Choosing a Multi-Effects Processor: Good, Better and Best Recommendations
Multi-effects processors offer great value and variety for beginners and are compact and portable for the touring pro. Electric Violin Shop carries a handful of multi-effects processors from Boss and Digitech, which range in price from about $100 to about $300, including:
All of the multi-effects processors we carry come with dozens of different preset effects, as well as the ability to alter and store changes to any of them. All include a mute/floor tuner as well. Things to consider when differentiating between Good, Better and Best multi-effects processor options include whether you will need any or all of the following features…
Roadworthiness — If you are a frequent performer you will want to invest in either the DigiTech RP360XP or Boss ME-80 in order to get a metal chassis that will stand up to wear from frequent use. If this is a first effects pedal that you will use primarily for fun, for practice, for effects experimentation or even occasional gigging, then durability is not an issue and the DigiTech Element XP pedal with plastic casing will suffice.
Pedalboard layout — Live performance, depending on your musical style and effects usage technique, may require that you access numerous effects in musical time during the course of a single tune. If you perform and use numerous effects or effects in combination, consider getting the Boss ME-80, which has a pedalboard-like layout and stomp box controls that put multiple different effects types and the ability to combine them at your feet with on/off foot switching control. Using a multi-effects for fun in the home or practice studio, on the other hand, does not really require that you be able to access many different patches or effects combinations at once and therefore either of the DigiTech pedals should be sufficient.
USB output — If you want the ability to do recording projects on your computer without having to invest in a separate computer recording interface device, you will want USB output, found in both the DigiTech RP360XP and Boss ME-80 multi-effect pedals.
Phrase looping — Looping is the ability to record yourself live and have immediate playback of your track for layering and self-accompaniment. Complex looping performance requires a separate loop station pedal, but both the DigiTech RP360XP and the Boss ME-80 include foot-controlled looper functions that work nicely for more basic looping performances.