TC Electronic Guitar Ditto Review

If you prefer your loopers leisurely, concise, yet highly effective and elite, we recommend giving the Guitar Ditto from TC Electronic a look. Featuring classy looks and not anything more than a single button and one knob, this fella is as powerful as they capture.

Seeing that the device is stripped from advanced functions, this is an ideal choice both for beginners and only for players who prefer simplicity with their loopers. As for the sound and performance quality, there is nothing beginner about this thing whatsoever. Enough chit-chat, let’s dive into the full review below!

Pros: The TC Electronic Ditto Looper is simplistic in design and operation, tiny in comparison to other loopers and affordable.
• Cons: Missing features such as rhythm backing and quantization, and lack of pedals could be a detriment in some situations.
• Overall: The Ditto Looper is great if you’re looking for simplicity and affordability, but if you’re serious about looping you’ll soon come to wish there were more features.

 

The Features You Want and Nothing Else
The whole doctrine of the TC Electronic Ditto is simplicity. Instead of cramming hundreds of save places, a megaton of attributes and a cacophony of controllers into their looper, their intent is to make something eminently user-friendly. Concerning appearance, at least, it completely fulfils that objective. The pedal is only a measly 3 5/8 ” by 1 5/8″ in size, with one clearly labeled dial, one multi-function button, an input jack, an output, a mini-USB port and a port for the power source. It’s hard to imagine a pedal simpler.

This is actually one of the core characteristics of the pedal. It’s tempting to describe it as a stompbox-style loop, but that would be over-estimating its size considerably. It’s as small as anything you would realistically include on your pedalboard, which means as long as you are not at maximum capacity it will play nicely.

Ease of use goes hand-in-hand with this slick design. After plugging it in, you’re ready to start looping. You hit the footswitch (the only one, so no confusion there!) and start playing. When you have recorded your phrase, give the footswitch another tap and it will replay on a loop. You can adjust the volume of the playback using the only dial on the Ditto Looper. To overdub, you just repeat the record procedure– tap, tap and play again. If you would like to stop, you simply double-tap the footswitch, and you may give it another tap to start it playing again. Stopping and deleting is as simple as double-tapping but holding your foot down the second time. All this with only 1 footswitch.

Although you can’t store multiple loops to call up later, they have made sure you get loads of looping time. You can record a loop of up to five minutes in length (that will only be necessary if you are intending song is nothing short of epic) and it allows for as many overdubs as you like. Additionally, if you record something awesome and want to toy with it another time, you simply turn off the unit without breaking the loop and it is going to still be there when you power up, overdubs and all.

If you are thinking the basic package could only possible offer this core functionality, you would be wrong. You also get the option of undoing or redoing your previous recording, which opens up new realms of sonic possibilities. By holding the footswitch down for around two seconds, you reverse the previously recorded overdub. On face value, this allows you to erase any mistake you made without needing to start the whole thing again, but there’s more to it than that. If you’ve built up a good backing for your song but want to add an extra element on some occasions (a melody-line or a lick from the background, for example), then you can remove it and place it back in place at will. You might even record the first half of a solo, play it back and harmonize with it to the second half, and then remove it for another verse. Plus, if you would like to bring it back again, you can do it easily.

Finally, they’ve ensured that the Ditto Looper doesn’t interfere with your signal in any way when it isn’t in use. It has a true bypass mode — which essentially means your tone goes through completely unaffected — that triggers whenever you delete your loop. There is no hum, no latency, nothing in any respect.

Can it Really Compete?
You should not think of this TC Electronic Ditto Looper to be in direct competition with the critters of the looping industry such as the Digitech JamMan Delay or the Boss RC-300 Loop Station, since the entire intention is to make something which performs the functions you want and nothing else. If you’ve always been unsure about losers due to the apparent technical expertise you will need to use one effectively, the TC Electronic Ditto Looper calms your fears at first glance. The operation is extremely easy once you get used to the tap combinations. It isn’t up against the big boys; it’s designed for the first-time looper or someone who does not care about all of the extras.

However, it is realistically still in competition with the simplistic units like the Boss RC-3, the JamMan Solo, or the Jamman Solo XT, and unfortunately it comes out on the bottom when you look at things objectively. Simplicity is great, but when you are making a committed looper there are some things that really are quite useful. The major one of these is memory. Whilst you might not have to save more than one loop at a time, there are plenty of options which are likewise easy to use and yet permit you to have around 100 stored loops.

Other choices also feature things like quantization (to help you stay in time) and rhythm backing (so that you don’t need to make a beat using percussive strumming). Maybe you’d only miss the ability to undo your loop in the event that you wanted to create something pretty uncommon, but accompaniment and help staying punctually is extremely valuable. Plus, it some ways it is useful to have a dedicated pedal for things like stopping/clearing; it might make things look more confusing but it decreases the number of tap-combinations you have to recall during a performance.

UPDATE: If you are searching for additional features, it may be worth checking out the Ditto X2 looper (released in 2014), which adds a committed”Cease” footswitch, or even the much larger Ditto X4 looper (released in 2016), which is essentially two Ditto loopers stuck together with MIDI synch and some fun effects.

The Ditto Looper provides more than you would expect for such a tiny, unassuming looper, but if you’re actually looking to do some imaginative looping it may be a bit too basic. In the name of stripping things down to basics, they’ve lost out on some potentially valuable additions, and the lack of memory is crippling if you would like to create a set-list. However, if you’re looking for a simple loop to utilize on-the-fly, the simplicity of operation and the cost makes it a excellent option.

Characteristics
The very first thing we noticed about this tool is impeccable craftsmanship and tasteful, modern looks. Then, you find that the metal casing is sturdy and well build, giving the impression of a strong unit and a quality product. Seeing that simplicity is that the word of the day here, we were not surprised this is a mono pedal.

What that means is that the gadget features just 1 input and a single output. This is not a big deal for the vast majority of gamers, as it essentially means you can just plug in one tool into the pedal (many ask”Who needs more?”) And connect the pedal with just 1 output, which can be just fine.

The pedal functions as a true bypass apparatus with an analog-dry-through and requires a typical 9V power supply, which isn’t included in the price.

Controls
Not a great deal of things here, now is there? There is 1 footswitch, one knob, status LED indicator, and that’s it. Turns out that is all most gamers need in practice. So, the Level control knob controls the level of the loop result which gets injected into your sound output, while the footswitch does the majority of the job.

Especially, pressing the switch once kicks off the recording, tapping on it twice quickly ends the recording you started and starts the loop. Finally, to disable the recorded loop, then just press the button for a couple of seconds.

Performance
The audio quality is on a high level, the recorded sound that gets in the loop is organic, natural, and very close to the original, and we could pretty much give zero complaints. Additionally, the device operates excellent when coupled with different effects, too, providing the loop with zero sonic interference or lousy audio. As soon as you work out how to control the footswitch — that should not take long at all — you are set to loop away!

Value/Conclusion
You get what you pay for here. The features are fundamental, yet effective, and so are the controllers. However, we are still coping with high-quality electronics and wiring here, as well as a top-notch sound and standard performance. Add those tasteful looks and sturdy build to the mix and you get a very nice deal for the listed cost. Good stuff, highly suggested!

 

Questions and Answers

 

What is the main function of the TC Electronic DITTO?
The sole function of this TC DITTO is looping. Everything else has been stripped out. There are no effects or presets. There is no ability to store loops for long duration or save them on your PC (the Mini-B USB connector is only to upgrade firmware).

Can I record audio, continuously play a loop of the recording, then coating additional monitors over the loop/phrase with the TC Electronic DITTO?
Yes, the TC DITTO has basic looper functionality with infinite overdub, controlled with a single footswitch button. The process is to start recording, then to begin looping what you have recorded, then to add your additional layer. You may continue to add layers or to stop the playback.

How long can I record with the TC Electronic DITTO?
The TC DITTO can record 5 minutes.

How many memory locations (slots) are included in the TC Electronic DITTO?
There is only one memory slot.

Using the TC Electronic DITTO, can I learn by having an instrument teacher play something and then slow it down and work on fitting the notes and gradually speeding up?

No the TC DITTO does not have any tempo control/adjust.
Can I practice soloing with the TC Electronic DITTO?

Yes, this is really one of the chief uses of the DITTO. It’s designed for many different types of guitars recorded on The Audio Junky.
Can I use the TC Electronic DITTO to capture quick tune ideas to review later? Only for the single memory slot that it has. Therefore, it’s not perfect for this use.

Can I change to another loop/slot while performing with the TC Electronic DITTO?No, there is only 1 loop/slot to work with on the DITTO.

Can I perform loop-to-loop queuing with the TC Electronic DITTO?
No, there’s only one loop/slot to work with on the DITTO.

Can I switch back to the previous loop when doing with the TC Electronic DITTO?
No, there’s only one loop/slot to work with on the DITTO.

With the TC Electronic DITTO, can I record and play unique parts of a song (verse, chorus, bridge) throughout a live performance whilst not using my hands (pedals and footswitches only)?
No, there’s only 1 loop/slot to work with on the DITTO.

Can I go from recording straight into overdub with the TC Electronic DITTO?
No, the development of events with the DITTO is listing à playback à overdub. If you double tap to attempt to speed that process up, it is going to stop.

Can I undo/redo the last overdub to change the tune or eliminate a recording error with the TC Electronic DITTO?
Yes. With the TC DITTO, you are able to undo the previous overdub and also redo the last undo.

Can I set previous layers to go quieter or fade out while overdubbing new layers with the TC Electronic DITTO?
No, this is considered an advanced function that is only available on more expensive and complicated loop pedals.

Can I adjust the quantity or effects of individual overdubs using the TC Electronic DITTO?
No, there is only one volume knob on the TC DITTO and it controls the level of loop volume.

Can I record individual overdubs/layers as individual WAV files with the TC Electronic DITTO to then work with in a DAW?
With the TC DITTO, we are unaware of any method for individually recording overdubs/layers.

Can I use the 1/8″ MP3/CD input to play tune into the looper and integrate it into my loop with the TC Electronic DITTO?
There is not a 1/8″ input on the DITTO, but you could accomplish this by using a 1/8″ to 1/4″ adapter with the input.

Can I pre-record tracks, edit them in a DAW, load them into the TC DITTO as loops and then trigger them with the footswitch when needed?
No the USB Mini-B link on the DITTO is only there for firmware upgrades.

Can I activate a one-shot playback (a.k.a. single word ) using the TC Electronic DITTO? In other words, can I set the loop to just play 1 time when triggered?
No there is not any one-shot playback feature on the DITTO.

Can I play multiple loops simultaneously with the TC Electronic DITTO, and turn them off and on? For example, play drums on one track, base-line on the other, and guitar on another and bring them in and out of this tune?
The only way that you could partially accomplish this with the TC DITTO is with the reverse redo functionality, and it would be quite limited.

Can I play with a loop or overdub in reverse with the TC Electronic DITTO?
No, the TC DITTO does not have reverse.

Does the TC Electronic DITTO have stereo audio or just mono?
The TC DITTO has mono sound.

Is there anything in the TC Electronic DITTO that reduces the clicking noise that can happen when tapping on the footswitch during overdub?
Not that we’re aware of, but since this is geared towards guitar/bass it’s not likely that you’d pick up the clicking sound of the footswitch unless you’re using a mic to capture the instrument noise.

Is the TC Electronic DITTO a Great looper for live performances on stage?
In my view a looper functionality with just one track is not ideal. I would suggest that you obtain a pedal with numerous tracks (such as the Boomerang III, Pigtronix Infinity, RC-3oo, RC-505, etc) if you’re performing live. This permits the introduction of verse-chorus-bridge song constructs.

Are there several stop manners in the TC Electronic DITTO?
No, there is only 1 stop mode for the DITTO — instant.

Can I stutter start with the TC Electronic DITTO?
No, there is not any known method to accomplish stutter start with a DITTO.

Can I resample with the TC Electronic DITTO? To put it differently, can I take a loop and modify it by multiplying it, cutting part of it out, including a different effect for it, etc?
We are not aware of any resampling or multiply operation with the TC DITTO.

Can the TC Electronic DITTO be set to auto-record when I begin playing?
No the TC DITTO does not have auto-record.

With the TC Electronic DITTO, are there any problems 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 TC DITTO.

Does the TC Electronic DITTO have a built in metronome?
There is no built-in metronome for the TC DITTO.

Is there some software that comes with the TC Electronic DITTO?
No, there is no software package that comes with the DITTO.

Is quantize functionality available on the TC Electronic DITTO?
No, there’s absolutely no quantize function on the DITTO.

Will the TC Electronic DITTO interface with my DAW (digital audio workstation)/computer through USB?
The TC DITTO doesn’t function as an audio interface. The USB is only used to upgrade the firmware.

Will the TC Electronic DITTO interface with my computer through USB to transfer audio files?
No, the USB is only utilized to update the firmware.

Can I save and recall loops with SD card with the TC Electronic DITTO?
The current loop you are recording is saved through power down and is still saved when the device is powered up. However, there’s absolutely no removable card and there is only 1 memory slot.

Does the TC Electronic DITTO have effects (FX)?
No the TC DITTO does not have built-in effects (FX).

Can I bypass the effects (FX) with the TC Electronic DITTO?
No, this is not applicable to the TC DITTO because the unit doesn’t have internal effects.

Can I turn off or mute the live signal that is fed through the TC Electronic DITTO (for use in parallel effects loops of an amp or in Aux Send/Return of a mixer)?
No, but on a somewhat related topic, the Ditto has”True Bypass”. It will automatically go into this mode where the AC/DC/AC is completely by-passed when you aren’t looping so that the DITTO X2 can be part of the effects chain.

Can I save presets for effects with the TC Electronic DITTO?
No, this isn’t applicable to the TC DITTO because the unit doesn’t have internal effects.

Does the TC Electronic DITTO have an XLR mic input? Does it have phantom power for a condenser mic?
No, the TC DITTO has one mono 1/4″ input.

Does the TC Electronic DITTO function as a mixer with multiple inputs?
No, the DITTO only has one input.

Can I re-assign footswitch functionality with the TC Electronic DITTO?
There’s only 1 footswitch on the DITTO and it’s multiple functions — play, overdub, undo, redo, stop, and erase.

Does the TC Electronic DITTO have a headphone jack for monitoring and playback?
No the TC DITTO doesn’t have a dedicated 1/8″ jack for headphones.

Can the TC Electronic DITTO be connected to an external MIDI device?
No the TC DITTO Doesn’t have MIDI ports.

Can TC Electronic release firmware upgrades for the TC DITTO?
Yes they do. That is the function of the USB port.

Is there an optional footswitch that I can add to the TC Electronic DITTO to improve performance?
No, there’s no additional or off-loaded functionality which may be added with an external footswitch for the DITTO.

Is there an optional expressional pedal that I can increase the TC Electronic DITTO to control effects(FX)?
No, there isn’t a way to link an expression pedal into the TC DITTO.

What is the sampling rate and bit depth of the A/D/A transformation?
For the TC DITTO, the A/D/A conversion is specified as 24-bit, 44.1 kHz.

Can the TC Electronic DITTO be battery powered?
No there are no battery options for the TC Electronic DITTO. I really do think it would be possible to connect a 9V battery by using a 9V battery clip to barrel jack adapter. Note that you would need to find a version with a center-negative barrel jack, or re-wire the one in that connection. According to the TC knowledge base, the max current draw of this DITTO is 90mA. Therefore, a 500mA-hour battery could keep it running for five and half hours. This battery operation is not described anywhere on the TC site and we haven’t tried it, so try at your own risk if battery operation is necessary for a particular pedal board or venue.

What size is the TC Electronic DITTO?
The TC DITTO is very compact. It’s footprint is 1.9″ x 3.7″ and is 1.9″ tall. But, keep in mind you must connect an external DC power source (9V), which could actually be larger than the looper.

Why is using a TC Electronic DITTO better than just using an iPhone or iPad program?
There’s very limited functionality with the iOS based loopers in comparison with the TC Electronic DITTO. However, these programs are quickly improving. With additional hardware (microphone, Bluetooth control pedal, etc.), these setups may begin to look attractive. Please visit our iOS app setup information.

Concerning live performances, bringing an iPad or iPhone on stage may feel more like a DJ performance, but it is not going as far as bringing a notebook. Also, the OS may be more predictable and stable compared to a whole computer or workstation. Therefore, we believe iOS based loopers will be stage-friendly than notebooks, but not as stage-friendly as pedals/stompboxes in the foreseeable future.

What company makes the DITTO and where are they located?
TC Electronic is located in Risskov, Denmark. The company was established in 1976.
What’s the service from TC on any issues that arise with the unit?

The DITTO is a very simple looper, but TC has video’s, a fantastic manual, a support forum, a knowledge base, an active Facebook page, and supplies firmware updates. The sole issue here is a potential scattering of service venues that could result in them neglecting some of these (such as the forum). However, I would not be concerned with support in general.

How long has the TC Electronic DITTO been in production?
The TC DITTO was first announced at NAMM 2013 in January 2013, and Began to ship that March.

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