August 21, 2013

BOSS RC-505 Loop Station with Angela Sheik

The BOSS RC-505 is a tabletop loop station for songwriters and performers. While traditionally loop stations have been used by instrumentalists and vocalists, more and more electronic music artists from DJs to electronic based rock are utilizing live looping within their performances. It’s a great tool for adding some elements into an otherwise straightforward, if not sometimes, stale performance.

In the hunt to show off what this tabletop loop station can do, we couldn’t think of a better person than Angela Sheik to come and demo all the features on the BOSS RC-505. A loop artist and 2011′s BOSS Loop Champion, Angela has a unique sound that utilizes her voice and multiple instruments to create a sound that is literally all her own. From beat-boxing rhythms to swelling vocal sounds Angela not only creates a unique sound, but utilizes all of the features within the BOSS RC-505 to their fullest potential. Go to her YouTube channel to catch some of her performances with different BOSS loop stations.

While Angela goes over a ton of features on the BOSS RC-505, there are a couple other features as well as more details about the ones she mentions that are worth mentioning for those interested in this tabletop loop station:

  • Independent play mode and tempo sync settings enable a flexible combination of track behaviors and advanced performance options.
  • External control via MIDI
  • USB for phrase import/export with computers; USB audio/MIDI functionality for integration with DAW software
  • XLR mic input with phantom power

Above is part one of two where Angela talks through all of the features on the BOSS RC-505. In part two she will perform with the RC-505 to show you how all the features mentioned work practically within a performance. If you can’t get enough of the BOSS RC-505 and need to pick one up today, head on over to



Hey I’m Angela Sheik and today we’re looking at the BOSS RC-505. This is the first tabletop loop station coming out by BOSS. So it’s meant to be punched with a fist instead of used on the floor. It’s geared toward beat-boxers and vocalists and club performers and the people in between. It’s really easy to use. You’ve got five tracks that can be used simultaneously or separately. Each track has a play button that also functions as a record button. So you can hit it, it records, I hit it again and it starts to overdub. So it’s stacking and you can stack for hours. There are three hours of space on here. And then each track also has its own stop button. The cool thing I like about this new pedal is the fader feature that is right next to each of the five tracks. It snaps really quick so you can get a strong beat on one. Or take it down. Really easy.
There are twenty-one effects that effect just the input. So as you are singing or playing, you’ve got a mic input, a line input, and auxiliary, you can effect the signal as it’s coming in and as it’s being looped. So it’s going to be saved as it’s looping or you can just sing over your tracks with some nice reverb. And then separate from the input, you have effects for the tracks. So if you have A lit up here, for granular delay, that means that all of the inputs are going to have that granular delay effect. But the tracks that you’ve laid down, you can effect separately over on this side. And there are twenty-five effects over here. Some really cool stuff. My favorite are kind of at the end. Vinyl flick gives it that kind of a retro, vintage sound and the beat repeat is a fantastic tool I found in just song writing with this thing because it allows me to cut my chord progression in half. So all of the sudden there is my bridge. Just changes it up. And you can choose which loops it effects with the touch of a button.
This unit has 170 rhythms on it. You can send it to the board or you can send it to your headphones. I am using it as a click in my ear for some of these pieces. So I am hearing the metronome in my ear but the audience isn’t hearing it. And you’ve got everything from just drum and hi-hat hit to straight metronome sound and then there’s some crazy like sambas and rambas and swing options. There are ninety-nine phrases that you can save individual songs, you can name the songs. You see number one here I’ve named Sheik demo.
So this unit has USB. It goes right into your computer. You can back it up. You can even plug it into a new unit for, god forbid this gets damaged. You’ve got your backup. Plug it in and it just sets up all of your presets. And presets are what separates you from the other loop artists. I am absolutely convinced. You can tell, with this machine, you can just tell it to do the work for you so you can focus on performing and delivering. So I tell this first track, for example, I want it to fade in, I want it to stop immediately when I hit the stop button, and I want it to be a measure long. 4 beats. That’s it. Then I go to the next track and say I want that to start immediately and I want it to stop at the end of the loop so I can hit it at any point and it’s going to play all the way till the end of the loop. So as soon as I am done hitting it, it continues to play, but I can focus on signing what’s next.
Another cool feature that this unit has is overall compression. You can add some compression to the signal before it reaches the soundboard. There’s some tweak-ability on that, and you can also add a little bit of reverb. This gives it a nice gelled, polished, more of a studio sound. This board is gear more for someone that’s using their hands. Their hands are free. But you can also play an instrument with it. There are control pedals 1 and 2. So I’ve used this with a FS6. Put it at my feet. That way you can play keyboard, guitar, and tell that FS6 what function you want it to do. It can stop all of the tracks, it can record track 3. That way you have your hands free if you want to switch instruments because I know a lot of loopers are multi-instrumentalists.
Alright well once again I am Angela Sheik showing you the new BOSS RC-505 tabletop loop station. Thanks so much for watching. If you have questions about this unit check it out at