Loopers have been asking for years for a product that not only repeats phrases or loops that they create but a unit that SAVES and STORES the information for later use. The folks at Electrix have heard their pleas. Not only does the Repeater loop and sample at CD- quality, 16 bit, 44.1 kHz resolution, but offers 4 separate channels of sampling with up to 99 loops per channel and also four tracks per loop. That's a lot of flexibility and a lot of storage. Other key features are beat detection mode, which can detect and sync to any incoming signal, external effect loop capability and idiot-proof ease of use. You press record and it records. You press any other button and it stops and starts automatically looping. Editing is a breeze allowing you to easily trim starts and finishes. I purchased my Repeater as a live sampler/sequencer to play certain small snippets of music, loops or samples via just about any numeric MIDI pedal (Digitech Control 8, Rolls MIDI Buddy, etc.). Recording is also operable via standard footswitch. Sequencing via the MIDI pedal is effective but tenuous if you decide to get more elaborate than merely triggering basic, pre-recorded samples via individual pads and banks. You can record and sequence easily via MIDI pedal or controller, but I have heard of problems when attempting anything more complicated. From what I gather from internet newsgroups and Electrix, this will be ironed out better in future software upgrades (available free online). The version I purchased and tested is OS version 1.1. Extra storage space is available via smart cards and the unit features stereo phono inputs, 1/4" unbalanced input and output as well as digital S/PDIF output and headphone jack. Effect loop outputs are unbalanced. ($500 retail, www.electrixpro.com)

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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