BOSS Intros RC-505 Tabletop Loop Station


Musikmesse 2013: BOSS has introduced the RC-505 Loop Station, the newest addition to its lineup of live looping devices.

The RC-505 Loop Station features five phrase tracks, onboard effects, rhythms, and a tabletop design suited. In addition, the RC-505’s extensive MIDI control options and ability to import audio phrases via USB open up a wealth of options.

Here’s an intro video for the new RC-505 Loop Station:

Here’s a video overview of the RC-505:

Finally, here’s a looping jam, featuring Dub FX:

The RC-505 Loop Station

The RC-505 is equipped with five phrase tracks that can play simultaneously, the most yet in a BOSS Loop Station. Independent record/overdub/play and stop buttons for each track let users capture loop performances with easy fingertip control. Dedicated volume faders allow for quick level adjustment of track playback, while the ALL START/STOP button controls all five loop phrases with a single command. Up to three hours of stereo recording is possible in a single track.

A large selection of built-in effects allows loopers to enhance their sounds as they perform. INPUT FX such as ROBOT and VOCODER offer unique textures while recording loops, while TRACK FX like VINYL FLICK and BEAT REPEAT provide real-time post-processing for dynamic DJ and sampler effects. Six dedicated buttons (three for INPUT FX and three for TRACK FX) can be loaded with favorite effects for one-touch access while looping.

99 phrase memories provide storage for phrase track data, playback and effects settings, and more. 85 different onboard rhythms can be used as backing for loop recording, with a large selection of odd-measure beats for advanced performing. The rhythm part can be routed to the rear-panel PHONES jack only, giving users a dedicated click track for monitoring purposes.

Inputs include an XLR microphone jack with phantom power, mono/stereo instrument inputs, and an AUX mini-jack for connecting a music player, smart phone, or other stereo device. All inputs can be used simultaneously to capture a variety of different sources into loops.

The USB port allows users to connect to a computer and import/export WAV audio phrases. This provides backup for RC-505 loop recordings, as well as the ability to load up RC-505 phrases with pre-made tracks for on-the-fly, sampler-style performing. The RC-505’s USB port also provides USB-Audio and USB-MIDI functionality, letting users interface with their favorite DAW software for audio recording and MIDI synchronization.

Track recording and many other RC-505 parameters can be controlled externally. Foot switches (one BOSS FS-6 or two FS-5Us; optional) or an expression pedal (Roland EV-5; optional) can be connected via the CTL 1,2/EXP jack on the rear panel. MIDI I/O is provided for a wide range of integration with other devices, such as MIDI foot controllers, drum machines, or another RC-505.

Pricing information: The manufacturers’ suggested retail price for the RC-505 looping station is $799 (street $599).

34 thoughts on “BOSS Intros RC-505 Tabletop Loop Station

  1. How does this product make sense in a post iPad marketplace? I think it’s safe to say this thing will be more expensive than buying a brand new iPad and downloading an assortment of looping apps with more (and contantly increasing) functionality.

    1. Yep, now that the iPad exists, all hardware manufacturers should just quit and get into real estate.
      Except the ones that make accessories for the iPad , they still have a function in today’s post iPad marketplace.

    2. Loopy is killer, but you’re on crack if you think it competes with this.

      To match this, you’d need an iPad & loopy – plus a dedicated hardware MIDI controller, hardware effects on the input, an audio interface for I/O, a hardware effects processor on the output, etc.

      For people that perform professionally with loopers, this is going to be a lot better than using loopers designed for guitar players.

        1. Agree, I use both, rc-300 and loopy. And I can say that loopy is a killer: more tracks, more features etc. BUT using rc-300 is more safe for live gigs. It is not so buggy.

        2. Audiobus is awesome – but as soon as you switch apps, you’ve lost your looping controls. It’s not the same. And it would take three apps (Loopy, Audiobus & an effects app) to just handle the input side.

          Would you really want to do a live gig that relied on Loopy, Audiobus, effects software, your CCK, a USB hub, a USB audio interface, a USB MIDI controller & a hardware effects box all working in sweet harmony?

          The fact that apps like Loopy exist means that any hardware looper has to be killer to make sense – and it looks like this looper fits that description.

          The RC-505 is dedicated hardware, designed to be hands on and immediate, and it looks insanely cool. Kudos to Roland/Boss for coming up with something tailored to electronic musicians instead of just guitarists.

    3. Its not about a software…

      its about a dedicated tactile interface that can easily be integrated with other gear.

      Its about having effects and sampling and midi and not having to worry about latency.

      Its about having an instrument with buttons and lights for something you can grow more and more familiar with….until it becomes second nature…

      People can use an ipad for other stuff. So far alot of us are creaming our pants in hopes that this is an effective affordable midi slaveable looping device.

      It looks nice as a total package. Lets hope that the operating system works proper.

  2. I think this seems cool, like a hybrid of the SP samlers and RC loopers. There are a lot of non guitarists that use the RCs and it’s nice to see some thing hands on.

    The only thing I see as a real miss is not using a simple sequencer and limited sample memory for the drum tracks. If you had like 2megs and the the SP-303’s sequencer, I think the product would be more focused.

    Still I wonder if you can run the drums through effects and sample then as loops, if so with some creativity you should be able to make them your own.

  3. daaang! just hope this RC-505 is as good as these demos are. looks like it just might be. there is a need for a hands on, computer-less looper.
    please be under $300… please please be under $300…

  4. I can tell you right now I could use this 100% out of the box.

    (not that it matters as I can pre-mix on a utility mixer to send a single stero pair to it.) Currently I use a KAOSS KP3 with four loop recording buttons (which btw that thing is really the shit for looping MIDI synched phrases from synths)….with the ability resample loops with an effect on it….
    I live loop bass lines, pads and leads from two synths pairrd up with a Korg SX electribe.

    If it can loop as easily as the Kp3 and timed to external MIDI clock this thing could possibly be the my new bomb. However the KP3 is a pretty well built device (say like a tank) so I would pretty hard pressed to remove it form my rig with something else.

    1. At least up until now, none of the Boss loopers can slave to MIDI clock, they only work as master. Guess we’ll have to wait and see if that is the case here….

  5. I’m calling the price right now: $499. Looks interesting but I’m surprised it doesn’t have an SD card slot. Also I find it strange that despite the fact you can combine loops of different lengths, the circular array of leds around each play/record button does not reflect this and all the LED circles light up at the same speed based on the tempo.

      1. yah the loop station pedals are around $200 – 300 so this was always going to be significantly more. I think Boss will miss quite a bit of market because at $700 it may not do enough to justify the purchase for a lot of us. more expensive than the ms-20…

  6. I love working with loops and quickly layering and I have the double pedal from boss but find it limiting and annoying to have it on the floor and only two pedals. so in theory this is a great idea for me. but I’d like to see a musician working with it rather ham beat boxer. so I get a sense of how easy it is to control or sync beats to etc. guess I’ll wait for the reviews!

    excited though!

    1. it’s a fantastic demo. by the end lacks effects and the foot controller is less than ideal for hand use. kind of annoying it’s two units and really ups the cost. but I do love the four track layout. that makes more sense to me than the circular button thing BOSS has going which is very reminiscent of the looper app.

    2. it’s a fantastic demo. by the end lacks effects and the foot controller is less than ideal for hand use. it is a pity it’s two units which really ups the cost. but I do love the four track layout. that makes more sense to me than the circular button thing BOSS has going which is very reminiscent of the looper app.

  7. Looks like Boss got sick of the main Roland marketing department crowing about how they’re back etc. This is a bit pricey but very nicely designed and will sell by the bucketload, $599 is not too bad considering the quality of the FX. Hip hop artists are going to be all over this thing, I expect you’re going to see a lot of ‘one man bands’ using it. I use an Octatrack and do more sequencing than live looping but still think this is pretty cool.

  8. Why don`t the looper start from their own beginning if you press start?
    Can anybody explain this to me? I mean, what is the exact difference between the volume bar for each track and the stop-button for each track, if the stop button doesn`t really STOP the loop so that at least you could start it from the point where you stopped it! If you stop the loop, it will follow its silent circulation and if you start it, it will start somewhere in between.
    Please help:-(

  9. Been trying to run this with GarageBand and can’t find any options in the mac to sync the two together , haven’t tried with a pc as the client uses apple only , wanted to use usb as he uses his midi in for his master keyboard , any help appreciated 🙂

    1. GarageBand is limited to midi in but not out although there is Midi-O a plugin that gives you midi out. I’ve used it with other devices with success. It’s one of those features apple holds back so you move on to Logic I imagine.

  10. The Rc 505 works well as master or slave with an Octatrack, if you configure it properly.

    It has an Micro Sdhc card inside, 4GB. You don’t kneed to remove it, as you can use Usb. I tryed a 32GB card. Seems to work.

    The LED circles actually reflects the differents lenghts of the loops.

    I will hack mine in order to control the 5 loops recording with 5 footswitches. I will solder an Ethernet cable to plug it.

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