Boomerang Phrase Sampler Review
Original author: BJJSchecter
Weapon: Phrase Sampler
Model: Boomerang Phrase Sampler
Price: $400 USD
Description of what's being reviewed: This review is for a Boomerang Phrase Sampler (http://www.boomerangmusic.com/). In short, it records what you play and throws it back at you until you stop it from playing by hitting the stop button or using a decay.
Price paid and where it was bought: I paid $400 USD at Jim's Music in Irvine, CA USA.
Own experience of what's being reviewed: I've owned my Boomerang for over a year and this is the first item I have used from Boomerang.
Own musical preference: My musical style is wide ranged, although I play mostly blues,rock, reggae rock, punk, jazz. The boomerang can be used for any style of music.
Ease of use
The Boomerang is extremely easy to use. Although I do not use all it's features all the time and some features I do not use at all, what I do use is simple and the learning curve is minimal. You could probably figure 75% if not more of the Boomerang's features on your own without a manual. Here is a list of the features from the website (I list from the website as I do not use it to its full potential and may miss some features):
Rang™ Plus Features
- Easiest to use phrase sampler on the planet. It's set up for hands free operation. A single button press controls most functions and there is a unique foot roller to control playback volume.
- 2 independent loops. There are a couple of ways to move seamlessly between loops. One mode, called AB1, smoothly transitions to loop B, plays it once, then goes back to playing loop A, all with one button press.
- After creating a loop, additional parts can be layered in forward or reverse.
- The STACK button, which adds parts, can be either latching or momentary - your choice.
- There are 7 decay rates to choose from: 1 is no decay, 2 provides about 22 repeats (the rate of the original Rang™), 3 thru 6 are progressively quicker and 7 is slapback (1 repeat). The faster decay rates and latching STACK button make the Rang™ a great tap tempo delay. You can use loop A as a phrase sampler and loop B as a traditional delay effect. Independent decay rates can be set for loops A and B.
- The RECORD button can be programmed to be disabled during playback. Some folks don't want to worry about hitting it while adjusting the foot roller.
- 5 slow speeds. All are musically related to normal speed. Your choices are: down a 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th or octave. Playback tempo is slowed and pitch is dropped by the chosen interval.
- Live reverse leads! The Rang™ has a mode where it records and plays back simultaneously, producing the "reversed tape" sound used by Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and others.
- Long recording time. Time ranges from 1min. 27sec. to 4min. 16sec. depending on which of the 12 sample rates you chose. Sample rates range from 24KHz down to 8KHz. All samples are 16 bit with no compression.
- Rugged 17" x 6" x 2" steel chassis.
- Power supply is included.
- Made in Texas by musicians for musicians.
- MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) is $599.00. But please see your local music store to make your best deal. You can do considerably better than the list price.
For what I use the Boomerang for it is awesome, I was inspired to get one when I saw my buddy use his and was blown away. I can't think of anything bad to say for what I use it for, which is mainly recording rhythm and playing lead over it ( I am 2 guitarists wrapped in 1 with this thing). Another thing I love is that the 'Rang (Boomerang users are called 'Rangsters lol and we call it affectionately as the 'Rang) is hands free, recording, playing, volume, stacking, direction is all hands free. Yup! Just use your feet while your jamming away to use the 'Rang. The only time you use your hands is to plug the thing in and use trim feature for noise/static control (if any). The 'Rang can be widely used for live shows and practicing, although from my understanding, I hear studio recording use is limited.
When I first got the 'Rang I had a little solid state amp, and the 'Rang created quite a bit of static/noise that could be controlled somewhat with the trim function. This is because I plugged the guitar into the 'Rang and the 'Rang into the amp. When I got my Koch Multitone tube amp, the 'Rang is now plugged into the parallel effects loop in the back of the amp and the sound is crystal clear. Unfortunately, using the effects loop eliminates me using the amps pedal to change channels and turn on reverb and mute, but this is a limitation of the amp and not the 'Rang.
Damn, Made in Texas, USA no need to say anymore! The 'Rang is made of steel! If someone broke into my house, forget the gun, I could probably whack him over the head with the thing and then jam while I wait for the cops to come. The buttons are made of plastic but I have never had any issues with it. I am an engineer and I am pretty impressed with this thing. Also, my power supply went bust and I contacted Mike(the owner!!!!), and he replaced my 'Rang engraved power supply for dirt cheap ($10 I think). I was just really impressed that the owner took the time to contact me to replace my measily power supply. He even told me just to go to the store and get a new power supply with the appropriate rated amperage and voltage....I just really wanted the "Boomerang" stamp on my power supply....I am that in love with this product. Awesome product, awesome service...who can ask for more...especially when the owner takes the time to contact you. I don't see the CEO of Sony calling me when my TV has problems.
All in all, out of all my gear I have the most affection for my 'Rang. I believe for me it is a great practicing and jamming tool . I get together with my buddies and we lay tracks down on the 'Rang and we all come up with different solos, melodies, etc... to play along. My buddy uses his 'Rang in his band and I understand that many proffesional musician's use it as well during live shows. On another note, the recording time or loop storage is amazing at over 4 minutes depending on the sample rate. I've pretty much looped entire songs with thing! I can honestly say that if my 'Rang got lost, stolen, broke, whatever....I would replace it in a heartbeat!! My last comment is that it is pretty expensive at $400...but from the satisfaction and advancing I've had in my guitar playing, for me it was worth every penny. This was my first review of a product and I hope someone got some benefit out of this who was thinking about getting this very very very fine tool (my opinion anyway)....Now...More Pictures of the 'Rang!!!!