VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper – Review

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VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper Review – based on Question/Answer format so you can skip around to what you care about.

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VOX Lil' Looper - Top

VOX Lil’ Looper – Top
(image from www.voxamps.com)

 

Looper Category: Type 2 (category definitions)

Target Setup: live performance

Competitive Position: The price of the VOX VLL1 is the lowest of all type 2 loopers. The functionality is also limited, but if you compare to type 1 loopers it may be a good option due to the dual-track feature.

Warranty: 1 year

  • What is the price I should expect to pay for the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper 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 VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • The main function of the Lil’ Looper is looping, specifically for live performance. It includes many looping features, dual-track looping (two loops in parallel/serial) and a decent set of effects.

 

  • Can I record sound, continuously play a loop of that recording, and then layer additional tracks over the loop/phrase with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • Yes, the Lil’ Looper has basic looper functionality with unlimited overdub, controlled via footswitch. The process is to select one of the two tracks to start recording, then < press LOOP 1> again to begin looping what you have recorded. You can then overdub by pressing the pedal a third time. You can continue to add layers or to stop the playback.  You can also switch to the other track (Loop 2) and start recording while the first track is playing or stopped.

 

  • How long can I record with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • The Lil’ Looper can record for 90 seconds between the two tracks (or loops). The minimum record time per loop is 10 seconds and the max is 80 seconds.

 

  • How many memory locations (slots) are included in the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • There are no memory locations in the Lil’ Looper.

 

  • Using the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper, 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?
    • No, the Lil’ Looper does not have the playback speed control like the VOX VDL1 has.

 

  • Can I practice soloing with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • Yes, you can lay down your own rhythm tracks and then play over the top of them, quite easily.

 

  • Can I use the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper to capture quick song ideas to review later?
    • No, there is no storage in the Lil’ Looper and it does not have a USB or other connect to your PC.

 

  • Can I switch to a different loop/slot while performing with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • Yes you can, but you are limited to the two tracks of the VLL1. You can play each track by itself or play them at the same time.

 

  • Can I perform loop-to-loop queuing with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • We are not aware of a way to achieve loop-to-loop queuing with the VLL1. You have to manually stop the loop that is playing with a double tap on the footswitch of the applicable loop.

 

  • Can I switch back to the previous loop while performing with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • Yes you can. You have two loops to work with on the VLL1. You can play one at a time or both of them together. However, you have to start and stop them one at a time. Therefore, the it’s not fluid to switch from one to the other without either having a time while they are both playing or a time when both are stopped in between.

 

  • With the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper, 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)?
    • Due to the limitation on switching between Loop 1 only and Loop 2 only, the VLL1 is not suitable for this type of functionality.

 

  • Can I go from recording directly into overdub with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • You can, but it requires two tabs of the loop’s footswitch button.

 

  • Can I undo/redo the last overdub to change the song or eliminate a recording error with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • With the Lil’ Looper, you can 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 VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • 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 VLL1.

 

  • Can I adjust the volume or effects of individual overdubs with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • Yes, with the Lil’ Looper you can change the effects on the live input signal. However, this is performed via dial and button. Therefore is not foot-controlled. However, you can purchase an optional footswitch (VOX VFS2) and control the effects with that, if the footswitch is set to control effects (and not loops).

 

  • Can I record individual overdubs/layers as individual WAV files with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper to then work with in a DAW?
    • You are unable to record your loops with the VLL1.

 

  • Can I use the 1/8” MP3/CD input to play song into the looper and incorporate it into my loop with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • There is no 1/8” input on the VLL1.

 

  • Can I pre-record tracks, edit them in a DAW, load them into the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper as loops and then trigger them with the footswitch when needed?
    • There is no way to load tracks onto the VLL1 or save them for future use.

 

  • Can I trigger a one-shot playback (a.k.a. single phrase) with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper? In other words, can I set the loop to only play one time when triggered?
    • On the VLL1, we are not aware of one-shot functionality. You would need to manually stop the loop.

 

  • Can I play multiple loops simultaneously with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper, 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 record some of the parts on loop 1 and other on loop 2 and then play each loop individually or at the same time.

 

  • Can I play a loop or overdub in reverse with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • No, there is no reverse function on the VLL1.

 

  • Does the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper have stereo sound or just mono?
    • The Lil’ Looper has only mono.

 

  • Is there anything in the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper that reduces the clicking sound that can occur when tapping the footswitch during overdub?
    • Not that we are aware of, but these types of footswitch buttons are very quiet compared to the other footswitches or pedals.

 

  • Is the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper a good looper for live performances on stage?
    • The Lil’ Looper is ok for live performances. The device is very portable and can operate on batteries. The downside for live performance is the lack of seamless loop-to-loop switching. We don’t think the Lil’ Looper is very good for home use beyond practicing and jamming. In terms of composing new songs, editing, porting to a DAW, etc. the functionality is lacking.

 

  • Are there multiple stop modes in the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • We are not aware of alternate stop modes in the VLL1. Most loopers do have that functionality.
    • Also, please note that you cannot stop both loops at the same time with the VLL1. This requires a double tap of the corresponding loop’s footswitch. However, with the optional footswitch, you only need a single tap, if the footswitch is set to control loops (and not effects).

 

  • Can I stutter start with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • Yes, you can stutter with the playback effects. The timing of the stutter can be controlled with the Effect knob (dial) by hand.

 

  • Can I resample with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper? 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?
    • No, unlike the VDL1, you don’t have the option to resample on the VLL1.

 

  • Can the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper be set to auto-record when I begin playing?
    • Yes the VLL1 has auto-record. It is called “Auto Rec” by VOX.

 

  • With the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper, 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 Lil’ Looper.

 

  •  Does the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper have a built in metronome?
    • Yes there is a built in metronome in the VLL1. You can adjust the time signature and adjust the volume of the metronome. When the metronome is on, the quantize functionality is on. Furthermore, if you plug headphones into the 1/8” output you will only hear the metronome through the headphones (not the main 1/4” output).

 

  • Is there any software that comes with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • No, there is no PC software that is made available specifically for the VOX looper pedals.

 

  • Is quantize functionality available on the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • Yes, the Lil’ Looper has a quantize mode. You can disable with the TAP button.

 

  • Will the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper interface with my DAW (digital audio workstation)/computer through USB?
    • The Lil’ Looper does not function as an audio interface.

 

  • Will the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper interface with my computer through USB to transfer sound files?
    • The Lil’ Looper does not have a USB port.

 

  • Can I save and recall loops with SD card with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • There is no SD card slot on the Lil’ Looper.

 

  • Does the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper have effects (FX)?
    • Yes, the Lil’ Looper has 12 types of effects.

 

  • Can I bypass the effects (FX) with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • Yes, there is a button with which you can bypass the effects on the VLL1.

 

  • Can I turn off or mute the live signal that is fed through the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper (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 VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • Yes, for each effect type, you can save your preferred settings.

 

  • Does the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper have an XLR mic input? Does it have phantom power for a condenser microphone?
    • No, the Lil’ Looper does not have an XLR input.

 

  • Does the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper function as a mixer with multiple inputs?
    • No, there is only one 1/4” input on the VLL1.

 

  • Can I re-assign footswitch functionality with the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • The Lil’ Looper has two footswitch buttons and the ability to add an external footswitch with two additional buttons.

 

  • Does the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper have a headphone jack for playback and monitoring?
    • Yes, the Lil’ Looper does have a dedicated 1/8” jack for headphones. When plugged in with the metronome on, you can only hear the metronome through the headphones.

 

  • Can the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper be connected to an external MIDI device?
    • No the Lil’ Looper does not have MIDI ports.

 

  • Does VOX release firmware updates for the Lil’ Looper?
    • We are not aware of any ability for the user to update the firmware.

 

  • Is there an optional footswitch that I can add to the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper to increase functionality?
    • Yes, with the VLL1, you can add the VOX VFS2 and it has two footswitch buttons. It can operate in one of two modes. Either it will control the effects or it will control the loop functionality.

 

  • Is there an optional expressional pedal that I can add to the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper to control effects (FX)?
    • No, there is not a way to connect an additional expression pedal to the VLL1.

 

  • What is the sampling rate and bit depth of the A/D/A conversion?
    • For the VLL1, the A/D/A conversion is sampled at 44.1 kHz. However, the bit depth is not specified as it is for the VDL1

 

  • Can the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper be battery powered?
    • Yes, the VLL1 can be powered by six AA batteries. The AC/DC power supply is actually not included. You can buy one separately and use it.

 

  • How is the warranty for the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • According to the VOX site, the warranty is 1 year.

 

  • What size is the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper?
    • The Lil’ Looper is compact. It weighs 1.6 lbs. It’s footprint is 6.5” x 5.7” and is 2.4” tall.

 

  • Why is using a VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper 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 VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper better than just using an iPhone or iPad application?
    • There is very limited functionality with the iOS based loopers compared to the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper. 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 VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper and where are they located?
    • VOX Amplification Ltd is located in London, England. They have a long history and the first product with the VOX name was introduced in 1954. In 1992, the company was sold to KORG Inc. KORG is based in Tokyo, Japan.

 

  • How is the support from VOX on any issues that arise with the unit?
    • There is a main manual on the Lil’ Looper that is very thorough. Specifically, they include a lot of information, such as the functional block diagram that many other manuals do not include. Further, VOX is very responsive to questions that are sent to their technical support team. Also, there is a forum on their site where you can discuss the products and functionality with other users. However, the forum is not well-attended yet for the looper products.

 

  • How long has the VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper been in production?
    • The VOX VLL1 Lil’ Looper (Lil’ Looper or VL1) was released in March, 2012. This was the second looper product released by VOX. The first was the VDL1 Dynamic Looper, which was released in January, 2011.

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