Boss GT pro review – The guitar effects processor I use

Is the Boss GT pro better than earlier models.

When Roland first came out with their COSM effects processors, I bought one – the Roland GP 100, after which I took a long break before buying anymore of their stuff.

I wasn’t convinced they had solved the amplifier simulation problem, but seeing as I’d bought the thing, I did my best to get a decent sound out of it.

Listening to my old recordings with it, they turned out sounding quite good, but I had to do a lot of tweaking back then to get those sounds.

A lot later I bought the Boss GT 6, and initially I was very disappointed with it, then I learned a few tricks like using the booster peddle simulation to improve the amplifier models tone, and which amplifier models worked best.

I slowly fell in love with it, but like most Roland and Boss products at the time, you had to really experiment and tweak. Once you found your formula it was plain sailing.

Composite object sound modeling is supposed to simulate the sound of various guitar amplifiers, and I think they’re a lot closer now.

The truth of the matter is that sometimes they’re so darn good that the thought of them bringing out a newer version bothers me.

What if they don’t have the same amplifier models I use now, or they change it so it doesn’t sound the same?

I was lucky when I moved up from the Boss GT 6 that they still had the same Peavey 5150 model that I liked so much in the GT pro, and it sounded much the same.

The Marshall models seem to have changed, but I prefer them now.

Here’s the real difference, and why I’m glad I took a leap of faith.

  1. The sound is clearer, almost brighter, but in a good way. maybe this has something to do with the increased bit depth.
  2. When you’ve found the amplifier simulation that you like, there’s very little tweaking needed or eq. On the GT 6 there where certain tricks that I learnt to get the most out of an amplifier model, but the GT pro doesn’t need them. Also, they don’t work the same. This is a completely different animal.
  3. Now I can record straight into my PC’s usb port, and the noise level is virtually non existent. No more banging my Mackie mixing desk to sort out the dry joints either.
  4. A separate compressor, independent of FX 1 or 2 groups.
  5. The dual channels are one of my favorite features, seeing as you get to have a different amplifier model for the left and right channels, and delay one of them by up to 50 milliseconds.
  6. The sound over headphones is virtually the same as what comes out the monitors. On the GT 6 this wasn’t the case. Late night jamming just got a whole lot more fun.
  7. It’s rack mountable, so for the studio it’s perfect. I was getting tired of leaning over to change things on the floor. My back isn’t what it used to be.

Here’s some of the things I’m not too excited about with the GT pro.

  1. The acoustic guitar sounds, both for turning an electric guitar sound into an acoustic one or making an acoustic guitars piezzo electric transducer sound like a miked up acoustic just don’t do it for me. They do have some use though, like background strums or making things sound different.
  2. The distortion and overdrive peddles they’ve modeled don’t behave the same as their analog counterparts, but to be perfectly honest with you, I haven’t fiddled with them too much. It’s kind of pointless when you’ve got some great amplifier models to do the same job better.
  3. No foot peddles, but I guess I knew I’d have to buy them separate.
  4. There is only one speaker cabinet simulation that’s worth using, which is the 8 by 12 double stack. This is about the same as the GT 6, so no big difference there. Would have been nice to have more though.

Sure, there may be some differences, and sometimes Boss is off the mark a bit, especially in some of their original speaker models, but nothing that a bit of good eq can’t fix. This is so much more than just getting by, and believe me, I’ve plugged guitars into real valve amplifiers that didn’t sound half as good as what’s coming out of this digital box.

Admittedly this isn’t always the case, but when you’ve got so much to work with, you inevitably find what you’re looking for. Here’s a video I made to demonstrate one of the Marshall patches I use. The settings are further down the page.

Boss GT Pro patches I’ve made myself that you can copy.

This first one is the sound patch I used for point 5 of “Here’s the real difference”. I called this one 5150 drive stereo.

The preamp channel mode is Dual – Left and right, and shows D-L/R. Channel delay time is set at 50ms, which seems to be one setting for both channels.

Channel A: Type is 5150 drive. Gain is 8, bass is 80, middle is 100, treble is 60, presence is 0, level is 64, gain switch (Gain SW) is high, Solo SW is off, speaker type is 8×12″, mic type is CND87, mic distance is On Mic, mic position is 7, mic level is 100 and direct level is 0.

Channel B: Type is Metal Lead, Gain is 8, Bass 80, Middle 70, Treble 100, presence 85, Level 45, Gain switch is High, Solo is off, Speaker 8×12″, microphone type is CND87, mic dis = on, mic pos = 10, and again the mic level is 100 while the direct sound is 0.

EQ settings: Equalizer on, Low cut 55hz, Low EQ +10dB, Lo-Mid is 0dB so no need to worry with that one. Hi-Mid f (frequency) is 4.00kHz, Hi Mid Q = 1, Hi Mid EQ +3dB. High EQ is 0dB and High cut is flat. Level is 0dB which just means your not boosting the signal but the EQ still works.

Delay settings: These aren’t really crucial to the sound, and it’s always a matter of personal preference, but here’s what I’ve used for this one. Type = Pan, Delay time = 536ms, Tap time = 50%, feedback = 24, High cut = 11.0kHz, Effect level is 14% and direct level is 100%

Signal FX chain: I like keeping things as close to what they would be in the real world so no biggie here. Preamp first, then EQ, Noise gate, Digital Delay. I don’t know why the noise gate is there where it is, but it seems to work.

My Marshall amplifier simulation on the GT Pro.

This one works great for a bluesy Stevie Ray Vaughn sound stratocaster neck pickup position, and cleans up very nicely when you back off a bit on the guitars volume control. It’s also quite effective as a main hard rock sound when you use higher output humbucking pickups.

Here are the settings: Channel mode is Single, Channel select is channel A, Type is MS HiGain, Gain is 8, Bass 80, Middle 50, Treble 50, Presence 0, Level 50, Gain SW High, Solo Off, Speaker type is 8×12″ again (the only one I use), Mic Type CND87, Mic Dis = on mic, Mic Pos = 7, Mic Level = 100, Direct level 0.

EQ settings: These are the same as 5150 stereo, but here they are again anyway. Equalizer on, Low cut 55hz, Low EQ +10dB, Lo-Mid is 0dB so frequency doesn’t matter. Hi-Mid f (frequency) is 4.00kHz, Hi Mid Q = 1, Hi Mid EQ +3dB. High EQ is 0dB and High cut is flat.

Delay settings: Same as 5150 patch above. Okay, I’m getting lazy now.

Reverb: Type is Hall 1, time 2.5s, pre delay 0ms, Low cut 165 Hz, High cut 4.00kHz, Density 10, Effect level 39 and direct level 100. The effect chain is the same as 5150, but with reverb after the delay.

Post Author: Andrew

22 thoughts on “Boss GT pro review – The guitar effects processor I use

  • TommyMaven

    (June 24, 2009 - 6:16 pm)

    Upon Reading youre review Ive decided to purchase one. Thanks a Bunch!
    -TM

  • Andrew

    (June 26, 2009 - 12:01 pm)

    You’re welcome Tommy. If you’d like my help with something to do with the GT Pro, just pop a message in and I’ll do what I can to help you out.
    Since writing this review I’ve done a whole lot more fiddling with it, and I’m still impressed with it.

  • Ricky

    (July 9, 2009 - 6:58 pm)

    Hey mate! Your tone sounds yummy and heaven.. Are the above settings will work on GT6? Thanks a bunch!=)

  • Andrew

    (July 10, 2009 - 4:38 am)

    Hi Ricky,
    Not exactly. Like I said, the Boss GT pro is a very different guitar processor from the GT 6.
    There are however certain things that remain the same. The EQ that I use on my patches is almost the same, except that on the GT 6 I boosted the 4 khz a bit more.
    The 5150 amplifier model on the GT 6 is great, especially if you use the 8 by 12 cabinet simulator along with the EQ I use here on the GT pro.
    For some of the lower gain amp models, I got great results putting the booster pedal sim in front of them.
    I hope that helps you.
    Mostly I used the GT 6 output assign to line/PA as I was recording direct.
    The thing still sounds good through a solid state amp though, as long as the output assign is set for it.
    Great little units.

  • […] Electric guitar What to know about electric guitars – My opinion and experience. « Boss GT pro review – The guitar effects processor I use […]

  • admin (Andrew)

    (July 29, 2009 - 1:51 am)

    Hi Scott,
    I don’t know if the stereo dual amp thing will work through a single amp that well.
    I’ll be running my GT pro through an amp in the next couple of days, just to experiment with things.
    I’ll see if I can post some settings here that may be useful to you.
    Mostly I go straight into the mixing desk or PA.

  • Scott Michael

    (July 29, 2009 - 1:42 am)

    Hi,
    I have had the GT-Pro now for over a year and I just keep on trying to find the right sound?To be honest though, I have never enven tried the dual amps yet. I am join to do what you mentioned and see what happens. I am so glad I found your site. I know the sound is there, I just can’t seem to pull it out of her?I will be checking back for more tips of yours!
    Thanks a lot,
    Scott Michael
    P.S. I am running it through a Peavey 30 Classic’s loop!

  • Scott Michael

    (August 1, 2009 - 4:59 pm)

    I do appreciate the feed back and your site! I was afraid that I might not be able to run the dual amps through an amp’s loop directly? I have tried your setting(with a few small tweaks), and am getting pretty good sounds using the line output in my Peavey’s loop! Better then what I was getting before. I was going to experiment with using the Combo return output setting. I appreciate any advice,examples, or patchs that you may be able to share with me! I certainly found things on the GT-Pro that I didn’t even knew exsisted. I am happy I stumbled upon your site! Keep up the good job on helping us GT-Pro greenhorns that can use your experience with the unit! I will be checking in frequently.
    Thanks,
    Scott Michael

  • admin (Andrew)

    (August 12, 2009 - 1:52 pm)

    Hi Scott,
    The name’s Andrew, just by the way.
    The 50 ms is actually only on the one channel, but it looks like both. I’ve been doing some messing around over the last couple of days with putting the GT pro through an amp, and I must tell you I’m absolutely blown away by the sound.
    I did need to change some settings slightly, and I’ve been meaning to make another blog post about it, but haven’t got round to recording some decent demo audios for it.
    Here’s what I changed:
    I took the patch I made for Parisian walkways (http://play-electric-guitar.net/blog/boss-gt-pro-gary-moore-parisian-walkways-sound-patch/) and changed the delay type to single. I then set the output assign to small amp and went straight into the clean channel of my amp.
    My amplifier is an Ibanez toneblaster (Not one of the new ones).
    I did this because I wanted to be able to add extra eq if need be.
    I took the cable straight out of main out left on the gt pro and into the amp.
    I turned off the guvnor simulation and set the GT pro amplifier tone controls to 12 o’clock, which is 50 if you look at the screen.
    Then in edit mode I scrolled through the different amp sims.
    My favorites turned out to be Blues, T amp lead and the Marshall hi gain, but I found a heck of a lot more that are all cool for something.
    I also tried turning off the amp models and running through the different pedals with flat settings. Surprisingly decent when used into an actual amplifier. I like the guvnor distortion, the rat and the blues (Great for Stevie Ray Vaughn stuff on single coil in the neck position).
    I know I said they were no good in the article, but through an amp they actually work as advertised.
    Try going straight into the front of your amp with as clean a sound as possible and all your settings as neutral as can be.
    If you set the output assign to small amp, or whatever the case may be, you’re bound to crack it.
    Not all of the amp models are great, but most of them are.
    With my settings I had to keep the main out volume on the GT at about 9 o’clock (Very low). I don’t know why, but still the amp was friggen loud.
    I’ll still make that extra blog article about my GT Pro through an amplifier cos I’m totally in love with what’s coming out of that speaker.
    Maybe a video would be good as well.
    Let me know what’s happening Scott, or if my patches suck or something.

  • Scott Michael

    (August 12, 2009 - 12:40 pm)

    Hi Gary,
    Just wondering if you have any new info for me. Also you talk about setting the second amp in a dual mode to 50ms, but when I do this both channels show the 50ms change? I can’t for the life of me figure out how to change the second channel to 50ms and leave the first channel at 0? Any suggestions on that at least?
    Thanks,
    Scott Michael

  • Admin (Andrew)

    (August 31, 2009 - 5:49 am)

    Hi Eric, Thanks for the compliment.
    The thing with the GT pro is that it has tons of gain on some amp models.
    You could probably back off the gain quite a lot and still have plenty of sustain. The other day I used a blues amp model and noticed the gain went all the way up to 120. It wasn’t blues anymore but it sure did sing.
    I tend to use just enough gain to give me a ballsy overdrive/distortion.
    I usually blame the pickups if I get too much feedback. They need to be wax potted otherwise they’re uncontrollable at high volume.
    I’d just try backing off the gain for now though and see if your sound still does it for you.
    At high volume you can just let your amp do most of the sustain work.
    Hope that helps.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  • Eric

    (August 31, 2009 - 2:30 am)

    Andrew, awesome playing on the YouTube vid.

    Got a Gt-pro myself & am mainly using one of the existing patches (think it’s ‘Massive’ – through both channels). Sounds rocking, but at high volume it feedbacks like nuts – even though I have a Rocktron Guitar Silencer in the loop. I have to wind the guitar volume right down at the end of a track to stop it going bonkers. What I really want is that Metallica stop-on-a-sixpence sound. Going to have a go at setting one of your patches but be interested in your thoughts. If I can’t sort it, I’m considering going over to using Guitar Rig 3 through a laptop live.

    Many thanks
    Eric.

  • Scott Michael

    (September 17, 2009 - 2:03 pm)

    Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for all the info you have passed on to me. I have been running it through my return mostly on my Peavey Classic 30 and things haven’t been all bad! I will take some of your advice and give a try to running it straight into my clean channel. Instead of the dual amp mode I have been setting it to dual amp mode momo which I think is the only way to use it running it directly into my amp? Thanks for taking the time to help me out buddy! I really do appreciate the comments and the help you have given me! Wish me good luck! 🙂
    Scott Michael

  • Scott Michael

    (September 17, 2009 - 2:03 pm)

    Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for all the info you have passed on to me. I have been running it through my return mostly on my Peavey Classic 30 and things haven’t been all bad! I will take some of your advice and give a try to running it straight into my clean channel. Instead of the dual amp mode I have been setting it to dual amp mode momo which I think is the only way to use it running it directly into my amp? Thanks for taking the time to help me out buddy! I really do appreciate the comments and the help you have given me! Wish me good luck! 🙂
    Scott Michael

  • admin (Andrew)

    (September 18, 2009 - 2:41 am)

    It’s been a pleasure Scott, so yeah – GOOD LUCK.

  • Bill McCumber

    (October 20, 2009 - 2:54 pm)

    I play steel guitar. I have had my GT PRO for for 7 months. I normally play a clean sound. When I got the unit every program was distorted. I call Roland and the had me set the Output to -10db. That took care of the distortion generally. However when I play two or 3 string at a time I get a distortion. I call Roland again and we went thru my settings with no luck I still had distortation. So I sent it back to Roland and they said everything was at factory specs. Have you had any experience with this problem. I can use the same guitar on my GX 700 or Alesis with not distortion.

    Thanks

    Bill

  • admin (Andrew)

    (October 21, 2009 - 2:47 pm)

    Hi Bill,
    I’d have to have your setup in front of me to really get to the bottom of it, but something I’ve found that might help is if you press the “System” button, and scroll through using the parameter > button, right at the end you get to a screen that says METER:Input.
    You can then check as you play.
    By using the patch/value dial you can monitor the level at every stage of the signal chain.
    What I’ve often found with my patches is that even though the signal may not be peaking in the individual effects, the resultant “Main out” or “DGT” signal can still be overloading like crazy.
    I then go back and lower the gain in all the stages that make sense, like pre-amp and choruses etc.
    This usually solves the problem.
    I think steel guitars have quite powerful pickups as well, so maybe that’s the core issue.
    Outside of these things the only other thing I can think of is to get some kind of attenuator.
    Hope that helps. Thanks for stopping by.

  • jorgen

    (December 5, 2009 - 9:42 pm)

    First of all: Great tone and superb play. I’m ingresting in a boss gt10. Do you think it’s similar to the pro, or can I buy a gt8 and get the same functions?

    Merry Christmas to you

    Regards Jorgen

  • admin (Andrew)

    (December 5, 2009 - 11:46 pm)

    Hi Jorgen,
    I think the GT 8 is very similar to the GT pro. I didn’t spend too much time with the GT 8, so there may be some small differences.
    Boss is always trying to improve their amplifier modelling, so I should imagine the GT 10 could sound a little better.
    Can’t say for sure though.
    If you end up with a GT 8, I’m sure my patches will work well on it.
    Merry Christmas to you too.
    He who dies with the most toys, wins.

  • Doc

    (February 28, 2010 - 7:49 pm)

    Hi,

    You really seem to understand this device. So I’d like some guidance. I really only want (at this stage of the game) to use this as my effects bench. I don’t want amplifier or speaker simulation at all. I’ve actually read the docs and don’t see my use case at all. Is there a “correct” way to do this? I have a Mesa/Boogie 5/25 amp that I really like and don’t want to get into the single dropping of the array of foot pedals.

    Your advice will be appreciated.

    Doc

  • admin (Andrew)

    (March 12, 2010 - 8:11 pm)

    Hi Doc,
    I think it’s definitely possible to use the GT pro in the effects loop of your Mesa Boogie. I would go cautiously though. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never used the Boss Gt pro that way and I’m a little worried about impedance mismatches and suchlike. I do know that everything can be turned off though, including cabinet simulation.
    Why not give some of the preamps in the Gt pro a try though. You never know what you might be missing.
    I bought a Gibson Les Paul the other day, and it’s like rediscovering this thing all over again.
    Admittedly, the Mesa boogie simulations still suck on the GT pro, so not much help replacing the real thing there.
    Sorry I took so long to answer. I’ll look into it a little further later on and see what else I can come up with.

  • pastelix

    (July 16, 2012 - 7:12 pm)

    The only thing I dislike about the GT-Pro is the equalizer. The knobs are a pain to use and I would have preferred linear-phase equalization, or even better, the choice between “analog” and linear phase.

Leave a Reply