BOSS vocal processors


I have now tried the BOSS VE-20, VE-2, VE-5, and VE-8.   What I want is great vocal processing, and harmonizing.  I'm frustrated with features.

I have found that I cannot rely on guitar input to determine the tonal base (key) of the harmony.  It's something to do with the way I play, which is finger-style and often somewhat staccato and percussive.   I have to set the key before each song.  

Also, I use a collection of different harmonies.  I use some sort of harmony on about half of my songs now.  Most of them are a high third, a high fifth, and (when I can get it) both combined.  I have used other stranger harmonies on a handful of songs.

The main thing I'm looking for is the ability to set the harmony and the key without bending down to tweak a knob on the floor, when I'm on stage performing.

Here's a basic off-the-top-of-my-head assessment of each of the BOSS processors with my needs in mind.  This is not an exhaustive analysis.


This unit has a lot of banks of customizable effects, and I could change them using my foot.  But I'm pretty sure I would have to pre-set my favorite effects for each key I'm interested in.  That is, a pre-set memory includes the key setting.  This sucks.


I like this, and it got me used to those two-part harmonies.  But there's only minimal control using an external foot switch -- three memories -- with the same problem as the VE-20.  I'd still have to set the key.   This is also the only unit of the ones I tried that does NOT have some kind of looping.  Don't really use it yet, so it didn't bother me.


So far, my favorite unit.   Mounts on a mic stand for easy access to setting without bending down, and I can punch the harmony in and out with an external foot switch.  It's nice to have a little less on the floor -- lest clutter, and less chance of hitting the wrong pedal.   Problem is, this unit doesn't have two-part harmonies!  Why the F did they get rid of two-part harmonies?!?!  Isn't there some way to download a firmware patch or something?!    I've compensated because this unit has the ability to do 4th and 6th harmonies.  But no two-part.   Very disappointing.  


Very fancy shmancy unit that includes guitar processing.  Problem is, though I get my two-part harmonies back again (similar form-factor as the VE-2 in this regard), and I could set it up to change the harmony type and the key with external foot switches, I have now lost some control in the settings.  It's a pretty complicated unit to use on stage -- would take a lot of getting used to.  Also, no 6th or 4th harmonies.

All in all, I would sure love to see BOSS come out with a firmware patch for the VE-5 that includes some two-part harmony options.  Like, a combination of +3 and +5.   Or perhaps also the other options available on the VE-2 (high/low octaves, thirds, and fifths).


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