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Boss RC-3 Loop Station Compact Phrase Recorder Pedal Reviews

4.5 stars based on 42 customer reviews
Questions about the Boss RC-3 Loop Station Compact Phrase Recorder Pedal?

Questions about the Boss RC-3 Loop Station Compact Phrase Recorder Pedal?

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  • from Mississippi March 31, 2017

    Boss RC-3 Loop Station

    Purchased this for my two granddaughters and they think it is crazy fun. They love to record things and play back with it. Especially great for making scales actually a fun thing to play with chords.

  • from January 20, 2017


    I bought the Boss rc-3 as a means to further my skills as a player, and I cannot say enough good things about this amazing little unit. Downloading wav files from the Boss website gives you your own band! The blues loops are fantastic for practice! This is an absolute must have in your pedal board.

  • from Minnesota November 28, 2016

    awesome looper

    And the addition of a click beatvand drums is a major plus.

  • from Dallas June 28, 2016Music Background:
    Experienced Musician

    Best in its range

    This is probably the best loop pedal in its price range. 3 hours of loop time, 99 savable presets, drummer and bass accompaniment.

  • from Deltona, FL March 5, 2016

    Best guitar effects unit I ever purchased

    This is not just better than any looper I ever head, but better than any effects unit I ever had. I use it more than any of my effects. When you download the background songs provided by Boss (which is easy to do), you have a whole band playing your style of music in the background at an instant. There are dozens of songs available for almost every style of music too.

  • from San Francisco January 3, 2016

    Exactly what I was looking for

    Hard to believe that so many features could exist in a standard sized-pedal. It's great for practice, performance and experimentation.

  • from IL August 7, 2015Music Background:
    Non-professional guitarist

    Great pedal (as expected)

    I bought this pedal so that I could quickly record ideas for songs when I think of them. It's great for that. It's got plenty of memory and the drum sounds are a nice feature. It's easy to use.

    Tips: Be sure to get an AC adapter; the battery life is approx. 3 hours according to the manual. Also, when recording different instruments, start with the one that has the weakest pickups. Adjust the volume of the next instrument so that it mixes well with the playback volume. I got a cool chorus-like effect when I played the same chords using two different guitars on the same song.

    I've been using Boss compact pedals since the early '80s; I have the CE-2 Chorus, DM-2 Delay, and BF-2 Flanger. All (including the RC-3) are well-made and quiet.

  • from Roscoe, IL January 7, 2015Music Background:

    Excellent Looper!

    This product is so fully featured packed into a simple pedal. All the functions of a complex looper, but just as easy to use as a simple one. I could not be happier with it or with the customer service I get from Sweetwater!

  • from Brazil October 31, 2014Music Background:
    Studio musician

    Good attention and fast

    I have been received my Boss RC-3 loop station in 5 days in front of my house. For me was very nice to choose Sweetwater as my best music store. I would like to thank to Mr.Kreager for his attention.

  • from Cleveland, OH September 22, 2014

    Tons of fun

    This pedal is a must have for solo practice or jams. I record loops on my computer and load the .wave file onto the pedal for practice later. But the most fun I have had with this pedal is when creating 'on the fly' jams. Just use 2 amps! I plug a guitar, bass or piano into "input A" and a drum machine into "input B". I select a drum track off the machine and play a riff over it and then dub as many loops on top as I like and then unplug the A+B inputs letting the loop run into the 1st amp while jam along to the loop thru another amp... super easy to do and sounds fantastic. I wish I had bought one a long time ago. Great for improving your skills on soloing and song writing. Also great for learning harder parts (you can slow down and speed up the tempo of a track without screwing up the pitch).

  • from Plan Texas April 10, 2014Music Background:
    I am a guitar student and I am a guitar Tech.

    Purchase Experience

    Had a great experience purchasing my Loop Recorder. The recorder helps me with my timing. I should of had one a lot earlier. Received it very quickly and even had a follow up call from Phil. Hadn't had that kind of response anywhere. You guys are great.

  • from PalmBay, FL June 16, 2013Music Background:

    Its made my husband the happiest man in the world

    He is always talking about what this thing can do, and showing me . I cant say enough how he says this is the best out there and he always amazed at what it can do .

  • from Houston, TX May 2, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist and Student - 25 years with the guitar

    Boss RC-3 Looper Review

    This device is a man's (or woman's) best friend. If you need a helping hand but want to just keep your presentation solo, this Looper is quite the tool. I consider myself a beginner when it comes to the "gadgets", but this device honestly took about 30 minutes to an hour to figure out and start enjoying. I can work on developing my lead play while this device does the rhythm. Then you can use your foot to turn it off while you play the chorus or bridge, and then back on when you start a verse again. Great addition to "The Band" (you).

  • from Colorado Springs, CO April 24, 2013Music Background:

    Boss RC-3 Loop Station Is A Music Instrument In Itself

    I finally purchased the Boss RC-3 Loop Station knowing that it would help me in practicing my guitar. I also want to use it to create my own music too with sound effects, loops, and my guitar.

    By USB from a computer, it will allow users to download loops from the internet. Operation of the looper was not overwhelming to me as I first thought. This item is for all no matter what your musical background is.

  • from Near Denver, CO January 2, 2013Music Background:
    An amateur with about 50 years playing expierence.

    Great Practice Tool

    First let's get one thing clear: I'm an old guy and a dinosaur when it comes to anything technological. I was very worried when I ordered the RC - 3 that I'd end up getting frustrated and return it unused. Boy, I was wrong, Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks. This thing was so easy to figure out I was up and running within 10 minutes (I had spent time watching YouTube videos and printing out the manual before it arrived) but I need not have worried. The RC - 3 is a great practicing tool, especially for those like me that are not in a band but trying to still improve as a player. The drum sounds are fine and they are easy to set up. The amazing thing, to me, is how easy it is to overdub and overdub again. Plus, although I'm not even close yet, you can save up to 3 hours of music. It is well made and IMHO you owe it to yourself to have one of these...great device at a great price. BTW, Sweetwater had it at my front door in less than a week.

  • from Toledo, OH December 24, 2011Music Background:
    Serious Music Student


    The RC-3 is an amazing pedal. It makes practicing easy, fun, and productive. I even use it to listen to my playing. The RC-3 is also wonderful for recording sometime to put on the computer. This loop station also does not cause any degredation in tone whatsoever. A perfect pedal.

  • from AZ November 9, 2011Music Background:
    Hobby Musician

    This looper is a keeper

    Added the RC-3 to my peddle board and glad I did. It has all the features that I need and downloading WAV backing tracks is a simple drag and drop or copy computer action via the USB RC-3 to computer connection. This has really helped my practice sessions and love jamming to the backtracks versus the mundane metronome. Very glad that I purchased this item and it will stay on my board.

  • from Mahomet, Illinois March 10, 2017Music Background:
    Guitar player/ song writer

    Great Pedal

    There is a little bit of a learning curve with this pedal, but once you master the controls, it works very well. If your looking for a great looper that is compact and fits easily on your pedal board, the Boss RC-3 is a solid choice.

  • from Louisville August 17, 2016

    Great Pedal

    Great pedal, lots of fun and easy to use. I wish that it had a dedicated on and off switch, but that would mean either making it bigger or giving up the nice wide foot switch.

  • from Louisiana July 8, 2016

    Every guitar player needs one

    Hard to find someone to play with. Get a BOSS RC3. I use mine all the time. It has improved my timing just making loops. Also allowes me to listen to myself and make adjustments where needed. The real fun is playing on top of your own loops. I've had mine for a year now and it has improved my playing so much. Working with scales is a blast, and I'm not making a fool of myself in front of good players. Get one, it's simple to use and it will improve your playing. You can install backing tracks to play with.
    NOTE: output levels are much higher on backing tracks than a guitar output. You have to turn rhythm level way down to use any recording or the preset loops that come on the pedal. First time I tried it I thought my amp was going to blow up.
    Get one you'll love it.

  • from Tuscaloosa, AL January 28, 2016Music Background:
    Gospel-Metal and eveything in between.

    BOSS RC-3

    Great looper! I went for this pedal because it has more features than most for the price point. I have also played live with several muaicians who have used different ones, and the RC-3/RC-30 was definitely the all around favorite.

  • from Omaha September 16, 2015Music Background:
    Gospel music, R&B, Jazz

    RC-3 Loop station

    I am so glad I made this purchase. My practice sessions are enhanced so much more since piece of equipment has been in my hands. It's like having partners to play along with.

  • from Cleveland Heights, OH August 30, 2014Music Background:
    hobbyist and former pro

    perfect for practice

    First off, Sweetwater is amazing, best customer service, prices and delivery speed in the industry. I won't order for anyone else again. That being said, I used to own a tc electronic ditto looper, but found the sound quality to be so-so and tempo degraded slightly after jamming on a riff for 4-5 minutes. So I figured I would try the Boss RC-3. I own a number of Boss products and with a few exceptions have always been very pleased with tones, ease of use, durability, flexibility and longevity of their products. The RC-3 seems to be no different (don't know about longevity just yet, but a 5 yr warranty is great). This pedal is every bit as simple to use as the ditto, but has some extra features: 99 memory slots, USB & Aux inputs, 2 ins and outs and a few drum tracks. The sound reproduction is high quality and I haven't found the loop to go off tempo like I did with the ditto. I only gave it 4.5 stars because other units offer more features that might make live applications easier. For practice and jamming with friends, it's perfect and could be great in certain live settings.

  • from butler, alabama January 2, 2014Music Background:
    ive played guiter for 20 years.

    great pedal

    I researched alot of loop pedals before i bought the boss RC3. I decided on it because of all the good reviews so i decided to review it myself. It has alot of diversity with the drum tracks and ive had it for a few weeks now and ive played alot of different tracks through it. It really sounds good. Dosent effect my tone any, has alot of memory, very easy to use. O recommend this pedal to anyone who wants a looper.

  • from March 12, 2013

    a must have

    One of the best looping station in the market. Its simple and easy to use. I love the two outputs and two inputs option. Its great

  • from Saint Louis, Mo USA February 22, 2012Music Background:
    Professional guitarist

    The best in it's class.

    Excellent unit. To get the most out of any looper, it has to be treated like an instrument into itself. Once you get the hang of quantizing etc. It's very easy to use. I love the fact that every bank has the ability to be a loop or one shot phrase. The auxiliary input works great. It still has the Auto -Start feature, which is a must -have. I highly recommend getting the FS6 switch to go with it. You have to hit thr rc3 twice to stop it, but only have to hit the fs6 once to stop. If you play live it's a must.
    I do however wish it had an input level control/meter to get an accurate reading as to how hot the incoming signal is. I've had to re record a few because they were too quiet in comparison to the others. No way to really tell. But with practice and time it's gets easier to gauge that. The size is perfect. Fits easy on my pedalboard. Love the pedal. A major asset to any professional, modern, working guitarist.

  • from Staunton, VA June 1, 2017

    Nagging question

    I love mine and use it in conjunction with other loopers. Its a great tool. But I have a nagging question that may be able to be answered here.;

    Why are the wav files recorded on my RC-3 so low? if i load a "normalized" wav file onto the pedal and switch between that and a patch recorded with a guitar signal the volume level between the two requires a lot of compensation/tweaking. if i transfer the guitar line created patch the wav files to a DAW the wav files look anemic. the manual clearly states that the loop output dial does not affect the input level. Is there another way to control it?

    Is the level so low in order to accommodate the 1/8" AUX in line level coming in at a much higher volume?

  • from June 14, 2016

    Boss RC-3

    Works great. Boss seems to always have good products.

  • from Naples January 24, 2016Music Background:
    Just getting back from time off


    Easy to use. aAllows you to practice with yourself playing various parts of the song.

  • from Hesperia, CA July 13, 2015Music Background:
    All around musician, play all instruments, except horn instruments

    Cool pedal

    I've been wanting to get a loop pedal for awhile , and glad that I've waited till the RC-3 CAME out. Great features for such a little device. Also , living in Southern California I've patronized my local Guitar Center for many years , and I'm glad to say that I am glad to have found some else to supply my musical needs. I'm a Praise & Worship leader at our church , all around musician. Thank you and Godbless

  • from July 2, 2015

    Boss RC-3 Loop Station

    Very cool! Perfect for my applications. You can use them for rhythms as long as the drummer can hear them well enough to not get off their original beat that you looped to.

  • from SoCal March 1, 2014Music Background:
    Musician, engineer, producer.

    Great, but...

    I have enjoyed using the RC-3 in live and studio environments. I migrated toward the RC-3 after using another looper that did not have memory or loop recall. The RC-3 has tons memory, enough to store a plethora of loops. I would have given it 5 stars if only they would have added a play/record option feature. I find the double-poling a pain, especially when using it live. It would be nice to just put it in play mode, stomp to play, stomp to stop...no overdub, no double-stomp. Otherwise, I highly recommend the RC-3.

  • from Manhattan Beach, CA November 16, 2012Music Background:

    Great practice aid

    Great for making rhythm/bass loops to practice over. I want to try using it for a jam session with friends, but haven't had the opportunity yet. It's really easy to import WAV files from my iMAC, and the quality of sound through my Acoustic amp is quite good. It would be nice to have the ability to switch between loops by a pedal, rather than having to bend over and push a button, but that's about the only drawback I have found.

  • from Kent, WA. USA October 3, 2012Music Background:

    Great practice tool!

    The Boss RC-3 Looper pedal is a great tool for any person to give themselves a backdrop to practice and hone their chops while increasing creativity and just plain fun! How else can you be a "one - man band" ? It takes a little bit of effort to get the timing down, but once you do the possibilities are endless. Highly recommend!

  • from San Diego, CA September 25, 2012Music Background:

    Loads of fun

    I have really enjoyed the ability to "jam" back in my man cave with the pre-recorded loops, as well as the ability to lay down some rhythm tracks of my own. This has been life-altering for a hack player trying to get his technique back.

  • from Philadelphia,PA November 12, 2011Music Background:


    This did everything I thought it would.Easy to setup and use.A lot of drum beats to record to.Sweetwater is great to deal with

  • from Central Florida, Orlando area March 17, 2016Music Background:
    Played for 40 years

    Great loop pedal

    Love the Boss RC-3 pedal and what it can do. It's a little confusing to learn at first but not that complicated. However, this one is a replacement for the last one I had just like this that just quit for no apparant reason. Authorized Boss repair quoted me $130 to repair it so I opted for a new one instead. Now if this one quits on me after 3 years like the other one, I won't buy another boss looper of any kind. Otherwise love what I can do with this pedal. The one shot phrase is perfect for my gigs to do a little riff here or there and not worry about not hitting the pedal cutoff in exact time.

  • from Bronx, NY January 30, 2014Music Background:
    I have been playing the guitar and have been in working Rock/Blues bands for over 40 years.

    Boss RC3 Loop Station

    I'm still learning how to fully utilize this unit, it's a work in progress! So far so good, I was having a little trouble creating a smooth loop (starting and stopping the looper) but since I've learned how to operate it in auto record that problem is solved. The jury is still out on this one, this is my first experience with a looper so I really don't have anything to compare it too. I am basically using it as a practice tool and for that purpose it works fine. The one thing I am finding hard to do is adjusting the precussion/tap tempo...again this is a work in progres!

  • from Indiana January 23, 2015Music Background:
    Performer, Amateur Sound Engineer

    Boss RC-3

    Great for practice but because of the delay from recording to play back, not going to use for live performance. Love the 3 hour storage capacity, ok with the percussion patterns when writing riffs but that is about it. The ability to download patterns in to a specific storage space is very nice, but even with the extra accessory pedal, changing the bank number kind of cumbersome when doing on the fly.
    For what I wanted for, -PRO: Very clear play back, great amount of storage
    -Con: Hate the delay

  • from United States November 1, 2012Music Background:
    playing since early 60's, and teaching part/full time since 70's...

    Boss RC-3 is cool...

    .. does everything I hoped it would, and a lot more that I didn't expect and haven't really explored, yet . . .

  • from Way Northern California April 9, 2012Music Background:
    amateur enthusiast

    too much and not enough

    I bought this to use as a tool for learning. Finding a person who will play the same 3-4 chords over and over for hrs while I learn to mix dorian/aeolian/pentatonic lead licks is not easy. I figured this would do it. I had been using my looper on my Boss ME 70 for months and just loved it, but it only goes 32 seconds - frustrating if I am trying to figure out lead licks on a whole song with multiple changes.
    This looper has the capabilities to do what I wanted in theory, but I found it hard to navigate and as one reviewer put it - have to do a tap dance to control it. I also found headphones would not work in the output which is unacceptable to my situation. Another friend of mine saw my RC3 and quickly bought his own and he loves it. I ended up returning mine and bought the RC300 for alot more money, but it satisfied my needs and was easier to operate. Last comment - the 16 bit DAC is a a bit of a liability also. Even the RC 300 has that problem, but not my ME 70. I can really hear the difference in the headphones, less when I use an external amp.

  • from Pennsylvania September 2, 2016Music Background:
    20+ years playing, performing, recording


    I owned the pre-USB RC-2 version of this same pedal and sold it on Ebay after a few months. Two months later Boss came out with the RC-3, which has USB. In the mean time, I got a JamMan Stereo. After a couple of performances with the JamMan Stereo, I gave it to my dad because I didn't like the "click" of the switches, or the crappy MS Silverlight software that they make you use. Terrible stuff.

    Somewhere along the line, I picked up a Line 6 DL4, which is pretty sweet, and I will probably never sell it. But I still wanted more.

    I really wanted the quiet switches that Boss offers, and USB capability. So I thought the RC-3 would be worth chance. I really wanted to like this pedal.

    Boy was I wrong.

    Look, I'm a fairly technical user. I play a lot of different instruments, run a lot of different software, and have experience with a lot of different pedals. I perform in multiple genres, and play everything from blues/folk rock to electronica and jazz. But when it comes to looping, I want a low-overhead, easy to use device and lots of intuitive creative possibilities. Sadly, the RC-3 fails on all these points, despite what you see in the ads. It's almost made for Ebay resale.

    The RC-3 is practically useless without an additional 2-switch footpedal (the FS-6). The RC-3 is practically useless for live, on the spot creation because there is so much stop/start required that just KILLS creativity. The RC-3 is practically useless unless you are going to pre-record your loops. You can not save without stopping the flow of your music(!).Even the JamMan had this figured out (though it required stepping away from the instrument and touching the pedal with your fingers).

    I had some fun tonight with an acoustic bass plugged in to the RC-3, overdubbing onto a single loop. But that's about it. The fact that the RC-3 doesn't save your preferences for auto-start after power down is sad. I had a lot of trouble getting the RC-3 to STOP replaying my loop when all I wanted it to do was play back the first loop (the RC-3 goes into record mode *immediately* after recording your first loop). Again, just sad.

    As a practice tool, the RC-3 can work fine. But for live use it is a liability at best. The videos for the RC-30 look a bit more convincing, but I'd say at this point unless you are willing to invest in one of the larger Boss loopers, you should pass on the smaller units if you want serious features. Even the TC Electronic Ditto X4 looks better.

Questions about the Boss RC-3 Loop Station Compact Phrase Recorder Pedal?

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