Serious looper with plenty of tricks up its sleeve
The American pedal brand Pigtronix has a wonderfully bizarre range of gear, ranging from the Echolution 2 delay pedal, which boasts more knobs than a butter-measuring convention, to a quite intimidating (but fantastic sounding) PXEMT tremolo pedal which looks like it requires an in-depth knowledge of industrial engineering. They also do some ‘regular’ pedals, such as the incredible PXFAT drive pedal, but Pigtronix’ niche really lies in offering musicians something out of the ordinary.
So, it stands to reason that the company’s flagship looper pedal was going to have some neat ideas of its own, elevating it above a simple play/record/overdub device. Here’s our Pigtronix Infinity Looper review to explain some of the wild and wacky fun you can have with this unique stomper.
The Pigtronix Infinity Looper is essentially a two channel looper with a host of different functions, features and idiosyncrasies. It comes equipped with two 1/4″ jack inputs on the right hand side of the unit and two 1/4″ jacks on the left hand side for outputs to your amp, PA or desk. The rear of the pedal houses inputs for the (optional) Pigtronix remote pedal and an expression pedal, along with an auxiliary output for sending to a drummer’s monitor, a MIDI input for hooking the Infinity up to an external MIDI clock device, and the connection for an 18v power supply. Finally, the front of the Infinity has a USB connection for transferring loops onto the unit and installing firmware updates.
As soon as you get it out of the box, you know this pedal isn’t messing around. Coming in at around the size of a VHS tape (Google it, youngsters) and ensconced in a black metal chassis, the Infinity is certainly a heavyweight pedal. Barring a fit of pique involving a chainsaw or a sledgehammer, you ain’t going to be breaking this in a hurry. At the top of the pedal’s surface are a range of knobs, buttons and LEDs which denote the exact function you’re using, while at the bottom three footswitches enable instant control over your looping – two play/record/dub switches for loops one and two, and a programmable master stop switch. The knobs are pretty straightforward; two for loops one and two volume, a master volume and a preset knob. The preset knob in particular is your friend considering the amount of different functions on offer here, but we’ll get to that. All in good time.
Sitting underneath the knobs is a row of buttons and LEDS, and it is from here that you access some of the more interesting features of the Infinity. There’s a few of them to go through, along with various different permutations and sub-configurations within that so, having played with the pedal for a couple of weeks, it’s probably easier to list the features in order of how much they were used. It’s all subjective though, so your mileage may vary.
First up is the ability to switch between series and parallel looping. What this means, basically, is that loops one and two either run concurrently (i.e. at the same time) or they run separately to each other. Running together, it essentially means you have two loop pedals sitting next to each other. This setting is engaged using the button marked Series Loops, and is perfect for artists looking to incorporate structure to their songs. Loop one acts in its own right as the verse, then loop two can be used for a chorus section.
Of course, this being Pigtronix, the options don’t end there. Sitting directly above the two loop control footswitches is a vertical row of LEDs and a button marked Sync Multi and here’s where things get interesting. By engaging Sync Multi you can make loop two longer than loop one by multiples of two, three, four and six. In practice, this means you can record a two bar loop onto loop one, then set Sync Multi to track at four times the length so that loop two is now an eight bar loop. This answers a common problem on ‘lesser’ loopers where you’re effectively tied to the length of your first recording. You may decide that your verse section will be a repeated four bar passage, while your chorus requires the full eight bars to itself, the greedy so and so. With the Infinity, you’re free to make these decisions in a way you can’t with a more basic pedal.
There’s plenty here for multi-instrumentalists too in the shape of the Input Split button, which takes the two input connections on the side and ties them to loops one and two. This enables a guitar to go through loop one and a drum machine, synth, bass or second guitarist to play through loop two.
Finally, there are the stop mode options. This is also very cool; from here, you can programme the Infinity to stop the current loop either instantly on pressing the switch, or have it fade out over a the length of the loop or, most interestingly, have it trail off. By using the trail option, the loop stops playing after a pre-determined amount of cycles so you can begin to explore ever evolving loops and soundscapes.
Synth and studio fans will certainly welcome the addition of a MIDI in connector; this means the Infinity can take its clock source from external hardware or a DAW, which takes the pedal out of the realms of being solely a guitar tool and opens it up to a far wider audience. Imagine firing up a list of loops through Ableton and being able to add guitar over the top in a live setting – it’s all possible with the Infinity.
Make no mistake, this is a pro-level pedal. It features a pretty fierce learning curve, even when you consider yourself proficient, simply due to the fact that so many features here are either unique to the Infinity or haven’t been seen together in one pedal. But don’t let that put you off; time spent devouring the manual and watching the videos on the Pigtronix website will pay off. It’s well worth it too, because once you get your head round what the Pigtronix Infinity Looper can do and begin creating with it, you’ll be at an immediate advantage in any number of musical situations.