Boss ME-50 Multieffects Review

ME-50

Absolute simplicity

Each section is equipped with a series of dedicated knobs for the parameters. Substantially, we can consider this Boss product a mix of some stompboxes in a same device. Everything is immediatly accessible, and the various settings are really easy and fast.

Effects

30 presets

Well. Let's start this review with the list of the 30 available patches, that are divided in ten banks (with 3 options). They can be edited and stored with the new settings.

1

  • Much sustain.
  • It is perfect for Rock.
  • Lead.

2

  • It provides much drive.
  • Crunch.
  • It uses the Rotary effect.

3

  • It emulates a stack amp.
  • Clean. It has been designed to be used in conjunction with a Delay.
  • A wah.

4

  • The Boss OD-1.
  • It works on the mids and produces a good Overdrive.
  • A good solution for the Blues.

5

  • A smooth sound.
  • Valid for Country.
  • Suitable to Jazz.

6

  • Another Overdrive, but this time it produces a deep distortion.
  • A crunch with a spatial effect.
  • A wah, perfect for Funky.

7

  • A Chorus.
  • The typical British sound of the '60s.
  • Clean, with a Phaser.

8

  • It has been designed for Heavy Metal. A very hard distortion.
  • The UNI-V.
  • It emulates an acoustic guitar.

9

  • It remembers the Rock of the '70s.
  • A Compressor paired with a Phaser.
  • Good to be used with tapping.

10

  • It emulates the Rock sound of the '60s.
  • It has been designed to be used in conjunction with a pedal. It raises the pitch up to one octave.
  • It combines a Vibrato and an Echo.

The Tone Modify function

It provides some preprogrammed equalizations ready to use.

  • OFF
  • The bypass.

  • FAT
  • The mid range is boosted, so the sound becomes fatter.

  • PRESENCE
  • It boosts high-mid range. The guitar tone will be brighter.

  • MILD
  • The high end is cutted, so tone becomes milder.

  • TIGHT
  • It cuts low frequencies.

  • ENHANCE
  • This position boosts high frequencies.

  • S>H
  • It recreates the atmosphere of an humbucker starting from a single-coil.

  • H>S
  • The contrary of the previous.

  • HOLLOW
  • It adds body resonance. It creates the sound of an acoustic guitar.

  • ACOUSTIC
  • Another acoustic guitar.

Overdrive and Distortion

The ME-50 puts 22 different types and 4 controls at the user disposal. Many patches are emulations of some rather famous pedals, by Boss but not only.

  • OD-1.
  • OD-2.
  • BD-2 Blues Driver.
  • DS-1.
  • MT-2 Metal Zone.
  • Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer.
  • MXR DISTORTION+.
  • Marshall GUV'NOR.
  • Proco RAT.
  • Electro-Harmonix Big Muff.
  • FUZZFACE.
  • Other types.
  • Various distortions designed to be suitable to all the possible genres.

Controls

  • DRIVE
  • The amount of the effect.

  • BOTTOM
  • Specific for the low frequency range.

  • TONE
  • The equalization of this module.

  • LEVEL
  • The volume.

Compressor and noise suppressor

They help to eliminate pickups hum and to smooth out level.

Compressor

It can be used for two purposes: it can produce a long sustain or it can be used as a limiter. This module provides two controls. Let's see them.

  • Sustain
  • At the maximum position it will produce a very long sustain. At the minimum it will work as a limiter.

  • Level
  • It adjusts the volume.

NS (Noise Suppressor)

It provides a single control, the threshold.

THRESHOLD

It affects the decay of the sound, so use it with parsimony. The sound must be natural and an excessive use will cut it.

Reverbs

  • ROOM
  • A small room.

  • HALL
  • A larger hall.

  • SPRING
  • The built-in reverb of a Fender amplifier.

  • MOD
  • Hall with the addition of a modulation.

Modulation

It adds some undulations to the sound. The ME-50 provides 11 types of this effect.

Controls

This module is equipped with three controls that have different functions according to the selected effect. Let's see the common functions.

  • RATE/KEY
  • It adjusts the rate.

  • DEPTH/HARMONY
  • The depth.

  • E.LEVEL/RESONANCE
  • The volume.

Effects

  • CHORUS
  • STEREO CHO 1
  • A different type for each channel.

  • STEREO CHO 2
  • Much particular. The two signals are synthesized.

  • PHASER
  • FLANGER
  • HARMONIST
  • It analyzes the guitar input and creates a shifting of the signal. This can help the guitarist to create harmonics based on diatonic scales. The ME-50 must analyze the pitch, so HARMONIST can be used only playing one note at a time.

RATE/KEY

You can specify the key on which you are playing, that will appear in the display.

DEPTH/HARMONY

The pitch of the sound that will be added to the original signal. The basic parameter is the octave.

E.LEVEL/RESONANCE

The volume ratio between the two signals.

  • TREMOLO
  • PAN
  • It alternates the two stereo channels.

  • VIBRATO
  • It creates a slight modulation of the pitch.

  • UNI-V
  • It was very famous in the '60s. It is similar to the Phaser, but with a particular undulation.

  • ROTARY
  • It reproduces the rotation of the speakers.

Delay

Eleven different types.

  • 0-30ms
  • 25-125ms
  • 100-500ms
  • 400-2000ms
  • ANALOG
  • SLOW ECHO
  • PAN
  • SPACE PAN
  • REVERSE
  • HOLD
  • TAP

Controls

Three knobs for the adjustments.

  • Time
  • The length.

  • Feedback
  • The number of the repetitions.

  • E. Level
  • The volume.

Other caracteristics

Factory settings

In the manual there is a very interesting and useful list of the factory settings of the original patches, with all the parameters. It can be useful to restore a single preset, but also to understand the functioning of the effects. It is very instructive.

The expression pedal

It has been designed to be very fast to use. Simply, choose the Volume or Expression Mode, and then select the effect you want to control with the pedal.

The tuner

This is always a valid function and it can be enabled in a moment. In a live context this can be very useful. The dedicated LED can display the note name.

Final opinion

If we consider the cost of this Boss device, and all the available options, the list of the effects, and the rather good overall quality, we can say that the ME-50 provides an excellent quality/price ratio. Fundamentally, a very valid product.

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