Electro-Harmonix 45000 Looper – Review

Electro Harmonix 45000 loop station review– based on Question/Answer format so you can skip around to what you care about.

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EHX 45000 - Top View (image from www.ehx.com)
EHX 45000 – Top View (image from www.ehx.com)

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Looper Category: Type 2 (category definitions)

Target Setup: jamming and live performance

Competitive Position: The EHX 45000 competes with the Boomerang III, the Pigtronix Infinity and the Boss RC-505. While it’s lacking an UNDO/REDO function, it does have advantages over the competition:

  • Boomerang III – the 45000 has a mix down track, MIDI, and memory storage (the Rang III doesn’t)
  • Pigtronix Infinity – the 45000 has more tracks
  • Boss RC-505 – the 45000 has an option foot controller, which the RC-505 lacks

Warranty: 1 year, with product registration within 10 days of purchase

What is the price I should expect to pay for the Electro Harmonix 45000 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 Electro Harmonix 45000?

The main function of the 45000 is looping, and it is packed with features for that. You can speed up, slow down, reverse, bend, etc. (see this video for a glimpse into that). Keep in mind that it’s easy to get yourself into trouble if you don’t do that right! It also has a 34 drum tracks that are pre-loaded into loops 01 through 34 when it ships.

How many tracks can be played in parallel with the Electro Harmonix 45000?

The EHX 45000 loop station has four tracks and one mix down track – all with independent volume and stereo control. The mixdown track can capture the four independent tracks onto one and then you can overdub over that as many times as you like, but you have to overdub via one or more of the four tracks.

How many memory locations (slots) are included in the Electro Harmonix 45000?

The EHX 45000 has 100 memory slots.

How long can I record with the Electro Harmonix 45000?

The 45000 can record 125 minutes of play time on the 4GB SDHC card that comes with the unit. If you buy a separate 32GB card, you can record up to 1000 minutes.

Can I record sound, continuously play a loop of that recording, and then layer additional tracks over the loop/phrase with the Electro Harmonix 45000?

  • Yes, the 45000 has basic looper functionality with unlimited overdub. However, the process works a little differently than other loopers. You need to select one of four tracks and then press the record button. When you are finished recording, then press record again to stop the sound or press play to continue looping what was just recorded. You can overdub right away if you had pressed “play” to stop recording. If you had pressed record and there is no sound playing, then select the track you want to add a layer to and then press record to overdub.
  • Using the Electro Harmonix 45000, 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 45000 has tempo control via a dedicated slider (“Tempo”), 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 Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • Yes, you can lay down your own rhythm tracks and then play over the top of them, or you can use one of the 34 pre-loaded rhythm tracks. Or you can load tracks into one of the 100 memory slots via the USB port or SD card.
  • Can I use the Electro Harmonix 45000 to capture quick song ideas to review later?
    • Yes, that is one of the benefits of a dedicated looper that has memory slots available. Many of the loopers do not have the ability to store the recordings for later use.
  • Can I switch to a different loop/slot while performing with the Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • Yes you can, and it is very easy to do with the 45000. Simply press Loop Up or Loop Down footswitches to go to another slot. This is well illustrated in this youtube video around minute 3:20. You’ll want the foot controller or a MIDI controller to do this easily.
  • Can I perform loop-to-loop queuing with the Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • Yes, the 45000 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. Again, this is portrayed well in the youtube video in the answer to the question above. You’ll want the foot controller or a MIDI controller to do this easily.
  • Can I switch back to the previous loop while performing with the Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • Yes, you can switch back and forth between loop slots with the EHX 45000. I will mention you will want to get the foot controller or a MIDI controller if you ever want to do it live.
  • With the Electro Harmonix 45000, 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 can create verse-chorus-bridge combinations with the EHX 45000 on the fly and hands-free but you will need to buy the additional foot controller or control via MIDI. This unit is great for this type of song structure (also known as A-B-A-C-A, or to get fancy Rondo, Arch, etc musical forms).
  • Can I go from recording directly into overdub with the Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • Yes, you can go directly into overdub with the EHX 45000 by pressing Play after you have recorded the phrase. One feature that is very interesting is that while you are in overdub mode the individual volume controls for each track act like feedback control on a delay pedal. For example, if set at 75% then each time the loop cycles the previously recorded audio volume is reduced by 25%.
  • Can I undo/redo the last overdub to change the song or eliminate a recording error with the Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • With the 45000, there is no Undo or Redo function. This is often called out as a draw-back. However, there is a “punch in” mode that essentially highjacks the overdub mode and all previously recorded audio is erased while the Record LED is on. This is for fixing errors in your loops on the fly.
  • Can I set previous layers to go quieter or fade out while overdubbing new layers with the Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • Yes, you can easily make the previously recorded audio fade at various rates as controlled by the position of the track volume slider. 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, and many other artistic purposes. EHX refers to this as Feedback control for a delay effect, so that the 45000 can be used as a “very long delay pedal.”
  • Can I adjust the volume or effects of individual overdubs and/or tracks with the Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • With the EHX 45000, you have a good amount of control on individual tracks and overdubs. You are able to record them in reverse, at different tempo’s, volumes, etc. However, that would not easily be achieved with hands-free operation unless you use MIDI.
  • Can I record individual tracks or overdubs/layers as individual WAV files with the Electro Harmonix 45000 to then work with in a DAW?
    • Yes the EHX 45000 automatically saves the tracks as separate wave files within a folder that is allocated to one of 100 memory slots. You can get them onto your DAW via USB or SD card.
  • Can I use the 1/8” MP3/CD input to play song into the looper and incorporate it into my loop with the Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • The EHX 45000 does not have a 1/8” input meant to work with an auxiliary device. However, you can upload songs via USB or SD card.
  • Can I pre-record tracks, edit them in a DAW, load them into the 45000 as loops and then trigger them with the footswitch when needed?
    • Yes, the 45000 is set up to take WAV files via USB. The loop file format is 44.1kHz, 16-bit stereo. There is a strict file format protocol to follow when uploading audio files. They must be .wav and have all four track files present, along with the stereo mix file and the tempo.txt file. Copy the tempo.txt file from a memory slot where the loop was established on the looper itself.
  • Can I trigger a one-shot playback (a.k.a. single phrase) with the Electro Harmonix 45000? In other words, can I set the loop to only play one time when triggered?
    • No the EXH 45000 does not have one-shot (1-shot) playback.
  • Can I play multiple loops simultaneously with the Electro Harmonix 45000, 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?
    • Yes, the EHX 45000 has four independent tracks per loop memory slot that can be individually controlled to create various “parts” to a song.
  • Can I play a loop or overdub in reverse with the Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • Yes, there is a button to allow for reverse on the EHX 45000.
  • Does the Electro Harmonix 45000 have stereo sound or just mono?
    • The 45000 has stereo sound.
  • Is there anything in the Electro Harmonix 45000 that reduces the clicking sound that can occur when tapping the footswitch during overdub?
    • There isn’t a clicking sound when using the buttons on the EHX 45000, but there can be a sound that you will want to try to minimize when using the option foot controller.
  • Is the Electro Harmonix 45000 a good looper for live performances on stage?
    • With a lot of practice and the addition of a MIDI control device or the option foot controller, the EHX 45000 could be an excellent looper for live performance. I would consider it more of a song creation, jamming device for most people.
  • Are there multiple stop modes in the Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • No, there are no unique stop modes for the EHX 45000.
  • Can I stutter start with the Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • No, the EHX 45000 does not have stutter start (like the Rang III does).
    • Alternatively, you add those effects to a WAV file within your DAW and then import via SD/SDHC card.
  • Can I resample with the Electro Harmonix 45000? 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 45000. The Rang III does have this functionality. Many loop stations do not.
  • Can the Electro Harmonix 45000 be set to auto-record when I begin playing?
    • No the EHX 45000 does not have auto-record.
  • With the Electro Harmonix 45000, 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 45000.
  • Does the Electro Harmonix 45000 have a built in metronome?
    • Yes, there is a metronome click with an individually controlled volume knob.
  • Is there any software that comes with the Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • No, there is no specific software that comes with the EHX 45000.
  • Is quantize functionality available on the Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • Yes, you can operate the 45000 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 Electro Harmonix 45000 interface with my DAW (digital audio workstation)/computer through USB?
    • The 45000 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 Electro Harmonix 45000 interface with my computer through USB to transfer sound files?
    • Yes, the USB port on the 45000 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 Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • Yes you can use SD or SDHC cards up to 32GB to save and recall loops on the 45000.
  • Does the Electro Harmonix 45000 have effects (FX)?
    • No the 45000 does not have built-in effects (FX).
  • Can I bypass the effects (FX) with the Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • No, this is not applicable to the 45000 because the unit does not have internal effects.
  • Can I turn off or mute the live signal that is fed through the Electro Harmonix 45000 (for use in parallel effects loops of an amp or in Aux Send/Return of a mixer)?
    • Yes, this function is controlled via slider and is called “Dry Out”. If you do not use this function, you may have sound quality (phasing) issues.
  • Can I save presets for effects with the Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • No, this is not applicable to the 45000 because the unit does not have internal effects.
  • Does the Electro Harmonix 45000 have an XLR mic input? Does it have phantom power for a condenser microphone?
    • No the EHX 45000 does not have an XLR mic input, which is unfortunate for many. This is primarily a guitar pedal.
  • Does the Electro Harmonix 45000 function as a mixer with multiple inputs?
    • No, there is essentially a single stereo pair input. The 45000 is not a mixer.
  • Can I re-assign footswitch functionality with the Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • No, we are not aware of any way to re-assign footswitch functionality with EHX 45000. Of course, the MIDI control would allow you to assign triggers for everything.
  • Does the Electro Harmonix 45000 have a headphone jack for playback and monitoring?
    • Yes the 45000 has a dedicated 1/4” jack for headphones.
  • Can the Electro Harmonix 45000 be connected to an external MIDI device?
    • Yes the EHX 45000 has significant MIDI control, both master and slave.
  • Does Electro Harmonix release firmware updates for the 45000?
    • We are not aware of EHX pushing out any firmware updates to the customer base.
  • Is there an optional footswitch that I can add to the Electro Harmonix 45000 to increase functionality?
    • Yes, there is a footswitch that you should add if you want any hands-free control of the EHX 45000.
  • Is there an optional expressional pedal that I can add to the Electro Harmonix 45000 to control effects(FX)?
    • No, there is not a way to connect an expression pedal to the 45000.
  • What is the sampling rate and bit depth of the A/D/A conversion?
    • For the 45000, the A/D/A conversion is specified as 16-bit, 44.1 kHz.
  • Can the Electro Harmonix 45000 be battery powered?
    • No there are no battery options for the Electro Harmonix 45000.
  • What is the size (physical dimensions) of the Electro Harmonix 45000?
    • It’s footprint is 9 1/4″ x 6″ x 1 1/2″ not including knobs.
  • Why is using a Electro Harmonix 45000 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.
    • Latency: PC and Mac based looper set-ups cannot match the latency of the loop pedals. This results in more timing misalignment between layers and can degrade the quality of the performance. Latency describes the delays that occur at each stage as the sound travels – therefore, if there is delay between when you make a sound and when it’s recorded, as well as a delay between when the playback is generated and when you actually hear it, then you get the timing issues.
    • Analog pass through: several of the loop pedals have true analog pass through, so that you can reduce A/D and D/A delays in your signal path.
  • Why is using a Electro Harmonix 45000 better than just using an iPhone or iPad application?
    • There is very limited functionality with the iOS based loopers compared to the Electro Harmonix 45000. 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 45000 and where are they located?
    • Electro-Harmonix (New Sensor Corp.) and also abbreviated as EHX is based out of Long Island City in New York. They are actually credited with developing the first looper in 1983, called the 16 Second Digital Delay. EHX is a well-known guitar effects pedal producer, founded back in 1968.
  • What other loop stations does Electro Harmonix (EHX) make?
    • EHX released the 2880 Super Multi-Track Looper in 2006, which was a favorite of many soundscape looper artists. The 2880 is now discontinued. Along with the (4-track + 1 mix down) 45000, they also offer the simplified dual-track 22500 and the very simplified single-track Nano Looper 360.
  • How is the support from Electro Harmonix on any issues that arise with the unit?
    • The tech support from EHX for the 45000 could be improved. They have some complaints in online reviews. They do have an online forum set up, that is well-attended. However all of the questions are just posted on there for all of the EHX products, so it could be organized better.
  • How long has the Electro Harmonix 45000 been in production?
    • The EHX 45000 was announced in January 2013. It supposedly utilizes a lot of the predecessor 2880 framework.

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