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  • Which Boss multi effects unit?

    Which one is most flexible for programming? I really want to program with lots of possibilities, presets don't matter.

    Boss SE-50
    Boss SE-70
    Boss SX-700
    Boss VF-1

    Anyone have experience with any of these?

    I won't be using any software to program. I've been thinking of a DP4 or Midiverb 4 too, but can't find those second hand for the moment.

  • #2
    I've owned the se-50/70 and, while it has its positives, I'd say it's quite inferior (and I found noisy!) to the dp4 you've mentioned (which I've also owned).
    If programming is your thing... save your money and wait for a dp4 to come around!
    as of now: fusion 6hd, motif 6, rs7000 + siel MONO

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    • #3
      I had an SE50 and SE70 and between the two the SE70 has better sound quality. A friend of mine recently lent me his VF1 that he wasn't using. I haven't done much with it yet, but it's got more features and is newer technology so I'd imagine it would have more going for it than the earlier units.

      I also have a DP4+ that I got very cheap because it has some electronics issues that I haven't got around to fixing yet. However I would say that if you want something with the most programability, this would be it compared to the Boss ones. I've occasionally seen them used, but they have really held their value and are suprisingly expensive for something that old - usually in the $400 and up range. A more contemporary multi-fx that I like and is very affordable is the Lexicon MX200. I've seen them used for around $100 ($200 new). Excellent sound quality and very quiet. It's also a dual processor, so lots of routing configurations.

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      • #4
        Am I missing something with the MX200? Looks like there are only 3 parameters to edit for each effect.

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        • #5
          Which one is most flexible for programming? I really want to program with lots of possibilities, presets don't matter.

          Boss SE-50
          Boss SE-70
          Boss SX-700
          Boss VF-1

          Anyone have experience with any of these?

          I won't be using any software to program. I've been thinking of a DP4 or Midiverb 4 too, but can't find those second hand for the moment.


          h-e-l-l-o!oke: I've owned all of those (except for the Midiverb 4)- so I guess I should chime in here.
          - I still have the DP4, SE-70 and SX-700, (I preferred the SE-70 to the SE-50 and VF-1, so I sold the SE-50 and VF-1).

          The SE-70 is like a box of great Boss pedals PLUS a wonderful vocoder (so If you like the idea of an easy to use chain of Boss effects pedals at your disposal- this is the one to get).
          The flange, and reverbs are superior on the DP4, but the SE-70 wins for Phasor and ease of use (and footprint- the DP4 sticks out the furthest in my rack- it's DEEP!).
          The Distortion (overdrive) on the SE-70 is sweet too.(analog preamp perhaps?.. sure sounds natural to me)

          If I was looking for an effects unit today- I'd also consider the TC electronics M300 (or some such model number- can't recall at the moment)- that one looks pretty good for the $$$- but I have not had a chance to demo it properly (something tells me I'd trade my DP4 for that on the spot).

          If Roland were to release a COSM effects processor rack- like what they offered in the XV and V-Synths... I'd be looking at that option very seriously (so far, that's still a dream).

          Stabby- you say you want *lots* of possibilities- well, the DP4 has that because it is 4 separate effects units in one rack (which makes it configurable in series or parallel with any sound source). That's flexible.

          but..... the SE-70 is a breeeeze to program compared to the DP4 (and you mention you'll not be using a software editor).

          If you can, buy both, try em out, and sell the one that doesn't meet your needs. - but I'd suggest the SE-70 due to its' ease of use and great results (you'll make more music, and spend lees time fiddling with menus).

          apologies for the verbose post.
          using:
          • Romplers, Analog, FM, etc.. •

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          • #6
            Thanks for the input, flowthrough! You guys keep talking about configuring multiple effects in series or parallel, does that really change the sound a lot? I hadn't thought about that. With lots of possibilities I meant being able to get many results from a single algorithm, having lots of freedom to be creative. I don't see many possibilities in say a chorus algorithm with only three adjustable parameters. For example I see in the Boss manuals the option to choose between different LFO waveform for chorus which is not available in the MX200 and M300 (all you can set there is LFO speed and depth). The boss effects have over a dozen parameters for just a single chorus algorithm. All those options make me drool. It allows for a lot of exploration.

            It's just an example. I'd like many editable parameters for delays and reverbs too.

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            • #7
              hmmm.. I'd consider an effects unit that has many effects in a chain to provide plenty of possibilities (simply turning on & off different effects in a series chain can drastically alter the sound)- easily achieved with the SE-70.

              Admittedly, I prefer a great sounding chorus with few parameters to one with lots of parameters and a thin, or weak sound (not saying lots of parameters aren't good for sound design, just that some of the best effects that come to my mind have just a few parameters... like the MXR Phase 90 pedal... or Roland/Boss Dimension D). We all have our own bias (I'm trying to be honest about mine- which may blind me to helping with what you're after). - just a note here to remind that quality can sway your vote over quantity when it comes to effects unit selection.

              So back to comparisons or units- I'll add that the DP4 has more varied Reverbs (and reverb paramers) than the Boss Se-70 (though my vote is still with the Boss for Phasor and Chorus).

              If real time control is your forte, then the DP4 offers MIDI continuous control over some sonically effective effects parameters- (mod Wheel >> Wet/dry mix).

              As for Serial(chain) or Parallel effects routing, I'd say they do offer different results.
              A (Distortion + Reverb) will sound very different from a Distortion into> Reverb.

              Does anyone know if there is an affordable used Eventide that would provide sonic bliss to an effects programming connoisseurr?(sp?)
              using:
              • Romplers, Analog, FM, etc.. •

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              • #8
                SE70 just for the large amount of Roland effects in one box plus it has real analog distortion.
                GEAR

                Gear: Mackie Onyx 32.4, Focusrite Pro40+Octopre2, Triton Extreme+MOSS+EX800, Roland XV5080+D550+MKS7+MKS50+MKS70+MKS80+JP8080+S550+Jun o60, NordRack2, StudioElectr ATC-1, Ensoniq ESQM, Yamaha A5000+An1x+SY77+TG77+TX802+TX7+MotifRackES, Akai S5k+MPC1k, Pulse, Blofeld, Mopho, VirusIndigo2, EmaxRack, ESynth, Rogue, ProOne, Machinedrum, Drumulator, M1AM1, Linndrum

                Effects: API Lunchbox+512C, MPX550, Boss SE50+SE70+CE300+ROD10, UAD2, Powercorex2, LiquidMix, VVerb, 1204, DP2, Filterbank

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                • #9
                  The SE70 is one of those "'til death do us part" boxes for me -- it has a raw, present sound that is great on sampled stuff and FM.

                  It's certainly got gobs of algos, can be overdriven for great color, and is a cute little half-rack bastard.

                  In sum, a box with a big sound and tons of personality, but needs a bit of buffing in post processing by something more sonically subtle.

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                  • #10
                    wouldn't really recommend the midiverb 4. We used to have one at an old church I was at, it isn't as much fun as either the boss or the ensoniq.

                    if you want to hear the sound of the Boss SE-70, listen to Dirty Vegas (the album with 'Days Go By' on it). It's all over that album, including the vocoder.

                    I would probably recommend either the DP/4 or SE-70 of those choices. They are probably the best of those, and they really are boxes for two different reasons. I would say the ensoniq sounds clearer to me, you can put more effects on without it sounding effected to me, if you know what I mean. The SE-70 sounds really wet.

                    The ensoniq is a little more flexible as well... most of the effects are 1U. There are a few 2U blocks (3.3s delay, pitch shifter, guitar tuner) and a 4U vocoder (which could be split) but most everything is 1U, and so you can arrange them in any order, with feedback between blocks. The SE-70 can have more effects at once, but you can't change the chains, and most of the really unique effects are in chains pretty much by themselves (things like the 40 stage phasers, the 20 voice chorus, the weird ping pong delays, and some less useful stuff like vocal eliminators and guitar/bass synth). Also, the SE-70 apparently has two modes; the long chains (like the guitar ones) run at 32KHz, but the more limited chains run at 44.1Khz.

                    I really hated the overdrive on the SE-70; analog or not, i have to dissent on that one The ensoniq isn't any better, just so you know. But I'm a tube freak, and they both seem like that 80's hair metal type distortion.

                    The SE-70 wins on the sheer numbers of weird effects though... the DP/4 has a few odd ones, but the SE-70 has some crazy cool extensions to traditional effects... your average phaser is 8 or 12 stage, these go to 40 (or 20 in biphase mode); LFO swept choruses with many voices; multi-tap delays; and the 21-band vocoder is unique and one of my favorites. Plus it has some extra weird things like the aforementioned bass synth (which is not very useful but has a very Roland sound), stuff like that.

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                    • #11
                      the distortion on the SE70 is perfect for dirtying up synths, as a traditional guitar distortion it is less than optimal
                      GEAR

                      Gear: Mackie Onyx 32.4, Focusrite Pro40+Octopre2, Triton Extreme+MOSS+EX800, Roland XV5080+D550+MKS7+MKS50+MKS70+MKS80+JP8080+S550+Jun o60, NordRack2, StudioElectr ATC-1, Ensoniq ESQM, Yamaha A5000+An1x+SY77+TG77+TX802+TX7+MotifRackES, Akai S5k+MPC1k, Pulse, Blofeld, Mopho, VirusIndigo2, EmaxRack, ESynth, Rogue, ProOne, Machinedrum, Drumulator, M1AM1, Linndrum

                      Effects: API Lunchbox+512C, MPX550, Boss SE50+SE70+CE300+ROD10, UAD2, Powercorex2, LiquidMix, VVerb, 1204, DP2, Filterbank

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                      • #12
                        Just to throw another name into the hat, Alesis Quadraverb 2 is pretty nice and usually goes for cheap....

                        but yeah, the SE-70 rocks! I bought one when they still cost a bundle and used it on vocals...
                        SPAM - Spunkytoofers Rabbit Hole (circuitbent PS-2) $300 shipped CONUS
                        E-Mu Ultraproteus, power cord, good shape (minor rack wear) $225 + shipping

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                        • #13
                          Well, I bought the SE-50 after all. Main reason being I found out my cousin has one too. He got one for free from his uncle who found one in his basement. He's a professional player, but doesn't know much about programming. He does have very good ears though! Which is great to judge the patches I make, even for making some patches together. He is looking for good sounding effects for his Fender Rhodes. Looking forward to programming some patches!

                          I bought one for

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                          • #14
                            Congrats!

                            The SE-50 is a *GEM*- lots of goodies in there (also the RSP-550- just about the same box- often forgotten/overlooked).
                            Worth the price just for the chorus effects alone (IMHO). - the vocoder isn't bad either.. using just the 7 bands it has gives great result.

                            It will do the job well- and also wet your appetite for an SE-70 later (easier to program because of the knob/pushselect feature).

                            -- good luck getting your cousin off the Phasor effect- once he puts that on the Rhodes, he'll be using that effect 99% of the time.

                            Great purchase Stabby!
                            using:
                            • Romplers, Analog, FM, etc.. •

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