The world of vocal processors isn’t a simple one by any means. It combines many different types of units, baffling us more and more with each attempt to single out a perfect one. We can encounter a pedal that can be used for your guitar as well and act as a multi-effects processor. This will cut your costs in half and make the whole process even more convenient. We can also come across ‘pure’ vocal processors – a.k.a. the devices that can only recognize the signal from your mic. They can be a perfect fit for those who don’t give a crap about guitar input, since they don’t even play one. Today we’re going to discuss such a unit. Boss VE-20 was made particularly for vocalists, which means it has all the features that you’ll need to craft your voice perfectly. Even though it doesn’t have a guitar input, it’s still quite versatile. Plus, it features all the qualities from Boss that we all love and cherish. If you want to get yourself a vocal processor and make sure your sound mixes well with that of your band, then you definitely have to stay with me and read this article carefully. Let’s begin our journey and break down all the features of VE-20. And who knows, maybe you’ll find what you’re looking for!
Boss VE-20 is a relatively simple unit to operate. As I have mentioned above, it is diverse enough to satisfy the needs of any singer. It is specifically dedicated for vocals, which means all of its properties are tailored to the peculiarities of a human voice. To give you an idea of what we’re dealing with here right away, let me tell you that this puppy comes with 30 in-built presets. This means that you can plug it in and start performing immediately. By turning the control knob, you can scroll through the available sounds and start exploring what suits your vocals the most. The pedal comes with all the essential effects, such as Reverb, Delay, Harmonics, Double-Track, Dynamics and etc. They can be accessed via internal menus, which might take some time, but there’s a way to avoid all that fuss. You can store your desired effects and settings within 50 available memory slots. The ability to create and save your own presets can be of great help, especially for live performances.
Moreover, VE-20 has an in-built looper with 38 seconds of recording time. It can be enough for many, especially for those who use it on particular parts of their song. You might find it useful only in certain scenarios, since this pedal doesn’t offer the ability to store looped phrases into the memory slots. Of course, this puppy can select the key automatically depending on your singing, which means you won’t have to make any additional adjustments in that section. VE-20 also comes equipped with special effects, including Distortion, Strobe, Electric and so on. By accessing the menu, you can also modify the EQ of your tone, as well as compression and all the basic parameters. Lastly, this bad boy has a set of essential connections: an input for your microphone (can accept a wide variety of types), stereo headphone output, two XLR outputs for plugging this fella with a mixer or recorder, as well as a DC jack (alternatively, you can insert 6 AA batteries).
Boss VE-20 isn’t a sort of a pedal that is steeped with on-board controls. Though it does have several knobs and buttons, detailed settings can only be accessed through the menu. This isn’t surprising by any means, since the majority of vocal processors and multi-effects devices have a similar layout. Below I’ll discuss the functionalities of on-board controls, which means you’ll have to refer to the manual or the rest. But if you have utilized such a pedal before, I’m sure you’ll figure everything out yourself.
The majority of buttons are self-explanatory here: Phrase Loop activates the complementary function, Exit enables you to return to the previous screen or cancel an action, Left and Right Cursors let you to switch between parameters, Sound allows you to scroll through the available sounds or select the value of the parameter shown on the display, while Menu makes it possible to access menu on the LCD display. When it comes to the footswitches, the first one turns the unit on and off, or triggers phrase looper and all of its functions, while the second one activates Harmony or any other effect. As you can see, VE-20 is pretty simple to use.
Boss VE20 Sound
Boss VE-20 will prove its worth once again as you plug it in and start exploring all of its capabilities. The pre-recorded presets it comes with sound wonderful and almost all of them are real-enough to be utilized seriously. ‘Ordinary’ and ‘Special effects’ are equally fantastic, as they accompany your vocals beautifully and don’t add artificial coloring (unless you get overboard and overuse them). Of course, there are some that won’t sound organic no matter how hard you try and you should employ them with that in mind. Moreover, VE-20 has four main types of pitch correction: soft, hard, robot, and electric. Soft is a very mild effect, hard alters your pitch dramatically, while robots and electronics accentuate those artificial qualities and bring them to the front of the line. The overall quality of this pedal can be characterized as pretty darn clear, as it won’t get colored unless you want it to. This puppy tracks your vocals really well and its adjustments to the key are always accurate. Looper is a useful tool and enhances the scope of its capabilities even more.
All in all, Boss VE-20 is a wonderful vocal processor for those who aren’t looking for anything complicated. Its versatility will assist your performance a great deal, regardless of the singing style you have. Be it a weird, unworldly voice or a typical female one, this puppy will make it better, that’s for sure. Give it a shot and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Good luck!
Click here to view more from 5 Best Vocal Processor.