Ease of use
When you have something like this jam pedal, you just have to sit down and start playing with it. It’s almost like playing an acoustic guitar – there’s not much gimmicking going around and after you plug it in it’s ready to go. With this pedal, you can always have spontaneous fifteen-minute jams.
Another element that this pedal offers is the ease of control, and on top of that, reliability. Compared to a PC or many other pedals, this one doesn’t freeze or start acting wild all of a sudden. You can always change how the pedal sounds with the push of some simple buttons. Even more, you don’t have to use your hands for that, just stomp on the pedal.
Given that this device is so simple, it also has a more manageable learning curve, and when you’re trying to play something, nothing can get you out of that comfort zone and put you in a bad mood more than an annoyingly difficult device to use. If you want to add more to this pedal you can always couple it with a passive volume or expression pedal. Furthermore, an optional footswitch can be added to this pedal, and that will allow for increased functionality.
A weird combo
If we were to discuss the pedal as a whole, it doesn’t offer that much compared to what’s already found on other Digitech models, especially when it comes to the looper element. Its functions are great, but for this pedal, Digitech hasn’t come up with anything new. The brand just reused functions and technology found in other models.
Those that want this pedal jut for the looping effects, they should look for the JamMan Stereo which is smaller and can also be found for smaller prices. The company has made a strange combination of a delay pedal and a looper one.
Main features explained
Comparable with what the JamMAn Stereo can offer, the looper function found on this device may not seem like much but it’s got what you need from a pedal like this. You get 99 different loop locations, and an onboard memory capable of offering 35 minutes of looping if you are recording stereo at CD quality.
Using an external SD card to add extra memory will help you get 99 extra loop locations and 16 hours of CD stereo quality looping. If you are used with the JamMan Stereo you will be pleased to find out that the lower panel of footswitches found on the JamMan Delay pedal has the same functions as the switches found on the older model.
You get the button for record/play/overdub, then the one for tempo/stop, loop up, and the last of them is for loop down. You might think of yourself that some extra buttons would have been nice, but you really don’t need much more than these ones. The first of the buttons can work as an undo/redo switch if you hold it down for 2 seconds, while the tempo/stop button can serve as a clear switch if you want to delete unsaved portions.
The user can also find a number of extra controls at the top of the pedal, where you can find many more dials and buttons that perform technical functions. With these, you can change the ending type, play the loop only once or many times, reverse the loop, choose the accompaniment, and control the rhythm and the volume. If you want to be able to reverse the loop with your foot, you can also get an additional footswitch.
Offering you the ability to move between different loops with footswitches means that this pedal is great for live performances.
The pedal comes with a neat time-stretching feature and on top of that a quantize feature. You can set the tempo of the delay by tapping it on the dedicated footswitch. After that, the pedal will be ready for the recording phase and it will alter your playing to fit the tempo you previously tapped in.
The click track will be playing automatically so you can use it as a guide while you’re also playing, and this means you can make precise and well-timed loops, even if you’re a beginner and the whole process seems daunting. In case you don’t like the initial rhythm you set, you can also tap out a new tempo while a loop is still playing, so you can change its timing without altering the pitch.
Being a combination of a looper and a delay pedal, there are more functions that make this pedal what it is. On the device, you can see that the top 4 footswitches can be operated handsfree, and they control the delay part. The first 3 of them will let you switch between different delays and pre-sets, and the last one will let you change the tempo of that delay.
With the dial found in the top right corner you can select one of 8 different delay types, which vary from analog to digital, pong, tape, and others. You can thus find some retro delays here, but you can also have some echoes oscillating between the left and right speakers, and some reversed delays.
Other delay parameters can be controlled with the help of the knobs found on the right side. With these, you can control the volume of the delay effect, and change some aspects of the overall sound with the Modify knobs, as these will operate the Tone and Drive settings.
Given that this is a delay unit with multiple features it can be able to cover a lot of different genres, giving you the range of effects that can get you from crystal clear and modern repeats to emulation of older, analog technology. It can be surprising how authentic the tape delay and other analog delays can sound, and that is also thanks to how easy it is to adjust them via the modifier buttons.
There are two ways to set up the delay time – you either use the tap tempo button, or you tweak the knobs for the timing you want. You could use both of these methods. Unfortunately, you won’t find any display that shows the exact tempo or BPM, and that is a problem for some users that play in a band and that use a click track where they need to dial in the exact tempo.
Fortunately, finding the tempo you want for the delay is an intuitive process and can be accomplished with ease. Another practical asset is the 3 different delays that can be found on separate footswitches – with the help of an expression pedal you can instantly morph between these settings.
Hands-free functionality can also be increased by adding an extra footswitch. You will be able to control the looper better, having a better grip over the playback level. The 4 present switches already provide great control over the functions, and they should give you everything you need without additional hardware.
If you also want some flexibility, the loops will let you have that too. With the 3 separate modes – stop, finish, and fade, you can determine how they act. The user can decide if the effect should abruptly stop, or if he or she wants continuous loops or one-shot single plays.
The pedal lets you do pretty much anything you would imagine when it comes to looping effect. You can organize any loops that you have been creating yourself, or use the file import tool to download additional files from other devices. Working with all of your loops you can take several of them and make separate playlists, ordering them as you prefer, or you could just let them there in the back of your pedal’s memory.
This tool will serve you well if you are looking to organize more backing tracks, especially if you are doing a solo show, or you have a pre-set list of songs you are going to play. With the loop up and loop down footswitches, you can move from one to another.
Although when taken individually, the looping and the delay functions don’t seem that impressive, they culminate into something awesome once you put them together. When using delay in your loops you can add new dimensions to your sound. Furthermore, you will be able to synchronize the two effects by holding the delay footswitch pressed for 2 seconds and then setting the tempo using the loop footswitch.
This is one of the most practical pedals and that is due to the delay presets that are available almost instantly, but also thanks to the tap tempo that makes everything easier for you. The controls are optimized for onstage use, and everybody knows that when you’re doing a live show you need to be able to react fast.
When buying this pedal you need to think about the opportunities it offers you. It gives you a lot when it comes to practice, phrase training, and even composition, as it allows you to be able to better express your creativity. The biggest selling point is the use of delay and loop functions at the same time.