Loopers - Auxiliary Backing Track Quality

Well I dusted down the old JamMan Stereo yesterday, inspired by a @CT comment, that he had loaded a backing track onto his looper for his last Open Mic extravaganza.

I am still struggling to build “authentic” sounding song BTs on the Trio+ but getting there, so with Clint’s comments in mind I loaded a BT up to the JamMan successfully and looking forward to having a ? well a jam, man :sunglasses:

But the question is about audio quality and the method used to import the track to the looper.

I’ll explain the process in full below but for those who want to cut to the chase, I played a track in Reaper on the PC and connected the Audio Interface headphone out to the JamMan Mono Input, with a handy 1/4" jack lead. Anyways as I said the result was a BT on the looper, huzzah !!

I used this method, as I did not have a 6.5 to 3.5 but have subsequently found a converter, which saves me buying yet another cable !!

So the question is, should feed the AI output into the JamMan using the Aux Input facility or is using the mono input (normally used for Gtr) an acceptable solution and would there be any audio degradation, using one method or the other ?

Anyway, while you are all pondering the questions, I am going to mess with the Aux Input and experiment a bit,
:sunglasses:

OK for the Audio Nerds.

Why am I using Reaper to feed the JamMan ?

Well its my tried and tested multi track project approach being hijacked, in order to get a tweaked BT into the Looper for future Open Mic embarrassing moments !!

Nerdfest 101.

  1. Find suitable Guitar Pro tabfile of required song and load into eh ? Guitar Pro - 7 'natch
  2. Fiddle about and edit the GP7 tracks until happy with end result - ie edit out complicated solos above my playgrade and create a seamless BT.
  3. Export midi file from Guitar Pro and load into a new Reaper Project (or DAW of your choice)
  4. Assign VST instruments to the tracks and generally fanny around for a while until happy with the result.
  5. Voilla one ready made bespoke multi track BT, which I would then normal play, sing over and then save.
  6. Hook up your AI and looper and get ready to rumble.
    7.Prime JamMan or whatever looper you have ready to record and then hit play in Reaper.
  7. Verify recorded BT loop.
  8. Tweak levels, panning, EQ - all the usual mastering activity in Reaper/DAW if not happy.
  9. Wash rinse repeat and then store. DONT FORGET TO STORE !!

Simple.
:sunglasses:

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Thanks for the pop quiz… :smiley: All the below is a guess / conjecture and assumes I have understood you right… :grinning:

Short version - if it sounds fine to you I imagine you will be fine either way…! :grinning:

I can’t imagine they use different analogue-digital converter chips and I expect they sample to the same internal wav format so digitally I wouldn’t expect a difference (but that is a guess).

Depending how many layers you loop on top they may be stored to different buffers for different inputs and hence degrade slower as you overdub but I doubt this is the case - hard to know. If not overdubbing then ignore this one.

My guess would be that you will get marginally more benefit using the aux channel as its input impedance is likely balanced for Line Level rather than Instrument Level input so your gain will be closer to unity ie minimal ‘extra’ signal boost needed to rematch levels or vice versa minimal chance of clipping depending on how hot the output signal is or how much headroom you have on the instrument in. I am assuming equivalent and not lengthy cables / connections…

Also worth matching the aux switch to sim to mono if you are using mono out or keep stereo if passing stereo all the way through. The non-stereo version of the pedal will always sum aux to mono.

From the spec there are differences but in reality I imagine from a ‘live performance’ point either approach will be fine if you try it and are happy with the output…

Instrument input:

1/4” Unbalanced (Tip-Sleeve)
500 kΩ Mono/1 MΩ Stereo
Inst Level knob set to 12 o’clock position Max Input Level at Unity: 4 dBu DFS
14.5 dB

Aux input:

1/8” Stereo (Tip-Ring-Sleeve) 20 kΩ
1 dBu DFS

Obviously if you can bounce the backing track to wav and copy over by usb or memory card you will avoid an analogue-digital hop so will be cleaner.

You would probably not want to re-record the backing track back in via this approach and keep the different lines coming in unmixed so you have more control in post.

Also - looks a really nice pedal! :grinning:

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I will admit to not fully reading all that has gone before. I posted a video a while back that details my process, methods and gear used to feed a backing track into a looper: Play Backing Tracks Through Your Amp’s FX Loop With A Looper Pedal
The details are in the description.

I’m sure there are other ways, this is just what I do.

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Here’s the page from the Jaman Stereo manual. They suggest using the Aux. Looks like there are some other options as well.

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@grayal
Al thanks for that and it all makes sense. I can easily render the BT to WAV in Reaper and load a memory card but the quality seems reasonable via the Instrument input but I had to back off the AIs headphone volume due to clipping but got a good end result.
@Rossco01
Jason - that was the plan but did not have a cable, so thought “mm why use the GTR input from the phones”. I’ve put an order via Prime so won’t have to wait long but will dig around for TRLS cable tomorrow and try that with the adapter while waiting. But boy does it make a difference !!
@CT Avoiding the Mustand FX loop on this one but thanks for the inspiration all the same.

Cheers Peeps

:sunglasses:

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Got it! Using the looper in the FX loop untethers us from the computer once the looper is loaded (say that fast five times!).

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