempo you play it at, as long as you play it, and then repeats it back at that tempo, no tapping tempos, etc.

              Comment on this review

              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Simply Amazing

              By CraigyWagyBrah

              from Brisbane, Australia

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

              • Compact Design
              • Responsive
              • Unique Features
              • Versatile

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Events
                • Home Studio
                • Performances
                • Professional Recording

                Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

                This pedal is an amazing recording and overdubbing machine. I own 2 FS-5U that I also use with my other BOSS pedals that makes this pedal very easy to use. Yes it's annoying having to push those little mushy buttons! I love this thing because you can hook it up to your laptop and import phrases. This compact pedal has true bypass and never changes your tone, even when on. I always have this in my effects chain and it's great for when you just wanna jam or make some cool noises! Great little pedal, recommend for any guitarist.

                Comment on this review

                (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                A New and Improved Way to Play

                By riddler

                from North Potomac, MD

                About Me Experienced

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Excellent Sound Quality
                • Great Storage Space
                • Lots Of Features
                • Versatile

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Amateur Recording
                  • Home Studio

                  Comments about Boss RC-3 Loop Station:

                  I wanted this to practice leads. I can lay down a simple or not so simple chord progression and then work out all kinds of licks to embellish it. This comes in really handy when I working on my chops, as well as how I can play when I get together with my band on weekends. With all of the memory slots, it is great to discover a riff or chord progression, and use the loop station sort of as a notebook for writing songs. Like other have said, it would be better if the tempo for the drums could be adjusted via the dial, and monitored on the display. The tap feature is ok, but hard to sync if you are planning to take your little sketches over to a recording program. Still, it is great, and I enjoy playing much more than in the past. I think I play more often, and better.

                  Comment on this review

                  Displaying reviews 1-10

                  Back to top

                  Previous | Next »

                  You are changing the Ship-To country.

                  Our product catalog varies by country due to manufacturer restrictions. If you change the Ship-To country, some or all of the items in your cart may not ship to the new destination.