DigiTech JamMan Stereo – Looper Review

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DigiTech JamMan Stereo Review– based on Question/Answer format so you can skip around to what you care about. Feel free to post questions or answers below the review.

DigiTech JamMan Stereo (image from DigiTech.com)

Looper Category: Type 1 (category definitions)

Target Setup: video performance

Competitive Position: The JamMan Stereo is more expensive than most type 1 loopers. It is not well-suited for live performance, but has many features that make it the strongest for song composition and video performance.

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 Stereo 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.

Check current Price for the DigiTech JamMan Stereo

 

  • What is the main function of the DigiTech JamMan Stereo?
    • The main function of the JamMan Stereo is looping. It includes many looping features, but does not branch into other functionality (like adding FX). It is simple and intuitive.

 

Back-panel View of DigiTech JamMan Stereo (image from 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 Stereo?
    • Yes, the JamMan Stereo 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 Stereo?
    • The default JamMan Stereo 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 Stereo?
    • The default JamMan Stereo has 99 slots, but that is expanded to 198 with the optional SD/SDHC card (up to 32GB).

 

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

 

  • Can you perform loop-to-loop queuing with the DigiTech JamMan Stereo?
    • Yes, the JamMan Stereo 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.

 

  • Can you switch back to the previous loop with while performing with the DigiTech JamMan Stereo?
    • 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. Also, there is an after-market footswitch on Ebay that you can use to press the “Store” button with your foot (link), it’s called a FABE.

 

  • With the DigiTech JamMan Stereo, 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 Stereo?
    • Yes, you can go directly into overdub with the JamMan Stereo 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 Stereo?
    • With the JamMan Stereo, you are able to undo the last overdub and also redo the last undo.

 

  • Can I adjust the volume or effects of individual overdubs with the DigiTech JamMan Stereo?
    • There are two inputs that can be recorded together with the JamMan Stereo – the Mic XLR and the stereo 1/4” Instrument Inputs. Each of these have individual level control knobs. Therefore, there is some possibility for individual overdub volume adjustment. For effects, you could connect other external pedals ahead of each input.

 

  • Can I record individual overdubs/layers as individual WAV files to then work with in a DAW?
    • With the JamMan Stereo, 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 Stereo?
    • 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 Stereo as loops and then trigger them with the footswitch when needed?
    • Yes, the JamMan Stereo is set up to take WAV files via USB. The loop file format is 44.1kHz, 16-bit stereo

 

  • Can I play multiple loops simultaneously with the DigiTech JamMan Stereo, 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 Stereo is with the undo redo functionality.

 

  • Can I play a loop or overdub in reverse with the DigiTech JamMan Stereo?
    • 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 Stereo have stereo sound or just mono?
    • The JamMan Stereo has stereo sound.

 

  • Is there anything in the DigiTech JamMan Stereo 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 Stereo 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 their multiple stop modes in the DigiTech JamMan Stereo?
    • 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 you stutter start or DJ-scratch with the DigiTech JamMan Stereo?
    • No, we are not aware of any way to stutter start or DJ-scratch with the JamMan Stereo unless you add those effects to a WAV file within your DAW and then import via SD/SDHC card.

 

  • With the DigiTech JamMan Stereo, 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 Stereo.

 

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

 

  • Is there any software that comes with the DigiTech JamMan Stereo?
    • 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 Stereo?
    • Yes, you can operate the JamMan Stereo 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 Stereo interface with my DAW (digital audio workstation)/computer through USB?
    • The JamMan Stereo 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 Stereo interface with my computer through USB to transfer sound files?
    • Yes, the USB port on the JamMan Stereo 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 Stereo?
    • Yes you can use SD or SDHC cards up to 32GB to save and recall loops on the JamMan Stereo.

 

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

 

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

 

  • Can I turn off or mute the live signal that is fed through the DigiTech JamMan Stereo (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 Defeat”.  If you do not use this function, you may have sound quality (phasing) issues.

 

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

 

  • Does the DigiTech JamMan Stereo have an XLR mic input? Does it have phantom power for a condenser microphone?
    • Yes, the JamMan Stereo has an XLR input, however it does not have phantom power so you can’t connect a condenser microphone that requires phantom without an added mic pre-amp (like a Tube MP).

 

  • Does the DigiTech JamMan Stereo function as a mixer with multiple inputs?
    • Partially. There are three audio inputs: Mic XLR, Inst 1/4”, and Aux 1/8”. However, you can only record with either the Mic/Inst input or the Aux input, but not all at once. You select the input via the “Record Mode” button.

 

  • Can I re-assign footswitch functionality with the DigiTech JamMan Stereo?
    • The JamMan Stereo has four footswitches. One switch is used forand Undo/Redo, one forand Clear, and then two for choosing the slot (memory location) –and. 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 Stereo have a headphone jack for playback and monitoring?
    • Yes the JamMan Stereo has a dedicated 1/8” jack for headphones.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • What size is the DigiTech JamMan Stereo?
    • The JamMan Stereo is fairly compact. It weighs 2.22 lbs. It’s footprint is 6.8” x 6.7” 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 Stereo 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 Stereo better than just using an iPhone or iPad application?
    • There is very limited functionality with the iOS based loopers compared to the DigiTech JamMan Stereo. 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 Stereo 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. Also, there is a forum (called the sound community) on their website which is basically a forum for product discussions. A benefit to buying this looper is that it’s a very popular model (maybe with the highest market share), and therefore you have a lot of other people who understand how to use it. We have the impression that DigiTech is easy to work with on warranty items, as well.
  • How long has the DigiTech JamMan Stereo been in production?
    • According to this press release, it started to ship in April 2010. However, earlier versions of the JamMan were in production since 2005.

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