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  • Boss VE-8 Acoustic Singer

    Hi All. I have been using a Digitech Vocalist Live 4 for a number of years for harmonies combined with a succession of various guitar fx and a couple of different loopers for solo gigs. Since the Live 4 is so large, even with just a couple of other pedals my board is kinda ridiculously big for a guy with an acoustic guitar. I was recently made aware of the new Boss VE-8, which combines all the above functions into one rather compact box. If the sounds are there it would seem I could replace pretty much my whole rig with this one lovely little device. Has anybody gotten their hands on one of these yet? From what I read, the vocal processor section is similar to the VE-2. Does anybody have experience with comparing the tracking accuracy and tonal quality of Boss vs. Digitech for vocal harmony? I have been fairly pleased with the Digitech unit, but once in a while it produces a clam. Probably because my guitar playing isn't perfectly clean at that point. I just wonder how Boss compares in the harmony happiness department. I'm assuming the guitar fx and looper are going to be just fine but feel free to chime in on that too. Oh, also, does anybody know if the Boss looper has a fade-out stop function? I really like that feature in the Electro Harmonix 720 I am currently using and missed it badly in my old JamMan. Maybe I should just replace the Live 4 with a VE-2, get the size way down, and call it a day. But for $100 more to have everything in one little box is attractive. Oh, and I will add here that the Live 4 set to defaults out of the box was pretty awful. You have to back off the pitch correction attack and amount a good bit to make it not sound robotic. There were a lot of haters when I was first looking into it who I don't think figured out you have to tweak the thing to get it sounding good. Anyway, thanks for whatever input you have.

  • #2
    I downloaded the VE-8 manual and did some checking. Dang - the looper will not fade out. It only does a hard stop. That's a bummer. Still might be worthwhile to use one of these with a 2nd looper for guitar and just use the on-board one for vocals, which would be a function add for me. Never had that capability before. And in a pinch, you would still have the all-in-one capability if needed. Also the ability to have everything running on battery might come in handy sometime. Like maybe for playing on a boat. Hey, it does happen down here in south Florida.

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    • #3
      Hi Wingman, like you I have an inordinate amount of pedals for a solo bar singer and decided to cut down on a couple. To this end having heard only great things about it on here, I decided that the the way forward for me with an all in one type pedal was the TC Helicon play acoustic. I did look at the Boss but couldn't justify the price difference for a few seconds extra of looping and I believe an extra channel. Also as a long time voicelive play gtx user, for me there was no learning curve. So got it last week and took a couple of hours tweeking the patches, like you say, most out the box are horrendous. Strapped it to my board pictured and couldn't be happier. I must make it clear, I have never had "hands on" with the Boss and of course it may be the perfect unit for you, if that extra looping is necessary for your act. Me I just play a few chords and add a bit of percussion to solo over. Anyway all the best
      Last edited by steve mac; 08-29-2016, 11:54 AM.
      Cheers Steve

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      • #4
        Thanks Steve. Glad you found something that works well for you. I'll take a closer look at that unit.

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        • #5
          I just bought the Boss VE-8 as a way to downsize from a Line 6 M9 and a Boss RC-20XL for acoustic gigs. I discovered I wasn't really using much of the numerous effects in the M9, and there was no harmony function. Hoping this will be a logical solution. I did also get the Boss two-pedal footswitch for ease of operating the looper, as I do a decent amount of it. Will be happy to report back once I've jumped into the thing!
          My Bands: Threefold Theory
          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Three...35528196463491
          Ten Carp Lie
          http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ten-Carp-Lie/72830058051

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          • #6
            So, I finally got my VE-8. Messed around with it at home for awhile plugging direct into a Yamaha DBR15 powered speaker. My initial thoughts are pretty good. Like most effects, I feel like with the things this unit offers, less is more. The guitar resonance and vocal enhancement functions seem to just cut the mids and boost the highs of each. Too much and it sounds very scooped in a bad way to my ears. I like to have a touch of mids even on my acoustic guitars. So, I've found that just running the resonance about a third (30-35 on a 1-99 scale) gives you the best of both worlds. Same for chorus - I hate acoustic guitars with gobs of chorus on them. Just a hint of it is enough for me, unless you're trying to do some sort of atmospheric single note lines or something.

            I've never used a harmonizer on my vocals before, so it is a bit to get used to, but again, a little is enough. I hate seeing acts where everything they sing is harmonized, and the effect is on blast so it's as loud as the unaffected vocal. I can see punching in some harmony for some choruses, again keeping the effect around 35 or so. It's also not perfect with respect to catching the chords. And, if you suddenly stop playing and just sing, sometimes the harmonies aren't quite right. It may take some more fussing with, but I didn't really buy the unit for harmonies. That's just a bonus.

            Navigating the unit is a bit tough - definitely need to have the manual on hand to figure out all the various submenus to get to the deep editing options. But, having 50 memory banks is great, and I will be setting up various memories for specific things I want to do. One thing I didn't know the unit could do was have up to 3 guitar effects going at once - so that's pretty awesome! I bought a boss fs-6 with it, but have yet to get a trs cable to run it, but I do see that being invaluable when playing live for looping more easily and changing memories more easily without too much tap dancing.

            I have a gig tonight, so that's where we'll see how it does and if it's going to stay. I think it will - it's going to be much more convenient, and it provides a great preamp for guitar and vocals that I could see being useful if ever playing a gig where the PA is already there.

            Hope this quick and dirty review helps some of you guys!
            My Bands: Threefold Theory
            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Three...35528196463491
            Ten Carp Lie
            http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ten-Carp-Lie/72830058051

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            • daddymack
              daddymack commented
              Editing a comment
              waiting for the gig report....
              Last edited by daddymack; 08-26-2016, 10:07 AM.

          • #7
            Alright - so I played an acoustic gig Friday and used the VE-8. This was a medium sized venue (150-200 capacity). I had my drummer with me, who used a djembe and some other percussion.

            The basic settings I tweaked at home seemed to translate well to the gig with minimal adjusting. Everything sounded great! I was having a bit of trouble with some low end feedback, but I was able to dial it out with the notch filter setting on the unit. The harmonies also sounded great. A musician friend of mine at the gig said at first, he kept looking behind him because he thought someone was singing along with me, so I take that as a compliment on how natural they sound.

            Also used it Sunday with another band of mine prepping for a 5-piece acoustic gig (Two guitars, bass, cajon) and it sounded very nice in that environment too.

            All in all, this thing is a keeper. I just need to get a TRS cable to plug in the FS-6 and start programming some stuff. I'm not sure if I can have tap tempo capability with the footswitch, but that certainly would be a bonus.

            Now I just need to pry off the rubber feet so I can attach it to my Pedaltrain Mini!
            My Bands: Threefold Theory
            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Three...35528196463491
            Ten Carp Lie
            http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ten-Carp-Lie/72830058051

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            • daddymack
              daddymack commented
              Editing a comment
              that may void your warranty!

          • #8
            Cool to hear! It can be a bit of an echo chamber in here with all the TC Helicon love, myself included. But there are competing products on the market and it's nice to hear they're worth considering. I only have one Boss product, the FS-6 that I connect to my Pageflip for a major pedal upgrade, but that has been awesome.

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            • #9
              I've always been a fan of Boss stuff. Granted, I've not used any TC Helicon stuff, but from what I've read and heard it seems great. I'd say the Boss' weakness is the UN-intuitive submenu stuff. Looks to be very tedious to make deep editing changes, but once you can get things as you like them and stored to memory, it should hopefully be a one and done process.
              My Bands: Threefold Theory
              https://www.facebook.com/pages/Three...35528196463491
              Ten Carp Lie
              http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ten-Carp-Lie/72830058051

              Comment


              • STM86
                STM86 commented
                Editing a comment
                I think any time you cram that many features into a single compact unit, deep edits are going to take a little digging and often times a manual.

            • #10
              Hi. New to this Forum and couldn't see how to start a new topic so I hope it's okay to post my question to this thread. I own a Boss VE-8 and am trying to dial in a Johnny Cash country sound. I see how to add "delay" but not "compression" and I wonder if there is a way to emulate the sound I'm looking for. Thank you. Gary

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