DigiTech JamMan Solo – Looper Review

DigiTech JamMan Solo – Looper Review
DigiTech JamMan Solo - Top (image from www.digitech.com)

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

Check the price for the JamMan Solo (will open in new tab)

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

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Looper Category: Type 1 (category definitions)

Target Setup: jamming/practice/composition

Competitive Position: The Solo is the predecessor to the Solo XT (which adds the ability to sync multiple devices and several other features). Therefore, the price is starting to decrease. This has made the Solo more affordable than the comparable BOSS RC-3.

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

  • What is the price I should expect to pay for the DigiTech JamMan Solo 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 Solo?
    • The main function of the JamMan Solo is looping. It includes some looping features, but does not branch into other functionality (like adding FX). It is meant to be highly simplified.

      DigiTech JamMan Solo - Right Side
      DigiTech JamMan Solo – Right Side
      (image from www.digitech.com)


  • Can I record sound, continuously play a loop of that recording, and then layer additional tracks over the loop/phrase with the DigiTech JamMan Solo?
    • Yes, the JamMan Solo has basic looper functionality with unlimited overdub, controlled via pedal. The process is to start recording, then < press pedal> 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 Solo?
    DigiTech JamMan Solo - Left Side
    DigiTech JamMan Solo – Left Side
    (image from www.digitech.com)
    • The default JamMan Solo can record 35 minutes, but you can increase that to over 16 hours by using an optional SD/SDHC card up to 32GB. The maximum single loop time is 10 minutes.


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


  • Using the DigiTech JamMan Solo, 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 Solo 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 Solo?
    • 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 tracks. Or you can use the 1/8” Aux Input to play a song through the JamMan and then practice soloing over that.


  • Can I use the DigiTech JamMan Solo 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.


  • Can I switch to a different loop/slot while performing with the DigiTech JamMan Solo?
    • Yes you can, but you would need the optional FS3X footswitch in order to change the memory slot hands-free.


  • Can I perform loop-to-loop queuing with the DigiTech JamMan Solo?
    • Yes, the JamMan Solo 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 Solo to have the same limitation.


  • Can I switch back to the previous loop while performing with the DigiTech JamMan Solo?
    • 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 Solo.


  • With the DigiTech JamMan Solo, 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 Solo?
    • Yes, you can go directly into overdub with the JamMan Solo 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 Solo?
    • With the JamMan Solo, 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 Solo?
    • 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 Solo.


  • Can I adjust the volume or effects of individual overdubs with the DigiTech JamMan Solo?
    • There are two inputs that can be recorded together with the JamMan Solo – the Aux 1/8” input and the mono 1/4” Instrument Input. However, they do not have individual volume control knobs.


  • Can I record individual overdubs/layers as individual WAV files with the DigiTech JamMan Solo to then work with in a DAW?
    • With the JamMan Solo, 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 Solo?
    • Yes the CD/MP3 input can be selected to record with the looper.


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


  • Can I trigger a one-shot playback (a.k.a. single phrase) with the DigiTech JamMan Solo? 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 Solo. However, because the same pedal is used to stop the loop with a double tap, you are not able to quickly tap the pedal to create a stutter start effect.


  • Can I play multiple loops simultaneously with the DigiTech JamMan Solo, 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 Solo 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 Solo?
    • There is no reverse function on the JamMan Solo.


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


  • Is there anything in the DigiTech JamMan Solo that reduces the clicking sound that can occur when tapping the footswitch during overdub?
    • There is nothing we are aware of that reduces the clicking sound with the pedal.


  • Is the DigiTech JamMan Solo a good looper for live performances on stage?
    • This would be a good pedal for very limited looping on stage. The benefit of this pedal is that it’s compact and could easily be added to a pedal board.  At this price point, we also 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 Solo?
    • No, there is only standard stop mode – which stops the playback as soon as you double tap the pedal or single tap the left FS3X footswitch.


  • Can I stutter start with the DigiTech JamMan Solo?
    • There is no way to perform a stutter start with the JamMan Solo. You could add those effects to a WAV file within your DAW and then import via SD/SDHC card.


  • Can I resample with the DigiTech JamMan Solo? 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 Solo.


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


  • With the DigiTech JamMan Solo, 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 Solo.


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


  • Is there any software that comes with the DigiTech JamMan Solo?
    • 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 Solo?
    • Yes, you can operate the JamMan Solo 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 Solo interface with my DAW (digital audio workstation)/computer through USB?
    • The JamMan Solo 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 Solo interface with my computer through USB to transfer sound files?
    • Yes, the mini-B USB port on the JamMan Solo 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 Solo?
    DigiTech JamMan Solo - Under Pedal
    DigiTech JamMan Solo – Under Pedal
    (image from www.digitech.com)
    • Yes you can use SD or SDHC cards up to 32GB to save and recall loops on the JamMan Solo.


  • Does the DigiTech JamMan Solo have effects (FX)?
    • No the JamMan Solo does not have built-in effects (FX).


  • Can I bypass the effects (FX) with the DigiTech JamMan Solo?
    • No, this is not applicable to the JamMan Solo because the unit does not have internal effects.


  • Can I turn off or mute the live signal that is fed through the DigiTech JamMan Solo (for use in parallel effects loops of an amp or in Aux Send/Return of a mixer)?
    • No, there is no way to mute the live signal.  This may cause sound quality (phasing) issues when used in parallel effects loops or send/return aux of a mixer.


  • Can I save presets for effects with the DigiTech JamMan Solo?
    • No, this is not applicable to the JamMan Solo because the unit does not have internal effects.


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


  • Does the DigiTech JamMan Solo function as a mixer with multiple inputs?
    • Not really. There are two audio inputs: Inst 1/4” and Aux 1/8”. However, you can’t control any individual parameters like volume.


  • Can I re-assign footswitch functionality with the DigiTech JamMan Solo?
    • The JamMan Solo has only one pedal, and it obviously has multiple functions. You can purchase an alternative FS3X that has three footswitches – one will do tempo/stop/clear and the other two will scroll the memory locations up and down.


  • Does the DigiTech JamMan Solo have a headphone jack for playback and monitoring?
    • No the JamMan Solo does not have a dedicated headphone jack.


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


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


  • Is there an optional footswitch that I can add to the DigiTech JamMan Solo to increase functionality?
    • Yes, you can purchase an alternative FS3X that has three footswitches – one will do tempo/stop/clear and the other two will scroll the memory locations up and down.


  • Is there an optional expressional pedal that I can add to the DigiTech JamMan Solo to control effects(FX)?
    • No, there is not a way to connect an expression pedal to the JamMan Solo.


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


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


  • How is the warranty for the DigiTech JamMan Solo?
    • The JamMan Solo 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 Solo?
    • The JamMan Solo is very compact. It weighs 0.78 lbs. It’s footprint is 2.75” x 5” and is 2.1” 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 Solo 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 Solo better than just using an iPhone or iPad application?
    • There is very limited functionality with the iOS based loopers compared to the DigiTech JamMan Solo. 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 Solo 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 JamMan Solo. 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 Solo been in production?
    • According to this press release, it started to ship in March 2010 around the same time as the JamMan Stereo. However, earlier versions of the JamMan were in production since 2005.

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