The Boss Family of Products
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A subsidiary of Roland Corporation, BOSS has the reputation as the company that put the "stomp" in "stompbox." Over the years they've been responsible for developing many popular guitar and bass effects pedals, known as much for their variety of color as for their tone. Their mastery of tone-shaping gear helped them gain the confidence of a vast list of high-profile guitar and bass virtuosos who have not only endorsed BOSS products, but used them on some of the most seminal albums and tours since the '70s. This list of artists include legends like Kurt Cobain, Steve Vai, John Frusciante, Rick Derringer, Joe Satriani, and Steve Lukather to newcomers like Dave Keuning of The Killers, Synyster Gates of Avenged Sevenfold, and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age.
Though BOSS was formed in 1973, they didn't make their first official splash until 1974, when Roland released the B-100 The Boss pedal which came with a clip-on pre-amp and a pickup that was made to amplify acoustic guitars. In 1978, the first compact BOSS effects were released - the OD-1 Overdrive pedal, the PH-1 Phaser pedal and the SP-1 Spectrum parametric equalizer pedal.
Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, BOSS continued innovating, designing and redefining their pedals. In the early half of the decade they released the DD-2 Digital Delay, the first mass-produced digital delay in a compact pedal format. One of their most popular and influential pedals is the Metal Zone (MT-2) which was released, much to the delight of headbangers everywhere in 1991. This pedal provided a definitive sound and became an integral part of the heavy metal music scene that still finds love from shredders today.
But BOSS designers weren't satisfied to just put out one small pedal at a time. In 1988, a leap in technological innovation came in the form of the first floor based all-in-one FX unit, the BOSS ME-5. It incorporated eight of BOSS' most popular pedals, including the CS-2, DS-1, OD-2, RV-3, EQ-1, CE-2, DD-2, BF-2, plus a Noise Suppressor. Today BOSS' multi-effects pedals are some of the best-selling and widely used multi-effects on the market, like the ME-70, GT-100, and ME-20B.
Arguably their greatest innovation was the introduction of COSM (Composite Object Sound Modeling) in 2006, a pioneering modeling technology first featured in the AC-3 Acoustic Simulator, and later the FBM-1 '59 Fender Bassman and FDR-1 '65 Fender Deluxe Reverb pedals. These pedals give players access to a world of sound and tones that were not available anywhere before and have been imitated since.
However BOSS is more than just pedals and multi-effects units. They've branched out into other areas with rhythm machines, personal digital studios, and other easy-to-use instruments for musicians of all types. A great example is the Doctor Rhythm DR-110 drum machine which first hit shelves in 1983 and is still popular today. It was the last drum machine from the Roland Corporation to use analog sound synthesis to generate the drum sounds. Nowadays, it's all about sampled drums, but this classic can still be heard making beats today.
Whether you're looking for some classic distortion, otherworldly amp simulators or a full-on digital recording unit, you can look to BOSS to have a solution to meet your needs. They've been working on sound for 40 years now. They've got tone down to a science, and more often than not, it's also within your budget.
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