BOSS RC-500 Review

BOSS RC-500 Review and full tutorial, Including LoopStation MIDI control

The RC-500 LoopStation from Boss is a two track looper and the next generation for their popular RC-30. It has a few important new features – a third foot switch, a graphic LCD screen that enables deep customization of the pedal’s behavior, and it also has new MIDI IO and different effects. Here’s an in-depth review:


0:00 Intro

1:00 Overview

3:35 Connectivity

4:20 Customization

5:25 Track options

6:45 Time-stretch

7:50 Rhythm options

10:30 Memory options

11:25 Loop FX

12:30 Custom controls

13:20 MIDI & Assign

14:55 Other settings

15:35 Pros & cons

18:05 Outro jam

22 thoughts on “BOSS RC-500 Review and full tutorial, Including LoopStation MIDI control

  1. Hi there,
    First of all, what a great youtube channel! Learned a lot already 🙂
    Few question:
    A. Can I loop free from tempo and BPM assignments, and then playback track 1 and 2 (both with a different duration), so they will shift in place and time relative from each other?
    B. Can I loop free from tempo and BPM assignments in track 1, and then record a loop on track 2 (synced to track 1) following the time process of track 1 on the LCD display?
    C. If so, can I then freely drop in recording on track 2, or do I have to wait until the loop on track 1 has finished its round?
    D. Do you know any alternative looping pedals that fit these requirements?

    Kind regards,

    1. thanks for the kind words! those are a lot of things to check and verify, so it’s best you do the research in store to make sure it fits your needs, but overall, you can have two completely independent tracks on this pedal

      1. Alright, yeah I thought you maybe already knew.
        Right now deciding between this RC-500, EHX 25000 and Pigtronix Infinity. Think I’m gonna try them all out for a while.
        Thanks! 🙂

  2. very good video

    one thing i can not find anywhere on RC500 is that if you want to stop a track ( say play a different section live) then swicth track back on it does not say??

    as its a two track looper it woul dbe great to leave drums going and just turn say track one or 2 off an dplay say bridge once live whil estill having temp/percussion,, anyone help??

    1. If I understand what you’re saying, what you do is go to the rhythm section and turn the stop mode to off. This will keep the drums playing when you stop the loop. You then can restart the loop, or stop the drums by the start/stop button on the rc500, or you can assign the rhythm start stop to an external foot switch to control the rhythm.

  3. great clip ,, just wish some one could tell me if you can temporary turn off a track an dleave drums going to play a middl epart,,, then turn track back on again ifyou wanat,,,

    1. Yes, turn rhythm stop mode to “off” then the drums are controlled independently from the loop start/stop, but will still stay synchronized in time. So you can stop the loop and the drums will continue until you manually turn them off via button or external foot switch

  4. Hi ! Any chance you made your choice between the three ? I do not know much about the EHX… I can not decide between RC-500 and Pigtronix Infinity !!

  5. Good day, the best video review! Very helpful to understand many details, but the question is: in the folder-memory-control, what value is assigned to the pedal 3? For some reason, the track doesn’t switch from 1 to 2.

  6. Hi! I just got a RC500 and I’m kind of in between loving it and thinking it doesn’t fit me. I really want :
    – Rythm start/stop
    – Rythm volume control knob
    – ALL start/stop

    If I buy for example a Akai Mpk mini, will I be able to control all this? I’m really new to Midi and a little lost! If not is there any other kind of controller that would allow me to do all 3 of these things? Thanks a lot!!!

    In the RC-500, a third output would be useful that could only be dedicated to drum/click. The RC-500 would then serve as a fully stereo playback, and the drummer would only get a click.
    Now you can also use it for live-playback, but you only have to sacrifice valuable Output for a few.
    Best regards from Poland – Jurek

  8. No one is mentioning this anywhere, and I can’t find the answer in the manual or parameter guide – using the track select stomp, can you assign both tracks to start at the same time upon pressing the play stomp? For example, you have loops recorded into both tracks, and both loops need to start at the same time to begin the song.

    The RC30 does this no problem. With loops recorded in both tracks, the track select function (long press on the stop pedal) toggles Track 1 – Track 2 – both tracks – Track 1 – Track 2 – both tracks, etc. The RC500 appears to not be able to do that.

  9. Hello, Thanks for helpfull tutorial and detailed answers to the questions.
    I have some questions too it will be big help for me if you can answer 🙂
    I’m a guitar player and new to home recording world.
    I just got a midi keyboard (Novation Launchkey Mini MK3) and audio interface (Scarlett 2i2) and i’m using Ableton live. Can I use my midi keyboard and sounds from Ableton (plugins etc.) in this looper through midi in connection? Can you describe me how the true connection must be to do some live looping with guitar, vocal and midi keyboard with looper? Is this a true gear for this? I’m looking RC-202 too its has more effects but its 16 bit. Which one do you recommend?
    Thank you.

    1. Thanks for the kind words – sorry I can’t help troubleshoot individual setups, but I might make a video about this in the future

  10. OK so what’s the method of all stop all start with the rc500? The rc50 can do it with two pedal press…and the rc500?

  11. It seems that the setting for INPUT > MIC IN > OUT-A will correctly send your mic’s output to OUT-A during live recording mode, but during *playback*, it sends MIC IN to OUT-A…. as well as OUT-B… which is undesirable.

    It would be ideal to be able to send MIC only to OUT-A during *playback* as well. I’m using a Roland CUBE Street EX, so ideally, OUT-A goes only to the MIC channel on the amp, and OUT-B only goes to the Amplifier/Guitar channel, so that the vocals don’t have distortion applied. Is this possible?

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