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Thread: Presenting the Boss CE-1 - MOAEE (Mother of All Effect Emulations)

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    Global Moderator javajunkie's Avatar
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    Presenting the Boss CE-1 - MOAEE (Mother of All Effect Emulations)

    Boss CE-1

    The Boss CE-1 is a classic chorus effect that first appeared in June 1976 and is based around the chorus circuit used in the Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus amplifier. The CE-1 is one of the earliest pedal style chorus to employ the BBD (Bucket Brigade Driver) chips. Despite its input stage being better suited for organs, electric pianos, and other line level devices; the CE-1 has become extremely popular for guitar and bass players. Several companies (notably Analog.man Effects) offer mods to make it more guitar friendly. In addition, many pedal manufactures have tried to clone this venerable classic pedal.


    The sound of the Boss-CE1 can be described as dark, full, throby. It has a tendency to really change the character of the sound. It is not as subtle as many other choruses. The CE-1 decreases the highs (3db/octave roll off at ~1k) and boosts the low mids a bit. Its input is very sensitive and clips very easily. This non-optimal SNR also make for a noisy pedal. Clones like my RetroSonic CE-1 do a good job of preserving the character without all the noise.


    The Boss CE-1 is a 2 voice chorus. This means it has a dry signal that is combined with a delayed signal that is modulated. The modulation of the delayed signal causes an oscillation of the pitch of the signal causing a warbling sound. The wider the range of the delay time min/max (often times called depth or intensity), the larger the pitch shift. When not mixed with a dry signal, this is known as a vibrato effect. When the signal is mix with the dry signal you get a doubling effect like 2 or more instruments playing the same thing (hence the name chorus).


    Generally chorus effects will have delay times between 20-30ms. The Boss CE-1 is a notable exception. Its delay time is more akin to a flanger with a delay time on my unit ranging from 3-5 seconds. This makes for a very unique sound.


    There a two modes on Boss CE-1. First is the Chorus mode. Chorus mode only offers one control, this is intensity. The only noticeable effect I saw with intensity (which is normally thought of a depth control) is the rate of modulation. It maybe that it also slight reduces the mix of dry and wet. I saw no difference in delay times though. In chorus mode the rate went from 1Hz to 3Hz. With the knob at 50% the rate was about 1.75Hz.


    The other mode of the CE-1 is Vibrato mode. There are 2 controls in Vibrato mode (rate, and depth). Vibrato mode in the CE-1 is a bit of a misnomer. Typically vibrato does not mix the wet and dry signals. This means all warble, no dry. However, in the CE-1 the vibrato mode the mix is still approximately an equal amount of wet and dry. The difference is the rate starts faster the chorus mode ends and gets really fast from there. This range from 3.2 to 11.6Hz. In addition, the depth knob controls the width of the delay min/max. The width of the delay is from 3-5 (min) to 3-7 ms(max).


    The CE-1 uses two different waveforms for each mode. For Chorus mode it use a triangle wave form; while in Vibrato mode it uses a roughly sine wave.
    The final feature of the Boss CE-1 chorus is its stereo mode. The stereo mode simple outputs a dry signal from one output and the modulated signal from another.


    That in the nutshell is the Boss CE-1

    Here is a comparison of the Axe-fx and Boss CE-1. I added the background noise of the Boss CE-1 to the Axe-fx to make them harder to guess.
    This is the chorus mode with Intensity set at noon. A tone match block was added for added authenticity, but can easily be removed for efficiently.



    http://javajunkiemusic.com/Audio/axevsbossce1.mp3


    http://javajunkiemusic.com/Audio/axevsbossce1.wav
    Axe-Change - Download Preset - Boss CE1 - by javajunkie


    Vibrato mode:

    http://javajunkiemusic.com/Audio/axevsbossce1vibrato.mp3


    http://javajunkiemusic.com/Audio/axevsbossce1vibrato.wav
    http://axechange.fractalaudio.com/detail.php?preset=794
    Last edited by javajunkie; Oct-28-2012 at 08:47 PM.
    Sean Strickland
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    Fractal Audio Customer Support

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    Senior Member iaresee's Avatar
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    I...I...can't tell which is which. THANK YOU!
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    Sounds great, cant wait to try it out!

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    Member Richard_G's Avatar
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    You're the man, Javajunkie!
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    Senior Member VegaBaby's Avatar
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    Sean, such great work on the very informative write up, the comparison (with both clips nearly identical if I may say so) and the patch. even if used without the tonematch and the added noise, this is just a great sounding Chorus patch !
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    Senior Member seedoftheday's Avatar
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    Cool,but i`m not downgrading to 8.01,he he
    To import the preset via axe edit

    But will check it out,when we get axe edit with fw 9

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    Global Moderator javajunkie's Avatar
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    You can import with any sysex editor
    Bomes send sx is simple to use.
    Sean Strickland
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    Fractal Audio Customer Support

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    Senior Member voes's Avatar
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    Nice job! Well done Sean!
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    Senior Member groovenut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VegaBaby View Post
    Sean, such great work on the very informative write up, the comparison (with both clips nearly identical if I may say so) and the patch. even if used without the tonematch and the added noise, this is just a great sounding Chorus patch !
    This^^^^

    Thanks Sean!!!!

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    Member coosvandorsten's Avatar
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    reminds me of old Rush clean passages. Very nice indeed. I am gone use this one a lot!

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    Senior Member Secret80'sMan's Avatar
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    Above and beyond Sean, excellent work!

    And thanks for mentioning Bome's Send SX which doesn't get enough credit as a simple way to do patch or firmware upgrades although it doesn't work with the MFC for some reason on the firmware side do things.
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    Senior Member symphx's Avatar
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    great stuff!
    Got Metal?

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    Senior Member seedoftheday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by javajunkie View Post
    You can import with any sysex editor
    Bomes send sx is simple to use.
    I was a bit scared to use Midi-OX
    But it worked

    What user cab did you use ??
    It came up as User 13 on my axe fx

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    yek
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    Axe-Master yek's Avatar
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    Very nice, Sean.

    Is there an alternative to attaching Time to LFO?
    Reason I ask is that I use a Flanger block with X/Y. Assigning an external controller affects both X and Y.
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    Love the detailed, informative essay. Thanks, Sean!

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    Senior Member theblogjammers's Avatar
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    Thanks you--very nice.

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    Global Moderator javajunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seedoftheday View Post
    I was a bit scared to use Midi-OX
    But it worked

    What user cab did you use ??
    It came up as User 13 on my axe fx
    oh sorry about that, I used the Beta OH Shiva 12n MA200 1m. I will try to avoid custom cabs in the future
    Sean Strickland
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    Global Moderator javajunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yek View Post
    Very nice, Sean.

    Is there an alternative to attaching Time to LFO?
    Reason I ask is that I use a Flanger block with X/Y. Assigning an external controller affects both X and Y.
    set delay time to ~2.5-3ms adjust depth until the right amount of warble is achieved. Be sure auto depth is off. Triangle wave for chorus mode.
    yek likes this.
    Sean Strickland
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    Senior Member CodePoet's Avatar
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    So cool! Thanks for taking it the extra mile with the write-up - I learned a bunch. Sounds dead-on. Thanks Sean!
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    Senior Member jefferski's Avatar
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    Sean, thanks! I think this might be just what I'm looking for on one of our songs.

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