Boss IR-2 with footswitch

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Melvin24
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Boss IR-2 with footswitch

Post by Melvin24 » Sun Apr 14, 2024 8:01 pm

So I’m loving the IR-2 but have one issue I can’t figure out and was hoping someone on here could help.

I’m running the IR-2 into an amp, and was playing some Nirvana, and I can’t figure out how to switch from clean to distortion without holding down the pedal to bypass, which takes a few seconds. I’m running the IR-2 into the clean channel of the amp so bypassing the pedal gives me the clean tone but I can’t figure out a fast way to go from using a distorted tone on the IR-2 to bypassing it for a clean tone quickly. I guess examples would be songs like Smells Like Teen Spirit or In Bloom in terms of the clean/distorted dynamic.

I have a separate footswitch I plugged into the CH SEL input on the IR-2 but when I use the footswitch it just changes between red and green channels, and when I push the IR-2 pedal it doesn’t simply go from on, to bypass, to on with each click. The footswitch is a Blackstar one that came with the amp, so not a Boss FS5L or similar.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

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Dirk
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Re: Boss IR-2 with footswitch

Post by Dirk » Mon Apr 15, 2024 5:17 pm

You could put it in a loop of an LS-2 for example, and use that to bypass it.
That would require another pedal, but it gets the trick done.
Your best bet would be to invest in an FS5l though.

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bigtone23
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Re: Boss IR-2 with footswitch

Post by bigtone23 » Mon Apr 15, 2024 5:52 pm

I don't have my IR2 yet, it's arriving tomorrow, so I can't answer with direct experience. By this time Wednesday, I will have a full report...

However, I can relate some things I picked up reading the IR2 manual (to familiarize myself before it's arrival), how the IR2 is intended to be used, and also from past experience with Boss pedals.

Looking at the manual, when an external footswitch is connected, the pedal switch is now only controlling bypass, as you are fully aware. Any latching switch will have the same effect, so your Blackstar switch won't have any less performance vs a Boss FS5L. Once the switch mechanically toggles, it triggers the internal circuit, and the switching speed is up the circuit.

As to the multi function pedal switch: I used to have a Boss DD6, the pedal switch was double duty, with bypass and tap tempo modes. Quickly stepping on the pedal turned it on and off, but to tap, you had to hold the pedal down for a couple seconds, then tap your tempo, where it would return to play mode. The tap feature was a little wonky. If you found that your delays were off tempo, you had to hold down the pedal and try to correct the tap tempo. Sometimes, you might not hit the pedal right and turn it off, or send the tap off into the wrong universe. It was awkward. The Boss SD2 also has a pedal that has bypass and select functions when an external switch is not used. You choose how you want the bypass and mode choice sequence is controlled and a tap on the pedal scrolls through that sequence. It's not wonky at all. I replaced the DD6 with a Line 6 Echo Park, as it has a double duty pedal that taps and bypasses in a much more stable and functional way.

The primary intention of the IR2 is to be an amp/cab replacement, more so than a type of amp-in-a-box type dirt pedal. I don't know the details of the engineering, but it seems that Boss designed the pedal to easily and quickly switch back and forth from the presets and made bypass require a little intentional focus. This is just like using a traditional amp, when you play it, it's always on and you want quick and easy channel switching, but not an easy way to accidentally turn the amp off during a performance! This is opposite of the DD6, where it's focus is being a supplementary effects pedal, making sure you can turn it on and off easily at precise moments.

I ordered my IR2 to be an amp replacement when playing with headphones or direct into a PA or computer. I have other ways of doing this (the plug in amps and cabs on the computer, a Walrus ACS1 amp/cab sim, Mesa V Twin plugged into a TC Impulse and then a headphone amp...) all of which are much more complicated and/or less flexible as this single Boss pedal.

Again, I don't know the design and what compromises were made with the IR2, or exactly why bypass mode takes so long, but there are some workarounds.
1. Set the other preset for a clean tone, or something as neutral as possible for quicker clean/dirty switching.
2. Use a mechanical bypass loop pedal or switcher and put the IR2 in it. These are immediate in function. This is also nice for using the IR2 with two dirty settings and then the amp for clean.
3. This one stings... but use another pedal for your dirt. It's not that the IR2 can't be used like an effects pedal, but there are a lot of specific dirt pedals out there that do that better. I know you have this one in hand, but it's really best suited as an amp replacement. I kind of see it like using a coin as a screwdriver, it works, but not as well as the proper tool for the job.

Hope this helps. :)

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Gasgano
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Re: Boss IR-2 with footswitch

Post by Gasgano » Mon Apr 15, 2024 7:50 pm

Can't wait for the review on Wednesday haha.
"People who are late are usually in a better mood than the people waiting for them to show up."

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bigtone23
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Re: Boss IR-2 with footswitch

Post by bigtone23 » Mon Apr 15, 2024 8:49 pm

Gasgano wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2024 7:50 pm
Can't wait for the review on Wednesday haha.
Haha!
It won't be as long winded.
Probably along the lines of: I love it, works and sounds great, does just what I need it to do, and it does more stuff than I'll ever use.

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bigtone23
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Re: Boss IR-2 with footswitch

Post by bigtone23 » Wed Apr 17, 2024 8:30 am

So I got some hands on time with the IR2.
Here's how to get fast response from effect to bypass mode and then bypass to effect mode.
1. Use an external footswitch for red to green/channel toggling. Not only is this essential for quick bypass and engagement, but the footswich has to be a momentary/unlatched switch. The manual does have a typo referring to a latched switch for this feature. Nope. The switch has to be momentary. A latching switch does the usual requirement of a double tap to engage the channel/mode switch function.
2. Let's say your main dirt sound is on the green setting. Play in the green setting, when you want to turn it off, use the onboard IR2 pedal to bypass.
When you want to return to the IR2 preset, hit the external switch. It will immediately go to the last mode used before bypassing. In this case, it will come back to the green mode. If you bypassed in red mode, hitting the external switch will return to red mode. I found this sequence of operation works fast, just like a typical pedal.

perpetualgrimace
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Re: Boss IR-2 with footswitch

Post by perpetualgrimace » Wed May 15, 2024 6:37 pm

Thanks for this info, I grabbed the IR-2 yesterday and was really confused about why I had to double tap in order to change channels on it! It's wild that an external foot switch used to switch channels has to be set to momentary, but I can confirm that's how it is.

I have a Helix Effects that I've been using to change the channel on my real amp along with toggling various other effects with the tap of one switch. I was hoping to set up my IR-2 in the same way, but if the switch is set to momentary than the rest of the stuff I want toggled changes back as soon as I take my foot off the switch. I'm a front man and can't go back to tap dancing while singing. So since it doesn't work for my setup I'll be returning it and probably springing for the standard Tonex pedal instead (the Tonex One would be perfect, except it doesn't take an external foot switch at all).

Massive oversight by Boss. Pretty neat pedal otherwise.

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bigtone23
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Re: Boss IR-2 with footswitch

Post by bigtone23 » Sun May 19, 2024 3:34 am

perpetualgrimace wrote:
Wed May 15, 2024 6:37 pm
Thanks for this info, I grabbed the IR-2 yesterday and was really confused about why I had to double tap in order to change channels on it! It's wild that an external foot switch used to switch channels has to be set to momentary, but I can confirm that's how it is.

I have a Helix Effects that I've been using to change the channel on my real amp along with toggling various other effects with the tap of one switch. I was hoping to set up my IR-2 in the same way, but if the switch is set to momentary than the rest of the stuff I want toggled changes back as soon as I take my foot off the switch. I'm a front man and can't go back to tap dancing while singing. So since it doesn't work for my setup I'll be returning it and probably springing for the standard Tonex pedal instead (the Tonex One would be perfect, except it doesn't take an external foot switch at all).

Massive oversight by Boss. Pretty neat pedal otherwise.
Yeah, it can be maddening making it all work together.
Lots of 20th Century amps use latching switches for functions. Lots of 21st Century amps use momentary or resistance switches for the same functions.
Same with pedals: 20th Century Boss pedals use a latching switch for modes (like the SD2 or anything 'Turbo'), but momentary for tap tempo. 21st Century Boss see a lot more momentary switches in use.

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