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Boss RC-30 Loop Station  

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The BOSS RC-30 Loop Station is the latest addition to the company's industry-leading lineup of pedal-based loop recorders, featuring high-powered dig...Read More

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OVERVIEW

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

The BOSS RC-30 Loop Station is the latest addition 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-30 Loop Station offers musicians one of the most powerful and best-sounding tools yet for recording and manipulating loops live and in the studio.

Housed in BOSS' popular twin-pedal chassis, the RC-30's new features include true stereo ins/outs and up to three hours of onboard stereo recording and loop storage. The new dual-phrase loop feature lets you create and play two completely independent stereo loops in perfect sync.

LOOP FX is for processing your loops in real time, with 99 memory slots for storage. The RC-30 also boasts a USB 2.0 port for swapping and managing WAV loops with your computer. A mic input with phantom power, aux in jack for portable devices, and a key selection of onboard rhythms including real audio drum loops come standard.

FEATURES
  • Three hours of onboard recording time
  • High-powered DSP from BOSS' ESC2 chip
  • True stereo I/O
  • Dual-phrase loop feature lets you create and sync two independent stereo loops
  • 99 memory slots
  • LOOP FX provides realtime loop editing
  • Mic input with phantom power
  • USB 2.0 port for swapping/managing files with your computer
  • Aux in jack
  • Onboard rhythms including real audio drum loops

Expand your creative horizons with the incredible power of the RC-30 Loop Station!

Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
BossRC-30 Loop Station
 
3.8

(based on 17 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

56%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality (3)
  • Versatile (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Performances (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Experienced (6)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Finally a band that follows direction!

    I had bought an original Boss RC-20 to use as a basic looper to play leads over. However, when I was asked to lead worship at church, it quickly became a great...Read complete review

    I had bought an original Boss RC-20 to use as a basic looper to play leads over. However, when I was asked to lead worship at church, it quickly became a great tool in my arsenal. I compose and record my beats and bass lines for the songs I'm going to play Sunday morning, and just play an acoustic and sing over top of it. The limitations on the RC-20 made it difficult at best. I had to link everything by hardwire to upload to the pedal, and the buzzing alone would drive you crazy. I had to time everything precisely and only had about 5 1/2 minutes to work with. That made it impossible to play certain songs together. Now with the RC-30, I upload via USB, so theres no buzzing from ground issues, I don't have to hit the play button and pedal record button at the right time to get the track to cue up right on the pedal. I have 3 HOURS to play with, which means I can upload EVERY song I do and ALWAYS have them ready to go. I even can set it up to have two different genres at each end of the spectrum:1-49 can be my regular acoustic set and 50-99 can be my church stuff. I HIGHLY recommend getting the dual FS-6 foot switch, as this allows more control with your feet and not your hands (bending over to push buttons). This unit DOES NOT color your tone or change your timing. Plus it has two tracks, so I can record some electric guitar parts with leads on track 2, and only turn that track on when I am playing for the right crowd! I have a complete backing band at my finger....uh...foot tips? Plus I have ALL the basic features I had before for playing live, allowing me to create rythym tracks on the fly. I can tap out a beat on my acoustic, play over top of that beat, and even play a lead over top of the rythym beat and guitar. The possibilities with this thing are WIDE OPEN! It's built like a freakin tank. The only thing I don't like is that they took away the guitar and input level knobs. It just means I have to adjust it a little more on the board,and the bottom of the foot switch is hard to get velcro to stick to for a pedal board...minor details. This pedal will CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Falls Short of the Digitech JML2

    I would recommend buying the DigiTech JML2 JamMan instead of the RC-30. I just purchased an RC-30 and played with it fairly extensively for a couple weeks before deciding to return it...Read complete review

    I would recommend buying the DigiTech JML2 JamMan instead of the RC-30. I just purchased an RC-30 and played with it fairly extensively for a couple weeks before deciding to return it and get the JamMan. This is obviously a review of the RC-30, but I'm going to compare it to the JamMan for features.

    Places the JamMan has an edge:
    1. You are able to switch back and forth between different phrases seamlessly. The RC-30's biggest downfall is a 1/4 second or so lag that occurs when you switch between different phrases. The newest firmware updates have not made this go away. Because of the lag, the RC-30 is almost unusable in live applications.

    2. When purchased with the Digitech FS3X footswitch (which only cost me $14.95), the JamMan has 7 different control buttons providing much easier hands free control than the RC-30 which has a max of 4 switches when used in conjunction with the Boss FS-6, which is also much more expensive than the Digitech footswitch. The Boss forces you to double tap switches or hold them down for two seconds (changes phrases requires a 2 second hold down even if you have an FS-6).

    3. The JamMan allows for real time tap tempo changes while the loop is playing. The RC-30 only allows tempo changes when stopped and the phrase must have been previously saved.

    4. The JamMan has an instrument in volume level and the RC-30 does not. This makes mixing instruments, loops, mics, and rhythms easier on the JamMan.

    5. Cost is less, even with the additional FS3X. Also the Digitech comes with a power supply (does not run on batteries) while the Boss does not come with a power supply (it does run on batteries though) and is the right power supply that doesn't cause the unit to buzz is an additional $15-25 depending on where you buy it.

    Places the RC-30 has an edge:
    1. Two looping channels with each phrase. The user can layer a couple elements on one channel and then switch to the other (while the first is still running) and lay more elements down then stop the first set, etc. This is actuallly pretty difficult to do with only 4 pedal buttons (and that assumes you have an FS-6). It should also be noted that the two channels must be the same length.

    2. Additional recording time on the RC-30 (3hrs vs. JamMan's 35min). Both allow transfer to computer via USB though for unlimited storage. The JamMan can have additional storage with bigger memory card though. The RC-30 doesn't use a memory card. The computer storage for both units is somewhat annoying and time consuming.

    3. Loop FX on RC-30. The only effect on the JamMan is reversing the loop (RC-30 doesn't do this). I actually found the Loop FX to be less than spectacular but others may disagree with me. Personally, I'd much rather have a reverse function.

    4. Mic input on RC-30 has phantom power.

    Overall I much prefer the JamMan over the RC-30 if for no other reason than the fact that it's usable in a live setting because there's no phrase switching lag. Neither unit seems to noticeably alter my tone - and I'm a tone freak so that's something I listen for and care about a lot.

    I've owned lots of Boss effects and many have been great but you shouldn't buy this pedal simply because it's made by Boss. Compare the features and choose what's most important for you.

    Reviewed by 17 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-10

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Sorta' buyer's remorse

    By Mike

    from Flagstaff, AZ

    About Me Experienced

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Easy to use
    • Solid construction

    Cons

    • No Midi Clock Sync
    • Sound Quality Is Not Good

    Best Uses

    • Experimenting At Home
    • Music Scratch Pad

    Comments about Boss RC-30 Loop Station:

    I almost never write reviews but I thought I'd warn others: the sound quality is not fit to be heard outside your bedroom. It's so bad that I bend down and unplug it every time I'm not actively using it; and I don't have cheap speakers, I have a Weber 12" Blue Dog and Weber 12" Silverbell. Other than that a midi clock sync would've been nice. I mean, as others have noted, dump the cheesey effects and add a sync for Pete's sake. It will do quite well for working out layers of song ideas at home though. It's pretty self-explanatory, and doesn't seem like it will break without some serious abuse. But I personally wish I would have saved up for a Pigtronix or a Boomerang.

    Comment on this review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Could do more

    By Luxp

    from Hamburg, Germany, ny

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

    • 3h S Recording Time

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Boss RC-30 Loop Station:

        Bought it after being bored of the limitations I experienced while using the boss dd7 delay as a looper in my world music project (although the dd7 does a very good job).
        Now I start to get bored of the limitations the rc 30 brings with it. I wish for example the effects could be used without using a loop. That would give a new sense to the Maschine while it is implemented to my setup and not in use as a looper. The machine should have enough chips on board to provide some more fun and usability. The beatbox unit could also be programmable and I would like to be able to put other drumsamples in it.
        What I miss is a bpm - Meter AND the possibility to choose the bpm by number. This would help to synchronise it with other machines what is more or less impossible the way it is.
        WARNING: If you start the loops that are already on the machine (#90+.. ) when you buy it after some testing with a guitar you will either blow your ears or your amp because they are 300% louder then your guitar.

        Comment on this review

        (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Broken,Customer Service Won't Fix

        By Jim G.

        from Michigan

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

          Cons

          • Breaks Easily

          Best Uses

          • Home Studio

          Comments about Boss RC-30 Loop Station:

          My Boss RC 30 will not function. The level sliders are either off or on full volume. ZERO level control. Sent it in to Boss for repair. They claim it is working the way it is supposed to. After mounting up huge phone bills from being on hold with their customer service(average wait time 20 minutes then get disconnected and have to call back and go on hold again) AND bench and shipping fees, it will cost me HUGE bills for a non-repair and I still have a pedal that does not work. The worst customer service of ANY company I have ever dealt with!

          Comment on this review

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          RC-30 LOOP STATION

          By DJ

          from Western Mass

          About Me Experienced

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact Design
          • Excellent Sound Quality
          • Solid construction
          • Versatile

          Cons

          • Difficult To Use

          Best Uses

          • Performances

          Comments about Boss RC-30 Loop Station:

          Boss/Roland needs a quality web video on this unit showing set-up and operation. YouTube has many but nothing comes close to what is needed.

          Comment on this review

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Awesome pedal for the investment!

          By BSBRocks.com

          from Columbus, OH

          About Me Professional Musician

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Get Started
          • Easy to use
          • Excellent Sound Quality
          • Quickly Add Layers

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Performances

            Comments about Boss RC-30 Loop Station:

            I absolutely love this pedal. I've been playing out since 1991 and this pedal will change my shows forever. The loop function is easy to get started with and it's not very difficult to layer tracks. The volume is very even and easy to control as well. It's a great deal made better when you find it on sale.

            Comment on this review

            (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Fairly easy to use.

            By D.Smith

            from Western KY

            About Me Novice

            Pros

            • Compact Design
            • Excellent Sound Quality
            • Versatile

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Events
              • Home Studio

              Comments about Boss RC-30 Loop Station:

              Just received this a couple weeks ago. Fairly simple to use and has good sound quality. I have ordered the FS-6 but it is currently out of stock. Would definitely recommend for home studio or practice. Not sure how reliable it would be for live gigs yet.

              Comment on this review

              (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              so far so good

              By kamtol

              from Massachusetts

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Versatile

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Performances

                Comments about Boss RC-30 Loop Station:

                So far I love this item.....Not difficult to punch in on the beat and most of its uses seem to make sense. seems very strudy too!

                Comment on this review

                (10 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                3.0

                A Useful, But Not Great, Piece of Gear

                By Michael Glaviano

                from Pacific Northwest, USA

                About Me Experienced

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Good Combination of IOs
                • Plenty of Loop Memory
                • Reasonably Easy to use
                • Useful Drum Loops

                Cons

                • It Hums
                • Poor AB Loop Selection
                • Power Supply not included

                Best Uses

                • Messsing Around
                • Musical Scratch Pad
                • Practicing

                Comments about Boss RC-30 Loop Station:

                I purchased the RC-30 with the intention of doing a solo act based on live loop layering, but I don't think it'll work out. My opinion is that the unit produces too much hum for a live show. If I use it at low volume, with low powered amps, the hum isn't that noticeable. It works great w/ a Blackheart 5watt, for example. But I wanted to use the second channel on the RC-30 to drive my bass amp. Unfortunately, the bass amp hums when connected to the RC-30. I also tried using an A/B box to run a rhythm channel w/ the looper and select a second guitar amp for solos. The amp I tried to use hummed as well.Neither amp hums at all when I plug an instrument directly in, so the RC-30 is definitely the culprit.Also, a [$] piece of gear ought to include a power supply. The recommended Boss power supply adds 10% to the purchase price. That's unacceptable.And, finally, I've been unable to figure out a way to jump instantaneously between loop A and loop B. Perhaps this is due to my poor understanding of the RC-30, but having a 2 second delay for loop switching certainly limits the usefulness of the second loop.OTOH, I enjoy setting up a groove and jamming to it. Also, the RC-30 is an excellent practice tool. You're not likely to find a bunch of musicians who will let you solo as much as you like, make a ton of mistakes as you try out new stuff, etc., and never complain. So it's not a loser. Summary: Boss could've done a little more and ended up with something great. It's too bad they cut corners.

                Comment on this review

                (43 of 43 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                3.0

                Falls Short of the Digitech JML2

                By alinquist

                from Waukesha, WI

                About Me Professional Musician

                Ask me a question

                Pros

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Boss RC-30 Loop Station:

                      I would recommend buying the DigiTech JML2 JamMan instead of the RC-30. I just purchased an RC-30 and played with it fairly extensively for a couple weeks before deciding to return it and get the JamMan. This is obviously a review of the RC-30, but I'm going to compare it to the JamMan for features.

                      Places the JamMan has an edge:
                      1. You are able to switch back and forth between different phrases seamlessly. The RC-30's biggest downfall is a 1/4 second or so lag that occurs when you switch between different phrases. The newest firmware updates have not made this go away. Because of the lag, the RC-30 is almost unusable in live applications.

                      2. When purchased with the Digitech FS3X footswitch (which only cost me $14.95), the JamMan has 7 different control buttons providing much easier hands free control than the RC-30 which has a max of 4 switches when used in conjunction with the Boss FS-6, which is also much more expensive than the Digitech footswitch. The Boss forces you to double tap switches or hold them down for two seconds (changes phrases requires a 2 second hold down even if you have an FS-6).

                      3. The JamMan allows for real time tap tempo changes while the loop is playing. The RC-30 only allows tempo changes when stopped and the phrase must have been previously saved.

                      4. The JamMan has an instrument in volume level and the RC-30 does not. This makes mixing instruments, loops, mics, and rhythms easier on the JamMan.

                      5. Cost is less, even with the additional FS3X. Also the Digitech comes with a power supply (does not run on batteries) while the Boss does not come with a power supply (it does run on batteries though) and is the right power supply that doesn't cause the unit to buzz is an additional $15-25 depending on where you buy it.

                      Places the RC-30 has an edge:
                      1. Two looping channels with each phrase. The user can layer a couple elements on one channel and then switch to the other (while the first is still running) and lay more elements down then stop the first set, etc. This is actuallly pretty difficult to do with only 4 pedal buttons (and that assumes you have an FS-6). It should also be noted that the two channels must be the same length.

                      2. Additional recording time on the RC-30 (3hrs vs. JamMan's 35min). Both allow transfer to computer via USB though for unlimited storage. The JamMan can have additional storage with bigger memory card though. The RC-30 doesn't use a memory card. The computer storage for both units is somewhat annoying and time consuming.

                      3. Loop FX on RC-30. The only effect on the JamMan is reversing the loop (RC-30 doesn't do this). I actually found the Loop FX to be less than spectacular but others may disagree with me. Personally, I'd much rather have a reverse function.

                      4. Mic input on RC-30 has phantom power.

                      Overall I much prefer the JamMan over the RC-30 if for no other reason than the fact that it's usable in a live setting because there's no phrase switching lag. Neither unit seems to noticeably alter my tone - and I'm a tone freak so that's something I listen for and care about a lot.

                      I've owned lots of Boss effects and many have been great but you shouldn't buy this pedal simply because it's made by Boss. Compare the features and choose what's most important for you.

                      Comment on this review

                      (15 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      3.0

                      Leaves Some Things To Be Desired

                      By James Lawson

                      from California

                      Comments about Boss RC-30 Loop Station:

                      I have been using the RC-30 for almost six months. I pre ordered it and was one of the first to receive it when they first shipped. I play lead in our worship band and it has added a lot to the overall quality and versatility of our music.
                      It is well built and pretty much performs as advertised.
                      Some of the complaints that I have read in the reviews I have experienced, but with practice and familiarity with the equipment they can be pretty easily overcome.
                      I think that the one biggest drawback, and glaring oversight on Roland/BOSS, is they didnt include a click out feature for the drummer.
                      If youre a solo artist, of the one man band variety, then you can get by without it, however it is a must have for a live band.
                      You can overcome this problem by running a click out from the sound board as the RC-30 starts on the beat, however if you dont have that feature then you are pretty much limited to just using it for intros, as coming in later in the song i.e. on a chorus or during an interlude is risky.
                      If the tempo isnt exactly as you started the song, then the loop will be out of sync.
                      With that said these loop stations have great potential for smaller bands that need the versatility of a lager band.
                      So much of the music we do has full ensembles, usually emulated with a synthesizer and piano keyboards.
                      However we only have 5 musicians that include a drummer, piano, bass, lead and rhythm and cant cover all the bases, so recording strings, second lead guitar part, flute, etc. on the loop can really enhance your performance.

                      I was hoping that Roland would include that feature in their new RC-300 but I see they havent.
                      Needs a click out!
                      Buil like a tank!
                      I thought was a little over priced for the features.

                      Comment on this review

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