Boss RC-505 Loopstation

Started by Zoppe, April 04, 2013, 02:51:27 AM

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Describe what you want to do , so I can follow you better. If you want a 16 and a 32 simultaneously on separate tracks you can do that no problem. Whats a 'multiply' function? I'm not familiar with that one.


Pigtronix infinity has a feature called Sync Multi.   Sync Multi mode lets you set the length of loop 2 to 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 times the length of loop 1.

I'm somewhat wondering if my RC-300 has a similar-esque feature which would apply to the RC-505.   I'm about 10 miles away from my equipment, I'll check when I return.
My music projects online at

GK Devices:  Roland VG-99, Boss GP-10, Boss SY-1000.


I have extensive experience on the RC300 and from what I have read the 505 seems the same in this regard.
You can set the loop lengths manually in advance, ie, track 1 loops for 2 bars, track 2 loops for 4 bars, etc
There are also options to set loop length to Auto, so the length of the first loop sets the length of other loops. In practice this means a 2 bar loop on track 1 means a 2 bar loop on track 2, 3, etc
There is also a setting called "Free", when in free looping mode it will allow loops on subsequent tracks to be multiples or divisions of the first loop length, but it goes one step further.
The first loop recorded will (via deduction) set the tempo. Once the tempo is set, any subsequent loops will be ANY number of bars long. I use the RC300 with preset tempos, but no preset bar length. This lets me record ANY length phrase, as long it is a multiple of A BAR in that tempo.
So I can freely record 1 bar on track/loop 1, then 17 bars on track/loop 2, then 43 bars on track/loop 3.
This also works the other way, in that I can record a 19 bar loop on track/loop 1, then record a 1 bar loop on track/loop 2, etc etc

I use mobius extensively as well, and whilst I appreciate various elements of Mobius's flexibility, there are elements of the RC300 and 505 that are far more user friendly. For example, on Mobius all quantised events are synced to the next beat/bar/etc, where as with the RC's it rounds more to the nearest bar. So (once tempo is set) if you are a fraction of a beat late closing a loop, it will round the action BACKWARDS to the previous bar, and not wait till the next bar 3 and a half beat away.

I'll admit that my ideal looper would be a combination of features from the RC300/505, Mobius, and Ableton. The RC ease of use (and those pedals, I love those pedals!), the flexibility of Mobius scripting, and the warping engine of Ableton, not to mention the FX available in Ableton... (gush)

Anywho, hope that helps a bit.


Allowances, your funny ;D  In this example if you have loop synch OFF. These two tracks will do what you described as long as you are in time, unsynched. They would be naturally synched by your timing. Each track can be selected on or off, so you can have both working if you wanted. Say Track 1 and 2 Synched for rhythm purposes and 3 , 4 , 5 free to do what you want.

I operate the same way you described earlier, I am a spontaneous , let it fly kind of by the seat of your pants player. I love the freedom and what comes out. So in order to do this I program patches to accomplish what I set out to do each session or piece of music. You have 99 user patches so it makes it a lot of fun.

And as you described earlier, using this unit as an 'effects unit' is a whole other world. That's how I also use it in my rig. I can perform entirely solo, or integrate the effects from my GIANT tool box. And by creating these 'tools' , each being accessed by a midi controller or patch is a lot of fun. Its taken my composition and songwriting to the next level. It took time to learn the gear, write the road map and apply the new toolset or integrate it live time, but undeniably time well spent or invested.

Slow Gear, Pitch Bend, Slicer,  Roll, Granular, Beat Scatter, Robot, Reverse Playback , are insane effects that are midi patch or controller accessed. So its a lot to work with and all able to synch to beat if need be, ie dotted whatever on the midi clock as well. Added a lot of toys to my playpen.


Quote from:  philjynx on March 21, 2019, 08:29:47 AM
I have a headache now. I've just been comparing the RC300 and RC505 manuals, they do indeed seem to be similar as suggested by Syph.What isn't clear is what happens if you play those three loops together?
I always had problems writing user manuals for my software, it's difficult to translate geek into human terms.
I have a Zoom R8 - a good gizmo but the manual is written in Vogon.
Likewise, Roland/Boss manuals appear to be written in Roland, neither English nor American (or any known language for that matter).
Bet it does what I want and I'm just not getting it :'(

Part of the obtuse layer when deciphering Roland / Boss Manuals

* They are written in Japanese and often latest product manuals are more of an Addendum to the prior generation owners Manual  - for example if you want to understand the VGuitar Modeling in your new Boss GP-10 - its best to start by reading the Manuals for VG-8, then  VG-88, then VG-99, then GR-55, then GP-10  - as many important concepts covered in more detail is only found in the older manuals   

* After a new Roland / Boss Product Manual is created in Japan, its sent to Roland Netherlands to be translated from Japanese into Dutch.

* After Roland Netherlands Dutch Manual is created, its then translated from Dutch into all other languages (English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, French, etc.



Quote from:  philjynx on March 21, 2019, 11:13:19 AM
They should hire Katsunori UJIIE to write their manuals, in English and Japanese. Life would be easier and a lot  more fun.

Look him up on YouTube.

only issue is the word "hire" implies a mutually agreed to exchange of monetary funds, which none are available   -

Will he accept a T-Shirt?


Ha, oh yeah, right....

So I only work in multitrack mode on the RC300, and I forget that serial/single track play mode exists...
Sorry about that, should have started that clearly.
Multi mode is technically "Single track play mode: Off", and allows multiple loops to play at the same time so you can bring ideas/layers in and out, where as single track play mode will only play one loop at a time, practically making song sections like Verse/chorus/etc...
I also work with the drum machine typically at preset tempos, but I'll sometimes tap a tempo in as needed to start a thingy.
So, with that in mind:
I can have 3 simultaneous loops/tracks playing with any number of bar lengths per loop. So I could have a 1bar drum beat on loop1, with a 3 bar bass line on loop 2, and a 17 bar melody on loop 3, all playing seamlessly synced together.


In manual V.2 they made additional changes to the lights. The circle does follow the tracks position. So if you have "Synch" off and each track is on its own. The lights will represent each track on its own. So I could have 5 different time measures playing and it would represent it accordingly. Each track would have its own length also.


Right, well, in that case;


"Still do not know whether (for instance) an 8 beat track can be followed by a different length one without programming......"

Very possible.
I do it all the time.

*discliamer: i use the RC300 not the 505, but from what I have seen and read that functionality is identical.


No, you can just go rouge and every track does what you want. No synch, just play whatever.

So, to be clear......

Track 1, stomp record... play whatever.... stomp to loop... record more, track is doing its own thing. Ring is showing you the loop cycle....

Track 3 , stomp .... play whatever... same thing... you wanna go 10 minutes... your good....

Track 5,  tap,  this one is reverse play .... woo hoo

Track 2  start drum track whatever.... start / stop, your choice

Track 4  15/16 time  , with dotted 8th delay and Slow gear on the control pedal...

So this goes on for however long.....

Stop , Start, Replace ... each track... whatever, fly like an eagle, to the sea, let your spirit carry me, too be free... Steve Miller Famously said... Time keeps on slippin, slippin, slippin into the future, Tick, Tock ,Tick, Doo , Doo , Doo , Doo ....

Steve was 12 when he started his first band, the "Marksmen" in 1955 


philjynx....  Love ya man...

"With Mobius, when (in my case) 8 stereo tracks of varying lengths are playing simultaneously, each of their pacman indicators shows its position, they're all in sync and stay in sync. So it really is starting to look like what I'm used to doing (without a thought, or any pre-planning cannot be done by the RC505. What a shame."

This is no problem , but you only have 5 tracks.

But, anyway, 5tracks of varying length, playing simultaneously, each has their own 'pacman' light indicating position, they are all in sync and stay in sync. Crazy time, but in synch 'crazy time'.

Go Musicians Friend, do 20 days, and return it if you think its bunk. BUT, continue to post and question. You are spot on, the BEST, not only example of why should I purchase, but great board mate, having fun and showing others with interaction , why this place is the hands down BEST!

Edit: the pac man thingy that philjynx is referring to is really cool with the timing ring (you can see it on the BOSS demo with Dub Fx)



Count the bar lengths, hear the sync, no preprogrammed loop length.

*usual disclaimers like this is all done on an RC300, not a 505, etc etc

**edit: looping kicks in about a minute in. Everything is the RC300 except the reverse delay coming from an DD7 between bass and RC.


Syph, that was Fantastic ! Beautiful piece of ambient enlightenment, totally captivating, Bravo. Great style and playing too, you could gig anywhere with that skillset. Thanks for sharing  ;D



Thanks, I'm glad you guys enjoyed that, but I really just want to stress that I posted that for tech demo reasons (both here and now, and back then and there).

I can't recommend reading the manual enough, but on the flip side the manuals are woefully lacking. I think a large part of this is a combination of language translation, a lack of clearly defined looper specific terminology in the market place in general, and the limitations of trying to explain the interactions of a very powerful and complex looper with a lot of interacting settings. Look through some of the RC300 threads describing looper behaviour and manual terminology if you want an excellent example of the case in point.

From what you've said, I suspect you would enjoy the 505 if you can deal with the non foot oriented user interface, which is it's big limitation from where I am literally sitting with my hands full of bass. But I also am pretty sure the only way to fin out is to use one, as no one I know has the same workflow, needs, and expectations when it comes to looping.

I have spent years and waaaay too much money building my ideal looping interface, and despite thorough research and a text book understands of various products, none have been quite what I was expecting when I got my hands on them.

There is no substitute for personal hands on experience with any kind of looping gear.

*as you may be able to tell from my more long winded response, I finally on a non-mobile device. yay!


Sounds like a plan. That was a good discussion you linked to as well. I just noticed how many views this thread has  (34K+) Hope it helps others out. BOSS/Roland really dropped the ball on marketing, again. It seemed like they just focused on Beatbox and DJ table top initially until update V.2.

Although Dub Fx is awesome as is Tioneb, they have DJ PRO ZIEKO as well, but he is hidden in their BOSS demo page. I posted it below . BUT, they should have promoted it with the FC-300 or done a demo with foot controls, it only takes a simple video, and yet they drop the ball every time. We are talking about a million dollar mistake so far that would have been a half day investment for Alex Hutchings. my $.02.



Has links to gear employed on his youtube video


Just ordered RC-505.
I'm interested in doing 2 things with it and looking to hear others' experiences in that...

I have the FC-300 foot controller and want to set it up as an effective floor controller for the RC-505.

I also would like to sync MIDI beat clock with the TR-8S drum machine- either direction, whichever is better, but also avoid having start/stop messages on one machine sending to the other.


This should be easy to set up. I would download the 2 RC 505 manuals in advance and after a quick read through you will have all you need. You can think about how you want to set the controls up in advance to control all the functions.

The beat box crowd has really pushed the usage of this unit light years beyond any other user group. They have what are called "assignations" that combine multiple controls at one time to do things that are quite remarkable. With 16 midi assigns you can do a lot. Some of which has to be heard to open your mind.


Quote from: chrish on October 15, 2015, 11:45:53 AMSo the verdict is that the rc505 will not perform the shawnb frippertronics modification because there are no subouts. Correct?

I know that it's a while since you asked that question but I just tried yesterday for the first time to route the headphones' sound back into the loop station (you can use the two instrument inputs or the aux in), change the recording from overdub to replace and omg it sounds like a poor man's frippertronics :) if you use input fx and track fx it gets crazy, especially because when recording a track, you record also all the other tracks (you have no routing options like in rc505 mkII so you record everything that you hear in phones) - you can play with phones mode to monitor

but the nicest trick is that this way you are able to put fx & record internal rhythms and they sound better all of the sudden