Boss RC-3 Loop Station Looper Pedal Review – Sweetwater Sound

Get the RC-3 Loop Station here:

In this video, I put my attention on the BOSS RC-3 Loop Station. This is a feature-packed looper in the standard, BOSS compact-pedal format. Three hours of available loop-time, true stereo I/O, 99 memory slots, a rhythm guide, a stereo 1/8″ MP3 player input, and a USB port are all part of this amazing little pedal.

As we have come to expect with all BOSS products, the RC-3 is very guitarist-friendly. It sounds great plugging a guitar in and going straight to a guitar amp. It also works perfectly with other pedals, as you can hear in the intro of the video; I used a BOSS DS-1X distortion for the non-looped, solo guitar. The RC-3 is rock solid and stage ready, and can be powered with either a standard BOSS PSA adapter or a 9V battery. This guy is ready for any pedalboard.

Boss did a great job of making all of the features accessible on the RC-3, even though there’s not much physical space available for knobs and buttons. A little experimentation and a quick look at the owner’s manual and I was navigating the RC-3 with no problem. I started building a loop at about the 1:50 mark in the video and you can see that most of the features are one or two buttons away. Start, stop, record, overdub, and erase can all be accomplished with the RC-3’s built-in footswitch.

The Rhythm Guide makes seamless looping easier in a variety of ways. Simply having either a time keeper or a drum pattern lets you know exactly where to start and stop playing but the RC-3 also starts and stops recording on the measure so you don’t have to have perfect timing with the footswitch. There’s even the option to set up a “count-in bar” so the recording doesn’t start until after one measure of the rhythm guide has played. There’s a variety of onboard drum patterns and a separate volume control for the Rhythm Guide. You can use it to help build your track, and you have the option to mute it for performance.

Having a USB port offers the ability to save created loops to your computer or to upload tracks onto the RC-3 for use in loops. An external footswitch can be connected so more of the features can be one-touch available. This would be particularly useful if you were using the looper in a performance and needed footswitchable access to more parameters

Whether you’re just getting your feet wet with looping, or you’re a looping pro that needs lots of features in a small package, the RC-3 fills the bill. It’s great-sounding, easy to use and I had fun making loops with it. Thanks for checking out the video!

— Don Carr



Not digging the distortion pedal.

Paul R. says:

Hello! Paolo from Italy.One question : During the recording of more loops. I record the first loop and it’s fine. I record the second one and it’s fine.I record a third one, but I make a mistake. Can i just erase this third recording loop without erasing the first and second ones?Thanks guys

Richard Lopez says:

ew the tone

Chris Davies says:

how many loops can it hold in one go? meaning if I recorded one loop, how many more recordings will it take?

Sarah Roberts says:

I,d love to use one of these when I’m busking, they have one in Dawsons Chester, what is the battery life like on this unit.

Stephen Thompson says:

Nice. Thanks for the video.

Mazihan Majid says:

good for solo practising.

Casey Henderson says:

Love your playing, man. Reminds me of Prince….

Elvio Alves Nogueira says:


Kain Motthasmews says:

this seems expensive and unnecessary to me. The only time i would use this is if i just want to jam in my bed room.

Torwalk says:

Aren’t BOSS loopers made to operate differently from the TC Electronic ones? As far as i’ve seen in video reviews, the BOSS loopers are operated in the following way: You activate the recording, record something, push the pedal, and after you push the pedal, the loop starts playing, but you are also over-dubbing. On the TC Electronic, you record something, push the pedal and after that, the loop starts playing but you ARE NOT over-dubbing. If you want to over-dub, you should press the pedal again, which is not the case with the BOSS loopers. Did i miss something, or they are really made to operate differently? Thanks in advance.

Smitty says:

Is it hard to get the timing right having to click the pedal twice to turn it off?

Imre Orro says:

ojeh just boght it hope can dial in sounds fuzzi in low vol distorted amp demo sounds good almost think need separate amp lets see prerecorded loops useless i play432

Akis Kyriakidis says:

How can I delete a melody?
I can’t find the operation!

She Got Helicopters says:

too much talking

Viktor Z says:

Does this pedal suits better for electric guitars then acoustic? I’m looking for a loop-pedal for my acoustic guitar would this one work good u think?

Immanuel Joshua Lundy says:

+SweetwaterSound This is probably a dumb question but you can loop vocals with the RC-3 correct?

gRosh08 says:


Smellavision says:

I was disappointed this looper does not work with headphones. output signal is so low it’s barely audible through headphones. Is there a work around? can anyone recommend a good headphone amp? Looking for something more portable than a big amp.

Bailey Bowen says:

Do you have to have a PA system in order to use a loop station?

TotalMan says:

I’ve been using this pedal for 3 years and it’s amazing

Bram Leferink says:

the big question for me about loopers is:
say you want to play in a simple 4 beats per bar. Now when you start recording a loop you start on the first beat and when the 4th beat is done you press the button again, so then you have your loop playing over and over again.

but now, say I start recording another layer on the first beat, what happens if I stop this one at the 3rd beat? will the looper fill in the entire last beat with a pause automatically? Or do you have to time this yourself completely?

4th line clothing company says:

that was cool

BenjaminJay30 says:

Great demo!

brian wilkie says:

with the very long record time available (3 Hours) is it possible to create a longer studio piece as a demo, say up to an hour of music, pausing to add and change instruments as you go along, i guess it would mean going back to the start each time ? and waiting to introduce the next instrument ,or does the looping time stop when YOU stop only?

Andy Griswold says:

Is this thing stage viable? I play in a 3-piece rock band and am looking to thicken up my guitar solos with backing tracks. Can I make one on the fly mid song on stage? Or do I need to prerecord it and then kick it on before my solo?

Joni Salo says:

I just ordered this looper yesterday and I am really excited! I can hardly wait for it to arrive from Germany. 🙂

Joshua Medendorp says:

I have been using the 0-9 backing tracks provided as I get used to the RC-3. However, when I export the .wav file to my computer i find that (A) it’s super quiet and even if I max the levels in Cubase it isn’t as loud as I would like (i put the output level on the pedal and guitar to the max and still no difference) and (B) the pre-programmed backing tracks are not included in the .wav file when I play them back on the computer. Any ideas regarding these problems?

Preston Callahan says:

GET A WARRANTY! My pedal stopped all power within the first day. I need help.

John Saults says:

yeah. wouldn’t it be better with a separate speaker? like a 112 or another amp? I’ve got small monitor speakers but they’re stout. I ordered an RC 3. I think that’s the more expensive one. that’s what I ordered. any suggestions???

Kendall Lorenz says:

Are there any cheaper alternatives to this? Like in the $50 range? $90 is too much for such a simple purpose.

fattirevsbud says:

HOrrible tone

Best Looper Pedal Review says:

well explained. keep it up

Geir Otto Dahlie says:

Hi…can it be used with a synth as well?

Brady Swenson says:

Hi so I have a huge question about this looper pedal. I bought it and the clean sounds amazing but when I play with the recording on the distortion setting it like cuts out the sound from the recording when I play along with it. What am I doing wrong? I don’t know if that makes sense but hard to explain. Someone please help 🙂 asap would be nice! I tried adjusting the sound level on the amp and pedal but nothing works

Roby Lazarus says:

Don, very simple but effective vid, great playing as well. Thank you for sharing this. Kind regards.

shane brady says:

Many are having trouble with effects being added to all dubs not just the one they want. The order of effects is crucial. Look it up!! If you have a “send/return, run the looper through that, pedals after the guitar in ther PROPER order. YOu can find this in a hundred places here, just look up pedal order setup! If you have a Boss Katana, go to tone studio, “chain” section and find the chain out of the three that are there that only records the effect on the dub you want. EASY:)

Busra Yogurtcu says:

Can you record an entire riff to that loop? Like let’s say that i wanna play something which is playing with 2 guitars, can i record 1 guitar and save it, and than play the second guitar while the first one is playing from the loop?

Justin Wilson says:

So, how would this compare to the EHX Nano Looper?

João Paulo Freitas says:


Milo Guy says:

hi I just got one of these, is there any set length for a loop ? like if i play a rythem (acoustic guitar) with out the in built rhythm as I have a drummer, some times I hit to record for a while and i find it hard some times to hit the pedal just to stop the recording with out auto play back… any way love it, guess I need time with it..

Tiffany Thompson says:

Ok this is probably a very stupid question. But do you have to have the distortion pedal? Because whenever I record a clean rhythm and then switch my channel on my amp to distortion to solo it makes the looped rhythm switch to distortion too.

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