I’ve been using the Boss JS 8 eBand as a guitar practice and training tool for many months now. I have nothing but good things to says about the unit. It is truly an amazing little gadget for the guitar player. The power of the unit comes from a truly wicked combination of the following features:
- BOSS effects. There are a bucket load of effects in the eBand. The flexibility of combining, and a degree of control which is great.
- the COSM amplifier modelling which is again great. There is really an audible difference between the amp models.
- the 100+ pre-set effect and amplifier combinations. These again are great. They also save a lot of time sorting out how to achieve a sound when there is already one which is in the box. It also saves a lot of $’s buying peddles, trying to get a combination which gives a sound your after.
- the song list feature. The eBand allows you to load via a PC (or Mac), songs and backing tracks (there are a bucket load of these for the eBand at this Boss site eTracks For eBand). This along with the “slow it down”, and loop the playback (and A point in track to point B in the song loop), song repeat, make learning how to play a song a pleasure.
- there is a Phrase Loop feature in there as well. I’ve yet to play with that one, but the day is approaching when I will.
- plus a record feature. The difference between the Phrase Loop and record feature are:
- the Phrase Loop is 40 seconds in duration,
- the record is unlimited (limited by the amount of memory in the unit).
- the Phrase Loop can be repeatable overdubbed,
- the record is just the sound you play.
The “Doh! Missed the start again”
There is one feature of the eBand which has “annoyed” me. That is if you are playing along to something you need to take your hand off the guitar, and press the play. This “feature” is blatantly obvious if you think about it. But, until you get to the “Doh! I missed the start again” moments, solving it will not occur to you.
Luckily, the designers of this little box of tricks were thinking clearly when they put the machine together. There is a solution which the machine will accommodate, a footswitch. A Boss footswitch at that! What would you expect from Boss. The eBand is designed to use Boss footswitches to start and stop playback, control the Phrase Loop, and lots more (I’d have to read the manual to find all of the things it will control).
Recommendations: If You’re Thinking About Buying A eBand
There are a couple of thing I’ve learnt about using eBand which could be worthwhile thinking about, when you “stump up the cash” for one. The things I’ve learnt include:
- If you want to be “loud”, or to use it as an MP3 player (which it does do). Think about buying a Keyboard Amplifier, which are usually stereo (guitar amplifiers usually being monaural), and have a clean channel (you get all the effects you want from the eBand).
- If you think you’ll be using it for playing along to songs, or using the Phrase Loop function, consider getting a FS 6 at the same time. This will let you keep you hands on the guitar, when you doing things.
- New amps and effects units outed by Roland (gizmag.com)