Monday, September 3, 2012

Boss ME-70: into PA and guitar amp?

Hi everybody,

just sharing some more of my experiences with the Boss ME-70. I've had it for a few months now and I used it in several live shows. I'm actually not a big effects guy but sometimes I play commercial gigs where I need some effects, and I find the ones in the ME-70's pretty good for my purposes.

I got the ME-70 because I wanted to connect it directly to the PA, so for certain gigs I wouldn't need a guitar amp. This actually works pretty well because the built-in amp simulations sound quite good. I played a few gigs with just the ME-70 and the sound was pretty OK. The only problem I've had with this approach was the fact that I'm totally dependent on the monitoring. Sometimes it was good, so no problem, but sometimes I couldn't hear myself well enough. So my next idea was to bring along my  Laney Cub-12, just as a small guitar monitor. But to my disappointment I found out that the ME-70 doesn't really support using the recording/PA output and the guitar amp output at the same time. What happens - and I have no idea why they did it that way - is that as soon as you use the recording/PA output, a cab simulation is activated - at the guitar amp output! I cannot imagine any use of this "feature"; for me it is actually quite annoying because connecting a cab-sim'ed output to a guitar amp doesn't sound too great, and you can hardly compensate for it with the amp's EQ knobs. So far, the only solution to this problem is to connect my own active monitor box instead of a guitar amp to the guitar amp outputs of the ME-70. Anyway, it all remains a compromise that I'm not really happy with. I might as well go back to using my guitar amp with a microphone in front of it, but the whole idea of using the ME-70 was to get rid of the amp and the mic ...

Don't get me wrong, the ME-70 is a good pedal with great value for money. I believe that most of the effects are really good, and definitely good enough for live use. It's just that one thing about the automatic cab simulation applied to the guitar amp output as soon as there's a plug in the recording/PA output that annoys me, especially because I don't understand why anybody would want that; as far as I can see it's just bad design, and that's not something I usually would associate with Boss.

OK, enough of complaining, I'll let you know which solution I'll end up with. It'll take a bit more of experimentation ... If anybody has found a solution to this problem, please let me know!