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Author Topic: My RC-50 vs RC-300 review  (Read 8932 times)

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Threeleggedyoyo

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My RC-50 vs RC-300 review
« on: November 03, 2012, 09:12:47 PM »

Hey guys. Obviously the RC-300 has been out for a while but I thought I'd write these impressions anyway.

Finally got a chance to try out the RC-300 in a store today. I got to mess around with it for about an hour and a half, frantically testing everything I've wondered about, before the floor guy finally asked me to pack it in. I didn't get a chance to try everything I'd intended, but here are some thoughts.


Issues I had with the RC-50 that are fixed or improved:

1) The first loop glitch is gone. Hooray!
2) Turning the drum volume to 0 no longer activates the "guess that tempo" game. The tempo stays to whatever it's set and quantize still works.
3) In Single mode on the RC-50, if you are recording an overdub on Phrase 1, and you hit Phrase 2 to have it start as soon as the current loop is over, Phrase 1 stops the overdub. So you can't overdub to the end of Phrase 1 and then go straight into Phrase 2. You have to hit the Phrase 2 button as late as possible but before the pass is over. Admiral Ackbar knows exactly what this is. This is fixed with the RC-300.

Improvements that were pleasing to me in particular (there's a lot of these, many being obvious, but here are a few of the standouts from my "get-to-know-you" session):

1) I thought I would not like the new button layout since I spend 95% of my time in Single mode. However, I am eating crow. Since the three Stop buttons operate as Clears if you hold them down, that's 3 of the functions I'd planned to farm out to external pedals taken care of right there. My other concerns were still appropriate (it's slightly more brain power to remember which button to hit for an overdub rather than knowing it's always the one all the way to the left) but not really a big deal.

The pedal buttons themselves are a little smaller, but that's ok. The pedal itself is not as big as I thought. It wasn't noticeably bigger than the RC-50. Somehow I had it larger in my mind. This is good.

2) The three undos is great! I also thought I was going to need external pedals for these, but you can hold down one of the three phrases for 2 seconds to activate it. While this is not optimal, it's not a bad solution for me since the Phrase-specific Undos are only important to me when I'm not currently using the track, anyway. One caveat is that undoing a loop on a phrase that isn't playing WILL cue up that phrase to play next. So you have to plan ahead and hit Stop after the undo is activated but before the current loop ends. This can be tricky, but if you plan ahead, it's not bad. Were that the only way to do it, I'd be annoyed. But you can still put those on external pedals if you want (and I was planning to) so I'm happy that there's a way to do it without that.

3) The expression pedal struck me as not being a big deal, but it's actually great. The fact that you can set the volume level of the pedal values is really good. "Pedal all the way back" doesn't have to mean 0 volume. That makes it usable, and usable in a way I'd been trying (and failing) to do with outside equipment.

4) I didn't expect to care about the effects. Many of them are still not very good. However, the beat-synced effects are usable, sound good, and overlap the issues I've had syncing the RC-50 to the Adrenalinn 3 for the delay effect. The RC-300 seems to have the same problem with the A3 (everything works great except for the one lone Delay effect) but since the 300 has its own, I forgive them for quibbling. More thoughts about the effects in another thread.

5) The ability to switch drum patterns with a pedal press is also welcome and great, though I didn't get to try it much. While I wouldn't expect to use it much in more formal situations where I have a sequenced drum machine anyway, it makes the RC-300 drums much better when you're in a pinch without your full rig, like at an open mic.

Things that Boss screwed up between the RC-50 and RC-300:

1) Undo doesn't happen right away. You activate it, and it takes about 2 seconds before something is actually undone or redone. This is ON TOP of the two seconds you have to hold a button to activate it to begin with. This is in contrast to the approximately 0.5 second delay the dedicated "last undo" on the RC-50 had. This is uncool. Dealbreaker? No. But uncool.

In most situations, I use the Undo button to eliminate a layered solo and go back to the regular version of that phrase. However, in places where I actually have screwed up (such as when I improvise) this is a real step backward.

2) "Write" and "Drums on/off" are missing from the external pedal assignments. Boo! However, I believe "Drum volume" is assignable to effects pedals, so I guess you could do it that way.

3) Midi slaving is impossible. I am one of the few who actually found the RC-50's slaving capability usable. I didn't like to use it, but I have used it successfully and without problems. It needed some improvements, and the RC-300 should have got those improvements. Instead, the feature has been removed altogether with the exception of slaving to another RC-300.

Some issues that I had with the RC-50 that are still not fixed:

1) Midi Sync issues between the RC-50 and Adrenalinn III's Delay function (and only this function. The rest are peachy).
2) There is still no way to go straight into overdub when activating a track that already has a recording on it.

Overall I'm quite pleased. The experience I had today re-established the eminence of hardware solutions in my mind. It was a big contrast to the experience I had re-exploring the possibility of something like Mobius last night.

Still some improvements to be made, but this is clearly a great piece of equipment and equal to or an improvement to the RC-50 in 90% of all respects. I will continue saving my pennies with this one in mind.


« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 10:10:14 PM by Threeleggedyoyo »
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Hopkins

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Re: My RC-50 vs RC-300 review
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 02:52:51 PM »

Thanks for your thoughts! 

1) Undo doesn't happen right away. You activate it, and it takes about 2 seconds before something is actually undone or redone. This is ON TOP of the two seconds you have to hold a button to activate it to begin with. This is in contrast to the approximately 0.5 second delay the dedicated "last undo" on the RC-50 had. This is uncool. Dealbreaker? No. But uncool.

I didn't know this.  I have not had to build undos into a composition yet, and I don't do improv, but I will bear it in mind!
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Threeleggedyoyo

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Re: My RC-50 vs RC-300 review
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 02:54:01 AM »

Thanks for your thoughts! 

I didn't know this.  I have not had to build undos into a composition yet, and I don't do improv, but I will bear it in mind!

It occurred to me that the "delay" once an Undo is activated might actually be a quantize feature. Maybe it doesn't "undo" until the end of a measure. If that's the case that could be a good thing.

(Of course I mean the second delay that comes after the undo is activated, not the 2 second hold part).

Not sure. Anybody want to test it?
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Syph

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Re: My RC-50 vs RC-300 review
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2012, 04:14:34 AM »

I am sorry to report that no, it is not quantising to any usable level (if at all).

Assigned undo/redo to external pedal.
Recorded 1 bar of silence.
Recorded 1 bar overdub of noise.
Switch from overdub to play.
Hit undo.
Undo has 1 second processing time (approx)
Layer is removed.

There may be a slight quantise after the processing time, but it would be quantising to the 16th beat, after a non variable 1 second processing time (again, approx)....

So, that means that using the inbuilt pedals gives a process like....

hold play/dub/rec for 2 seconds (its about that long...)
1 second process
layer removed

It would be a really neat feature, adding a "undo at end of bar/loop OR 'immediate'" as an option, but I think that is on the unlikely end of the scale considering we still have freezing and audio glitches in certain play modes... (come on firmware update!!!)
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Threeleggedyoyo

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Re: My RC-50 vs RC-300 review
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2012, 02:05:12 PM »

Thanks for checking Syph. I guess it's just a little slow.

1 second isn't as bad as I remembered, though. I had it down for twice as much in my head... one second isn't too bad, though still a little annoying.
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Threeleggedyoyo

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Comparing the RC-50 and RC-300
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 09:32:51 PM »

Hey guys.

A fellow on Youtube asked me about the differences between the RC-300 and the RC-50. I couldn't write a long message there, and I thought others might find it useful, so here it is.

This isn't a comprehensive list. It's more intended as something an end user new to looping with either pedal can understand and appreciate.

Meet the New Boss... Same as the Old Boss?

With the other Boss Loopers, the models are more or less linear. The RC-2 is good and small. The RC-20 is a little bigger, but better. Then, originally, came the RC-50.

The RC-50 is like having three stereo loopers in one. So 3 RC-20s working in concert. It was the king of the hill.

The RC-300 is the next up in the chain, but rather than step it up with more loops, the 300 is really more like an RC-50 2.0. The basic specifications are the same - 3 loops working together. However, they more or less just did the RC-50, but better. For all intents and purposes, Boss wants the 50 to go away now. It's the divorced first wife. They were very proud of her at the time, but now that they've replaced her, they'd like us to forget about her.

But first we've got to set the record straight. They're both fantastic pedals. They both do many of the same things...

Things They Both Do

-- Triple Stereo Loops
-- Multi and Single Mode (stop and start each of the loops at any time so you can easily add/subtract parts and route outs, or keep it so only one plays at a time, so you can do verse-chorus-bridge).
-- Quantize your loops (or not)
-- Play to the internal drums
-- Sync other devices to it via Midi
-- Store 99 loops patches (each with 3 loops each) for later recall
-- Undo/Redo
-- Overdub limited only by memory
-- Export memory to computer via USB
-- Manage Mic, L/R INS inputs, and a stereo AUX input
-- Add extension pedals for more control
-- Reverse your loops (some have reported this feature is missing on the 300, but it is NOT)
-- General kicking of posteriors

The basic feature set is the same. You cannot go wrong with either one.

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Threeleggedyoyo

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Re: My RC-50 vs RC-300 review
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2013, 09:33:19 PM »

New Shininess and Sprucing up the Old - The RC-300

That said, there are reasons the 300 is a better unit, and there are many. Let's break this down into three categories: new features, features that have been upgraded, and ones that have been fixed in important ways:

The Corrected

Believe it or not, this is actually where the most important strides are between the two units. Much of what Boss might have fixed with a patch has instead been fixed with a brand new unit. Should we complain? Got me. But look, something shiny!

1) The Dreaded First Loop Glitch

This is gone. To understand why this matters, you first need to know what it was and how infuriating many users found it to be.

When you create a loop on a Boss Loopstation, you start by hitting record. The unit then records what you are doing until you hit Record again, at which point it ties off the loop and starts repeating. You can use a Quantize function to make sure it happens on the beat even if you are a little off.

The RC-50 had a flaw here, and many users found this to be so frustrating they abandoned the unit. When the Quantize was turned on, there was a bout a half second gap after you hit Record the second time and the first time it repeated. This did not happen when you activate Overdub later on. It did not happen with the loop came around again while simply playing back. But that first time, at that crucial moment of victory of your first loop starting, there was that moment of silence.

With the RC-300, this moment of silence is dead. So... a moment of silence... for the moment of silence... if you will.

This is probably the single biggest reason to buy the 300 instead of the 50.

In defense of the 50, I don't find this as annoying as most. With a little planning, you can mask this effect by ending your loops at the correct moment and/or playing through the first Record/Quantize transition. That said, these techniques can be somewhat limiting as well, and no one will be sad to see this glitch gone.

2) Twisting the Knife vs. The Evil Quantize Beast

Another of the 50's chief problems also revolved around the Quantize function.

In both units, you can turn Quantize off. You can tell it to simply start the loop again the moment you hit the pedal. In the 50 (in my experience at least) this even gets rid of the Dreaded First Loop Glitch.

The problem with the 50 came with how this feature was turned on and off.

For some reason, Boss thought it would be a good idea to turn Quantize off if you turned the drum machine volume to 0. When quantize is off, the 50 likes to try to guess your tempo based on the length of the loop. This might be nice if you really do want the drum machine off and you really don't want any Quantize action. But if you want the drum machine OFF and Quantize ON, you have to engage in routing shenanigans that shouldn't be necessary and that limit your uses of your outputs.

With the 300, they've fixed this. It is easy to have Quantize on and the drum machine off. Just turn the volume to zero.

3) Overdubbing Headfirst into Second

Another annoying idiosyncrasy of the 50 was its inability to record an Overdub straight up into a new Loop. Allow me to explain.

Let's say you're in Single mode (you loop one track at a time) and you're doing an Overdub to layer more loops over the Recording on Phrase 1. You have set the machine so that when you tap Phrase 2, it will finish playing Phrase 1 and then go straight into Record on Phrase 2.

On the 50, the moment you press Phrase 2 (even if you've got, say, 3 bars left on Phrase 1 to play before it actually switches over) the unit will stop overdubbing that very instant. So if you want to record that Overdub all the way to the end of Phrase 1 right before starting a Recording on another Phrase, you have to try to tap the new Phrase at the very last possible moment so you lose as little of that Overdub as possible. This is dangerous, because if you're late, you'll have to wait for a whole nother pass.

This might not annoy everyone. If you prefer to set the unit to start the instant you hit a new Phrase, you'll never notice. And if you record in Multi mode, you'll want to hit it at the last moment anyway since you can't record on two Phrases to begin with, and you can set them to by synchonized so that the risk is minimal.

But if you're like me and you play in Single mode, and maintaining the integrity of your beat is important (I run external drum machines through Midi) it is unavoidable and rather annoying.

Once again, on the 300, this is fixed. It will happily Overdub until you come screaming into Second base, covered in dirt, the umpire screaming about how safe and awesome you are. And the crowd goes wild.

The New

There's a few new features, some more exciting than others.

1) The Effects

I scoffed at the effects when I first saw the unit. Effects are the bloatware of the guitar pedal kingdom. Remember in the 90's when every household appliance suddenly decided it needed a clock on it? Yeah. Just be a blender, blender. We love you for your blending.

However, once I got the chance to try it out, I found I was wrong. Mostly.

The long and the short of it is this:

The beat-synced effects are great. The SL-20 modeler, the Tremelo, the Delay, are all awesome.

The others, not so much. Some disagree, but I found the Distortion un-usable. The biggest dissapointment is the Guitar to Bass transposition. It's worthless. Which is really too bad. You can also only have one effect on a a time, so this is probably not going to replace your Multi-FX, except if you are doing a stripped-down show and are simplifying things with a smaller pedalboard (a real need with the size of the RC-300).

So Threeleggedyoyo, what you're telling me is that if I already have beat-synced effects like from a GT series unit or something, these effects aren't going to help me anyway?

I wish it were so, but... no. And it was the 50's fault.

Here's the deal: For some reason, the RC-50 does not get along well with beat-synced Delay. I've tried two different pedals now with Midi-sync Delay (of which there are precious few). The Adrenalinn III and the GT-6. I expect the other GT units will behave similarly.

Both of them experienced significant glitching that stems from the RC-50 having a less-than-perfect Midi clock. In any other situation (Tremelos are ok. Drum Machines are ok. It's just Delay!) it's no big deal. But with Delay, the minor warbling of the BPM confuses the pedal and it tries to shift tempos and starts over. The GT does this less and gets weird artifacting. The Adrenalinn III did it more and simply forgot its Delays and cleared them all and started over. Both were random.

I tested the RC-300 with the Adrenalinn III and had the same problem. HOWEVER, with the beat-synced Delay built right into the 300, this problem goes bye-bye. Or at least during my tests, it never came up.

This has ended up being one of the more exciting things about the prospect of upgrading for me.

So while it shouldn't have to be, the fact is that the built-in effects cover some other shortcomings here in a way the 50 cannot.

2)8 Assigns Per Patch

Some people will never use this. But the long and the short of it is that while the RC-50 maxed out at 4 assignable control buttons, the RC-300 has 8, provided you use a Midi pedal that sends CC messages.

Truth be told you can get a few more out of the 50. You can reassign the Tempo and Undo buttons, and you can do some limited work with Midi also. But overall what the 300 is offering (while still also offering the 4 regular expansion momentary pedals) is more accessible, and there's more you can do with it.

Yes, increased assigns. There are more things you can control with the 300 than you could with the 50. A few highlights:

1) Change drum machine patterns
2) Multiple Undos (more on this later)
3) Effects parameters

It's also easier to get Continuous pedals hooked up to  (for foot volume control or other expression). For one, there is one built in. For another, both the expansion jacks can function as Midi expression jacks, where the 50 has only 1 that can do this (though it can do additional ones through the MIDI IN).

Another cool thing is that you can actually overload assignments so a single button does multiple things. This is pretty cool. For example you could program the Overdub/Play on Phrase 2 to activate that juicy Delay or change the drumbeat.

The point here is that there's more you can do with external control, and it's easier to get at.

3) Independent Phrase Undo

The RC-50 has one Undo button that will Undo (or Redo) whichever recording or overdub you played last. This is useful not only for correcting mistakes, but for adding a layered solo which you then take away, or for clearing the top layer off the chorus for the next time you go back to play it and build it up the same way.

The RC-300 takes this a step farther. Each Phrase has its own Undo. So you can record an overdub on Phrase 1, go straight to Recording on Phrase 2, and still be able to Undo the one on Phrase 1. Pretty nifty. More on this later.

4) Rearranging the Furniture

For those of you who like Multi Mode (and this is apparently most people) the new button layout is a big improvement. The RC-50 shares Start and Stop buttons across the three Phrases. So if you're in Multi Mode and you want to go from recording an Overdub on Phrase 1 to another on Phrase 3, you have to hit two buttons: First, Phrase 3 to select it, and then the Start/Rec/Overdub on the other side of the unit.

The RC-300 has a Rec/Play/Overdub button and a dedicated Stop button for each of the three phrases, so you're never more than one tap away from any of the basic operations in Multi Mode.

Tap Tempo is built into any of the three Stop buttons, so you aren't hurting there, either.

The best part about this for Single Mode enthusiasts is that you can hold down any of the Stop buttons to clear a track without having to be on it. On the RC-50, you needed to assign an external pedal to perform that function.

5) Pitch Shifting

This really belongs in the Effects section, but the Pitch Shifter has looping uses that must not be ignored. You can record a phrase and then transpose it into different keys. So for example, you could have an entire 12-bar blues loop ready -- after recording 1 bar -- if you're willing to push this feature to its limits.

The Better

Last are several things that both units do, but the 300 basically just does BETTER.

1) Increased Memory Storage

There's no contest here. The RC-300 holds up to 3 hours of storage whether you're recording in Stereo or Mono. The RC-50 gets about 40 in Mono and 20 in Stereo.

2) Internal Drums

The 300 has more internal drums and better control over them.

3) All Start/Stop

Once again for Multi Mode enthusiasts, the RC-300 has a dedicated "All Loops Start/Stop" button. This could be done on the 50 by pressing Phrases 2 and 3 symultaneously, but this is friendlier.

4) Tempo Shift

Both units can take a loop you've already recorded and slow it down or speed it up. But in the case of the RC-50, it sounds terrible. It's like someone is playing your music through a fan... while strangling you. On the 300, it's something one could use.

5) Quantize Leap

The RC-300 gives you a better Quantize placement.

On the 50, it will assume that anything after (but not on) beat 3 of a measure will cut off to the end of that measure. So that gives you a 1.99 beat window to quantize in advance. If you are any earlier than that, the machine will assume you just hit the button really really late and mangle your loop.

On the 300, it's anyting after Beat 2, so you have 2.99 beats. This makes getting a perfect loop much easier.

It also has the added bonus of giving you a whole additional beat to get your foot in position for something else, such as activating distortion that you want to coincide with the new loop. For me that is a pretty big deal.

----------

So Threeleggedyoyo, what you're telling me is that both units are great, but the 300 is superior whenever there are differences?

Mostly! But No!

My Ex-Wife Still Haunts Me

Despite the improvements in 95% of all areas, there are still a real, legitimate 5% in which the RC-50 actually wins out over the 300. Just to complicate things for you.

1) The RC-50 has a higher sampling rate

Supposedly this means the RC-50 should sounds a little better. I don't think I've ever noticed. I'm not sure anyone truly has. But if Honest Abe owned both pedals, he'd be compelled to tell you of this fact.

2) The RC-50 is better at that Single Undo

The RC-300 has 3 independent Undos, and it is an improvement. However, it introduces some new problems.

It takes the unit approximately a second or two after you tell it to Undo before it actually happens. This is compounded by the new button layout - where there was once a dedicated Undo/Redo button, you now have to hold down the Phrase button you'd like to undo for 2 seconds. THEN the 2 second wait kicks in, and then it does the Undo.

As if the wait wasn't bad enough, if you're not on the Phrase at the time, this will actually cue up the loop (yikes!).

You can, however, assign this function to external pedals easily. But this is less convenient, and that 2-second gap is still there.

With the 50, you have a dedicated "Last Undo" button that takes only about half a second to kick in.

This may be a step forward or backward depending on how you use undo. If you use it to correct mistakes and have longer loops, the 300 setup wins. If you like to Undo things on Phrases shortly after recording somewhere else a lot (I do) the RC-300 wins.

If you use shorter loops and use it chiefly to correct mistakes, points for the 50. If you use it to create solos you intend to layer and then take away to go back to the "normal" version of the verse, a couple more points for the 50.

If you don't want to use external pedals for this basic function and can't stand that 4-second wait, more points for the 50.

If your Ex was full of mistakes, at least she was more forgiving.

3) The RC-50 is a little smaller

They're both pretty big pedals. But the 50 is about two inches less wide and about an inch less "tall." Personally I don't care. My pedalboard is larger than some surfboards as it is. But it's there.

Of course, if space-saving is really your thing, you should be considering one of the smaller Boss pedals or a Boomerang III anyway (but that's a whole different ball of wax...)

4) The RC-50 is a Little More Flexible about Recording Order

Both pedals can be set to either Rec ---> Play or Rec ----> Overdub. This is nifty. If you want to go straight from a recording to layering it, you want Rec ---> Overdub. It you want to play a loop and go straight into playing over it without more recording, Rec ---> Play is the way to go.

When in Rec ---> Overdub on the 50, (at least in Single Mode) if you press Stop instead of Rec to tie off your loop, you'll go straight to Play. Cool! Now I have access to either one!

The 300 does not do this. The Boss engineers must have forgotten they included this feature the first time around (it's not in the manual).

I like being able to do whatever I want without planning! I like a single mode that does it all. This is really too bad that the RC-300 can't do this.

4) The RC-50 has Fewer Assignable options, but a couple that the 300 doesn't

The RC-50 can do the following with an external pedal, but the 300 can't:

1) Turn the Drums on and off. (in the 300's defense, it can control volume with external assigns, unlike the 50, so you can still get this done even if its slightly more complicated).

2) Write your patch. (You have to push the Write button to store your loops before going to a new patch, or you lose them. The 50 can do this with a footswitch, but the 300 cannot. Once again in the 300's defense, you have to stop all your loops to Write anyway, so who cares if you have to bend over and hit a button to save something you're unlikely to use further in a live situation anyway?)

6) Fade on In

I've never used this setting much myself, but while both the 50 and 300 can be set to fade out a loop at its end, only the 50 can fade in.

7) You Might Still Prefer the Button Layout

Single Mode enthusiasts might still prefer the RC-50 layout despite not having those nice dedicated clears. Issues with Undo placement aside, there is something to be said for having the Record and Stop buttons in the same place all the time. Since there are fewer buttons, and no pedal, the stomp buttons themselves are actually a bit larger, which makes them a touch more comfortable. I confess I prefer the benefits the 300 offer from a usability standpoint and would choose it over the 50 for this reason, but the 50 IS more comfortable and requires a little less thought to find that REC button when you're in the middle of juggling doubleneck chainsaws.

8 ) It's Hearsay, but the 50 May be More Reliable

It is hearsay, and both units come with a warrantee (which I can't spell right now).

That said, I have heard of people having glitches and lemons with the RC-300 more often than I've heard of anything breaking down on the 50.

I haven't heard of it happening with the 300 often. But MORE often.

Again, this isn't scientific. And with a warantee and/or service plan from your friendly neighborhood dealer (or heck, a used one with no issues), you'll likely be ok anyway.

9) RC-50 Can be a Midi Slave

Now lets get something straight here. The RC-50 is a crappy Midi slave. It's crapiness at this was one of the chief complaints with the unit. It was such a sticking point that Boss decided the RC-300 would not even have this feature. The RC-300 can slave to another RC-300 but nothing else.

The RC-50, on the other hand, can sync to most any Midi source that sends a Midi START message when it goes on. It can't just detect a BPM, which is kind of silly and frustrating. This is not optimal, but in some situations, is serviceable enough.

I would not recommend making the RC-50 the slave in nearly any circumstance (though it can solve the Delay problem in units that send MIDI if you are willing to deal with some other complications).  The UI for doing it is bad and frustrating and with some units just won't work.

But if you want to, it can be done. Which is more than can be said for the 300.

10) Memory: Shorter Temper, Greater Warning

The RC-50 may have far less memory, but at least it keeps you informed on the display how much you have left. The RC-300 does not.

Still, for me I run out of patches and loops at about the same time on the 50 anyway. It would take some pretty darn long loops to max out the 300 with only 99 patches. And you can always restrict it to fewer patches to help you gauge yourself... or just plug it in to your computer via USB and see.

Conclusion

Look, folks, the RC-300 is the superior unit, and I want one. HOWEVER there are some users who may find they prefer the 50 if the right combination of GAS and Don't GAS converge upon the specific advantages they offer over one another, including the lower price point now that it's basically obsolete.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 02:28:56 AM by Threeleggedyoyo »
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Zymos

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Re: My RC-50 vs RC-300 review
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2013, 04:51:58 PM »

Wow! Great write up. I think it would be really helpful for anyone on the fence about moving from the 50 to the 300, or even just curious about the 300 itself.
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Kri.H.

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Re: My RC-50 vs RC-300 review
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2013, 06:17:42 AM »

Thx a lot for this detailed comparison,

actually I was on the way to buy a '50, but when I had the needed coins together, suddenly none was not to be found more in any shop.
So I've to get arround the issues wich still nerves me....it's at least the missing independence with the rec->play / rec->dub  behavior and the closely 4 second - undo thing.

Despite everything the '300 is a great device and - how wondering - if you want to get mor out of a looper, you must dive the software universe......wich I absolutely still would not like to operate on stage.

So, meanwhile it sucks a little to change my routines for almost working pieces from 'sooperlooper' controlled with a FCB1010 over to the '300....more less f.ight the b.ucking time I'll get it  ;) as far as I get time to do (((condoms are one way to prevent  ;D )))

Kri
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Threeleggedyoyo

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Re: My RC-50 vs RC-300 review
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2013, 12:57:36 AM »

Thx a lot for this detailed comparison,

actually I was on the way to buy a '50, but when I had the needed coins together, suddenly none was not to be found more in any shop.
So I've to get arround the issues wich still nerves me....it's at least the missing independence with the rec->play / rec->dub  behavior and the closely 4 second - undo thing.

Despite everything the '300 is a great device and - how wondering - if you want to get mor out of a looper, you must dive the software universe......wich I absolutely still would not like to operate on stage.

So, meanwhile it sucks a little to change my routines for almost working pieces from 'sooperlooper' controlled with a FCB1010 over to the '300....more less f.ight the b.ucking time I'll get it  ;) as far as I get time to do (((condoms are one way to prevent  ;D )))

Kri

eBay is your friend for an RC-50. If you use an external assignment (or the FX button, for example) the loop delay is maybe 1-2 seconds. Syph put it at about 1 second, so maybe I exaggerate.

The Rec ---> Play behavior is a plus though. I thought someone said you could set this behavior per Patch or Track, but I may be mistaken. The manual doesn't seem to say so.

As far as avoiding software, there are a few other hardware options that many overlook. The Electrix Repeater and Gibson Echoplex are both pretty beastly. I would say the RC-300, Boomerang III, and those two are at the top of the heap for hardware, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Here is a handy chart:

http://looproom.com/looperchart.php
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aliensporebomb

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Re: My RC-50 vs RC-300 review
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2013, 09:44:10 AM »

Although the Gibson Echoplex (formerly the Oberheim Echoplex) had a hell of a lot of amazing features but you needed two of them for stereo (a necessity in my case).  It would have been WAY too expensive for my budget unfortunately.  Interesting review, I had the opportunity to get an RC-50 for less money than the 300 of course but am leaning towards the 300.  The Infinity by Pigtronix also seems appealing.
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Threeleggedyoyo

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Re: My RC-50 vs RC-300 review
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2013, 11:58:34 PM »

A few weeks out, here is some more differences between the new units and some more thoughts about them.

Rec ---> Overdub Behavior

The RC-50 considers your first Rec --> Overdub cycle to be a single recording. In other words, let's say the the machine is set to Rec---> Overdub. You hit Record, hit it again to Overdub, then a third time to Play. If you hit Undo, you will clear the track entirely. The first Rec/Overdub are joined as a single event.

With the RC-300, it treats the first Overdub as a second, new event. This means that if you do the same thing, it will just cut off the Overdub and leave the first Record.
 
This is not quite as cool as the hidden feature mentioned with the 50 that lets you choose between Record --> Overdub and Record ---> Play on the fly. BUT it does allow you to cut off excess loop tails while in Rec ---> Overdub mode, giving you an alternate way to get a perfect loop. This also has the advantage of working in Multi Mode, unlike the 50's method.

In practice, I like the 50 a little better on this, but the difference is negligible and comes down to preference. I feel like either design lets me choose what I wanted on the fly in the end.

Volume Pedal Assignments

The 300 is easier to work with when it comes to Volume pedal assignments. It has a built-in expression pedal and two jacks that can be used to service 1/4 pedals. The 50 has only 1 such jack, and for the other two, needs to use MIDI In, which is kind of a pain to get happening.

That said, the 50 offers a "Current Volume" assignment where the 300 does not. In favor of the 300, it offers "Memory Level" which functions as 1, 2 and 3 at the same time.

I say the 300 wins on this. For me, I'm in Single Track mode 95% of the time, so the "Memory Level" works the same anyway. But if I were using it with Multi Mode a lot and wanted to fade specific tracks in and out, I'd be pretty annoyed that the Current Volume assignment is missing... what gives, Boss?

Midi Steadier Afterall

Midi beat-synced effects are important to me. I was dissappointed with the RC-50's ability to send a steady enough MIDI Clock signal for every beat-synced delay effect I tried. I tried both a GT-6 and an Adrenalinn 3 to find that imperfections in the clock signal would mess up my delay sync with various glitches. In the 50's defense, it synced to everything else I tried just fine (tremelos, step filters, drum machines, etc).

At first I found the 300 to behave the same way, but forgave it largely because it had its own built-in beat-synced effects that did not have this problem.

Upon further experimentation, I found that the 300 was glitch-free with the GT-6's Midi Delay so long as the 300's BPM was set to a whole number (IE 156.0 and not 156.8, for example). This leads me to believe that the 50 wasn't unsteady so much as having a slightly different idea of what a number was, and if it was a bit off it threw things off.

Regardless, the is a significant bug fix for the 300.

Drum Beat Glitch

The 300 has a small glitch that the 50 does not. This has been confirmed by Boss customer support.

In a very specific set of circumstances, the machine will send an undesirable STOP message to your external drum machine or other device. These are the circumstances:

1) Loop Sync OFF
2) Single Track play ON
3) Go from PLAY on one track to PLAY on another (not from Record to Play on another track, or Play to Record)
4) Hit that PLAY on EXACTLY the downbeat

This glitch does not exist on the 50. If you use the onboard drum machine on the 300, it is a non-issue. If you are using an external drum machine, you need to be careful not to do this inadvertently. This never HAS to happen, but is pretty annoying and is one more thing to think about.

A bit more on Button Layout

While I do like the additional buttons the 300 offers (the 3 dedicated STOP buttons provide the Clear functionality I was assigning to external buttons on the 50 to begin with), the button layout's effect on my performance is mixed.

PROS:

1) Dedicated Clear buttons (also stops when in Multi Mode, but I don't do that all that often)
2) Play buttons being spaced out mean less reach is needed when I am standing in a different position on stage. This is significant when I am playing the keyboard on the right side of my pedalboard.

CONS:

1) I need to use my eyes to find the correct place more than I did when the Play button was always in the same place.
2) There is a much greater risk of hitting a Stop button inadvertently should I fail to do so.

The Pros of the 300 do in fact outweigh the Cons on this. But they are worth pointing out.

A Little More Word on the Effects

There are some things about the Effects that I failed to point out that are pretty cool and make it more than just a tacked-on guitar processor.

I neglected to mention that the Effects can be applied to various different things. It's not just your inputs. You could apply Effects after the fact to individual tracks, outputs, etc. In other words, the effects can go before or after recorded loops in your effect chain.

That's pretty neat. While I haven't found a ton of uses for it yet myself, for the DJ type who likes to change up the sound of a recording after it's been made, that's a really cool feature. The modulation is particularly noteworthy here. You can change the key of a phrase for added impact later.

This is in addition to its ability to service your other inputs (not just guitar, but also your mic or any other instrument, albeit this is an all-or-nothing at a time proposition). So yeah. More unexpected points for the Effects for sure.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 12:13:13 AM by Threeleggedyoyo »
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shawnb

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Re: My RC-50 vs RC-300 review
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2013, 12:01:28 AM »

EXCELLENT thread, 3LYY!
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Begin with the possible and move gradually towards the impossible.

Hopkins

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Re: My RC-50 vs RC-300 review
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2013, 05:27:06 AM »

Yes, superb!  I still intend to test the two glitches that you have isolated - the one above and Syph's issue.  Sorry for the delay - everything related to making music is still in a massive dip for me at the moment :'(.

(Luckily, for listening to music this is not the case, and I have recently become obsessed with a band "Cardiacs" that I have completely missed, to my despair.  Still, their recorded legacy is great, and I am sure that they will delight people for centuries to come.  This is a rather cool example:
Cardiacs - Jibber and Twitch rehearsal
)
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