May 16 2011

Boss RC-3 Loop Station and Tap Tempo Switch

Last week I had a request to build a tap tempo switch for a friend. He has a Boss RC-3 Loop Station and needed some external control that could be managed via the tap tempo switch. Figured it would be a quick and fun project and I just happened to have a small enclosure laying around. The only thing I needed to order was the momentary footswitch.

The concept is pretty simple. You basically wire tip to ring on the mono jack.. and that’s it. You could go a little fancier with a LED etc. Also apparently you can go with a stereo jack and use a TRS cable for additional control. Here is a shot of the finished tap tempo box:

Tap TempoWhen my friend came over he brought his Boss RC-3 Loop Station to test the tap tempo switch, I was blown away by this pedal. I’ve played with loopers in the past. They’re definitely useful, but really fall short for me. I guess I should clarify why/how I use a loop pedal first. I don’t really think of using them in performance.. well.. not now at least, but the reason why I get excited about loopers is for writing. I think it’s an incredible tool for writing parts or leads to songs and is super easy to get going vs. playing with a recording, etc. For a while now I’ve been using my Line 6 DL 4 to loop parts, but the downside is when the pedal is powered off, you lose the loop, so I would have to record the loop idea to wav via my Tascam so I don’t forget it. This is where the RC-3 Loop Station takes it to the next level. You can record up to 3 hours on it! You can have up to 99 memory slots (vs. the single loop with the Line 6). There are some handy drum loops and tempo adjustments there too, so to hear the idea sped up is not a problem at all. The other cool thing, there is a USB jack on the back where you can pull your loops or upload files to the pedal.

After checking this guy out, I pulled the trigger and it’s on the way as I write this post. You can pick up the Boss RC-3 Loop Station for $198.00 at

If you’re interested in a tap tempo switch shown above, shoot me a email.

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One Response to “Boss RC-3 Loop Station and Tap Tempo Switch”

  • Sam Binder Says:

    don’t forget, you can use a keyboard* sustain pedal for the tap tempo as well and you don’t have to solder them yourself

    *non-casio; casio sustain pedals work backwards from everyone elses

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