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BOSS VE-500 Vocal Performer

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BOSS VE-500 Vocal Performer

Postby johntee » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:08 am

Hi,
I currently play the 'Yamaha Genos' keyboard and MIDI feed into a Roland VP7 Vocal Processor box for Harmony / Vocoder outputs. The VP7 microphone vocal input is modulated via the Genos MIDI channel 1 transmit selection and produces either Harmony or Vocoder output when I play Chords or Melody. The VP7 is now showing signs of malfunction and I'm thinking of buying the BOSS VE-500 vocal performer as its replacement. However I cannot seem to find any demo videos on YouTube etc of anyone using a MIDI keyboard with vocals on this quite new processor. There are plenty of guitarists using it on the web with excellent results.
Can any member point me in the direction of any videos of vocalists using the VE-500 with MIDI keyboard for its effects.

Many thanks
John
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Re: BOSS VE-500 Vocal Performer

Postby Dave B » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:59 am

I'm not sure that there are any as it's being targeted at the singer / guitarist market. The official line is "and it works over midi" - even the manual is a little light on this. I'm still trying to work out if it does proper 'pitch shift' harmonies or whether it is like the VP7 which used the vocoder on a very hight number of bands to do it. I want the former as the latter has quite a processed sound (even more than usual) and was the reason that I abandoned the VP7.

Sorry - can't help much. But it's fun to vent sometimes ;)
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Re: BOSS VE-500 Vocal Performer

Postby johntee » Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:07 am

Dave B wrote:I'm not sure that there are any as it's being targeted at the singer / guitarist market. The official line is "and it works over midi" - even the manual is a little light on this. I'm still trying to work out if it does proper 'pitch shift' harmonies or whether it is like the VP7 which used the vocoder on a very hight number of bands to do it. I want the former as the latter has quite a processed sound (even more than usual) and was the reason that I abandoned the VP7.

Sorry - can't help much. But it's fun to vent sometimes ;)

Hi Dave,
Thanks for your quick and informative reply, it's most appreciated. I too have viewed the Boss VE-500 pdf manual and agree it's not over informative, it's a bit of a let down on their part. I've just spoken to a guy at my local (ish) Roland / Boss dealership and he seems to think its vocal effects can be modulated by my Genos's MIDI just like the VP7. He's invited me down to their showroom where he's going to rig up their demo Genos & the VE-500 so we can experiment together. On the issue of the VP7, it is a bit of a basic unit and agree that it somewhat limited, however, it has selectively served me well and hence my consideration of the new VE-500 from the same manufacturer.
My Yamaha Genos does have a built in vocal effects section but I find its reproduction and effects somewhat dated. Considering the keyboard cost me over £4000 sterling, and the Genos was their new flagship when I bought it in November 2017, it virtually the same as that in my previous Tyros 5; what a let down by Yamaha. :cry:

Many thanks again, :thumbup: :thumbup:
John
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Re: BOSS VE-500 Vocal Performer

Postby Dave B » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:36 am

I'll be interested in your thoughts John.

In my case, I have a vocoder pedal and a harmonizer pedal, but that's way too much floor space. But people seem to only do either/or for some reason. And the VP7 was just too artificial sounding for me. If (and I do mean _if_ ) the VE500 does what it claims, it could be just what I want, but I'm suspicious as these days people tend to play fast and loose with the truth.

But then my need is now mitigated slightly as I don't need a harmonizer so much. So the VE would be 'a handy thing to have' which is why I haven't rushed out to demo one.
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Re: BOSS VE-500 Vocal Performer

Postby Music Wolf » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:26 pm

My TC VoiceLive 2 does pretty much all you ask. Live I give it pitch from my guitar but I have used it with MIDI in the studio. I'm pretty sure that there is a vocoder effect (and from memory tat is with MIDI only).

I've just checked prices and it is more than the Boss, however, I've noticed them come up new for a lot less from time to time (I paid £300 for mine). I've no idea what triggers these pretty massive price drops but worth looking out.
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Re: BOSS VE-500 Vocal Performer

Postby johntee » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:09 pm

Dave B wrote:I'll be interested in your thoughts John.

Hi Dave,
I'm just arrived home from my Roland dealership to find the the person who invited me down was out on a house call. The guys in the shop tried their upmost to help connect the VE 500 to their demo Genos via MIDI but without success. In fairness the in store guys were all PA & guitar technicians and didn't help much. As I had my granddaughter and wife with me I could only hang around for a couple of hours in the hope Matthew would surface but to no avail. I'd traveled 28 miles for that visit so I'm a little miffed off and disappointed. :thumbdown:

I've made arrangement to revisit them again next Monday or Tuesday when Matthew is present and hopefully I can feed back info on the VE-500's ability to function via MIDI. I'll feedback my findings thereafter so as to help our members should they be considering this vocal processor.

On a personal level, my voice has never been a strong point and the VP7 was a god send to me, I cannot honestly envisage life without it these days, or an updated equivalent. Maybe I've just recognized my technology dependency, an addiction of sort, and I'll possibly need to seek out a support Councillor if my VE-500 'fix' doesn't materialize next week. ;) ;)

I do own an 'ELECTRO-HARMONIX V256' which I can MIDI through so I'm not totally alone as far a vocoding / harmonizing goes, and I use a 'TC Helicon VoiceLive Play GTX' for reverbs etc and source their outputs through a modest Yamaha MG10XU mixer into my amps.

My visited Roland dealer "pmtonline.co.uk" have this on their website under the BOSS VE-500 product review so things might look a little brighter.

"MIDI Input and USB-MIDI for Guiding Harmony/Pitch Engine from MIDI Keyboard or DAW Backing Tracks"

Speak soon Dave,
John
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Re: BOSS VE-500 Vocal Performer

Postby johntee » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:05 pm

Music Wolf wrote:My TC VoiceLive 2 does pretty much all you ask. Live I give it pitch from my guitar but I have used it with MIDI in the studio. I'm pretty sure that there is a vocoder effect (and from memory tat is with MIDI only)..

Hi Music Wolf,

I do own the TC Helicon VoiceLive Play GTX and it does have MIDI control facility as you say. I bought the Roland VP7 ages ago because it was easier for me to setup and use. I'm not kingpin where multi-menu's are concerned and never successfully managed keyboard MIDI for vocals using it with my previous keyboard to my current Genos, the Yamaha Tyros 5.

Originally I'd probably missed something really simple on the GTX where MIDI keyboard controlled vocalizing is concerned and abandoned the cause far to easily. From my memory I went through "Setup" and used "MIDI Chan 1 etc" and "OUTPUT MONO" and other variables before navigating via "EFFECTS" button to "STYLE NOTES" then "HARMONY 4/8" and accessed via "Auto Key". These days I use the VoceLivePlay GTX for reverbs and some guitar inputs etc and find it really good in that capacity so it's not a total lost cause.

Many thanks for your contribution, it is appreciated. I'm definitely still on a learning curve,
with my single brain cell misfiring most times. I definitely need a butt kick from learned folk on forums these days to restart the old "grey matter". :oops:

Kind regards,
John
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Re: BOSS VE-500 Vocal Performer

Postby Dave B » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:59 pm

Wolfy, are you certain about that?

The reason that I ask is that the TC units all have a 'vocoder-like' setting which basically maps the pitch of you voice to the incoming notes via midi so that you can 'play' your voice in a vocoder-ish way, but the result is very clean and processed and not like the old vocoders (no splitting into a number of bands - just pure pitch shifting). Basically, it's more Jon Anderson and less Mr Blue Sky. And I like a bit of MBS...

;)

John, yes, I have the v256 as well and it's a great bit of kit. In fact I have 2 as one has an issue with the midi so I should really get it fixed. But it's not a proper harmonizer so it still only does 1/2 of what I ideally want. Still love it though.
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Re: BOSS VE-500 Vocal Performer

Postby Music Wolf » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:16 pm

Dave B wrote:Wolfy, are you certain about that?

The reason that I ask is that the TC units all have a 'vocoder-like' setting which basically maps the pitch of you voice to the incoming notes via midi so that you can 'play' your voice in a vocoder-ish way.

Far from sure. It’s not a feature that I’ve used in anger.
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Re: BOSS VE-500 Vocal Performer UPDATE

Postby johntee » Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:28 pm

Hi,

I received my BOSS VE-500 today and I've been navigating the on board menus for MIDI keyboard interfacing. Initially the unit which I received needed a System update, from 1.03 to 1.05, which the dealers didn't know about even though 1.03 goes back to 2018 and the VE-500's launch. It makes me wonder sometimes whether employees ever investigate or familiarise themselves with new product lines when they arrive in stock, or just drink coffee looking cool. :? I eventually found that said update via "(www).Boss.info/support" website but it needs some selective searching for the same. Likewise the supplied in box 'OWNERS MANUAL' is very, very brief and basic. Again I needed to search for their online pdf version plus another called "Parameter Guide" which gives more detail of the VE-500's in depth menus. This was accessed via the Boss website too. (www).Boss.info/global/support/by_product/ve-500/owners_manuals/". The VE-500's software program for editing / creating 'PATCHES' on PC or Mac is rather neat and similar in fashion to MicroKorg's Patch Editor. It can also be found on the mentioned Boss manuals web page too.

So now the good new. The VE-500 will interface with my 'Yamaha Genos keyboard' via MIDI using my keyboards transmit channel 1. The VE's changeable receiving MIDI channel for tethering can be found within the VE's on case button menus. These buttons and all their parameters can also be likewise selected/ varied when using the "Boss EDITING Software Suite" which is a less daunting challenge to a relative newbie like me.

In consequence to the above I've managed to create some basic Vocoder effects to start with, these are nice for the moment, but do need plenty of additional tweaking.

The Harmoniser's many vocal presets are pleasant too, but I'm no 'on key singer' so that's one for the professional song birds to experiment with. ;)

There are plenty of options in the VE-500 to edit, save, or thereafter write them to memory in an on board 'USER' section. However, besides my own Vocoder 'creations' I haven't tried using these others as yet. I'm pleased with the VE-500 up to now and hopefully, time permitting and with additional help along the way, I'll make it fit my personal musical needs.

Regards to all,
John
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Re: BOSS VE-500 Vocal Performer

Postby kieranobrienmusic » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:59 pm

Bought one myself a few months back and have been using it primarily for vocals (no guitar input) however I find when I change from one custom preset to another the volume dips significantly. Obvious thinking is that the volume level on the effect/patch is too low so I go to turn that up but it feedbacks like crazy (especially if i have the distortion effect enabled, which is one of the main reasons i bought it!) .. as for the telephone effect I can barely hear myself through the PA, when i switch back to a 'normal' effect such as slapback it then jumps up in volume. Very frustrating trying to get the levels right..has anybody else had this experience?
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Re: BOSS VE-500 Vocal Performer

Postby langmusic » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:57 am

kieranobrienmusic wrote:Bought one myself a few months back and have been using it primarily for vocals (no guitar input) however I find when I change from one custom preset to another the volume dips significantly. Obvious thinking is that the volume level on the effect/patch is too low so I go to turn that up but it feedbacks like crazy (especially if i have the distortion effect enabled, which is one of the main reasons i bought it!) .. as for the telephone effect I can barely hear myself through the PA, when i switch back to a 'normal' effect such as slapback it then jumps up in volume. Very frustrating trying to get the levels right..has anybody else had this experience?

I am having the same issue, I love my VE-500, however I am experiencing feedback when swapping custom made presets, I have my mic input around 75 on the unit, and the 'enhance' on about 45 with minimal tweaking on the eq. it also sounds like I'm singing in a tunnel (could be the pa as it sounds ok through my in ears). Would like to nut this out also!
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