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!

mathias

5 comments:

  1. I use a Boss ME 70 for gigs all the time. I run the left output into the soundboard, and the right output into my guitar amp (usually a Mesa Triple Rec). If that's not enough, I'll use the slave output on the Mesa to connect another amp. If you don't want to bring an amp, a powered monitor will work instead. Also, take your time during soundcheck to make sure you can hear yourself through the monitors; sometimes sound guys will start the guitarist really low in the mix if they're not sure of their ability; addressing this at soundcheck is a sign you know what you're doing.

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    1. In that case you wouldn't want any amp/cab simulation on the output that goes to the guitar amp, but you would definitely want one for the other output going to the mixer. But as far as I know you can only either have both outputs with amp/cab sim, or both without. Especially overdrive/distortion sounds terrible without amp/cab simulation if you go directly to the board. How did you solve that?

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    2. Mat, found this useful, but also found this explanation..does it help?

      The significance of this difference is that if you prefer to add Cabinet modelling in your DAW, you can use the direct output. If you want to record using the built in cabinet simulation, use the recording/headphone out jack.


      Do remember that having anything plugged into the rec/head out jack engages the simulation for BOTH outputs. Even a dummy plug, or cable not connected to anything.

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  2. You can get a D/I box with an input thru. That way you can go from ME-70 to the D/I (1/4"), then from D/I to PA (xlr), and then with a 1/4" you can go from input thru to G. Amp for your monitor. That way you're sending one feed out of the ME-70 from the mono port and it shouldn't affect your sound.

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