Boss VO-1 Vocoder Pedal

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Boss VO-1 Vocoder Pedal Overview

The Boss VO-1 is a truly innovative and unique stomp-box. Based around the famous Boss guitar-synthesiser engine, the VO-1 puts the world of vocoder effects at the feet of the modern guitar player! Using an external microphone, the VO-1 allows you to change the tone of your voice using the pedals impressive range of effects including; vocoder, talk box and even choir ensembles! You can also use the VO-1 without a microphone and use your guitar to make impressive, layered ensemble sounds which open up a new world of guitar playing.

The VO-1 has 4 main settings which can be accessed at the turn of a dial. 'Vintage Mode' recreates classic vintage synth sounds to layer and manipulate your voice, 'Advanced Mode' offers modern, clean vocoder sounds, 'Talk Box Mode' allows you recreate the classic effect used on countless recordings by artists such as Bon Jovi and Jimmy Hendrix without the hassle of a traditional setup and finally, 'Choir Mode' for using the VO-1 without a microphone. The Vo-1 can be used with any instrument with a 1/4' jack input and is just as responsive with bass as it is with a guitar. There is also an in-built effects loop to allow you connect external effects easily.

GAK's Boss VO-1 FAQ's

Q1: Which external microphone can I use with the VO-1?
A: You can use any dynamic microphone such as a Shure SM-58, Beta-58, PG-58, Beyer Dynamic V70D, Rode M1 etc. You will need to have a 1/4' jack adapter for the input on the pedal.

Q2: How does the vocoder work?
A: The vocoder used both your guitar and your voice simulatniously. When you talk into the microphone, this signal is taken and used to drive the pedal. Your guitar or instrument is then used to change the pitch and expression of the vocal. This means that you do not need to be able to sing in tune, only play in-tune! The controls can then be set to manipulate the synth sound over your voice.

Q3: What is the effects loop for?
A: The effects loops alows you internally patch external effects into the VO-1. This allows you to kep the VO-1 performing at optimum signal levels without the external effects having any negative inpact. The effects loop is labelled as 'Send' and 'Return' on the pedal.

Q4: How long is the battery life?
A: The VO-1 uses a 9V PP-3 type battery. Using an Alkaline battery (6LR61) will give around 5 hours of use. The VO-1 can also be powered by an optional AC adapter such as the Boss PSA.

5 out of 5
3 reviews
  • 5 stars (1)
  • 4 stars (1)
  • 3 stars (1)
  • 2 stars (0)
  • 1 star (0)
Rated 5.00 out of 5 11/10/2022

Would be dodgy live but brilliant fun recording and stimulating ideas. The only Boss pedal to put a big grin on my face. The choir (not voice activated) is brilliant for ambient drone sounds. The vocoder has 3 great different voices and is very easy to set up and use. In the words of Valentino Rossi, "I am velly velly 'appy"


Rated 4.00 out of 5 13/4/2021

Good authentic vocoder sound.


Rated 3.00 out of 5 13/6/2020

This 'works' at the most basic level, but don't imagine that it's any substitute for the ability to sing! Feed it a note or chord from a keyboard, guitar or some other instrument level-source and it will process simultaneous sounds from a microphone to be at that pitch. However, while intelligible, the results are barely human - more like something out of a bad sci-fi movie. To use this live you would have to be a very good and consistent keyboard/guitar player. But for recording purposes you can feed it chords from a recorded source and 'sing' along to those. So this is a cautious recommendation; yes, it works and can be great fun, but keep your expectations very realistic about what is possible. This gadget does not make you into a singer; it allows you to put a vocalisation into a given pitch - that's not quite the same thing!