[review] Hotone Audio Skyline series Wally - Looper (by LievenDV)

LievenDV is a reverb nut and enjoys discovering innovating technology. Besides that he's a singer/songwriter; solo and in a band.

The Hotone Wally must be the smallest looper around and with 15 minutes of looping, you could easily record 2 Pink Floyd songs and still have time to spare in its memory. It comes in a very sturdy casing which feels heavy for its size. It only weighs 190g but it IS a small package. Those who were in doubt about the usability of the button on a small Hotone pedal: it's not like you're performing surgery when you try to use the knobs; they are quite handy to operate and you quickly adjust to the big level knob on top and the stripes on the 2 front knobs that ensure visibility.

Hotone Audio Wally LooperThis little guy comes in a box that is as protective as the pedal casing and the nice people of Hotone even included a strip of velcro already cut to spec. These are details but they add op to the complete package and considerate service. The pedal itself has a little metal rail to protect the controls when you click the button with your foot.

The control scheme is as straight forward as any modern minimalistic looper: you control the whole process of recording, overdubbing, undo, stop and delete with single or double taps. Double tap while playing =undo and double tap when stopped is delete. Don't worry, the little reference card is more complex than actually using the pedal; the LED shows you the way. After a few minutes, I had already recorded 4 layers of tunes in which I could always undo the previous one. Go nuts, you can overdub as much as you want. You can control the record volume separately from the output volume so you can blend in layers of sound at the desired volume.

The pedal also has an "effect" control and this case it slows down or speeds up the complete recorded loop. Downside is that there is no pitch correction so when you slow it down, the pitch goes down and when you speed it up, the pitch goes up. The pitch goes from -1 octave (half speed) to +1 octave (double speed). Besides recording a kind of bass guitar bottom layer, this function didn't prove to be of much use to me. I had to record my bassline quite fast in order to have a smooth, average moving blues. It won't disturb you, as you won't use it much anyway. Unless you're a real sonic entrepreneur, you won't find much use in the accelerated, high pitched function.Hotone Audio Wally Looper

Because of its small footprint and intuitive use, this is an excellent pedal for people looking for a quality looper as a practice tool or as a quick sampling tool during performances. As you probably use a looper for practicing a main loop and some correctable overdubs, you wouldn't need anything else than this Hotone Wally. Being sturdy, easy to use and super small will makes the choice easier.

Great for:

  • people looking for an easy to use and sturdy looper.
  • people with limited pedal board space.

Not your pedal if:

  • you are looking for on the fly mixing, useful effects, partial loops or other advanced functions.
  • you need pitch corrected speed controls.

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