TC Electronic recently released the Ditto X2 guitar looping pedal. Building on the success of the previous version, the X2 allows you to import backing tracks and export / import your own loops. However, getting this feature to actually work is another matter. There are a few show stopping pitfalls to be aware of which I’ll try to clarify here in the hopes other users might benefit.
First, some good news: Linux support. Though not officially supported the import / export functions work fine under Linux. When connected via USB the pedal is recognized as a USB storage device. Simply open it using your file manager and drag and drop into the Track folder. I have found no Linux specific issues with it. The issue below affect all operating systems I have tested: Windows, OS X and Linux.
The following summarizes the issues I have experienced:
|Own Ditto Exported Loops||Re-importing TRACK.WAV fails – despite being 44.1K||Convert tracks|
|StarJam Downloads||Importing fails as some are in 48K format.||Convert tracks|
|JamTrack Central Fee Tracks||Provided mp3’s import fine||N/A|
Details for each issue and solution are below.
Exporting / Re-importing Own Tracks
I encountered this rather show stopping issue: I could export my own loop and it would appear in the Track folder when connected via USB. I could copy off the exported TRACK.WAV and TRACK.AIF file just fine. However, I could not get any .wav loop I created to import, though .mp3 files would import and convert fine. It was so weird:
Record own loop
Save using export switch
Connect to usb
Mount and copy off track.wav and track.aiff
delete track.wav and track.aiff from ditto
Dittox2 flashes green, track is still present.
Clear track using store/clear switch or Loop switch
Dittox2 is now blank. No light.
Reconnect via usb
Track folder is empty (as expected)
Copy over previously saved track files exported above.
Light does not turn green.
No loop is available to play.
The final solution I came up for in this case is to convert the exported TRACK.WAV file into the same format it is already in. Yes, despite being in 44.1k my Ditto X2 simply refused to import the very file it produced. I verified this on three computers, with three different operating systems. It just does not work. The exported files are not corrupted, you can play them back in whatever software you like – they seem fine, they are 44.1K, but the Will Not Import.
Sadly, I have yet to convince support this is an issue (“works fine for them”), though I did open a thread on their forum on this as well. I even exchanged the pedal, the new one shows the exact same behavior.
In Linux converting an exported track can be done with a simple command. For OSX and Windows, you will need to use a sound conversion utility.
$ffmpeg -i TRACK.WAV -ar 44100 -acodec pcm_s32le mytrack.wav
You can use the file and sox –info commands to verify the format of the original and converted file. This should now import and play back on the Ditto X2. Pretty silly you have to do this, but it is the only way I could ever get my own exported tracks to re-import. If you encounter the same, I encourage you to open a ticket with TC Electronic to report the issue so they can address it (I see a firmware update in the near future.)
TC Electronic provides free downloads of these .wav format backing tracks from their website. However, the versions served from the website are a mix of both 44.1K and 48K format, and the 48K files absolutely will not work when you attempt to import them as the Ditto2 only supports 44.1K. I’ve pointed this issue out to their support, which responded they would inform the dev team so hopefully this will be remedied soon. You can verify the sample rate of these tracks by examining the file properties or with various tools. For example:
Greg Koch – Carny Girl.WAV: RIFF (little-endian) data, WAVE audio, stereo 44100 Hz
Steve Morse.WAV: RIFF (little-endian) data, WAVE audio, stereo 44100 Hz
Steve Stevens Breathe.wav: RIFF (little-endian) data, WAVE audio, Microsoft PCM, 24 bit, mono 48000 Hz
Steve Stevens Ditto Man.wav: RIFF (little-endian) data, WAVE audio, Microsoft PCM, 24 bit, mono 48000 Hz
You can see above these are provided in both formats. In order to use any of the 48K loops, you will need to convert them to 44.1K, or covert to .mp3. In Linux this is as simple as:
$ffmpeg -i Steve\ Stevens\ Breathe.wav -ar 44100 -acodec pcm_s32le Steve\ Stevens\ Breathe\ 44.1k.wav
The -acodec pcm_s32le argument is optional and just explicitly sets the precision manually.
You can also convert these 48K tracks to .mp3 which the Ditto X2 will automatically then convert to .wav.
$lame Steve\ Stevens\ Breathe.wav
Jam Track Central Tracks
You can download a free bundle of these in .mp3 format. I had no issues importing these, the Ditto X2 imported and converted them fine.
Other Ditto X2 Tips
Hold loop button 13 seconds.
Note: Sometime I’ve had to clear any backing track first (hold switch up for 5 seconds), then do the reset.
DIP Switches in battery compartment
Change the recording mode behavior
Re-importing track files doesn’t work
Please check that the files you are trying to import to your Ditto X2 doesn’t have the default file name (“Track.wav” or “Track.Aiff”). If it does, it won’t replace the existing file stored in the Ditto X2 which has the same name.
Simply renaming your file to something other that the default name will fix this problem.