Boss released RC-5 and RC-500... Both seem 'meh'

Don’t know if discussion of competition is allowed here. I like to track loopers from other manufacturers to see if they’ve got any interesting new features. In this case, it seems not.


My initial reading of specs makes it seem like these are very small modifications to the RC-3 and RC-30. Despite the name the RC-500 is nowhere near the RC-505.

As far as I can tell: slightly improved sound, MIDI, and a (fairly crap) text display. No actual looping function improvements.

What was the point? Have I missed something?

Certainly nowhere near my Aeros. I’m kind of glad, it would have been annoying to have GAS after buying what I’d hoped was the last looper I’ll need. So it’s worked out well for me :smiley:

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Still waiting for their next flagship.

I’ve watched this review video, https://youtu.be/3Rr_9mdK1Rc

Having now seen a bit more I think I was slightly unfair. But not much.

I don’t think there is anything feature wise that I’m missing with a BB+Aeros combo Vs this. Save for one quite large one:. Boss seem to have nailed customisation. From what I can see everything is a setting. The functions and buttons/MIDI commands seem to be completely orthogonal. You can set any of the three main buttons to have any function. Long and short presses, presses Vs releases all seem configurable. Midi commands are available for everything.

That’s about the only thing I took away that singular could do with learning from. That sort of configurability might also deal with a lot of the “can we have a button to do this” type feature requests. The limited function real estate becomes the user’s problem to balance.

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:+1:

Having bought the Boss RC-10R, it looked good in the marketing but was not a viable product for me and I returned it in short order. The RC-10R which was like a precursor to the RC-5 and RC500 lacked some serious features and was buggy. It “appears” the RC-5 and RC-500 attempt to address some of the shortcomings of the RC-10R…so it looks interesting to me. I like the price point. The drums are not as robust and configurable as a BB, but they may be okay for certain dinner gigs etc I do. I like the Aeros too but the price to entry is steep and quite frankly being able to have 6 independent loops is not attractive to me. If the smart people at Singular would make an integrated BB and looper it would destroy everyone. The challenge is feature versus price-point. For me there are too many other great loopers for less than the Aeros (even though it has a color screen etc). With that said, the BB has been an awesome tool for us, we gig a ton with it and I would and do recommend it to everyone. It is nice for there to be options…

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I fully agree that the Aeros is far too expensive to compete on this front with other loopers except maybe with Headrush Looperboard.

But when it comes to features BB (I am waiting for one) is far above competitors I know, since the last releases Aeros explodes the other loopers, and the couple Aeros+BB seems to be absolutely unbeatable (even against that Looperboard monstrosity).

That said, there are still points on which stuff like Boss pedals are pretty strong at: Super solid, super reliable (I still use regularly my old RC2 which is almost 15 years old… I would like to see the Aeros last that long). And talking more specifically about Boss loopers whatever the generation you consider, loop duration has never been a concern. As I generally do short tracks, I never faced the issue but was really surprised to see some comments in this forum about the relatively short duration allowed by the Aeros (I don’t remember the actual duration). For me nowadays this shouldn’t be a concern anymore, and it’s a bit of a shame if it still is !

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the only loopers you should consider if you don’t have the cash for an Aeros are a used Pigtronix Infinity (not the new mini one) if you’re in the $300 price range or a TC Electronic Ditto if you’re in the $100 price range. mayyyyybe some of the EHX loopers too but otherwise most of the stuff on the market really pales in comparison to those.

i would prefer the TC Electronic Ditto X4 instead of the Pigtronix Infinity, but the Infinity has smart MIDI syncing that fixes the problem most MIDI loopers have with going out of sync after enough repeats

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I own the RC-5. The Aeros has me spoiled, and I couldn’t imagine using this BOSS pedal as a looper. However, I use it as a sampler, and it’s a great accessory to the Aeros and BB. The RC-5 is midi i/o, though limited to 8 input assignments (cc# 80 through 87) which is kind of a bummer. But some are based on cc value, so you can get some added tweaking in there.

Well you could buy 3 RC-5s for the price of the Aeros…You are really comparing apples to oranges IMHO. The Aeros seems pretty nice but price-wise it is certainly on the upper end of things.

While true… Those three still wouldn’t even be able to do a two track verse followed by a two track chorus. Let alone a 6x6. If the integration between them was that good, then it would be a viable option. However they also still wouldn’t magically grow a touch screen with the waveform for each track on display. So we’re in agreement: it’s apples Vs oranges, which means price isn’t a useful metric. (That’s not to say that I don’t think aeros is expensive, but since it has no feature-compete competitors, we can’t use it for comparisons)

Aeros is a fundamentally stronger platform. I just wish they’d gotten an equivalently strong software development team years ago. I think they’re fighting a lot of technical debt at the moment in terms of firmware.

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Yes, all valid points. I am certainly not saying the RC-5 competes on a feature level with the Aeros (Or that linking them together could make an Aeros feature-wise competitor). What I am saying is depending on your needs as a loop performer the RC-5 could satisfy your needs at a fraction of the cost. With that said, I have no horse in the race I use a Boomerang and even it has features beyond my specific use case.

I totally agree with you regarding the software.

I’m a multi-instrument looper. I haven’t been able to find anything that matches the functionality of my Boomerang with Sidecar (or it’s midi commands) until recently. Now I’m using the LiveLoop app on computer (Mac.) So far, it has been solid enough to think/hope it’s the end of my floor loopers. It doesn’t have visual waveforms, and you can’t do multi-part songs per se, but it meets and beats my requirements plus a ton more.

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actual fact this syncs with my opz aeros doesn’t seem to and it slaves to rc500 time nicely and i can use midi thru to control both loopers which is super - you can choose input for what it going to record on it mic or instrument left or right and output separately

Hey are you saying you’re following these steps and Aeros won’t slave to OPZ?

the problem is i don’t have the right cable? i tried using the roland um one mk2 cable and nothing, with the boss rc500 it just syncs over usb no problem maybe I changed a little of the settings on the channels and what have you on the rc500 and on the app on the opz but nothing really serious just working off the bat - this is a real peeve of mine for the aeros - makes me not want to use it

i don’t have the oplab as that is another $250 that would give a way to midi over 1/4 inch the way the opz is it only midi syncs over usb not over 3.5mm audio cable

also how do you sync midi with ableton? do you have to go through a midi interface? wtf? why can’t it happen over usb? what is the point of usb? just to file storage move?

USB does not have a defined purpose yet, you must sync to Ableton using MIDI with a dedicated MIDI interface or audio interface with MIDI.