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Boss ME-50B

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Vorago, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    heya ya all!

    What do you think about the Boss ME-50B? I was looking into effects in the store. I'm looking for sounds that can be used in "electronic" music. By this, I mean dance/techno/Drum 'n' Bass/experimental...I'd like to get that kind of basssound that you often hear in DnB, if you know what I mean! The salesman (who is an excellent bassplayer!) told me that he could easily sell me a Boss Overdrive, but that wouldn't be really worth it, I'd be like adding a vacuumcleaner to my sound ;) . He advised me the Boss ME-50B, which is equiped with a wide range of filters, drives, synths and various modulations. It isn't a GT6 B, but that would be way out of my budget league.

    So, what do you think about it? I've never liked multi-effects, because you'll probably wont use 85% of the sound, and the individual sounds often sound better in a single pedal, but somehow this machine has got me!

    It costs about €288, which is about 380$ (I think)

    AD Conversion 24 bit + AF method* 
    DA Conversion 24 bit 
    Sampling Frequency 44.1 kHz 
    Patches 24 (user) 
    Effects Compressor / Limiter
    Filter / Tone: T. Wah, Octave (Up / Down), Slow Gear, Defretter, Enhancer, Bottom Boost, Mid Shape, Hollow
    Drive / Synth: Overdrive / Distortion, Bass Synth
    Delay / Modulation: Delay, Phaser, Flanger, Chorus, Reverb
    Noise Suppressor
    Master EQ
    Effects for Expression Pedal: Foot Volume, Wah, Resonance, Bend (+1 OCTAVE, -1 OCTAVE), Sound Hold, Kick Drum 
    Nominal Input Level INPUT: -10 dBu
    AUX IN: -10 dBu 
    Input Impedance INPUT: 1 M ohms
    AUX IN: 100 k ohms
    Nominal Output Level -10 dBu 
    Output Impedance 2 k ohms 
    Display 7 segments, 1character LED 
    Connectors INPUT jack
    OUTPUT jacks L (MONO)/ R
    AUX IN jack (Stereo Mini type)
    PHONES jack
    AC Adaptor jack
    Power Supply DC 9 V: Dry batteries (R6/LR6 (AA) type) x 6, AC Adaptor (PSA series: Optional) 
    Current Draw 140 mA 
    Accessories Owner's Manual
    Dry Batteries (Alkaline: LR6 (AA) type) x 6 
    Options AC Adaptor: BOSS PSA series
    Foot Switch: BOSS FS-5U 

    Any opinions?
  2. xan


    Sep 10, 2004
    Perth, Australia
    there are many many threads on the me-50b. i own one. i am satisfied with it. the range of sounds is fine but if your looking for more techno type sounds, that being filtered sounds, im not sure the me-50b will really do the job. it has 4 synth sounds, with which i couldnt find many useful settings.

    the synth patches are based on the boss syb-3 synth if im not mistaken, and do a quick search on that and it wont take you long to find that noone is really happy with it. i also owned the syb-3 itself and i took it back a week later and exchanged it for a new boss syb-5.

    the first thing i thought when i started playing around with the syb-5 was "this is geared towards techno/industrial". i dont have a lot of use for a sound like that, so the pedal just kinda collects dust. but if thats the sound you are after, then maybe go down to the shop and ask to try one out.

    other than the synth effects you can get some decent drive sound from the me-50b. the muff fuzz (based on the big muff) is handy. the bass driver effect is based on the sansamp which is also pretty handy. the overdriven effect is based on the odb-3 i believe (which i dont think is much of an overdrive anyway) but there you go.

    so in summary, im not unhappy with my me-50b, but i havent used it as much as i thought i would, and ive started buying individual pedals anyway.
  3. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    First, thanks for the reply!

    Second; do you have any suggestions then concering filters? You say that you only have 4 filters, I don't know if that is much, but if it isn't, what should I be looking for then ?
  4. xan


    Sep 10, 2004
    Perth, Australia
    well, the me-50b has the following features:

    - 1. filter/tone effects: (envelope filters, tone shaping)
    --this includes octave up/down, which raises or lowers the pitch of the note you play on your bass by an octave. this effect is quite handy, it can make your sound quite thick and synthy. could be handy for your electronic music. you can also control this with the expression pedal for interesting sounds.

    --also has wah sounds, up/down/edge. this will give you that kinda funky sound. can be made more interesting with the expression pedal. could also be good for electronic music.

    --the other effects in this section relate to tone shaping, which i dont use a lot.

    - 2. drive/synth effects: (distortion/overdrive/synth sounds)
    --here you have your big muff, sansamp, odb-3, type effects. pretty standard in any bass players gear.

    --now, within this group are the synth sounds. synth sounds are triggered by the note you play on your bass, and reproduced by the onboard oscillator (a guitar oscillates to create soundwaves, the me-50b has an artificial oscillator). the 4 synth waveforms (which characterise the kind of sound they make) are: saw lead, mild filter, deep filter, square. i cant get any use out of mild or deep filter, but saw and square can be semi-useful but i dont believe they are that great. that appears to be the general opinion of most me-50b users. with a good synth you can get a vast array of electronic/funky/distortion sounds but the me-50s synth isnt in that class.

    3. delay/modulation:

    --various digitals + 1 analog delay (and tap delay - kinda nifty)

    --phaser/flanger/chorus sounds are all usable and quite good. can give you quite orchestral or spacey kinds of sounds which could very easily fit with the kind of music you are looking at.

    4. expression pedal

    --normally controls volume but hold it toe-down for a second or so and it flicks over to allow you to control wah/resonance/octaves/sound hold and kickdrum

    --with this you can pretty drastically alter the characteristics of the filters/effects you are running.

    so yes, there are quite a few effects. remember that in memory mode you can use combinations of effects from the 3 groups simultaneously and store them in one of 24 memory spots. still, i dont really think that the unit is geared towards the kind of music you want to play specifically. it has some features obviously that may work well, but being that it was marketed to replace many individual pedals, it has become a general category multi fx. i think that, like me, you will buy this, like it and play around with it, then continue to buy individual pedals.

    my suggestion to you would be to play around with the boss syb-5 bass synth, a digitech bass synth wah, as well as this unit, and decide whether you want a reasonable multi fx such as this, or if your money is better spent on something more specifically oriented towards your tastes.
  5. There are many sounds in the ME-50B that you can use for DnB or electronica but I primarily use 2 - the Square Synth and the Octave Down with NO DIRECT SIGNAL.

    I recorded a little sample of these two sounds so e-mail me if you want to hear them. ben@legg.com

    A note about the Octave Down with NO DIRECT SIGNAL,... you can get this sound with any Octave pedal and I believe it's one of the coolest electronic bass sounds out there. But the draw back is that you have to play everything above A on the E string or you have tracking problems (some compression really helps out with this as does using the bridge pickup only IMO).