It's no secret that Boss has a solid reputation when it comes to guitar effects pedals. Their VE-8 Acoustic Singer is easily one of the most versatile harmonizers on the market right now. If you are looking for something a bit more complex than the usual stuff, this is it.
When Boss set out to make VE-8, they didn't just want to build a solid harmonizer. They went a bit further than that. VE-8 features a wide double stack body that brings a lot of that classic Boss reliability. It's rock solid and inspires enough confidence to be used on just about any stage out there.
The top panel is where all of the controls are at, and there are many. Boss VE-8 packs a harmonizer effect along with a chorus and a looper. But wait, there is more. There is also a reverb available for both the guitar channel and vocals channel. In terms of I/O options, you are looking at a standard instrument and microphone lines with Phantom Power available, as well as stereo modes. Finally, Boss included a USB port, enabling users to hook VE-8 to a computer.
Controls might seem overwhelming, but after a few minutes of use, they feel very intuitive. The control interface is divided into four sections. On top, you have the Guitar cluster, Vocals cluster, and Output section. The bottom portion of the pedal is where the foot switches are. You have two for Chorus and Harmony which are multi-functional. Depending on how you press them, these switches will activatememory mode, or bring up the built in tuner.
Loop switch is a dedicated looper control that is used for that purpose only. As far as different cluster controls go, Guitar is pretty straight forward. You have your Reverb and Chorus effect knobs along with Presence. Vocals are similar but feature an Enhance knob that alters the color of your voice. Harmonizer knob lets you choose between various types of this effect, including some not so standard ones.
When it comes to performance, Boss VE-8 is a real powerhouse. What is most interesting is the quality of effects. Often times when you get a ‘jack of all trades' type pedal like this one, it is usually strong in some areas, but mediocre in others. VE-8 doesn't have that issue. On the contrary, the sound is very natural, especially when used as intended with acoustic guitars. Having 50 different Memory slots also helps a lot. You can basically dial in a setting you want, save it, and pull it out of the library later on.
Now imagine that times 50. With that said, it's worth mentioning that the looper, although great, is fairly basic compared to some of its counterparts. However, this pedal was never really meant to be a proper looper, but rather bring that as a supporting feature.
Boss VE-8 pretty much nails what every acoustic guitarist needs on stage. The level and variety of features make it a great tool to have on any stage or in any studio. In all essence, it is one of the most capable harmonizers you can get at this very moment.