The New Guitar Toy


Well I’m turning into a collector of guitar gear. Another guitar toy have been added to my gear collection. My latest acquisition has been a BOSS eBand JS-8 (see below).

What is it?

That’s a very good question. It’s the combination of the following:

  • MP3 and WMA file player,
  • A vast array of Guitar Effects. There are a number of “stomp boxes” built into the unit.
  • A vast array of BOSS COSM® preamp models. Own a multitude of amplifier and cabinet combinations in a single box.
  • Guitar Tuner.
  • Metronome.
  • Phrase Trainer. You can select select a segment of a song to play along with repeatedly (sorry neighbours), with some cancelling capability (take out parts of the song mix).
  • Record function.
  • A bunch of rhythm tracks as well.
  • USB (cable) connect to a PC.
  • USB Memory stick to load in songs.

What do I like?

Well, the variety of the effects available is great. Playing around with them “vanilla” (as they came in the box) has been fun. Playing tracks works well. I’ve a bit of a "child trying to synchronise with the jump rope” syndrome at the present. I hope to find ways to overcome this with more practice (my wish list will follow).

The ways of getting music into machine (USB cable, and UBS memory stick) both work well. The Song List Editor, is a bit primitive, but gets the simple transfer job done.

The thing sounds great! I’ve it plugged into my Roland 30x Cube, and it sounds awesome.  The Ibanez sound great through the box. But, I’ve not prompted myself to ask the question, can I get a “vanilla” (completely clean sound). I think that the answer is that you can switch off all the “stomp boxes” and just select the head and cabinet you want. That’s probably as close to the “vanilla” that you can get. (I’ll probably try and set up a set of user defined patches which do this, could be an interesting experiment).

The Wish List

There are a couple of things I’d put on the wish list at this point. These include:

  • I’d love a count in on the track I’m trying to play with. Just the old band “1-2-3-4”, of maybe a snare and bass drum lead in. Something which can set the temp, and show where, and when, to start. I may have to explore getting some Digital Audio Workstation software and edit up the tracks I want to practice against.
  • I’d love a visual (PC based) way to compose a patch (the effects, head, and cabinet). The files on the machine are in a format which must contain all of the information about the patch, which the system then interprets (or implements). I’ll have to have a browse around the net and see if the file format is documented anywhere. (You never know your luck in a big city). I could end up writing one for myself.
  • A catalogue of the patches which came with the box would be nice to have. I may have to collate one and post it up here. You never know who else could be looking for this type of list. The names and patch number could be simple to create, the complete settings could be a bit more work.

Conclusions

I like it (so far). Not sure how it will grow on me, I’ll wait and see.

The creation of patches through the “twiddle the knob” method is not the most appealing. It always strikes me as the “UI the sound engineers” are happy” with so, that’s what you get. I’m more of a create a “UI which fits the users”, and I’m not a “sound engineer” (more of a software engineer).

I’ll post more into this thread as I learn, explore, and play with this new toy.

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