There are plenty of Engadget staffers who have to suffer through karaoke nights with me. And they can attest that I have the singing voice and vocal range of a chain-smoking diner waitress. A mid-80s speech synthesizer. And still I can’t help myself. I have zero shame. There’s nothing in there that will magically make me a good singer, but a healthy dose of effects and some pitch correction Boss VE-22 Vocal PerformerDebuting at NAMM 2024, it might make me unbearable to listen to.
The VE-22 is the latest in Boss’ long line of vocal effects units and pedals. The back has an XLR input with preamplifier and phantom power if you want to use it with a condenser microphone. Two XLR outputs let you output audio in stereo, dual mono or wet/dry. It also has an aux input for singing along with a backing track. The UI has a large enough color screen for navigation and a trio of pedals that will be as comfortable under your hand as your foot.
Effects range from basic things like EQ and compression pitch correction and automatic harmonization. The VE-22 can do subtle vocal amplification and add basic effects like reverb or go crazy. lo-fi and Faults such as Autotuning. In total there is room for 39 effects, 50 factory settings, plus 99 user presets. If you need more control, you can also connect an expression pedal for quick parameter changes. And finally, there’s a 37-second looper with overdubs for building compositions and practicing harmonies.
There is no MIDI support, but there is a USB-C port for recording and playback of audio from a computer or smartphone. Although there is an AC adapter, unfortunately it is sold separately. It can also be powered by four AA batteries if you don’t want to buy an adapter, just know that they take between six and nine hours to change. The VE-22 Vocal Performer is now available 35 dollars0 and an optional carrying case with space for the microphone and cable will cost $70.
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