Congratulations on your purchase of the Sheeran Looper X. Designed by Ed and his production team, the Looper X utilizes custom DSP powered by HeadRush®, featuring a suite of premium built-in multi-FX, class-leading audio quality and comprehensive connectivity options to help take your looping to the next level. But where do you start; a question you may find yourself Thinking Out Loud? In this guide we'll cover a few practical setup tips and tricks for getting started.


Before you begin to record

Start by plugging in your inputs and setting the gain on the Gain knob so that you get a clear signal. Note the layout- inputs on this device are laid out left to right. It's important to get a good signal now, because FX Racks that apply later are adding onto this signal, which means they need to have a strong signal coming in to have a strong signal going out. For more on FX Racks, please see page 24 of your user guide.

One of the first things you're going to want to do on the unit is to make sure of is that your recording functions are setup the way you want them. This will involve navigating to the menu using the icon in the top left, then changing settings inside the Loop Settings and the Global Settings. Everything that you change on the Global Settings will stay that way until changed again by you; everything that is setup inside the Loop Settings will need to be reset every time you start a new Loop. We'll start with the Global Settings-

Global Settings

To begin, you're going to want to make a decision about the logic of the REC + PLAY pedal- The options are whether you want the pedal to go into Play mode or Dub mode after recording. If you're a beginner, there is no problem with giving yourself a play through of the loop to gather your ideas up before beginning to Dub. This can also be useful in a situation were you decide you've finished your backing tracks and want to be able to just jam over the tracks without recording them.

The other option is to have recordings go straight into Dubbing, which is great for keeping the momentum going. Remember, as you have unlimited layers on every track, you can start leave the loop in Dub mode and just pick up as soon as you're comfortable and keep playing until you get back to where you wanted to be. 

Next you're going to want to set the hold functions of your pedals. While Stop is locked to one function(erase all recordings on a loop), your Tracks and REC+Play can be set to different ideas.  Tracks can be set to Clear the contents of a track when held down, or to Arm them to overdub. Meanwhile REC+Play's options are to peel back the last layer recorded(great for if you make a mistake) or to Undo everything since you last started to record or dub(great for if an idea isn't panning out).

Next let's visit the Audio Tab:

If using a condenser or ribbon mic, please make sure to turn on Phantom Power. If plugging into a house sound system with your XLR's, please turn on the XLR Ground Lift. If plugging into an amplifier for your guitar sound, please use the Amp setting on the 1/4" Output Level(see user guide for routing information). Finally, a quick note that the Tuner does not need to output to function. It can be used without passing the sound out at all if the NONE option is selected.

Loop Settings

First off, while you can set your tempo here, we will mention in the guide later where the Tap Tempo is, so please do not feel that you need to come into here to set your Tempo on every loop.  Instead, you're going to want to make sure that you have your metronome setup the way you want it to. You'll want to set your time signature first by tapping on the 4/4 and turning the main knob until it matches what you would like it to be set to. 

Next you're going to want to decide if you want a click track going while you're recording. One of the more unique and useful features is that the Looper X has the ability to only play the click track on the first time through your recording(Rec 1st Layer), which is useful if you're laying percussion down from a stringed instrument in Ed's signature style. Please note levels for the metronome and the routing of it can be found in the respective Mixer and Audio Routing areas of the menu. Finally you'll want to decide if you want a count in and how many bars you want before the recording starts. 

Next we'll tap the mode tab. At any point from the main looper/waves screen this can be accessed by tapping the bottom right corner.

Here is where you'll need to make some decisions about what you're recording and how you're going to do it. We'll touch on a few of the differences-

Multi is a great tool for recording a track in Ed's style and building it track by track- for example while doing Shape of You, you'd start by doing the percussion, then an accompanying melodic motif over that percussion, some harmony vocals, then then chords as another harmony and textural element; with the end goal being a way to create a song and create dynamics by controlling how/when these textures intertwine. All the tracks must have the same length. For more information on this, please see page 12 of your user guide.

Our other 3 modes concern the loop function not with being so textural, but instead structural. Song is a way of having 4 different tracks representing a verse, chorus and other sections of a song. Instead, the loop acts as an arranger instead of a multitrack recorder. The key idea for these modes is you are instead using overdubs to build a song, which means the peel function will become a key function for changing a texture. In song mode, only one track can play at a time,

Band Mode treats a central, main track as the backbone of a song- where one track is constantly playing; think of it as your drum beat, or a constant accompaniment. Like Song mode, the other tracks you jump between are the different sections of your song; for example one beat while you dub guitar, bass and harmony vocals over a verse or chorus; so that you can jump between them as you play the track. One Track plus the Main Track will play at a time.

Sync Mode is more of a happy medium between Song and Multi. Like Multi, your other tracks punch in over that one track, but in this case, the other tracks can be different lengths compared to the first track(but some kind of applicable length of the main track, i.e. if the main is 4 bars others would be 2 or 8), allowing you to create different textures while still having a stable structure/the ability to have structural song elements on the other 3 tracks.

Free mode is for whatever you would like to do. There are no rules. 

For now let's finally bump out to the Wave screen from the Menu. 

Wave and Starting to Record

Inside here, double tap your Function Pedal to bring up the TAP TEMPO, and then user the REC + PLAY Pedal to tap in your tempo for at least one measure. To exit afterwards, please press the Function Pedal.

If you would like to import a Drum beat or a pre-recorded track, please tap this eighth note + icon to go into the File browser and select the track you'd like to add in- 

For more information on this, please see page 14 of your user guide.

From here, to begin recording please tap the Track pedal you would like to record to, then the Record + Play pedal to begin.

When finished, press the Record + Play to go into whichever function you set it to in the Pedal Logic and close the loop.