NAMM 2024: Boss is back on the vocal processing trail with the VE-22 Vocal Performer, a bright red box of tricks that will sort out your singing on stage. That said, the fact that it can be powered from the mains or batteries means that you can use it pretty much anywhere you like.
As well as the usual vocal enhancement tools - compressor, EQ, de-esser, reverbs and delays, for example - the VE-22 can also keep things in tune via its auto-pitch algorithm. There are distortion, lo-fi, modulation and other “voice-transforming” effects, too, so the scope for creative manipulation seems significant.
50 presets are ready to go out of the box, and there are a further 99 custom memories that can be used to store your own custom setups. You can then quickly switch between these for different songs during a live set.
You’ll find harmony and doubling features, too, which can be used to create the illusion that you have multiple singers on stage next to you. You can set the song key, adjust the harmony voicing and make various other tweaks via the front panel knobs, and it’s possible to bring the harmonies in and out with the flick of a switch.
In fact, the whole interface has been designed to be intuitive. Those knobs we mentioned are multi-function and can be used to navigate the Harmony, Effect and Echo sections at speed, and you can keep track of what’s going on via the colour display and knob LEDs. The customisable switches can be operated via either foot or hand, and if you are using the VE-22 on the floor, you can plug in an expression pedal or external footswitches for even more control.
At the front end of the chain there’s an XLR input and preamp, which can accept both stage and condenser mics. In fact, thanks to the inclusion of a high/low gain switch, rear panel sensitivity knob and level meter, you can tailor the input to be suitable for pretty much any mic. Further connectivity options include USB-C (for computer recording), an analogue aux input (for plugging in a smartphone or other music playback device) and a headphone jack. There are two XLR outputs that can be configured for stereo, dual mono, or wet/dry mix-plus-dry operation.
If you want to play around with ideas or add an interesting performance twist, there’s even an onboard looper.
The good news is that the VE-22 Vocal Performer will be available almost immediately for $350, while the companion carry case will cost $70. Find out more on the Boss website.
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