Pigtronix Infinity Looper Pedal Review
- The Good: Multi-track stereo looper allowing for two players to use it simultaneously, MIDI compatible, great sound quality and some useful additional features.
- The Bad: “Undo/Redo” only available with the “Remote Switch” (sold separately), very few internal save locations and the unit is quite pricey.
- Conclusion: Could be an ideal option for MIDI-dependent live players, but for the price many other guitarists could find something better.
Loopers all have their unique selling-points. The JamMan Delay offers an integrated looping and delay platform, the Boss RC-505 has a whopping five simultaneous tracks and the TC Electronic Ditto takes it right down to basics. The Pigtronix Infinity might not take anything to these extremes, but it’s designed as a looper for the live musician, with MIDI input and two stereo loops that you can setup for two musicians, be it a pair of guitarists, a guitar-bass combo or even a guitarist and keyboard player. This might be enough to grab the attention of live players looking for a dependable looper, but are there better options out there, or does the Infinity offer something truly unique and worthwhile?
The Basics – Getting Your Loops Down
Before we get into the more complex features, the basic operation of the Pigtronix Infinity is straightforward enough that experienced loopers will be jamming on their lonesome within a minute of connecting up and switching on. There are three button-style footswitches along the bottom portion of the pedal, one for stopping an erasing, one for the “Record/Play/Overdub” function of loop 1 and an identical pedal for loop 2. To record, simply press the “Loop 1” footswitch and start playing, then hit the button again to start playback, and press the switch again to record your overdub.
If you want to switch to the second track, you press the “Loop 2” switch to “Arm” the track for recording, and it will automatically start at the end of the current loop. You aren’t limited to playing the loops simultaneously though, you can also set it up in “Series,” so that each loop plays back individually. This is useful if you’re putting together a song with the looper, enabling you to keep verse and chorus sections in separate locations and change between them seamlessly.
The Pigtronix Infinity claims it’s good for over 256 overdubs. Frankly, even approaching that number would result in an unholy wall of sound and it’s hard to imagine anybody getting close to a limit. Other loopers claim unlimited overdubs, but for all realistic intents and purposes that’s what Pigtronix is offering here. In addition, you have nine locations for stored loops, and one “blank canvas” that’s used for on-the-fly composition but can’t be overwritten.
Recording is done in CD-quality audio, and your memory capacity comes from an SD card – with an 8GB card, you get two hours of recording time in total. The Infinity also offers analogue pass-through and a latency of just one millisecond.
There are also several options for stop modes on the Infinity. First, you can select “All” or “Arm,” which are two options affecting stopping, playback and the erase function. In “All” mode, these commands are applied to both tracks, whereas in “Arm” mode it’s only applied to the currently armed track. Once you’ve determined how you want the command to apply, you can set the looper to stop immediately when you press the pedal (“Full”), to fade out until the end of the loop (“Fade”) or to play to the end of the loop and stop more abruptly (“Trail”).
For connectivity, you have stereo 1/4 inch ins and outs, a MIDI in, a USB port (for firmware updates and storage), an aux out jack (for connecting to a stage monitor) and spare slots if you want to buy an “Undo” or expression pedal to use with the Infinity.
The Features – Built for Performance
The main additional features of the Pigtronix Infinity are designed to help during live shows, but are also pretty useful for home-based loopers or anybody else. The “Sync Multi” function enables you to make loop 2 twice, three times, four times or six times as long as loop 1, a feature that isn’t as common as it should be, with some units forcing you to keep both loops exactly the same length. As the name suggests, this helps you stay in time when you’re trying to produce a multi-loop sound, automatically stopping recording at exactly the right moment. You can set your multiplier (including if you do want both the same length) by holding down the “Sync Multi” button to activate it and then cycling through the options by repeatedly pressing it. For experienced loopers, though, you can switch this feature off and go it alone, limited only by your pedal-presses.
Additionally, using the “Input Split” feature enables you to turn the looper into a two-player game, sending the signal from the first input to loop one and the second input to loop two. If you only have one jack plugged in and the feature on, it enables you to record separate loops for your left and right outputs. In standard mode, both inputs are used for each loop.
The MIDI functionality in the Pigtronix Infinity enables it to work as a slave to a MIDI clock, working pretty well in practice and without the difficulties you’ll find on the Boss RC-300 trying to get it hooked up as a slave. You can start recording or playback, change loops or stop playback in time with the MIDI clock (taking effect at the start of the next measure), and through a MIDI controller you can stop playback, start playback or change preset location remotely. This is great for anybody using a DAW or some of the more unique live acts.
When you update your firmware, the pedal’s functionality improves a little further. The biggest benefit is the variable feedback decay function known as “Loop Aging,” effectively meaning you can set your loop to decay over time by holding the “Input Split” button for a couple of seconds. The resulting menu enables you to set the speed of the decay, even so that it’s gone (and ready for replacement) after a single loop through. There are also some other useful additions, notably the option to override the “Fade” and “Trail” stop modes by double-pressing the “Stop” pedal to kill the sound on command.
On the Other Hand…
There are a lot of great features on the Pigtronix Infinity, but there are also a few problems. The first is the fairly high price, which wouldn’t be such a big issue if it wasn’t for some of the other things you’re missing with the unit. The vital “Undo/Redo” function, while technically included, is only accessible through a separately purchased “Remote Switch,” which costs $50. Granted, you get a reverse function too, but these are both features available on many loopers without the need for additional purchases. Additionally, there is no XLR input, presenting issues for anybody hoping to do some vocal looping. This could have been a nice extra to offer more options for the “Input Split” function too.
The number of pre-set locations is also pretty small. This might not be a big problem given that you can back things up to your PC (and since other units like the TC Electronic Ditto X2 have even fewer locations), but since you’re offered the freedom of expanding the memory with SD cards it seems a bit redundant to get a 32 GB card – you get 8 hours recording time but only 9 slots to use them in! You’d basically have to record a veritable rock opera for every slot to fill the thing up! Would it have been so difficult to include 20, 30 or even (gasp) 50 memory locations? We don’t think so, since a large proportion of loopers manage to offer 99 slots or more. You might not need them all, but at least then you could feasibly fill up a big SD card.
The Pigtronix Infinity is definitely a capable looper, with plenty of features, intuitive controls and a notable potential for live usage, but the price and some irritatingly withheld features do detract from the pedal’s appeal. The sound quality is great, and Pigtronix, to their credit, listen to suggestions they receive and incorporate some useful changes in their firmware updates, but unless you’re specifically looking for a reliable MIDI-compatible looper with the ability to run two instruments through the same unit, you could probably do better for your money.