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NPD: Boss GT-1 #3011824 10/10/19 03:38 PM
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Winston Psmith Offline OP
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Yeah, I know, it's a MFX. Bear with me . . .

I have some shows coming up where set-up & breakdown time is critical; so is portability. On top of that, I got called on for a solo set, to fill in for a friend who cancelled. My bandmate also got called in to do her solo act, so that meant doubling up on her rig, for both sets.

I didn't want to screw around hauling a cartload of Synths & Pedalboards in HSC's. I'd seen a used GT-1 at my nearest GC, and I looked up the specs. It has most of the functions of the GT-series processors, and much deeper programming than you'd expect looking at it. For the price, it had everything I needed, with a very small footprint, smaller than any of my pedalboards, about the same size as the ME-25.

The interface is incredibly stripped-down. You get 3 switches (Patch Down, Patch Up & CTL), 3 knobs that you can assign, and a mini-EXP/Volume Pedal. You can also reassign the Up/Down & CTL switches for other functions within a Patch. Using it is easy, editing it requires a good bit of button-pushing and menu-scrolling. You get 6 little buttons for the different FX, and 6 more for Editing; all of them are multi-function, allowing you access to the FX parameters, and the Master settings, but again, it's a lot of button-pushing to get at all the parameters. You can name your patches, and within any given patch, you can move the order of the effects any way you like. You only have one CTL Pedal, and the one EXP/Volume pedal, but there's an In jack for either one more EXP Pedal, or a dual-footswitch like a Boss FS-6, for more control. You get most of the Assign Functions of the GT-series processors, too; think of them as 8 extra LFO's or Triggered-Event Generators that you can apply to your effects, to make them more expressive or interesting. It's a LOT of control in a little box, if you're patient, and dig in. If you've spent any time programming any of the GT-series, all of this will be familiar territory.

There's no MIDI, but there's a USB jack, so you can back up and edit your GT-1 with Boss software, free from the website.

The basic sound banks are classic Boss effects; you've heard them or used them before, and you probably have at least one Boss pedal, somewhere. The effects sound good, although the Factory patches are overdone, as usual. Some of the more esoteric Boss effects, like Auto-Riff, Defretter and Slicer are gone, along with the Ring Mod and Guitar Synth effects, but they kept Slow Gear & Feedback. There were a couple of recent additions that are almost worth the price of admission alone; if nothing else, they gave me an idea of what some of the more recent pedals do.

One is Tera Echo: it's not a normal Delay effect, by any means. You can't set the Delay Time in milliseconds, or any increment of time; you get a value of 0 to 100 for Time, that's it. Instead of a steady, timed Echo/Repeat, you get a wash of Echoes that sound as though they've been processed through some kind of Filter effect, as well. It's an Ambient effect, no question, not one for beat-driven Music. The TE-2 pedal has a Freeze function, which the GT-1 lacks. I'll get a lot of use out of this effect.

Next up is the Multi-Overtone? It's sort of a glorified Octaver effect, adding High & Low Overtones, that can be de-tuned. Think of it as Boss' answer to EHX' POG, or EQD's Organizer; it's that kind of sound. For my taste, I had to dial it way back in the mix. Again, the MO-2 pedal has some added features to enhance the sound.

Last is what Boss calls Adaptive-Distortion, or A-Distortion. It seems to be what everyone else in the industry is calling Multi-Band Distortion. The idea is that by separating frequency bands, and applying Distortion to the individual frequencies, you get a richer, but less muddy Distortion effect. I've tried several versions of this effect, by different companies, and I'm not fully convinced, as yet. Apparently, I'm not alone, as Boss has already pulled the DA-2 pedal off the market.

FWIW, all three of these effects are based on Boss' MDP (Multi-Dimension Processing) which I suspect is built around a new, faster DSP chip. It's also present in all of the new Boss compact pedals that have an "X" at the end of the name, like the DS-1x.

I didn't want nor expect to get another MFX box, but this little thing fills a real need, and it'll get its first outing this weekend. You could probably use it as a main performing rig, so long as you're good to it; it doesn't feel quite as durable as your typical Boss pedal, or even its larger, more robust cousins. OTOH, it fits into the front pocket of my Guitar Synth's gig bag, which means my entire Synth & FX rig fits in one lightweight shoulder bag. That's going to make the next month a lot easier.

Would I recommend it? If you're looking for a quick, lightweight MFX as a back-up unit, it has a lot going for it: for processing power, it compares favorably with my other GT MFX. It's small, but not minimalist. If you're looking for an entry-level MFX, as your beginner's rig, it has pretty much everything you might need; for $200, you get a whole collection of classic Boss effects, along with a few others, Amp & Speaker Modeling, USB Audio, a built-in Looper, Aux In for jamming with your smartphone, and access to Boss Tone Central, with banks of sounds to download.


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

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Re: NPD: Boss GT-1 [Re: Winston Psmith] #3011830 10/10/19 04:42 PM
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Nice!

My only true MFX is a Digitech iPB-10, which- while quite nifty- DOES require an iPad 1 or 2 to use it fully.


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Re: NPD: Boss GT-1 [Re: Winston Psmith] #3011840 10/10/19 05:57 PM
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Good luck with the new pedal Winston. Happy New Gear Day.


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Re: NPD: Boss GT-1 [Re: Winston Psmith] #3011853 10/10/19 07:15 PM
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Nice, I am a big fan of Boss gear. I've had some pedals and a couple of multi-effects and everything has always just worked.

Recently I found a like-new Boss Katana 100 Combo with the 6 button footswitch on craigslist for a very reasonable price so I snagged it.
Now that I've figured out how to dial it in for my needs, I love it. My primary gigging amp.
The footswitch is very well thought out for quick changes during gigs.
The Line Out on the back of the amp sounds great through the PA, no mic needed.

It has made setup and teardown efficient and quick.

Enjoy your toy!!!!


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: NPD: Boss GT-1 [Re: Winston Psmith] #3011913 10/11/19 03:52 AM
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Larryz Offline
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+1 Boss has always made quality pedals that get the job done at a reasonable price point. cool


Take care, Larryz
Re: NPD: Boss GT-1 [Re: Winston Psmith] #3011918 10/11/19 07:13 AM
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Scott Fraser Offline
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Too bad there's no ring modulation. Kind of a deal breaker for me. Otherwise, sounds cool.


Scott Fraser
Re: NPD: Boss GT-1 [Re: Scott Fraser] #3011942 10/11/19 02:29 PM
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Winston Psmith Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Scott Fraser
Too bad there's no ring modulation. Kind of a deal breaker for me. Otherwise, sounds cool.


@Scott - Ring Mod has long been one of my favorite effects - you and I had discussed it at length, I recall, and you gave me a better understanding of the process - but the Ring Mod effect in the Boss GT processors has never done it for me. It's always sounded, well, too much 'in tune' to be convincing.

OTOH, if I want to use the GT-1 and still have Boss' Ring Mod effect, I can put the GT-1 in the S/R Loop of my GT-10, as a sort of expansion unit. Anything the GT-1 lacks, the GT-10 probably has, and vice versa. I also get a second on-board Looper in the deal.

Got this thing day before yesterday, already cleared the User Memory, and worked up a bunch of sounds to take out with me tomorrow night. If I like what it does, then we're set for next month's show, too; if not, I'll know well before next month's show, so either way, it's worth taking out for a test run.


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

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Re: NPD: Boss GT-1 [Re: Winston Psmith] #3011978 10/11/19 07:21 PM
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Caevan O'Shite Online Content
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Having an effects-loop would be a major plus for me. Is the effects-loop switchable, assignable?

How does the GT-1 work for placing other pedals before its input, effectively acting in place of an "amp" in the signal-chain, for a convincing sounding, and good feeling means to D/I connection to PA and monitors?

How about pedals or processors following its outputs? (Or, does its effects-loop effectively place whatever's inserted there at the end of the chain?)

I used to use a DigiTech GNX4 in place of an amp, or in parallel to a real-live tube-amp, with a few favorite pedals in front of and even after it. It would have been a HUGE help if the GNX4 had also had an effects-loop to insert other pedals such as various modulation effects, "Leslie"/rotary-sims, echoes, delays, reverbs, and such 'in-between' things.


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Re: NPD: Boss GT-1 [Re: Caevan O'Shite] #3012014 10/11/19 11:59 PM
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Winston Psmith Offline OP
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@Caevan - Sorry if I confused the issue. The new/used GT-1 doesn't have a S/R Loop, but my GT-10 does. Once I get through our show tomorrow, I plan to try the GT-1 in the GT-10's S/R Loop.

I haven't tried the GT-1 with anything but my GR-33 Guitar Synth yet, by placing the GT-1 in the GR-33's Guitar Out/Return Loop. I've been pushing to get some sound banks loaded into the GT-1 for tomorrow night's show, its first real test.

Addressing your question, I've used different devices in the S/R Loop of the GT-10, including an EHX Mel9 and my MIKU Stomp, and had good results. I've also gotten very good results sending pedals into my ME-25, essentially using it in place of an Amp, as you suggest. That worked very nicely, with no added noise issues. I don't tend to use my MFX running into a Guitar Amp; I use a KB Amp, or go direct to FOH, using the Amp Modeling in the MFX. FWIW, the DSP engine in the GT-1 is very similar to other GT-series processors, and very quiet, overall, but I won't really get to try it with anything else until Sun Day, at the earliest.

I can easily see where using the GT-1 as an expansion unit for the GT-10 will be a lot of fun. I may even experiment with dedicating one or another to processing just the GR-series Guitar Synths, instead of Guitar.

Side note - Went out last night to see Renaissance on their 50th Anniversary tour. I needed a good dose of Symphonic Prog Rock this week! I'll definitely have that sound in my head this weekend.


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

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Re: NPD: Boss GT-1 [Re: Winston Psmith] #3012035 10/12/19 06:56 AM
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Thanks, WP!


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Re: NPD: Boss GT-1 [Re: Caevan O'Shite] #3012177 10/13/19 05:07 PM
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Winston Psmith Offline OP
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Further update - Took it out last night for its Trial by Fire, so to speak, and it did very nicely. No noises, no tricks, no fails.

I ran it into my little Behringer Mixer, to mix with my bandmate's Synth rig, then out to FOH. We were in a tight spot onstage, with the GT-1 and my Guitar Synth tucked just under a table, which made it interesting getting at the footswitches on both. That took a bit of maneuvering on my part, otherwise, it performed well.

One thing I noticed, after the fact: A surprising number of reviewers (not Amazon reviews, BTW) already had a GT-10, and bought the GT-1 as either a back-up or expansion unit, as I had. The reviews were uniformly favorable, even while addressing its limitations. Overall, I'd have to agree; it's a surprisingly good little effects box.

Much of the appeal for me was the compact size; this thing will fit into the front pocket of a Guitar Gig Bag, for a pretty complete over-the-shoulder rig. Last night, I had it in the front pocket of my Guitar Synth's Gig Bag.

I like it, but for the price of a new one ($200) plus either an EV-5 (around $65) or an FS-6 (around $70) for added control, you're right up near the price of a new ME-80 ($300), which has more onboard effects, with a legion of knobs and switches. FWIW, there's no S/R Loop on the ME-80, either, so your can't use the 4-Cable Method with it, and no MIDI I/O, so you can't use it for MIDI Program Change nor Continuous Control. The GT-1 still has one slight advantage over the ME-80, in that the onboard Looper is separate from the Delay FX Bank, so I can have a Delay effect, and still use the onboard Looper on the GT-1. On the ME-80, you can either have the Looper, or a Delay effect, not both.


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

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Re: NPD: Boss GT-1 [Re: Winston Psmith] #3012188 10/13/19 07:16 PM
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Sounds like a great, useful tool all-around!

Please expound on using the GT-1 as an "expansion" of the GT-10, wouldja?


One thing that I really liked about the DigiTech GNX4 was its incredibly full-featured array of Ins and Outs, save for the glaring omission of an effects-loop Send and Return. Other Modeler/MFX devices seem lacking on the back-panel by comparison.

Attached Files DigiTech GNX4 back panel I O.jpg

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Re: NPD: Boss GT-1 [Re: Caevan O'Shite] #3012272 10/14/19 02:30 PM
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Winston Psmith Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Caevan O'Shite
Sounds like a great, useful tool all-around!

Please expound on using the GT-1 as an "expansion" of the GT-10, wouldja?


One thing that I really liked about the DigiTech GNX4 was its incredibly full-featured array of Ins and Outs, save for the glaring omission of an effects-loop Send and Return. Other Modeler/MFX devices seem lacking on the back-panel by comparison.



@Caevan - That's an impressive I/O array, no question! It does seem odd, that will all those other options, there's no S/R?

In answer to your question, the GT-10 doesn't have the Tera Echo, Multi-Overtone nor Adaptive Distortion effects, so just inserting the GT-1 in the S/R Loop will let me insert those effects directly into the GT-10's FX signal chain. That's one benefit. The Tera Echo, at least, deserves more exploration. It also works in reverse, in a way: the GT-10 has a number of FX that the GT-1 lacks, like the Guitar & Wave Synth, or Auto-Riff, so I can experiment with mixing the two.

Another is adding redundant effects. While the GT-10 will let me have 2 Phasers, or Flangers, or even Feedbackers, it only has one bank of OD/Distortion effects, so I can't have a Tube Screamer model in one Channel and a Big Muff model in the other. By inserting the GT-1, I can add more OD effects, if I want two different OD's on two different channels.

I also get a spare Looper in the deal, which I can then assign to a Channel where I can fade the Loop in and out with my Volume Pedal. My big RC-50 lets me program my Loops to Fade In or Fade Out, and it is much more musically useful than Loops that suddenly cut off in mid-phase.

Last up, I can assign the S/R to act as a "branch", essentially, just a Send, effectively creating a third Channel, with its own FX bank. Because I can move any and all of the FX within the GT-1 and GT-10, anywhere within the device's signal chain, I can have the S/R anywhere, and thus insert the GT-1 anywhere. (Only the Noise Suppressors don't move, but you can move everything else around them, so . . .)

If you're wondering why I never upgraded to the GT-100, Boss had dropped some of the most interesting and innovative FX, like Auto-Riff. (You really need to check it out. Details forthcoming in PM.) They'd also apparently screwed with the way you could trigger the Feedbacker effect, such that a lot of users & reviewers were really put off by it. Given that the Feedbacker is one of my favorite effects, I wasn't about to mess with it. The newer GT-1000, at $1000+/-, is well out of my price range at this time. If I were going to spend that much on an FX unit, I'd be more inclined to look into the Helix systems.

For now, I've got a couple of weeks of gardening to catch up on, before the next big show, so I'm going to focus on having my sounds and rig ready for that, then I'll have a couple of months to experiment.


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

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Re: NPD: Boss GT-1 [Re: Winston Psmith] #3012284 10/14/19 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Winston Psmith
Another is adding redundant effects. While the GT-10 will let me have 2 Phasers, or Flangers, or even Feedbackers, it only has one bank of OD/Distortion effects, so I can't have a Tube Screamer model in one Channel and a Big Muff model in the other. By inserting the GT-1, I can add more OD effects, if I want two different OD's on two different channels. ...I can move any and all of the FX within the GT-1 and GT-10, anywhere within the device's signal chain, I can have the S/R anywhere, and thus insert the GT-1 anywhere.


That's cool. I take it that this could also be done serially- such as, having a TS-model feeding a Muff-model, or another OD/Distortion/Fuzz-model? Such gain/dirt "stacking" can be very useful, especially if one model- such as a TS style- has a pronounced increase of midrange, while the next- say, a Muff mutation- exhibits a pronounced lack of midrange, or the lck...

Originally Posted by Winston Psmith
I also get a spare Looper in the deal, which I can then assign to a Channel where I can fade the Loop in and out with my Volume Pedal. My big RC-50 lets me program my Loops to Fade In or Fade Out, and it is much more musically useful than Loops that suddenly cut off in mid-phase.


Cool. cool


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Re: NPD: Boss GT-1 [Re: Caevan O'Shite] #3012306 10/14/19 05:51 PM
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Winston Psmith Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Caevan O'Shite
That's cool. I take it that this could also be done serially- such as, having a TS-model feeding a Muff-model, or another OD/Distortion/Fuzz-model? Such gain/dirt "stacking" can be very useful, especially if one model- such as a TS style- has a pronounced increase of midrange, while the next- say, a Muff mutation- exhibits a pronounced lack of midrange, or the lck...


I can stack OD's by inserting the GT-1, or any Dirt effect, in the S/R Loop, right after the GT-10's internal OD effects block; works the same if I'm using any of my hardware pedals. In theory, I can already do a form of Gain-stage stacking within the GT-10 by running an OD effect into a High-Gain Amp Model, many of which are already more than gritty enough on their own.

Even so, the GT-10 has limits on its DSP that make it less ideal than a string of pedals. For example, I love having both Slow Gear and Feedbacker available in a patch. I can manage that in the GT-10 (the GT-3 wouldn't allow it), but that means giving up everything else in the FX1 & FX2 banks, which includes almost all of your Modulation, Pitch-Shift and Filter effects; that's a lot to give up. Again, inserting the GT-1 will let me fudge the works a bit, so I can have a Pitch-Shifter after my Slow Gear and Feedback effects, and even throw a Wave Synth or Ring Mod in there, while I'm at it.


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

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