Boss ME-90 Tutorial

Started by Elantric, August 18, 2023, 09:50:56 PM

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Knob-operated multi-effector BOSS ME-90 review!!
[Article publication date] August 1, 2023

A "multi-effector" that incorporates multiple effects in one unit is convenient for producing various sounds with an electric guitar. It's quite difficult to buy compact effectors one by one, and it's troublesome to procure them after you say "I need that!". However, with a multi-effects unit, you can create clean sounds, dirty sounds, such and such sounds with just one unit. Also, since you can experience the effects, usage, and combinations of various effectors, it is very convenient for learning how to make the sound of an electric guitar.

"BOSS", which has a history and achievements in this field, has released a multi-effector "ME-90" that can be operated even by inexperienced users, yet has excellent sound quality. This time, let's pay attention to this new BOSS product "ME-90".

What is the BOSS multi-effector "ME" series?

The "ME-8 (1995)", which was called a masterpiece, was nicknamed "Mehachi". "ME" stands for "Multiple Effects"

For more than 30 years, BOSS's successive "ME" series has supported guitarists as a multi-effect unit with a simple operability and necessary and sufficient sound variations.

Founded in 1973, BOSS released masterpieces one after another in the field of compact effectors, such as the CE-1 Chorus Ensemble (1976), OD-1 Over Drive (1977), and DD-2 Digital Delay (1983). did. Then, in 1988, the first multi-effector "ME-5" was released.

Starting with "ME-50 (2003)," the ME series was mainly operated by knobs.

Since then, the ME series has taken various forms in line with the trends of the times and the trends of players.

Features of BOSS "ME-90"

The occupied area is about 1.5 times the length of A4 paper. It has a moderately easy-to-use size, but it does not fit in the pocket of a guitar case, so a separate case is required for transportation. The body weight of 2.9 kg is slightly lighter than the average adult cat. It's lightweight, but the outer shell is made of metal, making it fairly sturdy.

And the latest "ME-90" that appeared this time is a simple and intuitive control system centered on knob operation, and high sound quality inherited from the flagship model. It is finished as a deep-pocketed multi-effector that can be used by players.

Sound creation can be completed simply by operating the knobs.

Knobs and switches lined up neatly. The assigned function is described on each, so it is difficult to get lost in operation.

The main advantages of the ME-90 are the simplicity and speed with which you can instantly adjust the tone by reaching out and adjusting the knobs . The knobs are set up for each function, similar to the state of a compact effector, eliminating the need to call up parameters or select operations from the menu. Even people who are not good at LCD screens can intuitively make sound. In addition, the colorful LED lets you know at a glance whether the effect is on or off.

There are 9 preset banks with 4 preset sounds. You can save up to 36 sounds, 4 each in 9 user banks, and easily recall them.

8 Pedal Switches and Expression pedal

BOSS ME-90 Guitar Multiple Effects | Introducing the most advanced ME model
You can use various sounds with one unit and switch at once.

While playing, operate the 8 pedal switches and the rightmost expression pedal. There are two ways to switch tones: "MEMORY mode", which switches by patch, and "MANUAL mode", which switches effects on and off individually. Use the [MEMORY/MANUAL] pedal to switch.

"MEMORY mode" that changes the tone at once

BANK selects read-only "preset banks (1 to 9)" and freely writable "user banks (1 to 9)" in order. The sounds of the selected BANK are assigned to numbers 1 to 4 in the foreground. The effect of the [CTL] pedal depends on your ideas.

In "MEMORY mode", operate the "BANK▼/BANK▲" pedals to select a bank of factory presets or user presets, and select and use patches assigned to pedal switches 1 through 4. .
You can freely set and save the sounds you create in the user bank, so you can line up four similar sounds or line up completely different sounds. Also, by using the [CTL (control)] pedal, you can set different settings for each patch.

"MANUAL mode" to operate effects individually

All effects can be turned ON/OFF.

The pedal switches in "MANUAL mode" are ON/OFF for each effect. MOD" and "DELAY" are assigned. Depending on the system settings, the [REV] switch can be used to turn the send/return ON/OFF, but in this case the reverb ON/OFF is blocked.

An expression pedal that expands the range of expression

An expression pedal that is larger than the previous model and has improved operability.

The expression pedal on the right side of the main unit normally functions as a volume pedal. If you step on the toe so that you can write your weight on it, the pedal effect will activate, and you can get various effects such as wah and bend.

A high-quality preamp that meets the demands of professionals

It inherits the AIRD preamplifier from the top model "GT-1000".

The ME-90's audio performance is "sampling rate 48kHz, AD conversion 24bit, internal calculation 32bit float". It means that the sound cracking and sound quality deterioration are less likely to occur. The performance in this part of the ME-90 is the same as the high-end model " GX -100 ", although it does not reach the top model " GT-1000 ".

This high-performance main unit contains a variety of effects that BOSS has released to the world. In particular, the sound of the preamplifier that makes full use of BOSS's proprietary technologies "AIRD" and "MDP" is noteworthy.

AIRD (Augmented Impulse Response Dynamics): Amp modeling pursues mutual interference that occurs in each part from the guitar to the speaker. In addition, it fine-tunes its own behavior according to the connected device, achieving a reality where you can feel the match between the feel of playing and the sound output.
MDP (Multi-Dimensional Processing): Multidimensional signal processing. Multi-dimensional processing of input signals, processing that can only be done digitally. Released from the traditional role of analog reproduction and follow-up, it is possible to create new sounds that can only be created digitally.

<<Reference>> Preamps and effects that can be used via the app
(Selectable) Through the dedicated apps "BOSS TONE STUDIO for ME-90 (Windows/Mac)" and "BTS for ME-90 (iOS/Android)", you will be able to select preamps and effectors that cannot be selected on the main unit alone. This is done by exchanging with a specific preamp/effector, but since the exchange is done on a patch-by-patch basis, virtually all preamps and effects can be used.

"AIRD preamplifier" inherited from the top model

The preamps included in the ME-90 are 11 types carefully selected from the top model "GT-1000". It has a good balance from clean to high gain, and models famous guitar amps, so it can handle a wide range of sounds.
NATURAL : Straightforward clean sound
X-CRUNCH : Crunch sound with crispness on all strings
X-HI GAIN : High-gain sound with a wide range and a pleasant sense of separation
MAXIMUM : Vintage Marshall with high gain
JUGGERNAUT : The ultimate metal sound with a large stack amp
X-MODDED : Core sound that remains core even with extreme gain
TWIN COMBO : Fender "Twin Reverb"
TWEED COMBO : Fender "Bassman 4×10″ Combo"
BRIT STACK : Marshall "1959 (plexi)"
RECTI STACK : MODERN mode of MESA/Boogie "DUAL Rectifier" channel 2
TRANSPARENT : A very flat response with a wide frequency range. Best for electric acoustic guitar
BOUTIQUE : A crunch sound that faithfully reproduces the nuances of your picking.
SUPREME : A crunch sound that takes advantage of the characteristics of a 4 x 12″ cabinet
JC-120 : Roland "JC-120"
DELUXE COMBO : Fender "Deluxe Reverb"

BOSS boasts high-quality effects

The connection order of the effects is basically this arrangement, but the order is automatically changed depending on which effect type of each block is selected. For SEND/RETURN, the stage before or after PREAMP can be selected arbitrarily.

Effectors range from orthodox effects such as overdrive, distortion, chorus, and delay, to models of famous instruments, touch wahs, acoustic simulators, and other connoisseurs, as well as projectile tools such as feedbackers and ring modulators. Beginners should start by finding one overdrive/distortion that they like.
Some effects are activated only while the switch is pressed, but to use these, press the pedal for the corresponding effect in MANUAL mode, or the number pedal for the currently selected patch in MEMORY mode.

COMP/FX1 (Compressor/Effect 1)

COMP : Compressor that also works as a limiter
T.WAH UP : Touch wah that responds upward to picking
SLOW GEAR : Produces the effect of volume playing (violin playing)
DEFRETTER : Simulates a fretless guitar
OCTAVE : Added 1 octave down and 2 octaves down. Although it is only for playing single notes, there are
    also tricks and tricks to play chords to make bugs
HUMANIZER : Change the sound of the guitar to sound like a human voice.
FEEDBACKER : Feedback only while pedaling
AC SIM : Change electric guitar sound to acoustic guitar sound
SOLO : Acts as a clean booster
TUNE DOWN : Lower the tuning of the guitar
S-BEND : Raises or lowers the pitch only while the pedal is depressed
D-COMP : MXR "Dyna Comp"
RING MOD : Unpredictable and devastating sound that combines internal oscillators with guitar sounds
POLY OCTAVE : Octave effect for double notes and chords
T.WAH DOWN : Touch wah that responds downward to picking
Single > Hum : Change the sound of a single coil to a humbucker sound
Hum > Single : Change humbucker sound to single coil sound

OD/DS (Overdrive/Distortion)

The adjustment of the distortion effector is unified into three, "DRIVE", "TONE" and "LEVEL", and can be operated simply.

BOOST : A booster with a distinctive midrange
T-SCREAM : Ibanez "TS-808"
RAT DS : Proco "RAT"
CORE : BOSS "ML-2". Great for fast metal riffs
MUFF FUZZ : Electro Harmonics "Big Muff π"
CLEAN BOOST : A clean booster that can get a punch even by itself
TREBLE BOOST : Booster with bright characteristics
OD-1 : BOSS "OD-1
GUV DS : Marshall "GUV'NOR"
'60S FUZZ : Arbiter "FUZZFACE"
OCT FUZZ : Octave fuzz with added sound one octave higher

MOD (modulation)

For modulation effects other than PITCH SHIFT and OVERTONE, the volume of the direct sound is fixed.

PHASER : Unique undulation with phase-shifted sound
FLANGER : Swell like the rising/descending sound of a jet plane
TREMOLO : Periodically change the volume
CHORUS : Fluctuation with breadth and depth
VIBRATO : Intense vibrato effect that cannot be obtained normally
PITCH SHIFT : Pitch change in the range of ±2 octaves
HARMONIST : Harmonize according to the scale. Only for playing single notes
ROTARY : Rotating speaker effect
UNI-V : Modeling the "Uni-vibe"
DELAY : Standard delay with delay time 10-800ms
OVERTONE : MDP specification effect. Add upper and lower harmonics to create new sounds
STEREO CHORUS : Stereo two-phase chorus
AUTO WAH : Auto wah that periodically changes the filter


In the delay, the effect group includes "TEMPO" that switches to tap tempo setting mode.

STANDARD : Standard delay with delay time 10-800ms
ANALOG : Mild sound of analog delay
TAPE : Wavering delay that reproduces tape echo. Fixed fluctuation
WARM : Warm digital delay
MODULATE : Delay with pleasant fluctuation. Fixed fluctuation
REVERSE : Reverse playback delay
TEMPO : Sets the delay time (tempo) by the interval at which the pedal is pressed
TERA ECHO : An MDP-specification effect that changes according to the strength of your picking.
SHIMMER : Sounds with changed pitch are mixed
PHRASE LOOP : Looper that can record up to 38 seconds
+REVERB : Delay combined with reverb
CHO+DELAY : Delay combined with chorus
WARP : Fantastic sound that takes effect only while the pedal is pressed.
TWIST : Aggressive rotation that takes effect only while the pedal is depressed. Distortion and combination recommended
GLITCH : A machine gun-like delay that only works while the pedal is pressed.

EQ/FX2 (Equalizer/Effect 2)

Each effect has 2-3 MODEs. The "FX2" section contains most of the effects in the "MOD" section, as well as effects from other sections such as delays and boosters.

Effect    MODE    content
PHASER    1: NORMAL    Distinctive undulation with phase shift
PHASER    2: SCRIPT    MXR "Phase 90"
TREM/PAN  1: TREMOLO    cyclically change the volume
TREM/PAN  2: PAN    send sound left and right
BOOST     1: MIDs    A booster with a distinctive midrange
BOOST     2: CLEAN    A booster that can punch even by itself
BOOST     3: TREBLE    Bright attribute booster
DELAY    1: STANDARD    Standard delay with delay time 10-800ms
DELAY    2: ANALOG    Mild sound of analog delay
DELAY    3: TAPE    Wavering delay that reproduces tape echo
CHORUS    1: MONO    Fluctuations with breadth and depth
CHORUS    2: STEREO    Stereo two-phase chorus
CHORUS    3: CE-1    BOSS "CE-1"
EQ      3 band equalizer
FLANGER : Swell like the rising/descending sound of a jet plane
VIBRATO : Intense vibrato effect that cannot be obtained normally
PITCH SHIFT : Pitch change in the range of ±2 octaves
HARMONIST : Harmonize according to the scale. Only for playing single notes
ROTARY : Rotating speaker effect
UNI-V : Modeling the "Uni-vibe"
OVERTONE : MDP specification effect. Add upper and lower harmonics to create new sounds

Among these, "BOOST" boosts from the post-preamp stage, so you can change the volume without changing the tone.


The reverb is simple, with a single knob that controls ROOM min-max, HALL min-max, and SPRING min-max. When set to minimum, it is the same as reverb off.

PEDAL FX (pedal effect)
The expression pedal, which normally functions as a volume pedal, can activate the pedal effect by stepping in the toe direction. As for the wah, in addition to the wah pedals that can be used here, there are also touch wahs (COMP/FX1) for the top and bottom, and auto wahs (MOD) for all types of wah-related effects, and you can feel the commitment of BOSS.

WAH : Wah pedal
VOICE : Human voice-like sound
+1 OCT : Pitch change up to 1 octave
+2 OCT : Pitch change up to 2 octaves
-1 OCT : Pitch change up to 1 octave down
-2 OCT : Pitch change up to 2 octaves down
FREEZE : The freeze function is applied when the pedal is stepped on
OSC DELAY : Create delay oscillation
OD/DS : Control the DRIVE amount when using the OD/DS effect
MOD RATE : Control the RATE amount when using the MOD effect
DELAY LEVEL : Controls the volume of the delay when using DELAY

NS (noise suppressor)
While holding down the [EDIT] button, move the [BANK] pedal up and down to adjust the effect of the noise suppressor. Set to minimum to turn off.

Various functions are enriched

In addition to the SEND/RETURN terminals, the back panel also has a Gt. AMP/LINE switch.

SEND/RETRUN jacks for connecting external effects
The back of the ME-90 is equipped with a SEND/RETURN (send/return) terminal, and you can insert your favorite effector next to OD/DS or next to PREAMP. SEND/RETURN ON/OFF can be set for each patch, and in MANUAL mode, the REV switch can be used as SEND/RETURN ON/OFF (In this case, reverb cannot be turned ON/OFF).

Equipped with a high-performance tuner
Press and hold the [MEMORY/MANUAL] pedal for 2 seconds or longer to activate the chromatic tuner. Tuning accuracy can be measured in 0.1 Cents, thousandths of a semitone. In addition, calibration settings from 435Hz to 445Hz are possible, so you don't have to worry about ensembles with acoustic pianos or brass bands.

Optimal output according to the output destination is possible
The ME-90 is intended to be used in a variety of situations, and can output sounds optimized for output destinations such as guitar amplifiers and audio interfaces.

First is the "Gt. AMP/LINE" switch on the back. Set the switch to "Gt.AMP" when connecting to a guitar amp, and to "LINE" when connecting to a PA, DI, audio interface, etc. When set to LINE, the speaker simulator starts up and outputs a vivid sound like when the sound actually coming out of the speaker is recorded with a microphone. The IR data used for this speaker simulator can also be changed from a PC.

When connecting to a guitar amp, the "OUTPUT SELECT" operated in the system settings is effective. By selecting the appropriate number from 12 types, such as "input terminal of a vacuum tube combo amp with two 12" speakers" or "RETURN terminal of a vacuum tube stack amp with four 12" speakers in the cabinet", the ME-90 You can play with good sound that fully demonstrates the performance of the built-in AIRD preamplifier. If the amp you actually use is not among these 12 types, choose one with similar speaker specifications.

Control delay time and modulation rate with tap tempo
Delay time and modulation rate can be set not only by knob operation, but also by tap tempo. You can start setting by pressing and holding the pedal for each effect in MANUAL mode, or for the patch number in MEMORY mode, so you can make settings even while you're playing. You can also use the "TEMPO" in the "DELAY" section to set a delay that returns dotted eighth notes to the tap tempo.

Connectivity with PCs and smart devices expands possibilities

Optional Bluetooth Audio MIDI Dual Adapter (BT-DUAL). If you attach this to ME-90, you will be able to connect to Bluetooth.

ME-90 can play audio by connecting to a PC from the USB port on the back of the main unit, or by installing the optional "Bluetooth Audio MIDI Dual Adapter (BT-DUAL)" and connecting to a smart device via Bluetooth. Masu. The ME-90's headphone jack allows you to listen to music and the sound of your guitar at the same time, making it convenient for practice.

In addition, by using the dedicated apps "BOSS TONE STUDIO for ME-90 (Windows/Mac)" and "BTS for ME-90 (iOS/Android)", you can edit effects, use additional effects, save settings, etc. Deep usage is possible. Through this app, you can download tones created by professional musicians from the web library " BOSS TONE CENTRAL " free of charge, and you can also share live sets with other users on the online platform " BOSS TONE EXCHANGE ".

In addition to this, external IR data can be loaded with the dedicated application "ME-90 IR Loader (Windows/Mac)" when connected to a PC via USB, and can be used as an audio interface in conjunction with a DAW environment.

So far, I have checked the BOSS "ME-90". This is a high-performance machine equipped with many preamplifiers and effectors inherited from the top model "GT-1000".

Because the basic operations are simple and all the main effectors are covered, it is strongly recommended for those who are new to effectors. It is also very good for on-site guitarists who need a sense of speed in setting up/removing and adjusting sound.

It's a product that tends to get a lot of attention for its unmatched performance and simple operation, but it's also interesting to see the BOSS development team's deep commitment here and there. The ME-90 does not allow you to change the order in which the effects are connected, but the effects in each section can be used in a variety of ways, such as a delay that can be used before the MOD or a booster that can be used after the PREAMP. There is a delay in the "MOD" section, and the EQ/FX2 is full of modulation effects, so you can even set up to apply a modulation effect to the delay. The ME-90 can be used for both simple and enthusiastic use, so be sure to check it out.