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  • Katana amps without devices?

    I’ve heard a lot about the Boss Katana amplifiers. They seem nice, but it also seems like you have to have a computer or a device connected in order to access the different models and parameters. Can anyone shed light on this aspect of the Katana amps?
    La plouc

  • #2
    Yes, you connect via usb and use the Boss Tone Studio to edit the signal (like the GT processors). You can do a some from the panel, but from what I understand you need the software to get to a lot of the features.

    FWIW, I don't have a Katana, but I do have a GT-1000 and used a GT-100 before that. While you can edit pretty much everything on those through the panel, it is much easier to use the software.

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    • #3
      I think it’s the same as my Fender Mustang, meaning there’s software that allows for deeper editing, like changing the order of effects, but it’s fine as a standalone unit.
      "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TMD View Post
        I’ve heard a lot about the Boss Katana amplifiers. They seem nice, but it also seems like you have to have a computer or a device connected in order to access the different models and parameters. Can anyone shed light on this aspect of the Katana amps?
        If you already have an amp with an FX loop, you can get all the Katana sounds with a Gt-one. I had a katana head for a bit, the power soak doesnt do anything except change the sweep of the volume knob. Its a good amp but I already had a gt-hundred so I got rid of it. Didnt bring anything to the table for me.

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        • #5
          I have a Katana 50. You can do without the software, depending of your needs. There's a lot of people using it as a clean pedal platform with a pedalboard.
          If you want to use only the 5 channels with a bit of reverb and a little OD than you don't need a computer. More effects and deeper editing you need a computer.
          I'm using Katana Librarian on an Android tablet (with OTG cable) and find it way more intuitive than a computer with a mouse. Also more portable and it's sitting on the top of my amp.
          Last edited by donaldr; 01-27-2021, 05:55 AM.

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          • #6
            You can access most of the stuff without a computer or anything, but if you want to really get the most out of it you will need to plug it in and edit your patches with the software yes.

            If you do that, you get access to a 10-band EQ on every patch which lets you really dial in your tones and make them shine. That plus you can deep-edit the effects pedals, like you can tweak every knob on the metal zone model for example. I love my Katana and Waza-Air but they really shine with that extra EQ. FWIW you can save these patches to the amp itself and access them at a gig without needing it to be connected

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            • #7
              a buddy of mine has one and i dont even think he owns a computer. barely knows how to use his phone it works just fine out of the box

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              • #8
                I have a Katana 50. It's the first modeling amp I've ever owned. It's already got so many choices for voicing and effects I see no need to hook it up to the internet and see what else it can do. It will take me years to explore all the possibilities the amp provides now.

                Most players eventually settle on about 3 sounds for most playing. Why go that far afield, when good sounds are at one's fingertips?

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                • #9
                  Depends on how far you want to go with it. I have a Boss Katana 50, and I absolutely love being able to plug in my computer, fire up Tone Studio, and tinker with almost any aspect of my sound. However, you can also do a lot just with the knobs on the panel.

                  I've found that in the world of Tone Studio, preexisting patches made by other people are almost never useful to me out of the box. They help me figure out a tone, but they aren't plug and play. For me, as a guy who plays a fair bit of metal, being able to access the equalizer, boost, and compression options via Tone Studio has made a world of difference in helping me sculpt a decent metal tone. But YMMV. Anyhow it's a great amp, is what I'm saying, ridiculously good value for the price tag.

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                  • #10
                    I think the great thing about the Katana is that it works on a few levels. It is as deep as you wanna go, really. I think as we see more modeling amps enter the picture, they will need the ability to work on a few different levels. I have a Tone Master Deluxe Reverb, which is a modeling amp, but all you get are the same knobs on a regular Deluxe. No menus at all.
                    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                    • #11
                      I just bought one, tried it out for the first time today, impressed with the clean sounds, and the features, I'll probably just use it as a practice amp with pedals.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mincer View Post
                        I think the great thing about the Katana is that it works on a few levels. It is as deep as you wanna go, really. I think as we see more modeling amps enter the picture, they will need the ability to work on a few different levels. I have a Tone Master Deluxe Reverb, which is a modeling amp, but all you get are the same knobs on a regular Deluxe. No menus at all.
                        Different beast to different target customers. Your TMDR was designed to replace your tube amp, and I think Fender done it right with weight reduction and all the modern features added. If I had a pedalboard it's the way I would had go.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TMD View Post
                          I’ve heard a lot about the Boss Katana amplifiers. They seem nice, but it also seems like you have to have a computer or a device connected in order to access the different models and parameters. Can anyone shed light on this aspect of the Katana amps?
                          So, yeah. You don't need to hook it up to a computer necessarily. I do not. I plug into it, sometimes put a tube screamer in front.

                          I'll be honest. I hate this thing. I've had it for a while now, I have the 50 watt model. It sounds great, don't get me wrong. Better than my Line 6 HD500x sounded. But I do not find it easy to use and that was supposed to be the point. It was marketed as a modeler that you could plug in and play without fiddling. But it's not. I find the computer program very outdated and confusing. The biggest problem for me is that the controls on the amp just aren't intuitive. I have no idea after all this time how to actually turn on and off the effects or adjust them. I truly just screw around with knobs until I can go "Ok so delay is on and sounds decent. Reverb is on. I think boost is on?" And at that point Im like **** it, I'm getting a decent sound I'll just play.

                          Another terrible thing for me is that I'll switch to say the clean amp, but when you do that, they have all the knob settings saved from a default setup... It's hard for my dumb ass to explain, but it's like you go to adjust your mids, and OH turns out the knob wasn't really indicating where the mids REALLY were, so NO Jim, you can't just turn your mids up a little.

                          It's frustrating to me trying to use this thing. It's like they said "modelers are too complicated let's just put everything on some knobs and make it simple" ... But turns out that the **** is still JUST as complicated except now you have the added difficulty of doing it all with knobs!

                          I still use my Katana to this day. And I should probably spend time learning it better. I currently use it only for higher gain stuff when I want to play metal, which is not very often. It sounds great and I have it set up in a way where I don't touch the knobs ever. I have a Blackstar HT combo that is my real workhorse.
                          "On another day of the week I might have a 24th fret but this is a grown ups guitar" - Guthrie Govan

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jimzucco View Post

                            So, yeah. You don't need to hook it up to a computer necessarily. I do not. I plug into it, sometimes put a tube screamer in front.

                            I'll be honest. I hate this thing. I've had it for a while now, I have the 50 watt model. It sounds great, don't get me wrong. Better than my Line 6 HD500x sounded. But I do not find it easy to use and that was supposed to be the point. It was marketed as a modeler that you could plug in and play without fiddling. But it's not. I find the computer program very outdated and confusing. The biggest problem for me is that the controls on the amp just aren't intuitive. I have no idea after all this time how to actually turn on and off the effects or adjust them. I truly just screw around with knobs until I can go "Ok so delay is on and sounds decent. Reverb is on. I think boost is on?" And at that point Im like **** it, I'm getting a decent sound I'll just play.

                            Another terrible thing for me is that I'll switch to say the clean amp, but when you do that, they have all the knob settings saved from a default setup... It's hard for my dumb ass to explain, but it's like you go to adjust your mids, and OH turns out the knob wasn't really indicating where the mids REALLY were, so NO Jim, you can't just turn your mids up a little.

                            It's frustrating to me trying to use this thing. It's like they said "modelers are too complicated let's just put everything on some knobs and make it simple" ... But turns out that the **** is still JUST as complicated except now you have the added difficulty of doing it all with knobs!

                            I still use my Katana to this day. And I should probably spend time learning it better. I currently use it only for higher gain stuff when I want to play metal, which is not very often. It sounds great and I have it set up in a way where I don't touch the knobs ever. I have a Blackstar HT combo that is my real workhorse.
                            What you describe is common for most preset-based modeling amps. You have to use your ears, not your eyes to dial them in. If you need more mids, just turn the mid knob- it doesn't matter where it is, you just stop turning until you like the sound...then save. As son as you move it just a little, the sound jumps to the new knob position. If that is too much or too little, keep going or back up until you like the sound and then save it. It really isn't a flaw in the Boss design as most every preset-based modeling amp is like that, from the Fender Mustangs to the Line 6 Vetta.

                            Well, I think that is why they made the Tone Master Fenders. Regular amp knobs that are where you left them. No presets. the Tech 21 Trademark amps were like that, too.
                            Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mincer View Post

                              What you describe is common for most preset-based modeling amps. You have to use your ears, not your eyes to dial them in. If you need more mids, just turn the mid knob- it doesn't matter where it is, you just stop turning until you like the sound...then save. As son as you move it just a little, the sound jumps to the new knob position. If that is too much or too little, keep going or back up until you like the sound and then save it. It really isn't a flaw in the Boss design as most every preset-based modeling amp is like that, from the Fender Mustangs to the Line 6 Vetta.

                              Well, I think that is why they made the Tone Master Fenders. Regular amp knobs that are where you left them. No presets. the Tech 21 Trademark amps were like that, too.
                              I came to share basically this. My stage rig for bass guitar has these same kinds of knobs, and I have two modeling amps for guitar that function like this too. Obviously I'm biased but I do think that this style of knob has helped me dial in tones better. Reason being, I have to listen first and identify what I want to change about the tone, and then make the change. If the gain or the mids or whatnot drastically change because the internal saved setting was different, then its up to my ears to sculpt the tone. So it's been good for me in that respect. But I get it, especially in a jam type situation, sometimes you just want to bump the mids or reduce the bass without the guesswork (and without the silence needed to focus on the sound long enough to make those decisions... why won't musicians ever stop noodling? )

                              My experience is the same as a poster above in that while I have plugged these modelers into their software, I just really don't get off from having minute controls. I much prefer these days to get "pretty close" and then just play rather than scroll through menus and compare this-and-that.

                              Another bonus of this type of preset-saving-knob is that when your kids mess with your precious settings, you can easily recall them - unless they find the SAVE button!
                              Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                              Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face
                              http://www.youtube.com/alexiansounds

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