Multi-effects processors have been inspiring guitar players and expanding our possibilities for nearly 40 years, and they've made leaps in evolution during that time to reach the advanced level they're at now. The Boss BE-5 and ME-5's combinations of the company's popular stompboxes in the '80s helped kickstart the concept of an all-in-one solution effects for players, but now a processor can mean much more.
With the advances in amp and cab modelling, enhanced connectivity for controlling and customising your rig onstage and in recording scenarios, multi-effects processors are now game-changers for your guitar tone that can pack a surprising amount of value into their chassis. The case to upgrade has never been stronger…
Benchmark audio quality
When multi-effects pedals were first developed, the concept of amp modelling was well over a decade away. Now it is changing the way we play and record guitars as the level of detail, response and the consistency has reached a new standard with modern units. Without compromising quality over quantity, the latest processing gives you instant access to a dream amp collection.
Boss's AIRD technology is a case in point; the original innovator's latest Augmented Impulse Response Dynamics giving you a versatile rack of virtual amps to pack from whenever you need; from models based on crystalline clean combos to acclaimed vintage classics and contemporary hi-gain heads. Having difficulty choosing between the 23 amps in Boss's latest GX-100? You can create patches that enable you to seamlessly switch between two amps for maximum versatility.
And amps are only part of the equation now when it comes to building your rigs in today's multi-effects processors. The choice of speaker types with the option to upload impulse responses captured from classic cab / mic combinations means you can dial in the perfect tone for your different needs.
Enhanced connectivity for a range of environments
Our setups as guitarists can vary a lot, and contemporary best multi-effects units can cater for a huge variety of needs to recognise this. From MIDI I/O for deeper live integration with your laptop and external pedals, to multi-channel recording and realtime editing on Mac or PC via USB; multi-effects and modelling processors now have the feature sets to become the ultimate hub for your creativity. Whatever direction you choose to take them.
And it's not just about stage and home studio use. The option of Bluetooth streaming to your unit can also make it a breeze to play along to your favourite songs or backing tracks from your Android or iOS device, with or without headphones.
With all these different uses, Boss has recognised the need to tailor its GX-100's output and optimise it for any situation where you need it. You can select the output mode for the type and model of amp you're plugging into; including a choice of input or return (FX loop), as well as output modes optimised for headphones, PA and recording.
Hybrid setups and customisation
Multi-effects processors are all about integration now; becoming a seamless part of our recording, practice and live setups. And players don't have to choose between their favourite pedals and multi-effects unit now; they can simply slot physical pedals into their flexible signal chains of modelled amps, cabs and pedals. It's the best of both worlds.
With this enhanced integration comes deeper control; assign different effects and parameters to an onboard expression pedal and create new ways to use everything from delay to modulation and beyond. In addition, you can connect additional expression pedals, and explore even more new ways to manipulate sounds.
Boss's new GX-100 multi-effects and amp modeller allows all of the above, with 15 assignable blocks to make the most of its expansive routing options. Players can build bespoke setlists with their patches, and even have the option to streamline their rigs further by connecting to their amp's footswitch jack and change channels remotely.
While building a decent sized pedalboard of high quality individual effects pedals can run into four figure prices, multi-effects processors now offer the choice and quality of effects to save you space and money. The range of advanced drives, modulations, pitch, delay and reverb effects on today's modelling units removes barriers and allows guitarists to explore their potential without compromising quality.
The contrast with the past is stark. Boss's trailblazing BE-5 multi effects in the '80s offered just compressor, overdrive, delay and chorus in a set order in the chain. The £499 GX-100 has over 150 effects from Boss's flagship GT-1000, that draw on Boss's classic heritage and its latest technology. Bassists and any guitarists looking to track bass parts for their recordings also get the added value of bass amp and cab models with a wide selection of bespoke bass effects.
The days of rigid effects order in processors are over; musicians need the flexibility to experiment and try combinations. The GX-100 presents players with multiple options for their effects choices and the order in which they're positioned. And the GX-100 makes on-the-fly editing even easier with its LCD colour touchscreen interface; the first Boss multi-effects unit to feature one.
Making the step up
There's never been a better time to play guitar; and upgrading your rig with a multi-effects unit you can grow with for recording, gigging and practice makes even more sense now than ever. They can deliver what you need as a player – wherever that might be.
It's fitting that an innovator in the field like Boss now offers such a great showcase the level of audio technology, connectivity, superlative UI, build quality and value a multi effects unit can offer in 2022 with its GX-100.
For more information visit Boss.