So, you’re the fastest one-shot sampler in the West, huh? We’ve got good news for you, then – you can now proceed to spend money on new gear. Photo (CC-BY) William Clifford.

What was the most-asked question around new music tech announcements earlier this month, coinciding with the industry’s NAMM trade show? Was it, “What’s the best accessory for my iPad?” Was it, “what was the game changer for music workstations?”

Nope – not among CDM readers, anyway. It was, “can I do one-shot samples with the new loopers?

A one-shot sample – for those of you thinking of True Grit – is just a sample that plays once and then stops, instead of immediately looping. It shouldn’t be rocket science, but makers of loopers are often convinced you want everything looping e. The nice thing about one-shot samples is that they provide more opportunities to be musically expressive and virtuosic than you would if you were knee-deep in never-ending loops.

VOX (Korg) and BOSS (Roland) each had dueling looper introductions – and each, in turn, earned some attention from readers. Those readers wanted to know if one shots were practical on the hardware. The answer: yes.

The BOSS LoopStations offer extensive sample time and memory storage; you can even use them as mobile recorders:
New Boss Loop Stations Add Features, Up to Three Hours of Recording; the Loopers to Beat

The VOX looper lacks that recording flexibility with small sample times, but many readers liked its live performance-oriented features and effects:
VOX Gets in Looping Game with Dynamic Looper – 90 Seconds, But with Live Features

So, about those 1-shots… First, Amanda Whiting confirms the new RC LoopStations each offer one-shot looping. Add that together with other usability enhancements, and I’d say the LoopStations really are looking a lot better.

Second, I asked Korg’s Leslie Buttonow if the VOX Dynamic Looper will do one shots:

Yes, it does because the Looper allows you versatile ways of ending your loops. Ex.—-“Stop at end of a loop; playback; fade out; delay out (like a fade while repeating last note).”

So, using the “stop at end of loop” mode would in essence give people a “one-shot” loop trigger of sorts.

Actually, I’d say that’s not just a one-shot “of sorts” – that there, pardner, is a gosh-honest, one hundred percent-authentic one-shot. Put that in your … sampler … and … smoke it. Erm. Yeah.

There you have it, folks. Each looper looks like it holds some serious potential. Oddly, talking to Roger Linn about his new drum machine with Dave Smith, the Tempest, our conversation turned to looping as an ideal way to translate the act of recording into performance. So, there’s great interest in this stuff. If you put together some fantastic looping performance, whether you’re sampling your singing or your ukelele or your crumhorn, do send it our way!