Hardware, Studio Setup

How to Use A Looper Pedal On A Keyboard [SIMPLE]

Written By : Andrew Siemon

It’s the same process as connecting a looper pedal to a guitar or bass guitar except you use an electric piano. The only other difference is you may decide to use a keyboard amplifier rather than a guitar amplifier.

To connect a digital piano or electric piano to a looper pedal, connect a 1/4″ instrument cable from the headphones output on the piano and run it into Output A of the looper pedal. Connect another 1/4″ jack to Input A on the looper pedal and run it to your keyboard/guitar amplifier.

And that’s all you have to do, other than powering the pedal with either a 9V battery or using a power supply of some kind.

What Gear You Need To Connect A Keyboard And A Looper Pedal

Everything You Need - How to Use A Looper Pedal On A Keyboard [SIMPLE]
All of the stuff that you need to connect a digital piano/electric piano to a looper pedal. Additionally, you may decide to swap out the Bugera V5 Infinium guitar amp for a keyboard amp which I mentioned earlier.

We’re not going to dwell on all of the gear too much, because you already own some of it, no doubt, and the features of everything aren’t that relevant to what we’re doing here.

What I will do though is briefly explain what gear I use, why I use it, and why it might be wise for you to use some of the same stuff.

1) Electric Keyboard – Yamaha P125

My Yamaha Keyboard - How to Use A MIDI Keyboard Without A Computer [Or A DAW]
This is an old-school Yamaha PSR-640 that I use. I got it from my grandfather years ago, but I actually recommend getting something like the Yamaha P125

The reason is that it’s the one the PianoForAll creator Robin Hall recommended to me when I asked him what kind of piano is best for beginners to get. You can see what he had to say when I asked him from the screenshot shown down below.

Robin Hall from Piano for All - Quote
The actual question I asked him was whether it was better to use a real piano or an electric keyboard. While giving me the answer, he recommended getting the Yamaha P125.

2) Looper Pedal – BOSS RC-5

BOSS RC-5 - How to Use A Looper Pedal On A Keyboard [SIMPLE]
The BOSS RC-5 Loop Station is arguably one of the best loop stations at its price point. It has almost every feature you could ever want from a looper pedal.

There are other, much cheaper, looper pedals on the market if you’re looking for one. The BOSS RC-1 is a great example of a reliable, sturdy, and functional looper pedal that doesn’t cost a lot of money.

I’ve got a tutorial on how to use the RC05 on my other site, Traveling Guitarist, by the way. Both the RC-5 and RC-1 can also be used as stereo loopers, and not just for mono signals.

3) Amplifier (Guitar or Keyboard Amplifier) – Bugera V5 Infinium

Bugera V5 Infinium Keyboard Amplifier - How to Use A Looper Pedal On A Keyboard [SIMPLE]
Bugera V5 Infinium is the one you can see on the right, whereas the keyboard amplifier is the one on the left.

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to own a Bugera V5 but it’s currently on my Christmas list. I don’t own a keyboard amplifier either, but I’ll be using my mini-amplifier for this tutorial because it works just fine for a piano and it’s very convenient for tutorial’s sake.

You’ll have to look elsewhere for keyboard amplifier recommendations if you’re looking for one. This YouTube video appears well-researched and thought out, so I would take his advice.

4) Two 1/4″ Instrument Cables – PigHog and Ernie Ball Cables

1/4 -Instrument-Cable-How-to-Connect-A-Digital-Piano-to-an-Audio-Interface-EASY
Ernie Ball Instrument Cables (on my Product Page)

Obviously, what cables you use doesn’t matter a whole lot, but I recommend using the Ernie Ball right-angled guitar cables as well as one straight-angled cable. These are perfect because they don’t stick out like regular cables.

How to Connect A Keyboard To A Looper And Keyboard Amplifier

Keyboard, RC-5, Keyboard Amp - How to Connect A Keyboard To A Looper And Keyboard Amplifier
To connect a looper pedal to an electric piano, run an instrument cable from the piano’s headphones output to Output A of the looper pedal. Run another cable from Input A of the looper pedal to the keyboard or guitar amplifier.

And that’s really all you have to do. As I said, it’s just like connecting a looper pedal to a guitar and a guitar amplifier. Here’s what it looks like when I set my piano up with a looper pedal.

1) Connect An Instrument Cable From The Piano’s Headphones Output to the Looper’s Output A

Connect An Instrument Cable - How to Use A Looper Pedal On A Keyboard [SIMPLE]
As you can see here, you just have to take a 1/4″ jack and connect it to the headphones port on the electric piano. Most electric pianos will have a port of this kind.

Run that very same cable into Output A on your looper pedal. Output A is always the port you want to use on the RC-5. As a matter of fact, I’m not even sure what Output B is for.

2) Ensure The Pedal Has A 9V Battery or Power Supply

9V Battery - How to Use A Looper Pedal On A Keyboard [SIMPLE]
The next thing you want to do is ensure your pedal has some kind of power supply. In the pedal right now I still have the stock battery that BOSS gives you with it.

As I said earlier, you can also use a power supply like the MXR Isobrick, just to name one.

3) Connect Another 1/4″ Instrument Cable to the Keyboard Amplifier and Turn It On

Looper to Amp - How to Connect A Looper To a Keyboard and An Amplifier
After you’ve done all of that, connect another 1/4″ jack from Input A of the pedal to the line-in of the amplifier.

At this point, you can use the electric piano and the looper pedal just fine with your keyboard or guitar amplifier. It’s pretty cool.

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

Important Things to Note About Connecting Looper Pedals to Keyboards

1) You Can Also Do The Same Thing With A Mixer

It’s possible to use a looper pedal on a mixer connected to a bunch of instruments and equipment as well, that way you don’t need a ton of different looper pedals to record and overdub more than one instrument at a time. I’ll make sure to make that article for you sometime in the future.

2) You Can’t Connect An Electric Piano To A Looper Then An Audio Interface

I tried to connect my electric piano to a looper pedal, and then to an audio interface connected to my computer but I couldn’t get it to work. I’m not entirely sure if this is possible, although, I’m sure it can be managed in some way if you have the right cables.

With 1/4″ instrument cables, I was not able to do it, however. The audio interface just wouldn’t receive the sound. Although, you can connect an electric piano to an audio interface on its own just fine. You just can’t put a looper pedal in between.

Gear Mentioned

1) Yamaha P125

2) PianoForAll

3) BOSS RC-5 Loop Station

4) Bugera V5 Infinium [or Keyboard Amplifier]

5) PigHog Instrument Cables

Andrew Siemon is the principal creator of ProducerSociety.com, a website dedicated to all things music, including music production, music theory, recording, and how to use the most popular DAWs. Starting out as a metal guitarist, Andrew has since moved into other areas of music production including hip-hop and fusion

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