BOSS RC-300 – Looper Review

Boss RC-300 Loop Station Looper Review- based on Question/Answer format so you can skip around to what you care about.

Check price on the RC-300 (will open in new tab)

BOSS RC-300 - Top View

BOSS RC-300 – Top View
(image from www.roland.com)

Disclaimer: LooperMusic.com is not affiliated with any manufacturer, but we do offer affiliate links to purchase most of the equipment we discuss at 3rd party sites (such as Amazon.com). If you choose to purchase through these links, we receive a small commission, but the price stays the same for you. Thank you for your support.  If you have questions, comments or concerns regarding any of the content in this review, please contact us here.

Looper Category: Type 3 (category definitions)

Target Setup: equally strong for live performance or home use

Competitive Position: The RC-300 is the most expensive looper on the market, but is in a class of it’s own for functionality. The built-in audio interface could save you from spending a few hundred on a separate device.

Warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor

BOSS RC-300 - Back

BOSS RC-300 – Back
(image from www.roland.com)

  • What is the price I should expect to pay for the BOSS RC-300 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 BOSS RC-300?
    • The main function of the RC-300 is looping. It includes many looping features, and also includes three loop tracks, stereo looping, and effects. The RC-300 is meant to have every looping feature that a musician would want. A very important feature that the RC-300 has is a high-speed USB connection that allows audio interface functionality with the PC. This is the only mainstream looper that has this function, so if you have any other looper you need to connect to the PC (for live video or other recording) via a mixer that has the functionality or a dedicated audio interface device.

 

  • Can I record sound, continuously play a loop of that recording, and then layer additional tracks over the loop/phrase with the BOSS RC-300?
    • Yes, on each of the three channels on the RC-300 you have basic looper functionality with unlimited overdub, controlled via footswitch. The process is to start recording, then to begin looping what you have recorded and overdub, then to play the loop. You can continue to add layers by or to stop the playback. You can also set the device so that the process is Record -> Playback -> Overdub, which is the most common operation sequence for loopers. Also, you can connect a second RC-300 via MIDI connections, in which case you would have six individually-controlled tracks.

 

  • How long can I record with the BOSS RC-300?
    • The RC-300 can record 3 hours of stereo sound. You can also back up files via USB onto your PC to free up memory. Also, the minimum record time is 1.5 seconds.

 

  • How many memory locations (slots) are included in the BOSS RC-300?
    • The RC-300 has 99 slots, BOSS calls them patches or phrase memory.

 

  • Using the BOSS RC-300, 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 RC-300 has tempo control, where you can slow down or speed up the music and it’s a good way to learn a new song.

 

  • Can I practice soloing with the BOSS RC-300?
    • Yes, you can lay down your own rhythm tracks and then play over the top of them, or you can use one of the 10 pre-loaded sample tracks. Or you can use the 1/8” Aux Input to play a song through the RC-300 and then practice soloing over that.

 

  • Can I use the BOSS RC-300 to capture quick song ideas to review later?
    • Yes, this is a good device for that and can store up to 3 hrs of your music or essentially unlimited if you back up your tracks to your PC via USB.

 

  • Can I switch to a different loop/slot while performing with the BOSS RC-300?
    • Yes you can switch between the three loop tracks while performing or play them in parallel. However, you can’t switch to another phrase memory (patch) without a delay. This is commonly complained about as several other looper models have this functionality.

 

  • Can I perform loop-to-loop queuing with the BOSS RC-300?
    • You cannot switch between memory locations seamlessly with the RC-300.

 

  • Can I switch back to the previous loop while performing with the BOSS RC-300?
    • The only way to switch loops on and off in a seamless fashion is to use the three tracks within a single phrase memory slot. You can also connect a second RC-300 to have access to six tracks.

 

  • With the BOSS RC-300, 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 achieve this song progression live with the three loop tracks on the RC-300.

 

  • Can I go from recording directly into overdub with the BOSS RC-300?
    • Yes, you can go directly into overdub with the RC-300.

 

  • Can I undo/redo the last overdub to change the song or eliminate a recording error with the BOSS RC-300?
    • With the RC-300, 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 BOSS RC-300?
    • 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 RC-300. The closest feature is the “Replace” overdub mode where the previous recording on a given track is overwritten with the new recording, but is played back during the process.

 

  • Can I adjust the volume or effects of individual overdubs with the BOSS RC-300?
    • There are individual volume controls for the playback levels of the three tracks that make up each memory slot. Also, there are individual level controls for the three inputs.

 

  • Can I record individual overdubs/layers as individual WAV files with the BOSS RC-300 to then work with in a DAW?
    • Yes. With the RC-300, you can save each track as an individual WAV file. Therefore, you could save off one overdub at a time on track 2, for example, while track 1 plays the rhythm.

 

  • Can I use the 1/8” AUX input to play song into the looper and incorporate it into my loop with the BOSS RC-300?
    • Yes you could use the AUX input to record from your MP3 player, for example, with the looper.

 

  • Can I pre-record tracks, edit them in a DAW, load them into the BOSS RC-300 as loops and then trigger them with the footswitch when needed?
    • Yes, the RC-300 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 BOSS RC-300? In other words, can I set the loop to only play one time when triggered?
    • Yes, this single phrase functionality is available on the RC-300. This is controlled via a track setting called “Play Mode”. It can be used to retrigger the start of the loop with each tap.

 

  • Can I play multiple loops simultaneously with the BOSS RC-300, 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, you could do a combination of undo/redo and use the three tracks within a single phrase memory to accomplish this.

 

  • Can I play a loop or overdub in reverse with the BOSS RC-300?
    • Yes, there is a track setting that will allow the track to place in reverse when triggered.

 

  • Does the BOSS RC-300 have stereo sound or just mono?
    • The RC-300 has stereo sound.

 

  • Is there anything in the BOSS RC-300 that reduces the clicking sound that can occur when tapping the footswitch during overdub?
    • Not that we are aware of, but these pedals are typically quieter than footswitch press buttons. We have not heard of any complaints with this looper station.

 

  • Is the BOSS RC-300 a good looper for live performances on stage?
    • The RC-300 has the unique distinction of being good for any looper use you would need. The issue is that the price is higher than most of the competing models. The RC-300 has the multi-track functionality and enough effects to make a live performance interesting (including the ability to perform/create a verse-chorus-bridge format live). Unlike other loopers that can do that, it has a lot of storage and the ability to hook up to your PC. This makes it great for all the home uses like composing new songs, editing, porting to a DAW, practicing, learning and video performances. We’ll mention it again: the RC-300 has a built-in audio interface. This could end up saving you up to a few hundred bucks if you can skip buying a separate unit.

 

  • Are there multiple stop modes in the BOSS RC-300?
    • Yes, there are three modes that you can assign to a memory location’s track. It can be standard mode, fade out stop, or loop end (which plays to the end of a loop after stop pedal is pressed). This is a track setting called “Stop Mode”. There is also a dedicated pedal that will start/stop all three stops simultaneously.

 

  • Can I stutter start with the BOSS RC-300?
    • Yes, you can achieve the stutter start effect in the one-shot playback mode, controlled via Play Mode track setting.

 

  • Can I resample with the BOSS RC-300? 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?
    • The RC-300 has the ability to multiply while playing the tracks simultaneously (which is the default mode). For example, you can record a phrase with one track and then record a phrase that is twice as long on another track which will effectively multiply the number of times the first track plays before the sound repeats itself.  If your tracks are not multiples of each other, then you can set the third track to be the lowest number that is divisible by both of the other tracks. For example: if you set track 1 to be 2 measures and track 2 to be 3 measures, then you would set track 3 to be 6 measures.
    • There are no other resampling-type effects on the RC-300.

 

  • Can the BOSS RC-300 be set to auto-record when I begin playing?
    • Yes the RC-300 has auto-record.

 

  • With the BOSS RC-300, 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 RC-300.

 

  •  Does the BOSS RC-300 have a built in metronome?
    • There are many rhythm tracks/patterns that are pre-loaded into the RC-300. You can adjust the tempo and use as a metronome.

 

  • Is there any software that comes with the BOSS RC-300?
    • There are drivers that you can download to get the RC-300 interfaced to your PC via USB.

 

  • Is quantize functionality available on the BOSS RC-300?
    • Yes, the RC-300 operates in auto-quantize mode when either the rhythm is on, or any of the Tempo/Loop/MIDI Sync’s are on.

 

  • Will the BOSS RC-300 interface with my DAW (digital audio workstation)/computer through USB?
    • The RC-300 functions as an audio interface. You set the USB to either transfer files (like most loopers do) or function as an external sound card. This is the best way to get the live sound from your looper onto your PC, especially for video (YouTube) type performance.

 

  • Will the BOSS RC-300 interface with my computer through USB to transfer sound files?
    • Yes, the USB port on the RC-300 can be used to transfer files.

 

  • Can I save and recall loops with SD card with the BOSS RC-300?
    • There is no SD card slot on the RC-300.

 

  • Does the BOSS RC-300 have effects (FX)?
    • Yes, the RC-300 has sixteen built-in effects (FX) types. These can be controlled via the built-in expression pedal, turned on/off via footswitch, and set up to be only applied to the input, a single track, the three tracks only, the three tracks + rhythm, or the three tracks + rhythm + input.

 

  • Can I bypass the effects (FX) with the BOSS RC-300?
    • Yes, there is an on/off footswitch on the RC-300.

 

  • Can I turn off or mute the live signal that is fed through the BOSS RC-300 (for use in parallel effects loops of an amp or in Aux Send/Return of a mixer)?
    • Yes, as we understand you can set the live input sound to be mute on the outputs, with the “Input Out” Phrase Memory setting. This is called “Thru Mute” by Boomerang and “Dry Defeat” by DigiTech.

 

  • Can I save presets for effects with the BOSS RC-300?
    • Essentially, you save the settings into a specific Phrase Memory (slot) location.

 

  • Does the BOSS RC-300 have an XLR mic input? Does it have phantom power for a condenser microphone?
    • Yes, the RC-300 has an XLR input, and unlike almost every other looper it DOES include phantom power.

 

  • Does the BOSS RC-300 function as a mixer with multiple inputs?
    • Yes. There are three audio inputs: Mic XLR, Inst 1/4” stereo/mono, and Aux 1/8”. All three can be used together.

 

  • Can I re-assign footswitch functionality with the BOSS RC-300?
    • The RC-300 has eight footswitches and a built-in expression pedal. Further, you have the option to connect two additional inputs – two expression pedals, two dual-footswitches, or one of each. Finally, the RC-300 can connect to either a MIDI device or another RC-300. You are able to change the function of nearly all of these inputs to some degree. The available functions include tempo tap, effect control, memory up/down, undo/redo, and several others.

 

  • Does the BOSS RC-300 have a headphone jack for playback and monitoring?
    • Yes, the RC-300 has a 1/4” headphone jack.

 

  • Can the BOSS RC-300 be connected to an external MIDI device?
    • Yes the RC-300 can connect to MIDI devices or another RC-300 via the MIDI ports.

 

  • Does BOSS release firmware updates for the RC-300?
    • Yes they do.

 

  • Is there an optional footswitch that I can add to the BOSS RC-300 to increase functionality?
    • Yes, you can either add up to four single-switch FS-5U’s or up to two dual-switch FS-6’s. The pedals can be assigned a variety of functions (see owner’s manual).

 

  • Is there an optional expressional pedal that I can add to the BOSS RC-300 to control effects(FX)?
    • Yes, you can add up to two expression pedals, Roland (BOSS) makes the FV-500H, the FV-500L, and the EV-5.

 

  • What is the sampling rate and bit depth of the A/D/A conversion?
    • For the RC-30, it is 44.1 kHz at 16-bit – at least for recording/playback.

 

  • Can the BOSS RC-300 be battery powered?
    • No, there is not battery powered option on the RC-300.

 

  • How is the warranty for the BOSS RC-300?
    • According to the Roland US site, the warranty is 1 year parts and 90 days labor on “All other Roland and BOSS products” besides piano’s, keyboards, amps, and compact and twin pedals. However, the footswitches only have a 90-day warranty.

 

  • What size is the BOSS RC-300?
    • The RC-300 is the largest loop station on the market. It weighs over 8 lbs. It’s footprint is 21.125” x 9.125” and is 3” tall. Also, keep in mind that the optional footswitch FS-5U is 4”x4”x2”. The FS-6 is 8”x4”x2”. The FV-500L and FV-500H are 4.375” x 11.5” x 2.875”and weigh over 3 lbs. The EV-5 is smaller, at 3.5” x 7.875” x 2.125”.

 

  • Why is using a BOSS RC-300 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 BOSS RC-300 better than just using an iPhone or iPad application?
    • There is very limited functionality with the iOS based loopers compared to the BOSS RC-300. 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 BOSS RC-300 and where are they located?
    • BOSS is located in Los Angeles, CA. They are owned by Roland Corporation, which is based in Tokyo, Japan and is publicly held.

 

  • How is the support from BOSS on any issues that arise with the unit?
    • There is a fairly detailed manual on the RC-300. Through the BOSS website, there is a limited knowledge base that is not organized as a forum (like many other manufacturers have). BOSS and their reps are quick to respond and help, but difficult engineering questions are sent to Japan. The answers that come back are not always everything you need, from what we’ve heard.

 

  • How long has the BOSS RC-300 been in production?
    • According to this press release, the RC-300 was released in December 2011. This was almost a year after the release of the RC-30 and RC-3 (press release) in January 2011. The RC-300 is a follow up to the RC-50, which began shipment in January 2006 (press release). The RC-3 and RC-30 are successors to the RC-20XL and RC-2. The RC-20XL was released on July 2004 (press release) as a successor to the RC-20, which was the original BOSS looper released January 2001 (press release).  The RC-2 was released in July 2006 (press release).
About

Feel free to drop me a note to say hi or ask any question - whether you're just getting started with looping or have been at it for years - at contact@loopermusic.com

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Equipment, Looper Pedals, Product Reviews

Welcome LooperMusic.com

Log in

Lost your password?

Register For This Site

Register

Please register so that we can provide you with our best support!