DigiTech JamMan Delay – Looper Review

DigiTech JMD JamMan Delay Looper Pedal Review – based on Question/Answer format so you can skip around to what you care about.

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DigiTech JamMan Delay - Top

DigiTech JamMan Delay – Top
(image from www.digitech.com)

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Looper Category: Type 2 (category definitions)

Target Setup: jamming/practice/composition

Competitive Position: The price of the JamMan Delay is lower than that of the Line 6 JM4. The JamMan Delay has fewer FX compared to the JM4, but it does have loop-to-loop queuing and a stronger warranty.

Warranty: 1 year, increased to 6 years with product registration within 10 days of purchase

DigiTech JamMan Delay - Back

DigiTech JamMan Delay – Back
(image from www.digitech.com)

 

  • What is the price I should expect to pay for the DigiTech JamMan Delay and how does that compare to other loopers?
    • Good question – please see our price tracker that we update regularly. Here, the various looper stations are categorized and the price is tracked over time as indicated.

 

  • What is the main function of the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • The main function of the JamMan Delay is looping. It includes many looping features, and also adds eight types of delay effects (FX).

 

  • Can I record sound, continuously play a loop of that recording, and then layer additional tracks over the loop/phrase with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • Yes, the JamMan Delay has basic looper functionality with unlimited overdub, controlled via footswitch. The process is to start recording, then < press Rec/Play/Overdub> to begin looping what you have recorded, then to add your additional layer. You can continue to add layers or to stop the playback.

 

  • How long can I record with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • The default JamMan Delay can record 35 minutes, but you can increase that to over 16 hours by using an optional SD/SDHC card up to 32GB.

 

  • How many memory locations (slots) are included in the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • The default JamMan Delay has 99 slots, but that is expanded to 198 with the optional SD/SDHC card (up to 32GB).

 

  • Using the DigiTech JamMan Delay, can I learn by having an instrument teacher play something and then slow it down and work on matching the notes and gradually speeding up?
    • Yes, the JamMan Delay has tempo control (also called Time Stretching), where you can slow down or speed up the music and it’s an excellent way to learn. Also, this is simple to accomplish, no learning curve required.

 

  • Can I practice soloing with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • Yes, you can lay down your own rhythm tracks and then play over the top of them, or you can use one of the 9 pre-loaded rhythm types.

 

  • Can I use the DigiTech JamMan Delay to capture quick song ideas to review later?
    • Yes, this is a good device for that and can store up to >16 hrs of your music with an SDHC card, or can you can upload music to your PC via USB and the included JamManager software.

 

  • Can I switch to a different loop/slot while performing with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • Yes you can, and it is very easy to do with the JamMan Delay. Simply press Loop Up or Loop Down footswitches to go to another slot.

 

  • Can I perform loop-to-loop queuing with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • Yes, the JamMan Delay has this feature. Loop-to-loop queuing is when you are playing a current loop/slot and you switch to the next loop/slot without stopping the current. Then, when the current loop completes a playing cycle it automatically switches to the new loop you have selected.  However, as pointed out in the comments of this video, by Albert Amman (who invented an accessory for the JamMan) if there is nothing pre-recorded in the slot you switch to then it will just continue to play the current loop. This has also been noted in other forums. Although this issue is described for the JamMan Stereo, we expect the JamMan Delay to have the same limitation.

 

  • Can I switch back to the previous loop while performing with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • You can only switch back to the previous loop if you have saved it by pressing the “Store” button (not a footswitch) prior to switching to another loop. We believe that you can do this without stopping the playback of the current loop. Although, with the JamMan Stereo you can get an after-market FABE to press “Store” with your foot, doesn’t look like it would fit the JamMan Delay.

 

  • With the DigiTech JamMan Delay, can I record and play different parts of a song (verse, chorus, bridge) all during a live performance while not using my hands (pedals and footswitches only)?
    • Yes, you could but you would need to Store any loop if you wanted to come back to it later in the song. This has to be done by pressing a button (not a footswitch), and we believe that you can store the loop while in playback.

 

  • Can I go from recording directly into overdub with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • Yes, you can go directly into overdub with the JamMan Delay but it does require a double tap of the Rec/Overdub footswitch after you have recorded the first loop.

 

  • Can I undo/redo the last overdub to change the song or eliminate a recording error with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • With the JamMan Delay, you are able to undo the last overdub and also redo the last undo.

 

  • Can I set previous layers to go quieter or fade out while overdubbing new layers with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • This function is called “Decay” by Boomerang, “Recorder Overdub Level” by Line 6, “Loop Aging” by Pigtronix, and “Feedback Decay” by others.  It is used to gradually or quickly transition a song without stopping or switching your ongoing loop. However, it is not available on the JamMan Delay.

 

  • Can I adjust the volume or effects of individual overdubs with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • You could use different presents or the dry signal to create different sounding overdubs. This can be achieved hands-free with the JamMan Delay.

 

  • Can I record individual overdubs/layers as individual WAV files with the DigiTech JamMan Delay to then work with in a DAW?
    • With the JamMan Delay, we are not aware of any method for individually recording overdubs/layers.

 

  • Can I use the 1/8” MP3/CD input to play song into the looper and incorporate it into my loop with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • No, unlike the JamMan Stereo, the Delay doesn’t have the 1/8” input.

 

  • Can I pre-record tracks, edit them in a DAW, load them into the JamMan Delay as loops and then trigger them with the footswitch when needed?
    • Yes, the JamMan Delay is set up to take WAV files via USB. The loop file format is 44.1kHz, 16-bit stereo

 

  • Can I trigger a one-shot playback (a.k.a. single phrase) with the DigiTech JamMan Delay? In other words, can I set the loop to only play one time when triggered?
    • Yes, this single phrase functionality is available on the JamMan Delay. Also, if you press the REC/PLAY/OVERDUB pedal, rather than overdubbing you will restart the phrase. You could potentially emulate a stutter effect this way.

 

  • Can I play multiple loops simultaneously with the DigiTech JamMan Delay, and turn them on and off? For example, play drums on one track, base-line on the other, and guitar on another and bring them in and out of the song?
    • The only way you could partially accomplish this with the JamMan Delay is with the undo redo functionality, and it would be very limited.

 

  • Can I play a loop or overdub in reverse with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • Yes, there is a button to allow for this function. Alternatively, you can purchase an optional FS3X Footswitch and perform the function hands-free.

 

  • Does the DigiTech JamMan Delay have stereo sound or just mono?
    • The JamMan Delay has stereo sound.

 

  • Is there anything in the DigiTech JamMan Delay that reduces the clicking sound that can occur when tapping the footswitch during overdub?
    • Not that we are aware of, and due to the audible noise that the footswitches produce when tapped, this can be an issue during recording – especially if the Mic picks up the noise. This is a weak spot.

 

  • Is the DigiTech JamMan Delay a good looper for live performances on stage?
    • We would recommend other loopers for live stage performance. This model is better for home in our opinion. We like this model’s functionality for composing new songs, editing, porting to a DAW, practicing, learning and video performances.

 

  • Are there multiple stop modes in the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • Yes, there are three stop modes – one stops the loop immediately when Stop footswitch is pressed, another finishes out the loop before stopping, and the third fades the volume to 0.

 

  • Can I stutter start with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • The JamMan does not have a true “stutter” feature. Potentially, you could use the “one-shot” mode and continuously press the REC/PLAY/OVERDUB pedal to re-start the loop over and over.
    • Alternatively, you add those effects to a WAV file within your DAW and then import via SD/SDHC card.

 

  • Can I resample with the DigiTech JamMan Delay? In other words, can I take a loop and modify it by multiplying it, cutting part of it out, adding a different effect to it, etc?
    • We are not aware of any resampling or multiply functionality with the JamMan Delay.

 

  • Can the DigiTech JamMan Delay be set to auto-record when I begin playing?
    • No, unlike the JamMan Stereo, the Delay does not have auto-record.

 

  • With the DigiTech JamMan Delay, are there any issues with droning (playing the same note, chord, repeated sounds, or tone-clusters continuously) at the boundaries of the loops – such as noticeable change in volume?
    • We have not experienced or heard of an issue with droning using the JamMan Delay.

 

  •  Does the DigiTech JamMan Delay have a built in metronome?
    • There are nine rhythm tracks that are pre-loaded into the JamMan Delay. You can adjust the tempo and use as a metronome.

 

  • Is there any software that comes with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • Yes, DigiTech provides free software called JamManager  for both Windows and Mac OS. With that application, you can transfer and organize loops, playlists, and adjust loop parameters.

 

  • Is quantize functionality available on the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • Yes, you can operate the JamMan Delay in free-form (with no quantize) or auto-quantize mode, where timing errors with loop start and stop are corrected automatically based on the user-defined tempo.

 

  • Will the DigiTech JamMan Delay interface with my DAW (digital audio workstation)/computer through USB?
    • The JamMan Delay does not function as an audio interface. The USB is only used to transfer the loop files, not stream the audio output to the DAW.

 

  • Will the DigiTech JamMan Delay interface with my computer through USB to transfer sound files?
    • Yes, the USB port on the JamMan Delay is used to transfer files. Many other loopers on the market do not have this functionality.

 

  • Can I save and recall loops with SD card with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • Yes you can use SD or SDHC cards up to 32GB to save and recall loops on the JamMan Delay.

 

  • Does the DigiTech JamMan Delay have effects (FX)?
    • Yes the JamMan Delay has eight built-in delay types and three preset footswitches to quickly recall specific settings. The tempo of the delay can be synchronized to the tempo of the looper.

 

  • Can I bypass the effects (FX) with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • Yes, you can bypass the delay.

 

  • Can I turn off or mute the live signal that is fed through the DigiTech JamMan Delay (for use in parallel effects loops of an amp or in Aux Send/Return of a mixer)?
    • Yes, this function is controlled via button and is called “Dry Off”.  If you do not use this function, you may have sound quality (phasing) issues.

 

  • Can I save presets for effects with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • Yes, there are three footswitches that correspond to three memory locations for preset storage.

 

  • Does the DigiTech JamMan Delay have an XLR mic input? Does it have phantom power for a condenser microphone?
    • No, unlike the JamMan Stereo, the Delay does not have an XLR input.

 

  • Does the DigiTech JamMan Delay function as a mixer with multiple inputs?
    • No, unlike the JamMan Stereo, the Delay only has one pair of stereo 1/4” inputs.

 

  • Can I re-assign footswitch functionality with the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • The JamMan Delay has eight footswitches. One switch is used for and Undo/Redo, one for and Clear, and then two for choosing the slot (memory location) – and . For the delay functionality, there are three preset footswitches and another to set delay tempo. Also, you can purchase an alternative FS3X that has three footswitches – one will do a fast Undo/Redo, another will play the loop in reverse, and the third will allow temp adjust while the loop is playing.

 

  • Does the DigiTech JamMan Delay have a headphone jack for playback and monitoring?
    • No, unlike the JamMan Stereo, the Delay does not have a dedicated headphone output.

 

  • Can the DigiTech JamMan Delay be connected to an external MIDI device?
    • No the JamMan Delay does not have MIDI ports.

 

  • Does DigiTech release firmware updates for the JamMan Delay?
    • Yes they do.

 

  • Is there an optional footswitch that I can add to the DigiTech JamMan Delay to increase functionality?
    • Yes, you can purchase an alternative FS3X that has three footswitches – one will do a fast Undo/Redo, another will play the loop in reverse, and the third will allow temp adjust while the loop is playing.

 

  • Is there an optional expressional pedal that I can add to the DigiTech JamMan Delay to control effects(FX)?
    • Yes, the JamMan Delay is compatible with passive expression/volume pedals – 1/4″ (Tip-sleeve).

 

  • What is the sampling rate and bit depth of the A/D/A conversion?
    • For the JamMan Delay, the A/D/A conversion is specified as 24-bit, 44.1 kHz.

 

  • Can the DigiTech JamMan Delay be battery powered?
    • No there are no battery options for the DigiTech JamMan Delay.

 

  • How is the warranty for the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • The JamMan Delay has a standard 1 year warranty through DigiTech. However, this is expanded to 6 years if you register the product within ten days of purchase. This is a best-in-class warranty.

 

  • What size is the DigiTech JamMan Delay?
    • The JamMan Delay is fairly compact for having eight footswitches. It weighs 3.42 lbs. It’s footprint is 6.8” x 11” and is 2.9” tall. Also, keep in mind that the optional FS3X footswitch is 7.2” x 4.8” x 2.2”, and is considered essential by most.

 

  • Why is using a DigiTech JamMan Delay better than just using computer software? Or why should I use a stompbox looper instead of something that is software based?
    • Ease of use – when you have a looper pedal setup, you just sit down and play (just like picking up an instrument). This makes spontaneous fifteen minute jam sessions happen all the time.
    • Control and reliability – especially during a live performance. Has your PC ever frozen or started running slow all of a sudden? There are a lot of processes that can occur in a computer that are unrelated to your music, and you may not have control over all of them.
    • Ability to interface hands-free with a dedicated stompbox/pedal/footswitch
    • The software usually has a much steeper learning curve. Nothing puts me out of the music-playing mood faster than trying to figure out how to work with the recording software and getting stuck on something.
    • If you managed to setup a reliable, hands-free computer based system then it’s still difficult to go on stage and have the performance feel “live”. People are used to seeing pedals on stage, but once you bring out your laptop then it starts feeling like a DJ performance. Nothing wrong with that, for some.

 

  • Why is using a DigiTech JamMan Delay better than just using an iPhone or iPad application?
    • There is very limited functionality with the iOS based loopers compared to the DigiTech JamMan Delay. However, these apps are quickly improving. With added hardware (microphone, Bluetooth control pedal, etc.), these setups may start to look attractive. Please see our iOS app setup information.
    • With regards to live performances, bringing an iPad or iPhone on stage may feel more like a DJ performance, but it’s not going as far as bringing a laptop. Also, the OS may be more predictable and stable compared to an entire computer or workstation. Therefore, we think that iOS based loopers will be more stage-friendly than laptops, but not as stage-friendly as pedals/stompboxes in the foreseeable future.

 

  • What company makes the DigiTech JamMan Delay and where are they located?
    • DigiTech is located in Sandy, UT. They are owned by HARMAN International, which is a 13,000+ person company based out of Stamford, CT.

 

  • How is the support from DigiTech on any issues that arise with the unit?
    • There is one manual for the DigiTech JamMan Delay. Also, there is a forum (called the sound community) on their website which is basically a forum for product discussions. We have the impression that DigiTech is easy to work with on warranty items, as well.

 

  • How long has the DigiTech JamMan Delay been in production?
    • According to this press release, it started to ship in May 2010 which was very soon after the JamMan Stereo started to ship. However, earlier versions of the JamMan were in production since 2005.
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