This is the legendary JamMan. It was produced by Lexicon in the early 90's. In 1997, due to low profits, Lexicon quit making them, so there is only one place to find one: Search eBay. I had to let several pass me by until one came within my price range.
But there was a cost I was not fully aware of: I had to locate and install the memory chips to upgrade the memory from eight seconds to thirty-two. This involved a trip to a hardware store where a stripped screw had to be drilled out while I watched with great fear (metal shavings and circuit boards don't mix well). Furthermore, two sets of chips turned out defective before I finally got a working set. Then I got the FCB1010 MIDI foot controller to control it as well as effects on Mission Control.
The JamMan allows me to play a few measures into memory; then I hit a foot switch, and the JamMan plays the loop while I play something else on top of it, and so on... Here is an example of a loop with five parts:
Learning to use it was tricky. I found out quickly what an awful drummer I would have made when I tried to pound out a rhythm on the top and sides of my guitar and got terrible chaos for loops. It took a lot of head-scratching to discover that the basic problem was I could not pound in time! But, with practice, the JamMan became the enabling tool to take my guitar-playing to places I could never go before--especially solos.
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