Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonist review

Create vocal harmonies using guitar chords

  • £175
  • €189
  • $279
The footswitch allows you to bring the harmonies in and out or bypass the unit altogether

MusicRadar Verdict

Easy vocal enhancement and harmonies for singing guitarists.


  • +

    Fuss-free operation. Auto Harmonist works well. Decent quality results.


  • -

    More sophisticated options out there.

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The likes of TC Helicon and DigiTech have vocal processors that are aimed at singing guitarists, and now Boss has got in on the act with the new VE-2, which can take an input from your guitar to control the harmonies - something that wasn't available on its previous VE-20 and VE-5 models.


"Auto Harmonist mode does a decent job of detecting the chords you play, generating the correct harmony as you sing"

The VE-2 offers 12 different harmony types to add to your own voice, each featuring one or two voices above and/or below it, plus a switchable variation option with more voices for richer harmonies. There's also vocal enhancement with reverb and delay effects, plus compression with or without pitch correction.

When selecting harmonies, you can set the key manually, but if you plug in your guitar (there's a through jack to take the signal to your amps) you can utilise Auto Harmonist mode, which does a decent job of detecting the chords you play in real time, automatically generating the correct harmony as you sing.

You also get a Hybrid mode that follows both guitar input and the manual key setting to keep things sweet in places where the guitar isn't playing.

The pedal offer practicality onstage with a footswitch that allows you to bring the harmonies in and out or bypass the unit altogether, as well as three quickly accessible onboard memories.

There are more sophisticated voice processing pedals around, but the VE-2's simplicity is endearing: it offers decent-quality vocal processing and recording (the VE-2 has an in-built USB connection) with a minimum of fuss.

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.