Rocktron Patchmate Loop 8 Floor Switching System
Originally published in Guitar World, May 2010
The Patchmate Loop 8 Floor Switching System makes it easy to control stomp boxes, rack
effect processors, amp switching and even amp channel switching from a centralized unit.
Back in the December 2009 issue, I reviewed the Rocktron Patchmate Loop 8, a powerful but compact rackmount switching system with eight buffered loops. For an encore, Rocktron recently introduced the Patchmate Loop 8 Floor, essentially a floor-mounted version that offers many identical features plus individual footswitches for manually activating loops without an additional MIDI foot controller.
The Patchmate Loop 8 Floor makes it easy to control stomp boxes, rack effect processors, amp switching and even amp channel switching from a centralized unit. Its floor pedal design is especially convenient for guitarists who use a lot of different stomp boxes and prefer to keep their pedals on the floor instead of hidden in a rack.
In addition to its floor-mount design and integrated footswitches, the Patchmate Loop 8 Floor has features that are essentially identical to those of the rackmount unit. All of the jacks for each of the eight loops are located on the back of the unit, with each loop section consisting of 1/4-inch input, output, send and return jacks. Each loop is discrete and provides true bypass and buffered and nonbuffered signal paths. The rear panel also includes a pair of 1/4-inch output jacks (active and passive), a seven-pin MIDI In jack (with phantom power) and a five-pin MIDI Out/Thru jack. A pair of 1/4-inch guitar input jacks (active and passive) are conveniently located on the right edge of the unit.
Like its predecessor, the Patchmate Floor stores 128 presets that are accessible only with an external MIDI controller (like the Rocktron MIDI Xchange or All Access), but users can access any of the first eight presets with the unit’s footswitches.
The Patchmate Floor performs almost identically to the Patchmate Loop 8, so for details check out the December 2009 review. The unit has Loop, Preset and Setup modes that let you, respectively, activate loops individually, access the first eight presets and program your own custom patches. Setup mode is easy to use, but you’ll need to keep the manual handy until you’ve memorized the corresponding LED displays for MIDI channel and controller bank assignments.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Rocktron's Patchmate Loop 8 Floor is a powerful compact controller that’s especially for stomp box connoisseurs who want to tame their setups and maintain pristine sound quality, no matter how complicated their rig is.
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