Review: Electro-Harmonix Nano 360 Looper
Mike Matthews and the team at Electro-Harmonix are no strangers to the world of looping. In fact, the 16 Second Digital Delay was one of the very first delay pedals to offer looping capabilities — nearly two and a half decades ago. And with more companies getting into the compact looper game than ever before these days, it only makes sense that the NYC-based company should be there, too.
The Nano Looper 360 is so easy a drummer could use it. (It’s okay, I can say that — one of my best friends is a drummer.) All joking aside, I had it out of the box, plugged in and playing back my loops in no time at all — and never needed o consult the manual.
The magic starts with one tap of the footswitch to start recording. Adjust the Level knob to taste, play as long as you want — well, up to 360 seconds — and then hit the footswitch again to end the loop. If you want to add layers, pile on as many as you’d like by re-engaging the recording mode via the footswitch and then hit it one more time to disengage when you’re done or double tap the footswitch to stop playback altogether. Simple as that.
Made a mistake? Want to try something different? No problem. Just hold the footswitch for a second to engage the undo/redo function. Two blinks of the green “PLAY” light and your last recorded loop is either added or subtracted.
Bonus tip: The undo/redo function is always available for the last loop you recorded — even if you’ve back and forth from another loop in the meantime — making it a super useful performance feature in live situations.
And speaking of saving your loop, it happens automatically. So if you’re in love with what you just came up with, switch to one of the other 11 loops to start something new. And when you want to go back, the original loop is there for instant recall and remains there until you erase it.
Some Like It Dirty
You may not realize, but before launching into professional freelance and gear blogging, I spent a lot of my spare time uploading pedal demos and reviews to YouTube. One of my most popular videos was of a looper pedal and there was one question that I received so many times I actually made a separate video to answer it. The question always went something like: “When I record a clean loop and then switch to a dirty lead tone, everything comes out distorted — is something wrong with my pedal?”
This seems like common sense, but since I’ve seen the question so many times on YouTube, it only seems right to address it here. So here’s the deal — it’s all about order. You plug the guitar into the pedal and plug the pedal into the front of your amp. In that orientation, any change you make to the amp will impact everything going into it — previously clean loops included.
So if you want clean and dirty tones while looping, here are a few options:
Use a drive pedal in front of the looper
Use the volume knob on your guitar to clean up your distorted amp
If you have one, put the looper in the FX loop of your amp
With six minutes of recording time, eleven savable loops and 24-bit digital converters to ensure high quality, uncompressed audio, the EHX Nano Looper 360 is a very solid 1-switch looper. If you want to nitpick, it isn’t quite as feature-rich as some of the other compact loopers on the market today, but at its price point, the mix of options is more than adequate.
Note: This review was originally featured in Tone Report Weekly