The Better DigiTech JamMan Solo XT Manual book is live!
Done and ready to rock.
I state this in the book itself, but I want to make clear that this is not a replacement for the actual manual, but rather more plain-English-friendly supplemental documentation. DigiTech actually did do a good job for the most part with the manual provided with the JamMan. But that ultimately doesn't take away from the fact the JamMan Solo XT is an advanced device that needed more friendly documentation to describe its operation better.
I only have two real complaints with the way DigiTech wrote their manual. First, a fair chunk of it seems out-of-order, and second, the odd choice of words here and there.
Concerning the out-of-order part, there's a lot of flipping back and forth of pages in some areas just to follow specific directions. Some of this flipping back and forth is well more than 10 pages apart. That's annoying.
For the weird word choice thing, page 14 of the DigiTech's manual is literally "Free-Form vs Auto Quantized Looping". It's the use of versus that's bad here. Bad use of the word, because that sends the message to the reader "one of these is bad" when that's not true at all. Both looping methods are obviously just fine. In addition, versus isn't an instruction... yet it's in an instruction manual.
I pick up on things like that and other foibles when reading documentation. Is this digging too deep into semantics? No, because this is the documentation on how to use the thing.
There have been many guitar players as well as synth players and vocalists who just outright gave up on using the JamMan Solo XT because of the learning curve. The manual provided simply did not do a good enough job.
My hope is that with my book, more people keep their JamMan pedals and do wonderful things with them. I honestly believe it is the best bang-for-your-buck looper for sale right now. If it weren't, I wouldn't have bought it myself.
How the JamMan won me over
I had the choice between the JamMan and the BOSS RC-3 Loop Station. Bear in mind I already had a simple 40-second looper with my DigiTech RP360 multi-effect unit. What I wanted was an advanced looper.
The JamMan ultimately beat out the BOSS RC-3 for two reasons.
First, it has a memory card slot where up to 32GB of additional data storage can be installed. For audio-only data, that is a massive amount of space and one heck of an upgrade - and dirt cheap!
Second is something easily missed. There is no way to exactly set a tempo by beats-per-minute on the RC-3. And I know exactly why. It's because the digital display on the RC-3 is 2 digits long while the JamMan's is 3 digits.
If for example you want to set a loop to have an exact tempo of 138 beats per minute on the JamMan, you can do it with ease. This is not possible on the RC-3. You can manually tap your tempo, but you cannot directly input a precise BPM number.
Why does this matter? If you decide to bring your WAV loop data into software on a computer later for multitracking, you *must* know what the exact BPM is.
I read through the RC-3 documentation online thoroughly, looking for any way to manually set a metronome tempo by a precise beats-per-minute number. Couldn't find anything. The RC-3 simply can't do it...
...and that pretty much sealed the deal right there. I bought the JamMan instead, and it was the right choice.
Does this mean the BOSS RC-3 Loop Station is bad? No. But once you go JamMan and see what it can do over the RC-3, and do it for much less, it makes the choice to go with the JamMan an easy one.
All the JamMan needed was some extra documentation that explained how it does what it does better. So I wrote it. :)
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