BOSS VE-20: Vocal Effects Pedal Review

The BOSS VE-20 is a vocal effects pedal designed for singers and vocalists. Manufactured by BOSS, a well-known brand in the musical equipment industry, the VE-20 offers a range of features to enhance and manipulate vocal performances in real-time. Here are some key features of the BOSS VE-20:

Multiple Effects

The BOSS VE-20 Vocal Processor includes a variety of effects designed to enhance and manipulate vocal performances. Here are some of the main effects available on the VE-20:

  1. Reverb:
    • Adds a sense of space and ambience to the vocals.
  2. Delay:
    • Creates echoes and repeats of the vocal signal.
  3. Dynamics:
    • Allows control over the dynamics of the vocal signal, including compression and gating.
  4. Double-Tracking:
    • Simulates the effect of recording a vocal part twice, creating a thicker sound.
  5. Pitch Correction:
    • Helps singers stay in tune by correcting the pitch of the vocals.
  6. Harmony:
    • Adds harmonies to the vocals in real-time, creating the effect of multiple voices singing together.
  7. Distortion:
    • Introduces distortion or overdrive to the vocals for creative effects.
  8. Strobe:
    • Produces a unique strobe-like modulation effect on the vocals.
  9. Octave:
    • Generates octave-shifted notes, allowing for octave harmonies.
  10. Modulation:
    • Applies modulation effects such as chorus and flanger to the vocals.
  11. Robot:
    • Adds a robotic or synthetic quality to the vocals.
  12. Radio and Stutter:
    • Simulates the sound of a radio or introduces a stuttering effect to the vocals.

These effects can be adjusted and combined to create a wide range of sounds and textures, making the BOSS VE-20 a versatile tool for vocalists looking to add creativity and expression to their performances.

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Harmony and Pitch Correction

One of the notable features is the harmony function, allowing users to add harmonies to their vocals in real-time. The pitch correction feature helps singers stay in tune.

Harmony and pitch correction are two key features in vocal processors like the BOSS VE-20, offering singers the ability to enhance their vocal performances in different ways.

Harmony: Harmony in a vocal processor refers to the creation of additional musical notes that complement the original sung note, resulting in a harmonized sound. The BOSS VE-20 allows you to add harmonies in real-time, creating the effect of multiple voices singing together. You can typically control parameters such as the interval (e.g., thirds, fifths), the number of harmonies, and the level of the harmonies. This feature is especially useful for solo performers who want to achieve a fuller sound or for experimenting with creative vocal arrangements.

Pitch Correction: Pitch correction is a feature that helps singers stay in tune by automatically adjusting the pitch of the vocal notes. The BOSS VE-20 includes pitch correction functionality, which can be particularly useful for live performances where maintaining perfect pitch can be challenging. The pitch correction feature can be adjusted to different levels, allowing for subtle correction or a more noticeable, “auto-tuned” effect. Keep in mind that while pitch correction can be a helpful tool, its application should be done judiciously to avoid an overly processed sound if not desired.

Both harmony and pitch correction can be essential tools for vocalists seeking to enhance their performances, whether in a live setting or during recording. These features add versatility and creative possibilities to a singer’s toolkit, allowing them to explore different vocal textures and achieve a polished and professional sound.

Easy-to-Use Interface

The pedal is designed with an intuitive interface, making it user-friendly for live performances. It features dedicated knobs and buttons for various parameters, making it easy to control and adjust settings on the fly.

Phrase Looper:

    • The built-in phrase looper enables users to record and loop vocal phrases, allowing for creative layering and improvisation during live performances.
  • Battery or AC Power:
    • The VE-20 can be powered using batteries, making it portable for on-the-go performances. Additionally, it can be powered using an AC adapter for extended use.
  • Performance Presets:
    • Users can save and recall their favorite settings using preset slots, allowing for quick and easy access to preferred vocal effects.
  • Durable Construction:
    • Built with the rugged and durable construction characteristic of BOSS products, the VE-20 is designed to withstand the demands of live performances and touring.
  • Expression Pedal Input:
    • The pedal features an expression pedal input, allowing users to control parameters in real-time with an external expression pedal for added versatility.

Using the BOSS VE-20 Vocal Processor

blankUsing the BOSS VE-20 Vocal Processor involves several steps, and it’s important to familiarize yourself with the pedal’s controls and functions. Below is a basic guide on how to use the BOSS VE-20:

Basic Setup:

  • Power:
    • Connect the BOSS VE-20 to a power source. You can use batteries or an AC adapter.
  • Input/Output:
    • Connect your microphone to the “MIC” input and use the “OUTPUT” to connect to your mixer, PA system, or amplifier.
  • Expression Pedal (Optional):
    • If you have an expression pedal, you can connect it to the “CTL” input for real-time control over certain parameters.

Using the Effects:

  • Selecting a Patch:
    • Use the rotary knob to select a preset patch. The VE-20 has multiple preset slots where you can save and recall your preferred settings.
  • Adjusting Effects:
    • Use the dedicated knobs and buttons to adjust the various effects, such as reverb, delay, harmony level, pitch correction, etc. Refer to the user manual for details on specific controls.
  • Harmony:
    • Activate the harmony effect and adjust the parameters to add harmonies to your vocals. You can choose the harmony type, interval, and level.
  • Pitch Correction:
    • If needed, activate the pitch correction feature and adjust the correction level to help keep your vocals in tune.
  • Phrase Looper:
    • If you want to loop a vocal phrase, engage the phrase looper. This allows you to record and playback vocal passages in real-time.
  • Save Presets:
    • If you find a combination of effects you like, you can save it as a preset for quick recall during performances.

Expression Pedal (if connected):

  • Real-time Control:
    • If you have an expression pedal connected, use it to control parameters such as volume, delay level, or other assignable parameters in real-time.


  • Engage/Disengage:
    • Engage the pedal when you want the effects to be active and disengage it when you want a clean, unaffected vocal signal.
  • Experiment:
    • Spend time experimenting with different effects, settings, and combinations to find the sound that complements your style and the specific requirements of your performance.

Similar Pedals

There are several vocal processors and multi-effects pedals similar to the BOSS VE-20 that offer various features for enhancing and manipulating vocal performances. Here is a list of some popular vocal processors that you may find interesting:

  • TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play:
    • Offers a variety of vocal effects, harmonies, looping, and adaptive EQ.
  • DigiTech Vocalist Live Harmony:
    • Focuses on providing realistic vocal harmonies with features like musIQâ„¢ technology.
  • Zoom V6 Vocal Processor:
    • Features pitch correction, harmony, effects, and a built-in looper for live performances.
  • Electro-Harmonix Voice Box Harmony Machine and Vocoder:
    • Combines harmonies, pitch correction, and vocoding in a compact pedal.
  • TC-Helicon Perform-V:
    • A simpler vocal processor with essential features for live performances, including echo, reverb, and pitch correction.
  • Digitech VLHM Vocalist Live Harmony Processor:
    • Offers harmonies, pitch correction, and effects tailored for vocalists.
  • Roland VT-4 Voice Transformer:
    • Focuses on real-time pitch shifting, vocoding, and other creative vocal effects.
  • Eventide H9 Harmonizer:
    • A versatile multi-effects pedal with algorithms for harmonization, pitch shifting, and other modulation effects.
  • Behringer Virtualizer 3D FX2000:
    • A multi-effects processor with various vocal effects, including reverb, delay, pitch shifting, and more.
  • Boss VE-8 Acoustic Singer:
    • Specifically designed for acoustic performers, offering vocal processing, harmonies, and guitar effects.