BOSS DD-500, ‘The Most Powerful Digital Delay Pedal Ever Made’, Now Available

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BOSS has announced that the DD-500, a new effects pedal that they call ‘the most powerful digital delay pedal ever made’, is now available.

Features:

  • Studio-level stereo sound with 32-bit/96 kHz processing throughout
  • 12 versatile delay modes from vintage to modern deliver unlimited creative possibilities
  • Unrivaled real-time expression with customizable control settings for onboard and external switches
  • Graphic LCD for easy, intuitive operation while performing and editing
  • Onboard patch memories and hands-on controls
  • Equipped with a built-in Phrase Looper, MIDI, USB, and more
  • Selectable buffered or true-bypass operation
  • Runs on four AA-size batteries or PSA-series AC adapter

Here’s the official video intro:

Delay Modes:

  • Standard—Clear digital delay.
  • Analog—Emulates classic analog “BBD” delays like the BOSS DM series.
  • Tape—Emulates the warm sound of tape-based delay units, including the Maestro Echoplex and legendary Roland RE-201 Space Echo.
  • Vintage Digital—Emulations of early digital delays from the 1980s, including Roland’s famous SDE-2000 and SDE-3000 rack units and the BOSS DD-2, the original stompbox digital delay.
  • Dual—Two different delay lines that can be connected in series or parallel.
  • Pattern—Sixteen different delay lines that can be set independently for all types of unique rhythmic effects.
  • Reverse—Backwards delay for cool psychedelic effects and other unique tones.
  • SFX—“Special effects” delay with a highly unique sound character.
  • Shimmer—Pitch-shifted delays for lush, heavenly textures.
  • Filter—Delay with a sweeping filter.
  • Slow Attack—Ethereal delays that fade in with playing dynamics.
  • Tera Echo—Spacious, animated ambience effect derived from the innovative BOSS TE-2 pedal.

Here’s a sound preview video;

The Boss DD-500 has a street price of about US $299. For more info, see the BOSS site.

19 thoughts on “BOSS DD-500, ‘The Most Powerful Digital Delay Pedal Ever Made’, Now Available

  1. I already praised this a bit when it was pre-announced. I started out ganging up pedals that ended up crying out for a noise gate by the end of many chains to offset that wall of surf noise. I enjoyed the hell out of it. I’m glad to live in a DAW now and leave the cord madness behind, but that’s how I learned the ropes. As with the KingKorg’s great vintage synth vault, this thing IS the history of delays. Admit it, you have a relative pile of Stuff™ you might not mind reducing with a specialist effect, if you’re not someone who prefers multi-effects you can stack. This delay sits neatly between single-purpose pedals and fancier devices that have a full software editor. I like it because it will give you the benefit of memory, but you’ll have to sweat over the nuts n’ bolts of each patch to make it do your particular bidding. I remember cussing over a snarled Echoplex tape (shades of early Mellotrons), so this thing is a hot rodder’s delight.

      1. Actually, it will allow you to sync the delay time to MIDI clock (usb or din, bonus) and set it in musical terms (quarter note or measure or whatever). So, if you set the Feedback to 100% you should basically have a clocked looper. No mention of max delay time in the manual but Sweetwater says 10 seconds.

        I don’t own the thing, just thinking out loud.

  2. @bjf sadly, I think no. That was one of the main gripes against it when it first came out. Basically makes it useless playing with other gear as a looper unless you have impeccable timing.

  3. @synthhead there other video is decidedly less U2ish. https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1&v=UEdvZwS09eY

    Also, for those interested, there are a bunch of actual audio demos on the site. The video here made me want to bash it but I have to admit after hearing the dedicated audio demoes that this thing sounds pretty amazing. Plus, you know, presets and MIDI clock sync and other modern niceties my old delays do not afford me.

    It’s very cool that it has It also looks to have a lot of control (including MIDI) without sacrificing the basic four to five knobs you need to control a delay. Do wish it had two for modulation (depth+rate) like the 80s units it emulates.

    Update: Just geeked out and read the manual. Bummer. Yes, you can control it via MIDI but all of the available control assignments mimic controls already on the hardware (all of which can be reassigned but damn). So you can assign a MIDI controller to “Pedal A” not whatever Pedal A is assigned to (or, better, *could* be assigned to). Would have been great to be able to address additional juicy bits from within the delay via external control. You can, for instance, assign Pedal C to do like 10 different things in addition to tap tempo but only one at a time. Why not let us a hook a cheap midi controller up to it and access any of those at any time instead of restricting MIDI control to the same constraints as the device?

    MIDI addressable items from the manual: http://cdn.roland.com/assets/media/pdf/DD-500_e01_W.pdf

    [A] switch
    [B] switch
    [TAP/CTL] switch
    EXP pedal
    CTL 1 switch
    CTL 2 Switch
    [FEEDBACK] knob
    [TONE] knob
    [E. LEVEL] knob
    [MOD DEPTH] knob
    [TIME/VALUE] knob

    Plus Looper controls:
    Delay on, Bypass
    Phrase loop
    Phrase Loop function
    Record, Overdub
    Loop playback
    Stop
    Clear

  4. I can’t fault the legitimate critiques; every product seems to have several maddening blind spots they could have fixed when it was still on a cocktail napkin. That respected, from my experience with many types of delays, this one’s pluses far outweigh its negatives. Its totally subjective, you’re the player, case closed. I just like the balance between its range and its invitation to experiment. Its the kind of box that ends up being a main fixture. No, they don’t give me anything for saying that. Boss gear just takes me to a happy place. Those pedals are what made my wheezy old SH-2 more worth playing.

    1. TOO … POWERFUL … HULK … SCARED!!!

      Seriously, though: those two demo videos are very good. The thing about effects pedals – and delays in particular, I think – is that you can talk about features and ‘vintage’ and sample rates and yadda yadda, but what it really comes down to is: can you sit down with the thing and get a good jam on? (And again, I think this is especially true with delays and loopers and such). Speaking as someone who has fond memories of Boss digital delays from my youth – this looks like it could be rather nice.

  5. So the “Pattern” mode is a dumb name for a 16 tap Multi-tap delay (you can set level, pan and offset for each tap). Sadly, looks like there is only one user slot for a custom pattern. If that means “you can set one per preset” that’d be kind of a big deal, particularly since you can run two delay presets at a time.

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