Boss released the RC-505 Loop Station about ten years ago. It was a new approach to looping, with five stereo tracks, effects, plenty of memory, and reliable MIDI synchronization that could provide excellent creative opportunities for live performers at the time. Its large knobs and tabletop format differed from other looper pedals with small metal knobs and were designed solely for guitarists. As such, it is quickly becoming one of the go-to loopers for street performers and other types of live performance media.
Boss updated it a few years ago by increasing memory and adding more effects and remote control capabilities. Many people were happy with these changes, but many others felt it was too little too late.
Enter the BOXX RC-505 MK2…
The BOSS RC-505 Mk2 Loop Station has been upgraded with new features to improve performance and creativity, making it a home powerhouse in the world of toilet-based live performance. Whether you’re playing multiple instruments, singing, beatboxing, or performing any other type of loop, the BOSS RC-505 Mk2 will help you create extraordinary sounds live and on the fly.
UNBOXING THE BOSS RC-505 MkII
I was delighted to unbox the RC-505 MkII and noticed that it was larger than its predecessor, taking up a lot of desk space (420 x 234mm). Although it weighs a little less than expected, that’s not necessarily bad. I think too often we fall into the trap of thinking heavy material means it’s durable, and that’s not always the case. The weight was one of the first things that caught my eye, as it made me recognize its potential for ease of movement for active musicians and performers on the go.
What caught my eye were the Boss RC-505’s sliders and faders, which were almost twice as long as previous versions of the model. The extra size of these sliders and faders allows for responsive and meaningful mixing without sacrificing accuracy. This is lucky because the model can also bounce off the tracks and consolidate the effects. This ability was probably very high on many users’ wish lists when submitting complaints about the design of the original model. These improvements mean that the developer team has heard the communities loud and clear; It warms my heart to see them respond in spades.
Overall, the RC-505MKII, while somewhat resembling the RC-505 model released a few years ago, has significant improvements. The device, with its black plastic casing and red and green accents, is designed for easy control of tracks and effects. The top of the unit has been modified to include a larger screen and four effect buttons instead of three for input and track effects. The level sliders are considerably more substantial on the RC-505MKII compared to its older sibling and look more premium from the published images.
Not a bad first impression, is it?
KEY FEATURES OF THE BOSS RC-505 MkII
The RC-505MKII has 99 memory locations for loops and settings, hours of recording time per track, and 13 hours of total recording capacity. It’s extensive recording and backup features for whatever you’re looking to print. Its 49 inputs and 53 effect tracks make it perfect for just about any use but ideal for recording live performances and bringing them into the studio later.
Loop Station also has over two hundred different rhythm patterns and 16 drum kits that can be used as reference guides or backing tracks.
This is one of the best features of the RC-505MKII. Each rhythm pattern has a handful of different variations, and you can choose from one of sixteen drum kits for each pattern, meaning the sound of the drum machine can be heavily tailored to your own needs depending on the performance you are trying to give. . Another cool feature is that you can transfer auto-generated rhythm patterns to the device via USB connection from your PC or Mac.
This is one of the brilliant features this device offers and sold me on the device once I started using it.
INCREDIBLE EFFECTS ON BOARD
The RC-505 Mk2 includes a range of built-in effects that allow you to easily modify your sound while you play. Use input effects to create unique sonic textures while recording, or use track effects for real-time processing while your loops are playing. The RC-505 Mk2 also provides Global Compression and Master Reverb effects for overall processing, allowing you to achieve tight, punchy sound on the fly with little time spent tweaking parameters. It’s incredibly convenient and sounds great without too much fuss.
IS THE BOSS RC-505 MkII RIGHT FOR ME?
I’ve always thought loopers were a bit of a niche market toy best reserved for street performers and Avante-guard performing musicians. And to be honest, I kept that impression during the first hours of playing with the Boxx RC-505. But it wasn’t until I started getting familiar with this device that I started to see how creative this device could be. So to answer the question, I firmly believe that the BOSS RC-505 deserves, and has earned, its place on my studio desk and in my immediate workflow.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean it would fit into your workflow. So let’s unpack that a bit further.
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If you’re an artist looking for a new looping device, I can honestly say this thing is one of the best out there. The number of drum loops, effects, and other features means you have full control over the circles and audio you’re working with, plus next-level creativity to manipulate that audio on the fly. I have never come across anything so powerful, and can highly recommend it.
BOSS RC-505 MkII SPECIFICATIONS
Type: loop station
Filter: 2.9 inch graphic LCD display
Sounds: 16 drum kits
Presets: 200 rhythm patterns
looper: 5 x stereo tracks, 99 x phrase memories
Effects: 49 x Input FX, 53 x Track FX, 2 x Master FX
Analog inputs: 2 x XLR (balanced, phantom power), 4 x 1/4″ (stereo instrument: L/mono, R)
Analog outputs: 2 x 1/4″ (L/mono, R), 4 x 1/4″ (sub out 1/2: L/mono, R)
Listeners: 1 x 1/4″
MIDI I/O: Input/Output/USB
USB: 1x B-type
Pedal inputs: 1 x 1/4″ TRS (control 1, 2/expression 1), 1 x 1/4″ TRS (control 3, 4/expression 2)
Energy source: AC adapter (included)
lester: 4 pounds.