Wheeh! I had a complicated setup until today, when I revamped and auctioned a lot of needless gear. I have 7 guitars. My main axes are a Danelectro 12 string, an Ibanez RG550, a Fender Am. Std. Tele, and a Gibson LP Custom. My other three are backups; a Dano DC-3, a Fernandes Decade from the Fernandes custom shop, and a Fender Roland Synth Strat. I run those guitars into a BOSS DS-1, an EH Big Muff Pi, a DOD Death Metal, a Dunlop Crybaby, a DOD Envelope Filter, a BOSS ME-30, into a Roland synth set, into a Roland Jazz Chorus JC-120, which I keep dry. I color the sound with the pedals, adding only light reverb from the JC-120. I play punk (NOFX, Ramones), ska(RBF, Scofflaws), classic metal (Sabbath), shred (Ozzy Osbourne), and new metal (Limp Bizkit). This pedal handles all of them with the greatest of ease. I will rate each effect individually.
Compression: Don't use too much! Very nice, fat, cheesecake sustain. Great booster. Rating: 8
Distortion: Rather weak. I prefer to use a DOD Death Metal for heavy distortion, and an EH Big Muff for lighter distortion. A DS-1 is good for light overdrive. I do not use distortion from this box; I use other pedals to get it. If this would be your only box, and distortion is what you want, then look elsewhere. Metal distortion is the only reason this gets a rating above 0. It is fairly good. But Fuzz, and the rest are very very fake sounding. Rating: 2
EQ: Very simple. I don't like it. I plan on getting a BOSS GE-7, because this EQ is only 3 bands. Not versatile enough, but it gets the job done for guitarists on a budget. Rating: 6
Phaser: I never use this. Kind of worthless. Only good for Van Halen style chords, but it's kind of cool. I just don't know when to use a phaser. Rating: 6
Noise Suppressor: Clips if set too high, Experiment to find out the best setting. It does work though! Rating: 9
Delay: Excellent. Sheer brilliance. Rating: 10
Chorus: Really nice. Covers every possible necessary chorus sound. Incredible! Rating: 10
Flanger: A little extreme for me, but amazing if used right, and sparingly. Makes noise if used with too much distortion. Rating: 8
Tremolo: Really funky. Talk about trippy! No problems with it. Rating: 9
Pitch Shifter: It's much more of a toy than an effect. I have never found a use for it, ever. If you set it to go one octave below, and drop the direct volume and raise the effect volume, you get a cool synth bass sound. If you raise it an octave, and keep both direct and effect levels high, it sounds like a synth 12 string. Never used it in a song, though. A little slow on tracking, but that adds to the craziness of it. Rating: 8
Reverb: Really nice. I always use the reverb on this unit. It is very live feeling, and organic. Rating: 10
Wah: I never use it. I prefer a Crybaby. This wah has no range to it. Rating: 3
Ring Modulator: Sheer fun. Amazing, tones. I use this a lot to add background effects to a song, like over the chorus. It is freaky, and sounds deliciously warped and hideous. Rating:10
Arm: Lots of fun, but not as good as a Whammy pedal. It is, though nowhere near as expensive, so it's good for what you get. Fun to get eerie effects in the bridges of songs.
I usually multi-track guitar parts on my bands songs. We have two guitarists. There is a distorted electric on each side of the mix, and then clean electrics with this unit's chorus in the middle.
Brilliantly reliable. NO problems, gigged with it 8 times. No backup. I do use an AC power source though. Always have back-up batteries!!
This unit helps me do anything I want with my sound. I use other stomp boxes to augment it, but you can't beat the shimmering clean tones of this unit. It fits all styles of music. I wish the distortion was better. I compared it to plenty of other Multi-Effects units, but BOSS reliability, and the ease of use of this one won me over. The clean sound is AMAZING with tinkering. The ring modulator is delicious.
To hear the ME-30 in action, check out my punk band on mp3.com, Porn Flakes. Just search for us after January 8th, and feel free to give us, and the ME-30 a listen!