Build Your Own Clone AB True Bypass Looper Pedal by Kenny Butcher
The Build Your Own Clone AB true bypass looper pedal is the heart of my pedal board.
If you have a pedal board and use FX on stage or jamming with friends you should look into this great pedal.
Why do I use it?
Tone – I am blessed to have some of the best bass gear on the market and I’ve spent many years honing my tone. You can read a lot of different things on the Internet regarding pedal chains and sucking tone; some say it does other say it doesn’t. I’m going to tell you that I hear a definite difference having pedals in my signal chain verses having my bass directly into an amp. The best way to avoid the degradation of tone is to buy “true bypass” pedals, which will make a substantial difference; but it can get expensive. If you do enough google searches, you’ll also find arguments where people hate having contact points in their signal chain… I guess there is a little merit when it comes to dirty or corroded 1/4 plugs/jacks, but I would be more concerned with pedals causing an issue.
Anyway, the loop pedal allows me to completely bypass the pedals all together and in essence go directly to my amplifier with out any signal loss. If you’ve read up on how to design a pedal board, you’ll know that I also designed mine around being used for guitar as well; so I only had to bring one board on the road. It’s really simple, my “B Loop” is my Bass FX and my “A Loop” is my guitar FX loop, however, I normally leave the A Loop for my Korg tuner pedal.
Bypass – The second and probably most important reason I have a the loop pedal is that it also acts as a bypass in the event that I run into problems. If you’ve used any sort of electronic unit when playing, you’ll know it always seems to screw up during sound check or 5 minutes before you play… Always! That one reason I like running directly into an amp with a cord, but the bypass is my little piece of insurance. One time I was playing a gig and my sound suddenly stopped. I was in such a fit that I didn’t notice the lights on my board were out, but I couldn’t pin point the cable problem… As it turned out, the circuit I was using for my pedal board had a tripped breaker part way through the performance. My amp was on a different circuit all together so I didn’t realize what the issue was. What saved the gig for me was that I was able to bypass my board with one stomp.
There really aren’t a lot of “features” to be spoken of in regards to this pedal, but after using it for a while I came the realization of the best part of having this pedal. No more tap dancing! As a guitar player and a bass player in a prog metal band, I’ve always hated the sound of clicking effects on. You know when you get the delay in trying to stomp on multiple FX in sequence because you only have one foot? With the loop portion of the pedal I am able to turn on the necessary effect pedals without rushing with two beats to spare. With my FX engaged long before I need them, it’s a simple case of stomping the loop button or un-bypassing the pedal board and everyone is on at once. Simple and fantastic!
– If you’re using pedals, you’ll want some kind of bypass if something fails in the middle of a set, or before it.
– If you don’t like your tone to be altered or lifeless, this will fix the problem without spending a fortune on true bypass pedals
– No more tap-dancing on stage to engaged multiple pedals. Engage each one at your leisure and then STOMP ON!
Building it – If you know how to solder, this is simple. All you have to do is follow the instructions which you can download on the BYOC website. I painted mine white, but I didn’t have any white pedals and I liked the colour. I added a DC power jack to mine so I don’t have to mess around with a 9V. Easy to build, took me about 30 minutes.
Quality – Scott’s a great guy, he won’t sell you junk, but don’t take my word for it (or LeVar Burton) take a risk and try building one.
Remember, let the groove inspire. Thanks for reading!