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Looper block

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Available on which products

  • Axe-Fx III: 1 block
  • FM3: 1 block
  • Axe-Fx II: 1 block
  • AX8: 1 block
  • FX8: 1 instance

Channels or X/Y switching

The Looper doesn't support X/Y switching or channels.

About the Looper

On the FM3, AX8 and Axe-Fx series, the Looper is a dedicated effect block, providing minutes of stereo or mono loop time.

On the FX8, the Looper is a global feature, which position is customizable.

Hardware-specific notes

Axe-Fx III

The Looper provides more than 5 minutes of stereo looping time.

"We completely rewrote the Looper. Over five minutes of stereo recording with undo." source


Same as the one in the Axe-Fx III, but with less looping time.

Axe-Fx II

  • Mono — 60 seconds
  • Stereo — 30 seconds
  • Mono with Undo — 30 seconds
  • Stereo with Undo — 15 seconds


  • Mono — 4 minutes
  • Stereo — 2 minutes
  • Mono with Undo — 2 minutes
  • Stereo with Undo — 1 minutes

Looper Control Mode is accessed using a F-switch.


The Looper in the FX8 has additional features. It's a global looper so it's always present, in every preset. It can be positioned in different locations. It can be disabled, which decreases CPU usage.

  • Mono— 8 minutes
  • Stereo — 4 minutes
  • Mono with Undo — 4 minutes
  • Stereo with Undo — 2 minutes


  • IN PRE

The location can be set globally (Global menu) and can be overridden per preset.

If you can't hear the Looper, check the LOOPER LOCATION. It must not be set to NO LOOPER. If it is set to GLOBAL, check the GLOBAL LOOPER LOCATION (in the SETUP: GLOBAL menu) to ensure that it is not set to NO LOOPER. This may also be due to PRE/POST settings. If your rig uses only the PRE chain or only the POST chain, set LOOPER LOCATION accordingly.


Parameters table

Parameter Axe-Fx III / FM3 Axe-Fx II AX8 / FX8
Record yes yes yes
Play yes yes yes
Overdub yes yes yes
Undo/Erase yes yes yes
Once yes yes yes
Reverse yes yes yes
Playback Level yes yes yes
Overdub Level yes yes yes
Dry Level yes no no
(Half) Speed yes yes yes
Low Cut, High Cut yes no no
(Record) Threshold yes yes yes
Record 2nd Press yes no no
Loop Quantize yes yes yes
Trim Start, Trim End yes no no
Crossfade yes no no

(Record) Threshold

If enabled, recording will not start until the input level passes the specified threshold, set by the Threshold parameter. If you press Record, you will see the indicator come on and then turn off. This means it is waiting for input to start recording. Once you start playing you'll see the indicator come on and you are recording.

Axe-Fx III and FM3 – Use the soft knob or main Value knob to adjust the threshold value, or use the Record Threshold parameter on the Config page. When set to a value greater than -80 dB recording will not start until the input signal exceeds the set value. The Record icon will blink when the Looper is armed for recording and will turn solid when recording starts. The meter at the bottom of the page can be used to help set the Threshold. Use the soft knob or main Value knob to adjust the threshold value (or use the Record Threshold parameter on the Config page).


When set to ON, the loop fades out/in at the end/start of the loop.


Start recording or enables overdubbing. There's no separate Overdub control on the Axe-Fx III and FM3.

What happens when you press Record a second time is user-definable, see above.

Record 2nd Press

Available on the Axe-Fx III and FM3 only.

Choices are:

  • Overdub – second press ends loop and enters Overdub mode
  • Play – second press ends loop and enters Play mode
  • Stop – second press ends loop.

Trim Start, Trim End

Available on the Axe-Fx III, FM3 and AX8 only.

Use these to adjust the start and end points of the loop. The graph on the Control page provides visualization of the loop and the start/end points.


Quantize will automatically chop your recording to the nearest beat. Recommended to use in conjunction with Threshold. Press Record, then start playing on a downbeat click. Press Record again to stop. If you stop slightly too soon or late it will automatically trim the recording to the length. Also, it will automatically start playback on the downbeat. So if you stop playback and start it up again later, it should always come back in on the beat.


In firmware Ares:

  • when recording, this function/switch operates as Undo, removing the last recorded stack layer
  • when playing the loop, this function/switch enables or disables the last Undo operation. Subsequent presses toggle the layer on and off
  • when the playing is stopped, this function/switch changes into Erase, completely erasing the recorded loop

Undo/Erase requires CPU cycles during a brief moment. When used with presets with high CPU utilization, this can result in warnings or audible pops.

Dub Mix

"Dub Mix reduces the previous layer AFTER you add a new layer (press Stack then press it again)." source

(Half) Speed

When Speed is set to HALF, the virtual tape runs at half the normal speed. The speed can be also be toggled via a MIDI CC message.

Remote control

Foot switches

Assign the Looper controls (such as Play and Record) to foot controller switches for remote control. Some functionality requires a latching switch, for other stuff a momentary switch is required.

You can also assign Looper Record/Play to an external switch, for easy access at all times.

If you use a controller with Tap and Hold functions, be aware that the function triggers on the upstroke of the switch, not the down.


The Axe-Fx II uses these MIDI CCs for remote control.

  • Record: 28
  • Play: 29
  • Once: 30
  • Dub: 31
  • Rev: 32
  • Bypass: 33.
  • Half: 120
  • Undo: 121

The Axe-Fx III and FM3 let you map MIDI commands to the Looper in the MIDI menu.

MFC-101 Looper Control Mode

The MFC-101 has a Looper Control Mode. This mode is enabled by pressing and holding the Reveal switch on the MFC-101. The MFC-101 will display "LOOPER CONTROL MODE" for two seconds and the red LED will be lit on the Reveal switch. This mode is disabled by selecting the Reveal switch on the MFC-101. In Edit > Setup you can select if this requires short or long pressing-and-holding. You can also disable Looper Control Mode altogether.

MFC-101 Looper Control Mode Mini Manual


FX8 and AX8

The AX and FX8 allow the onboard switches to be assigned to Looper functionality.


The FM3 allows the onboard switches to be assigned to Looper functionality, or you can assign these to a connected FC controller.

FC-6 and FC-12 controllers

The FC controllers let you operate the Looper.

Survive preset switching

The loop buffer will be erased when switching presets, unless Spillover is enabled.

To survive preset switching, both presets must contain the Looper, set to the same mode.

Use the Looper to tweak sounds

Put it before before the Amp block, and record a "unamped" guitar tone. Now keep playing it back while adjusting amp settings. You'll hear the differences in real time.

Alternatively, use it to compare two sounds. Place it after the Amp block and record. Start tweaking. When you want to hear the original tone, play back the sample.

Routing the Looper output

The Output blocks / effects loops on the Axe-Fx III make it easy to send the Looper's output to a specific output for further routing and processing.

Panning the Looper

Panning the Looper to one side when starting playback

Looper tutorials

More information