“It far surpasses anything that I’d ever used before”: Ed Sheeran flips the looper market on its head with his own line of feature-packed loop pedals

It seems like a long time coming, but Ed Sheeran – the one-man-band who single-handedly revolutionized the looper pedal’s fortunes – has finally lifted the curtain on his own signature line of stompboxes.

A looper pedal has been at the foundation of Sheeran’s sound for more than a decade, and has been a stalwart in his setup ever since his early days as an aspiring singer-songwriter, all the way to his current status as a stadium-filling, chart-smashing superstar.

That Sheeran has decided to release his own line of looper pedals, as perhaps the unit’s greatest champion over the past few years, comes as no surprise – and something that has even been speculated about in the past.

So, a signature Sheeran looper is no shock. What is a mild surprise, though, is the form in which it has arrived.

As a loyal user of Boss Loop Stations before moving to his own custom-made unit, Sheeran may have been expected to partner with the Japanese firm to build on and expand its existing looper formats.

However, that’s not the case. Instead, Sheeran has joined forces with HeadRush, which has helped The A Team artist bring his vision of the ultimate stadium-ready rig to life.

To that end, two pedals have been introduced: the Looper + Dual-Track and Looper X Multi-Track Workstation.

The first is more typical unit, with two footswitches to control all the standard looping functions. To take the design further, there’s a 1.8” color screen with RGB LED loop status ring for real-time performance info.

Four looper modes are available – Single, Multi, Sync and Song – with stereo inputs, a combo XLR jack and a USB port for MIDI and loop file transfers. Other notable features include space to save up to 128 loops with over three hours of audio to internal storage, an expression pedal connection and six hours of battery life, as well as three control knobs to determine Instrument, Mic and Main gain levels.

The X Multi-Track, meanwhile, takes things up a level, and is described as “your ultimate looper workstation for songwriting and live performance”.

Here, there are eight footswitches for navigating the five loop modes – a ‘Free’ mode is introduced – while the screen has been expanded to a 7” with touchscreen control, which shows real-time metering and waveform rendering.

There’s also built-in multi-FX, “class-leading audio quality” and a comprehensive array of connectivity options. In terms of performance, there’s an unlimited loop length with a whopping 99 layers per track, as well as limitless bouncing.

Oh, and we should probably mention the Intelligent Time-Stretching function that maintains pitch when changing tempos, onboard chromatic tuner, built-in backing track player with over 300 included drum loops, seven hours of internal storage and MIDI connectivity.

It is, quite frankly, one of the most powerful and feature-packed loopers on the market.

“The thing with the loop pedal was the ‘get up and go’-ness of it,” Sheeran says of his loping affinity. “I started using loopers when I saw Gary Dunn open up for Nizlopi in 2005. I said, ‘That’s how I want to do gigs.’

“Anywhere at any time I could just plug in. With a band you’d have to ring people up and be like, ‘Are you free on this date? Can you do this?’ And I literally had a backpack with leads and a loop pedal and CDs. You can set up anywhere, and that’s what is great about looping.

“So many people that have tons of equipment that they bring round to make their loop thing work, I just thought having it all in one thing would make it a lot easier.

“The reason that this is what it is is because of years of being like, ‘I would like this in a pedal.’ It does everything I need it to do. And more. It far surpasses anything that I’d ever used before. The key thing is they sound great and they’re easy to use. I use them.”

Like we said, this is a sizeable shake-up in the looper market, and the two Sheeran x HeadRush units have the potential to become the go-to stompboxes for many aspiring and serious loopers.

Indeed, even those who aren’t fans of Sheeran’s work will no doubt be impressed by the features both pedals offer, making them an appealing and accessible option for general looper aficionados as well as Sheeran loyalists.

In terms of price, the Looper + lists for $299, while its larger Looper X sibling costs $1,199.

Head over to Sheeran Loopers to find out more.

This is the second gear release from Sheeran this week – Lowden recently raised the bar with its most luxurious Ed Sheeran signature guitar to date, the fully hand-made Stadium Edition model.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.