30 Pedals in 30 Days 2015: Pigtronix Infinity Looper and BeatBuddy Drum Machine

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Pigtronix Infinity And the BeatBuddy Gives Life to Your Musical Inspiration

Whether it’s the ability of a single musician to create intricate and immersive soundscapes live or simply and quickly create backing tracks to run new riffs or ideas against, loopers have become fixtures in the gear lockers of many guitar players in recent years.  And many pedal-based loopers  are dead simple to use; a single knob to control the loop level is the lone control, with the actual record and loop functions being controlled through the footswitch.  

But while many makers are striving to strip down their loopers to the basics, Pigtronix has gone the other way entirely, without sacrificing intuitiveness or simplicity.  The Pigtronix Infinity Looper could very well get it’s name from the seemingly limitless capabilities that reside within it’s sleek, well-organized casing.  And when it’s paired with TheToneKing.com favorite Beat Buddy drum machine pedal, it puts amazing performance and compositional power right on your pedalboard [TTK video review here].

It’s tricky, in a good way, to describe what using the Pigtronix Infinity Looper is like.  It’s almost like having a foot-controlled, super-intelligent stereo recorder on your pedalboard.  Two independent loops, each with their own level control, can be configured for series or parallel (simultaneous playback) operation, and each loop has independent input and output jacks.  So, in a live situation, a bass player and a guitar player can use the same Infinity and have neatly synced loops for their performance.

The feature this author especially enjoys in his Infinity is the Sync Multi feature.  In loopers without this feature (which is most pedal loopers out there), the first loop has to be the longest, and successive loops have to be the same length or some equal portion of the first loop, so that everything matches up correctly.  This isn’t a huge drawback for many; honestly, it was a problem I rarely ran into when using previous loopers.  But I always felt a little bit tied down creatively because of this.  The Infinity’s Sync Multi feature means that worries like this are a thing of the past; successive loops can be up to six times the length of your original loop.  For live looping, that’s a major advantage.  You can really let your muse go where it wants to go.

IMG_7552Another thing Pigtronix has hit it out of the park with is MIDI implementation, and this is where our buddy…or Beat Buddy, if you like…comes in.  With the Infinity and Beat Buddy seamlessly communicating with each other and syncing loops with ultra-realistic drum parts, musicians can quickly and easily create entire arrangements with just a few toe taps.  The implications here for live and studio looping are huge.  

In fact, this writer has found that the Infinity is an amazing compositional tool.  I’ve done writing sessions where I’ve laid down two guitar parts (one on each loop), overdubbed individual bass parts or other instrumentation on each loop, and then simply triggered the loops to cleanly and effortlessly switch between each part.  Instead of committing to a particular song structure, say, verse twice, chorus once, verse twice, etc., I use the Infinity to experiment with different arrangements.  I can also undo and redo parts to try different harmonic ideas.  And with five banks of ten presets each, for a total of fifty presets, I have plenty of room to save my best ideas.  Needless to say, I retired my little one-knob, one switch looper pedal the very moment the Infinity showed up at my doorstep.

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Pigtronix earlier this year released a firmware update for the Infinity that further refines this amazing platform, including the way it communicates time signatures with a Beat Buddy.  Readers are encouraged to check it all out on Pigtronix’s site here.

Both the Pigtronix Infinity and BeatBuddy are amazing products all by themselves.  But the two of them together is simply awesome, as you can see from TTK’s review.  In two relatively compact pedals lurk a recording studio, a practice space, and a backing band.  It even makes a great facility for auditioning different pedals and rigs to compare sounds.  This writer could see the trend towards simpler, stripped down loopers be reversed by the likes of the Infinity, with it’s myriad features and power to sync with another great sonic tool, the Beat Buddy.  Every player should strongly consider adding both to his arsenal! 

 

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Filed Under: FeaturedNewsEvents3P3D-2015

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