Recording - November 2009 - 55

The whole chain looks like this: Input > Pedal FX > Comp/FX > OD/DS > Preamp > NS > Foot Volume > Mod > Delay > Reverb > Outputs The ME-70 can store up to 72 sets of effects parameters and access them in Memory Mode; there are nine Banks each of Factory and User programs, with four programs per Bank (one selected with each stomp pedal). BOSS provides built-in optimized settings for each effect called EZ Tones to help the novice get started, and there are other conveniences like a built-in chromatic tuner, easy-to-use tempo settings for some effects, and a global setting that determines whether or not a programmed parameter jumps to its new value instantly when you turn a knob. By the way, the rear-panel Footswitch In also does double duty: in Manual Mode, it turns the Preamp and Reverb on and off, and in Memory Mode, it switches between Banks. Over all, using the ME-70 is a tad bit harder than learning to use a set of four stomp boxes, but once you’re past the initial learning curve, the breadth and quality of the effects is impressive and inspiring. My studio work with string instruments relies more heavily on clean and heavily effected tones that use time delays, modulation and reverb more than dynamics effects or overdrive I’m more of a Roland JC-120 guy than a Marshall guy. Focusing on the Modulation and Delays and the more unusual Comp/FX modes, I found I could get a wide variety of beautiful and ear-grabbing sounds from my Schecter. The real tremolo and finely controllable vibrato are a must, and the many pedaltweakable effects were a lot of fun. I mostly kept the Preamp switched out, relying on the modules to get me the tone I liked. If I had a complaint, it would be that the maximum Reverb times aren’t long enough, but huge washy reverbs aren’t common in most guitar music and 99.99% of players will be perfectly happy with the sweet room and hall algorithms the ME-70 offers. I’m a bigger fan of digital distortions than a lot of traditionalists in the world of guitar playing—the styles of music I play can sometimes benefit from the less traditional guitar tones that digital boxes deliver. In that regard, I found several of the OD/DS tones worked well for my playing, especially the Blues, Classic, and Natural modes. I’m not a huge fan of massively overdriven scooped tones like the Metal and Fuzz modes, but your mileage may vary and the ME-70 is certainly worth a listen there. Quickly finding myself out of my depth and needing a reviewer with a variety of guitars and amps (and a great ear for tone), I felt it was high time to hand off the ME-70 to my esteemed colleague and Sr. Curiel shreds! I used an American Deluxe Telecaster, an early ’90s Les Paul, an Ibanez, and a PRS guitar along with a range of guitar amps, from a 25 Watt Epiphone solidstate practice amp, all the way to an all tube Marshall JCM800 stack, and even straight to Pro Tools through the Rec Out/Phones output jack. Even though each application was unique in its own way, the results were pretty consistent. I found the sounds to be from playable to inspiring, how far along I went from “playable” to “inspiring” was largely dependent on how much tweaking I put into any given sound to make it fit my rig. But in general, I was very impressed. The ME-70 is easy to use, small enough to carry, and offers a great variety of really good sounding effects and And now for the groovy side of it, T. Wah Down and T. Wah Up are just that, straight up funkiness! They are intensity-sensitive effects where the dynamics with which you strike the string controls the intensity of the Wah effect. A blues, rock or country guitar player will typically want some saturation to be present but with enough transparency to allow plenty of clarity and definition, and with the right use of either or both the preamp and overdrive/distortion emulation, you are able to get pretty enjoyable tones. I’m pretty snobbish when it comes to distortion and I prefer good analog gear—some digital distortions can give me indigestion. But even with that in mind, I found that with the right settings, I was able to get some exciting sounds that kept me playing for hours. processors. I suggest starting off by setting your amp’s eq section halfway on every frequency band, as this is will provide the best reference point on how to interface the two. I’m quite pleased with how BOSS managed to keep only three parameter control knobs in each of the four effects modules; it’s so easy to go overboard with parameter options and end up with more time tweaking than playing. The ME-70’s controls strike a good balance. The modulation section is full of interesting ways to spice up your tone, from the lush rotary and Univibe effects to the subtle chorus, these sound really good. Both the Harmonist and Octave options have great tracking speed, which allows you to use these in a musical way. Oh yeah, music That’s what this is all about! The delays are as good as any BOSS digital delay, and the inclusion of Reverse, Modulate and momentary delays adds to the pool of useful features that this unit has to offer the guitar player. The Phrase Loop feature is a lot of fun, and very simple to use. Once a loop is recorded, you can adjust the playback volume with the E. Level rotary knob and the live signal with the expression pedal. The Comp/FX module I found to be both useful and groovy. The Compressor and Solo modes are very complementary to the neighboring Overdrive/Distortion section as they help add chunkiness and bite to the saturated sounds. And Slow Gear, which is like an auto volume swell, along with some delay makes for a good mood setter in a slow tempo tune or an ambient soundscape. The preamp emulation section can be a bit tricky as far as dialing in a tone with an amp; I tended toward bypassing it so I could benefit from the ME-70’s cool effects. But when going straight into a DAW, I would spend some time with it and use the Rec Out/Phones output. I was able to get some tones that felt good straight from the ME-70. It is not a foolproof unit as it is possible to push some parameters too far, like the Solo mode in the Comp/FX section—too much boost of this effect, rightfully said to “produce the optimal sound for solo playing in combination with OD/DS or Preamp”, can cause a bit of digital crackling or distortion breakup. But as I mentioned, with enough tweaking and the right settings, this thing can do it all. Conclusions If you’re looking for the ease and immediacy of stomp boxes but the programmability and convenience of an all-in-one pedalboard, you should definitely look into the ME-70, as it offers the best of both worlds for a variety of players and is easy enough to use that any studio would find it handy to have in a drawer for when a client’s standard effects rig isn’t giving quite the right tone. The Geek likes to tweak, and the Gearhead likes the shred—two thumbs up! Way to go, BOSS! Price: $418.50 More from: BOSS, www.bossus.com. RECORDING NOVEMBER 2009
http://www.bossus.com

Recording - November 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - November 2009

Recording - November 2009
Fade In
Contents
Talkback
Fast Forward
Les Paul Speaks
Cakewalk SONAR V-Studio 700
The Hybrid Guitar Recording Method—A Modern Way of Tracking Serious Tones, Part 1
Radial JDX and Phazer
Shure SM27 and SM137 Microphones
Eventide PitchFactor
Recording’s Guitar Column
Lexicon I•ONIX U42S RecordingInterface
Recording’s Showcase of Sounds
Readers’ Tapes
Vibesware GR-1 Guitar Resonator
BOSS ME-70 Guitar Multiple Effects
Line 6 BackTrack and BackTrack + Mic
Advertiser Index
Fade Out
Recording - November 2009 - Recording - November 2009
Recording - November 2009 - Cover2
Recording - November 2009 - 1
Recording - November 2009 - Fade In
Recording - November 2009 - 3
Recording - November 2009 - Contents
Recording - November 2009 - 5
Recording - November 2009 - Talkback
Recording - November 2009 - 7
Recording - November 2009 - Fast Forward
Recording - November 2009 - 9
Recording - November 2009 - 10
Recording - November 2009 - 11
Recording - November 2009 - Les Paul Speaks
Recording - November 2009 - 13
Recording - November 2009 - 14
Recording - November 2009 - 15
Recording - November 2009 - Cakewalk SONAR V-Studio 700
Recording - November 2009 - 17
Recording - November 2009 - 18
Recording - November 2009 - 19
Recording - November 2009 - 20
Recording - November 2009 - 21
Recording - November 2009 - 22
Recording - November 2009 - 23
Recording - November 2009 - The Hybrid Guitar Recording Method—A Modern Way of Tracking Serious Tones, Part 1
Recording - November 2009 - 25
Recording - November 2009 - 26
Recording - November 2009 - 27
Recording - November 2009 - 28
Recording - November 2009 - 29
Recording - November 2009 - 30
Recording - November 2009 - 31
Recording - November 2009 - Radial JDX and Phazer
Recording - November 2009 - 33
Recording - November 2009 - Shure SM27 and SM137 Microphones
Recording - November 2009 - 35
Recording - November 2009 - Eventide PitchFactor
Recording - November 2009 - 37
Recording - November 2009 - Recording’s Guitar Column
Recording - November 2009 - 39
Recording - November 2009 - Lexicon I•ONIX U42S RecordingInterface
Recording - November 2009 - 41
Recording - November 2009 - Recording’s Showcase of Sounds
Recording - November 2009 - 43
Recording - November 2009 - 44
Recording - November 2009 - 45
Recording - November 2009 - 46
Recording - November 2009 - 47
Recording - November 2009 - 48
Recording - November 2009 - 49
Recording - November 2009 - Readers’ Tapes
Recording - November 2009 - 51
Recording - November 2009 - Vibesware GR-1 Guitar Resonator
Recording - November 2009 - 53
Recording - November 2009 - BOSS ME-70 Guitar Multiple Effects
Recording - November 2009 - 55
Recording - November 2009 - Line 6 BackTrack and BackTrack + Mic
Recording - November 2009 - Advertiser Index
Recording - November 2009 - 58
Recording - November 2009 - 59
Recording - November 2009 - 60
Recording - November 2009 - 61
Recording - November 2009 - 62
Recording - November 2009 - 63
Recording - November 2009 - Fade Out
Recording - November 2009 - Cover3
Recording - November 2009 - Cover4
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