Boss created the “first” of a variety of effects, and was certainly the first to offer many types in compact boxes. However, one such pedal is a stone-cold all-time classic despite never being offered in Boss’s trademark compact enclosure. That pedal is the CE-1 Chorus Ensemble.
The period in question is the so-called “lawsuit era,” circa ‘77–’88, and it was fueled by a slice of Japan’s technology sector with a rugged determinism to enter the musical instrument market at a lower price point than its immediate competitors.
Though the contents of the cabinet are filled with pedals of every sort, we have a surprising lack of vintage fuzz. There are a few, sure, and we’ll definitely get to those, but we need to talk about a fuzz pedal of a different kind first.
With real synthesizer controls, the Micro Synthesizer lived up to its name and then some. Players were given full, expansive control over every parameter of the filter sweep and other synth fixings, including triggering parameters and some rudimentary ADSR functions.
There are some boxes in the depths of the cabinet that are tiny slivers in the effects timeline; among the certified classics, there are the pedals nobody remembers but should, or other pieces you may have never known.
46 years ago, Keith Barr and Terry Sherwood incorporated MXR and released five pedals that would go on to define a legacy brand. Just ten short years later, MXR folded and Keith Barr founded Alesis in the same year, 1984.