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New love for the Boss ME-50b

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Quinn Roberts, Jan 14, 2019.


  1. Recently, I acquired a SR-16 and have been having way too much fun with the midi capabilities. Because of such, I've been playing with my microKorg and Kaossilator a lot more than usual.
    Since I run my synths through a mixer I couldn't resist the urge to start chaining pedals into the mix, and, naturally, I inevitably made it to my all-too neglected, dusty ME-50b multi fx. I gave it a quick wipe-down, plugged 'er in, and within seconds I was astonished. It seemed like a whole new pedal; the octave effects, modulations, and distortions all were wonderful, and that seemingly useless "resonance" effect on the footswitch actually did what it was originally advertised to do! Combined with some reverb and the hi-band distortion I was truly in love with the sounds I was getting.
    Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm part of the camp that never truly understood the pedal, and frankly didn't want to take the time to do such beyond fiddling around with some of the funner effects. Because of that I never truly enjoyed how it sounded with my bass (the tone seemed lacking in the mids and bass, lifeless almost), but, having seen it used to full effect with other live bands (and some of my favorite at that), I never was able to blame the pedal and decided to hold onto it with hopes for the future.

    Does anyone else have any experience using there ME-50b with a synth setup (or any other instrument other than electric bass)? If so, what were your favorite effects and settings to use?


    This is in "miscellaneous" instead of "effects" because it's more a synthesizer/keyboard related post than a bass based post.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  2. BigLoopDuke

    BigLoopDuke Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    DSM, IA
    For sure. Back in the day, I had a 50b in my bass chain and one in my synth bass chain. I used an Alesis keyboard that had a few really killer bass synth options. Loved the octave, muff and chorus/delay and chorus/reverb options.
     
    Quinn Roberts likes this.
  3. Thanks for the response! I didn't try out the fuzz yet, will have to give it a shot and see how it sounds on the Korg. Thinking I could get a good lead sound with the muff and an octave maybe.
     
  4. BigLoopDuke

    BigLoopDuke Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    DSM, IA
    The Alesis had a lock button that would essentially hold a note or chord. I'd use that a lot in between songs and get some wild Radiohead'esque stuff going on, especially with the wah-pedal. It's starting to make me want to pick up another keyboard.
     
    Quinn Roberts likes this.
  5. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    I use it in series with a Tech21 Sansamp and then straight into the board. Mostly use the ME-50B for the compressor and EQ section. Sometimes I find use for distortion, octave, echo, and reverb.
     
  6. That's a great idea! My Kaossilator has a similar feature. I've been running my whammy pedal before the ME-50b and then mixing the wet and dry signals separately. I can see the hold feature being pretty cool mixed with that and wah or resonance effect.

    Thanks for the response! Are you using it with a bass guitar? If so, how does the Sansamp sound with it? In my original post, I stated that I found the ME-50b lacking in mids with my guitar; do you feel this way at all using the pedal in your setup?

    I honestly could never figure out the EQ and compressor on the pedal, partly due to ignorance on my part.
     
  7. BigLoopDuke

    BigLoopDuke Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    DSM, IA
    I haven't used it with a Sansamp, but I do use it with a Darkglass Vintage Deluxe and an Eden WTDI. I also tend to scoop my tone a bit, so I'm not sure it would be apples to apples. I play mainly a Spector Euro and a MTD Kingston 5 for my modern tone, and an American Standard Precision for my vintage tones. Everything is going through a GK MB500 2x12 combo.

    I tend to try to control my mids with more of a low-mid and a high-mid contour. So, I'm still cutting through the mix. Although, when I use a heavy allotment of chorus and delay, I feel like I do start to disappear in the mix a little bit. But, at the same time, I'm scooping the mids out fairly heavily on my basses' preamps, so I'm sort of rounding that out with the preamps before it hits the board.

    Depending on the other instruments you're playing with, you might experiment with rolling up the bass a bit (maybe to 2 o'clock) on the bass knob and the mids to the 2 o'clock to 3 o'clock to see how it sounds.
     
    Quinn Roberts likes this.
  8. The latter half of my post was in response hbarcat. That being said, thank you for the very informative response!
    I did try the "bottom boost" effect on a couple synth bass patches with some success, but haven't actually tried the onboard EQ. I'll go toy with it some and see if I can figure it out a bit better with the synth bass.
    The more I use it, the more I want to give it another go on my bass now. Running it through the mixer like I am, I realize I could blend the wet and dry signals which I think could solve my tone issues in the mids.
     
    BigLoopDuke likes this.
  9. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois

    I'm using the Tech21 SansAmp BDDI, which is made for bass guitar. It's second in series, after the Boss unit.

    My best results have cone from setting the EQ on the Boss mostly flat (maybe a very slight smiley face), and then boosting the mids on the DI. The Tech21 drivers (I have several, including the VT bass and the Leeds) all have active EQ and boosting the mids really makes the bass guitar growl. This may not be the tone for everyone but I play harder rock, metal, and prog, so it fits my style.

    I'd like to get some use out of the expression pedal, but I've been too lazy to take the time to figure out how to assign it to the parameter I want.
     
    Quinn Roberts likes this.
  10. I've gotten the chance to use one once before, and while I didn't mess with the controls a whole lot, I definitely noticed some nice harmonic activity in the mids while playing it. For lack of a better description, it almost sounded Gibsonish to me, very full low mids and nice color on the highs.
    Do you use your's into an amp head or as a DI to the mixing console?
    I have a blown out Rumble head I use a big preamp sometimes, I might switch on the overdrive and try to go for faux-Sansamp kinda sound. Maybe it'll beef things up in the mix.
     
  11. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    It depends on the gig, whether or not I bring my amp. I've got a Mesa tube/mosfet head that is kind of heavy and a 1x15" Diesel cab to go with it and sonethimes I just dont feel like hauling it around, so I'll just bring the Boss ME-50B and the SansAmp and plug into the board.

    When I do bring my amp and cab, I'll leave the Boss unit at home, but I never show up at a gig without my SansAmp.
     
    Quinn Roberts likes this.
  12. Thank you very much for the input!
    I'm gonna try running the ME-50b into my Rumble head straight into my DAW for some testing with my bass; see if I can move this love/hate relationship with the pedal to just the former.

    I might try to record something with the pedal going through both bass and synth and post it here sometime just for the heck of it.
     
  13. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    I lovingly use it at nearly every show. The octave up with distortion have yet to be matched, as far as I’m concerned. I only use the synth effect on three or four songs and always run it into whatever DI pedal I have with me.
     
    Quinn Roberts likes this.
  14. For some reason I got the urge to run my SR-16 through the ME-50b today; with the synth effects blended in, the kick drum never sounded cooler!
     

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