Before stompboxes are for guitarists only, but lately vocalist had been using specialized pedals too to generate harmonies, correct their out of tunes and add reverbs as they sing.
BOSS VE-20, a vocal processor different from the other DigiTech Vocalist range because it does not rely on guitar signals just like its counterparts. It is easy to use and the sound is good enough.
VE-20 has the same BOSS twin-pedal form that is also present with RE-20 Space Echo and the RC-20XL Loop Station. With a 30 presets that you can dial up and use, making this processor very practical and easy to use. Just Plug, choose and sing!
It has 50 use memory locations that can store the sound you created using the variety of editing tool also available. An additional feature is a phrase looper with 38 seconds (mono) of recording time.
From the six effects: Dynamics, Ptich, Correct, Tone/SFX, Double/Harmony, Delay and Reverb, you can create a preset user patches. Each of these six effects has their own parameter that can be adjusted.
The design of VE-20 made only minimal knobbage. There is only a central knob to scroll through to select patches. The front panel button is dedicated only for the selection of the Reverb levels. However there are still four buttons and two cursors for getting into the menus and adjustments.
The on/off of the overall sound is at the left footswitch. The harmony on/off is at the right footswitch but you can also set it to be a switch for other effects within a patch.
The factory presets of VE-20 are a varied cross-section. These are based on the different musical styles, special effects and varied harmony interval. You can find anything you like here at first use but you can still mix and match user patches to the sound that you like.
The two most crucial parameters are instantly available. The first was the reverb level the other was the key for the Harmonies. This can be accessed by the single press from the right cursor, a rotary knob which has C major as its default setting.
All edits are automatically saved. Other parameters are easily accessed from the menu, including setting the level, pitch interval, pan and gender of the two available harmonies – unison and up or down thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths and octaves are all available. Doubling is also available as a harmony choice.
BOSS included many vocal effects like a robot, Cher or a tinny radio, even though harmonies are the most important part of VE-20.
The VE-20 is a lot of fun, sounds pretty good and will be easy to use onstage once you’ve set up all your patches, if you don’t mind bending down and selecting them between songs.
This pedal offer creative possibilities for vocalists and may be particularly suited to solo acts that want to add a little interest to their music or just present a bigger sound to their audience.
Bear in mind, though, that this type of pedal demands to be used with caution, vocal pitchshifting technology isn’t without odd-sounding artefacts and a shift of just a few semitones can sound unnatural if mixed too high in relation to the main vocal.
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