1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

BOSS VF-1, anyone still use it?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Bergerdude, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. Bergerdude


    Jun 7, 2005
    I have had my Vf-1 in my rig for 3 years. I use chorus, and maybe 2 other sounds sparingly.

    Anyway, has anyone found a good synth sound on it?

    I have looked, and it doesn't seem like there are any current user groups for this thing or resources.

    Any help ...getting sounds, resources, why to dump it....
    Heck even searching for it on this board doesn't work "VF-1" is too short of a string it seems.

    All appreciated!

  2. ric stave

    ric stave

    May 6, 2006
    Buffalo, NY
    Hi - yes, the VF-1 has been part of my rig for many years now.

    As far as synth sounds, I use 2 - I have one that makes my bass sound like Moog Taurus Pedals, and another that's similar but with a very much more pronounced filter sweep (ala 'Tom Sawyer' 1st synth hit)

    I also use the delays, phaser, flanger and fretless simulator. I've tried lots of other rack units, but this one keeps doing what I need, so until something WAY better comes along, I'm keeping mine!
  3. Yep, I like it a lot- use it on bass, double bass, and even guitar on occasion. One of these days I'll get a second one, and run them together.

    As far as a synth sound goes I've found using the bass algorithm and running octaver (mostly octave sound)->distortion (fuzz 2 is best IIRC) ->T-Wah gives an OK sound. Using the guitar synth from the guitar multi 1 algorithm can work too but the tracking is pretty poor.

    Ric, could you give us an idea of how you put together your Tom Sawyer-esque sound?
  4. ric stave

    ric stave

    May 6, 2006
    Buffalo, NY
    I will post the settings later tonight (I'm at work now) - if I forget, please shoot me a PM and then I'll remember! (I'll try to remember...)
  5. No problem, take your time! Thanks!
  6. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I want one.

    I'm still using the older-tech SE-70.
  7. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I've had at least one Boss VF-1 (sometimes 2) as a staple in my rig for years. Bought an Eventide Eclipse to replace it last year, and went back to the VF-1. That's not to say there aren't lots of units that could possibly replace it for me, but the VF-1 does have a veeery wide range of usable effects. They do require lots of tweaking though.
    Here are two synthy sounds that are all VF-1
    Standard synth: http://www.bryanrtylermusic.com/basssynth.mp3
    Flute-sounding: http://www.bryanrtylermusic.com/synthflute.mp3

    I have a couple other synthy sounds I can make samples of if you'd like.
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Oh, there is also a Yahoo group for it, which has some sound files and newer software versions, although I never really go there.
  9. That flute sound is amazing!

    Last time I looked at the Yahoo group I'm pretty sure I had to wade through pages and pages of spam.
  10. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    The only thing I've done there is do a couple of searches and used the Files section to get software 1.13 and the software loading program, and
  11. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Always groove.... Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    The SE-70 is desirable by some since it has analog distortion rather than digital modeling. Stick players seem to like it a lot.
  12. Bergerdude


    Jun 7, 2005
  13. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    You can get all kinds of sound out of it- it just takes time. I saw Michael Manring do a solo show using it, and he got some truly amazing sounds from it that I haven't even been able to figure out after years of trying :D
    Here are the settings for the first synth sound:
    Bass Multi
    Oct: Oct=70, Direct= 100
    Dist: Fuzz 1, Drive= 30, Bass= 5, Treble= 15, FX= 40 Direct=0
    EQ: T-Wah, Sens= 50, Start= Up, Stop= 90, Res= 90, FX= 70, Direct= 40

    The manual doesn't make it clear, but T-Wah is actually a really good-sounding envelope filter.

    Here's the flute setting:
    Guitar Multi 1
    Mod: Syn, Sens= 100, Wave= Brass, Cut off= 45, Res= 0, Flt Sen= 0, Flt Decay= 50, Flt Depth= 0, Attack= 0, Releae= 100, Velocity=0, Synth Lv= 83, Dir Lv= 16
    Rev: Hall 2, Rvb time= 3.0s, Pre delay= 10ms, Low cut= 165hz, High cut= 6khz, Density= 8, FX lv= 30

    Remember that how you set your input gain on the stacked front knobs affects the sound of the effects- for instance, the envelope filter (T-Wah) won't sound good if the gain isn't set right.
  14. Bergerdude


    Jun 7, 2005
    If anyone could share their sounds, it would be great.

    I stink at programming/combining the sounds.

    I actually had a guitarist scoff at me when I showed him the VF-1....he has one of the Roland units that attaches to the guitar. "You can get one of these for bass."

    [Grrrr, well yes, but it doesn't track as well as the guitar one and I don't have $500+ right now.]

    Thanks in advance!
  15. ric stave

    ric stave

    May 6, 2006
    Buffalo, NY
    Here's a couple to try (sorry it took so long!)

    This 1st is for a Taurus Pedal (Taurus setting) type sound:



    Type - Match Drive
    Vol - 40
    Bass - 50
    Mid - 50
    Treb - 60
    Pres - 0
    Master - 50
    Gain - Mid
    Mic Setting - Ctr
    Mic Level - 100
    Direct Level - 0
    Position - Wah / Amp / EQ

    4 Band EQ - OFF

    Thres - 50
    Release - 50


    Select - Syn
    Sens - 100
    Wave - SAW
    Chromatic - On
    Oct Shift - -2
    Cutoff - 68
    Res - 61
    Flt Sens - 100
    Filt Decay - 55
    Flt Depth - +60
    Attack - 18
    Release - 42
    Velocity - 0
    Hold - Off
    Synth Level - 80
    Direct Level - 0



    Mode - Mono
    Rate - 40
    Depth - 61
    Pre Delay - 4.0ms
    Hi Cut - Flat
    FX Level - 100



    Level - 100
    BPM - 120
    Foot Level - 100

    One of the most important things for good tracking with this patch is to play cleanly, one note at a time, and to play up 2 octaves on the bass (that's why the octave shift is set to -2)


    The TOM SAWYER Intro Sweep Sound is almost the same, so copy the Taurus sound to another location and I will just list the differences:

    LIMITER >> NOISE SUPP (exactly the same)

    GUITAR SYNTH (just these parameters are different:)
    Cutoff - 66
    Resonance - 86

    Flt Decay - 68
    Flt Depth - +100
    Attack - 55

    DELAY - ON
    Type - Single
    Delay Time - 460ms
    Fine - 0
    FB - 10
    Hi Cut - Flat
    FX Level - 26

    (Everything else is the same. You may need to tweek to get it to sound right with your bass and amp.)


  16. ric stave

    ric stave

    May 6, 2006
    Buffalo, NY
    Oh, and just a word of warning - watch your levels when you power these up.... I don't want to hear about any speakers jumping out of their cabs...
  17. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire

    Jun 8, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    Source Audio BETA tester
    Note the VF-1 does NOT have a MIDI Thru, so you'd need some sort of MIDI repeater/splitter/router if you're controlling with MIDI.

    I sold my VF-1s and currently have a SE-70 that isn't being used, but I was using it for fuzz and synth sounds. Has some really usable patches for both. Synth even has sub-octave blend and portmento on the SE-70. Can't recall if it has them on the SE-70.

    One ding against the VF-1 is I found it to have slight bass loss even in bypass. At least when A-B'ed against the SE-70 and no effects at all.

    Here's a quick unrehearsed riff using my BOSS SE-70 for a couple of different dirt sounds. Some day I'll pull it back out and bang out some synth sounds.
  18. Deaj


    Aug 15, 2004
    Kingston, WA
    I currently own two VF-1's and just purchased another on the 'bay for a great price. I had been using a Boss SE-70 with one of my guitar amps, a VF-1 with the other guitar amp, the second VF-1 in my bass rig. I sold the SE-70 and now both VF-1's are in the guitar amps effects loops so I needed a third to replace the one that migrated away from my bass rig.

    These are great little effects units! They aren't perfect but they do so many things so well and they work wonderfully in both of my guitar rigs and my bass rig.

    When the newly purchased VF-1 arrives it'll get the v1.13 update and a few patches restored then it goes in the effects loop of my bass amp.

    I have a few methods to control them: one has an Up/Down patch switcher and a Boss Expression Pedal, one a Tech 21 MIDI Mouse patch selector and a 2-button controller pedal, and one has a Behringer FCB1010. The MIDI Mouse & dual controller switch setup is plenty flexible. The FCB1010 with the UNO EPROM upgrade really allows for an amazing level of control on the fly.

    I've used processors with some effects that are superior to the VF-1's but not so much so as to tempt me to ditch the VF-1's. I've yet to find anything as versatile even at a considerably higher price. I've been using the VF-1 for several years now and they appear to be every bit as rugged as the SE-50 & SE-70 units that preceeded it (almost bombproof!!). I payed ~$125 for the two VF-1's I have now and $135 for the one I just grabbed off eBay - all in excellent condition. Bang for the buck factor is off the charts at prices like these!

    I think three of them is enough - that's how many amps I keep on the floor in my home studio (one per amp).

    I can't say enough good things about the VF-1!
  19. AleemRadunzel


    Jul 8, 2009
    i cant believe no-ones mentioned to lo-fi box or the inteligent ring mod!
  20. For rack mounted multi's the SE-70 and VF-1 were always my favorite. The only knock on them, other than the slight delay when changing patches via MIDI, was the same problem inherent with all rack mount multi's: incessant knob twiddling. I'd work for hours with headphones coming up with epic tones, and they just wouldn't translate to my rig...and I'd have to edit them again.

    I much preferred the simplicity of stomp-boxes...but loved the programmability of rack multi's.