The Boss ‘X’ series of pedals: the OD-1X Overdrive, DS-1X Distortion, CP-1X Compressor, BC-1X Bass Comp and BB-1X Bass Driver might not be on as many pedalboards as the SD-1, DD-7 or the absolutely stage-standard TU-3, but there is a reason you should take a look at them: multi-dimensional processing (MDP).
What is Boss MDP?
Well, there are a few ways we can talk about this. We could go marketing hyperbole and use words like ‘tone’, ‘preserve’, ‘rich’ and ‘pure’. We could go technical and talk about ‘volume envelopes’, ‘harmonic overtones’ and ‘DSP algorithms’.
However, I’m a guitarist who just likes to sound good and – at some level anyway – probably thinks that everything peaked in around 1960 and everything since then has been a waste of everybody’s time.
But that’s a silly argument.
Let’s just say that the Boss MDP range of pedals does some clever things we don’t need to worry about to give you the sound you were looking for when you dialled in your tone in the first place.
That was a terrible explanation
Yes, it was really. A better one is to imagine you have an overdrive pedal and you get it set up for a great, crunchy rhythm tone down for some nice chording at the bottom end of the neck. Trouble is, once you play some lead lines up at the top, that sound doesn’t quite work for you.
MDP processing can help you out with that.
Rather than a conventional effect, which takes a basic input signal, does something to it, and sends it out the other side, a Boss MDP pedal looks at the input signal, breaks it down into a number of component parts, and works out what it needs to do to each part of the sound to give you the tone you were expecting.
It does the same with the way it creates the effect as well, the MDP effects have a number of different parameters, not all of which simply increase in amount as you turn the knob up…
This handy figure shows what I mean:
Fortunately, Boss have provided a proper discussion of what MDP processing actually means, and it’s well worth a read. Not only is it quite interesting from a technical point of you, if you’re like me, it might get you thinking that guitar technology has moved on since 1960.
And it has, in quite an impressive way.
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