What is MDP Technology?

BOSS Pedals with MDP technology

Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Heard

BOSS recently launched three new pedals that utilize a new pedal technology known as MDP, which stands for Multi-Dimensional Processing. These pedals make fresh sounds that cannot be produced without MDP (more about them below), but the big question is: What is MDP? Contributed by Roland US Team

MDP Technology Explained…

MDP is a technology that looks at the incoming signal and separates it into several different parts or “dimensions.” It analyzes various components of these parts, such as the frequencies and dynamics of the part (dimension) and applies the optimal effect to each part independently, treating each dimension almost as a separate input. In a way, it’s like having a polyphonic effect. As an example, if MDP separated the signal into, let’s say, six different pieces, the MDP-based processor could apply six effects at the same time.  It’s almost like having six pedals at once, one for each dimension. This technology can be used in some interesting ways, and the three pedals that have it so far each use it to produce very different results.

DA-2 Adaptive Distortion

BOSS DA-2 Adaptive Distortion with MDP Technology

BOSS DA-2 Adaptive Distortion with MDP Technology

Not Your Typical Distortion Pedal… 

With typical distortion pedals, the sound can vary drastically depending on what and where on the neck you’re playing. If you dial in a sound that works when you play heavy chunky rhythms, and then go up the neck for some soaring single note leads, you’ll notice the sound you dialed in for the rhythm crunch may not be right for the solo. Try this next time with a standard distortion pedal to see what we mean. However, because of its advanced MDP technology, a DA-2 knows what you’re playing and how you’re playing it, and can then adapt (hence the name Adaptive Distortion) its sound to be the optimal tone for both the heavy low-end chunk and the high ripping solo-without changing the knob settings. The other thing you’ll notice is a clarity to the sound. Even though it’s a distortion with plenty of gain and sustain, there isn’t the typical inter-modulation that muddies up your chords. Even with complex “out” chords, you’ll hear each note clearly.

MO-2 Multi Overtone

mo-2 multi overtone with mdp technology

BOSS MO-2 Multi Overtone with MDP Technology

Sounds You Never Thought You Had…

As its name suggests, the MO-2 generates overtones both above and below the notes you are playing, and the controls let you determine the range and content of these overtones. It uses MDP to be able to do this polyphonically, as opposed to only with single notes, as other types of non-MDP processors do. This means you can play a chord, and the MO-2 will know what overtones to produce for all the notes in the chord. You can even de-tune the overtones, which give the pedal an almost organ-like sound. It’s a little hard to describe the sound of the MO-2, but it’s really easy to hear what MDP does when you use it.

TE-2 Tera Echo

BOSS TE-2 Tera Echo with mdp technology

BOSS TE-2 Tera Echo with MDP Technology

Control Sound by How Hard You Play…

The TE-2 has the distinction of being the 100th BOSS compact pedal and as such, BOSS wanted it to be very iconic and unique. Like the MO-2, it’s a little hard to describe what the TE-2 does. There are elements in it that resemble tape echo, along with a kind of reverb-like ambience. But there is also a very dynamic element in its sound that is controlled by how hard you play and some of the control settings. Depending on your settings, you can create a kind of arpeggiated filter sweep with harmonic elements within the textured echo sounds. Once again MDP comes into play by analyzing your playing and applying effects to the sound based on what you play. It is also possible to capture and “freeze” the sound of the TE-2 simply by holding the pedal down, and even use its effects while playing over the captured sound. This can create some very rich and complex sounds, almost keyboard-like in their content. What else can BOSS do with MDP? If the past is any indication of the future, we know that BOSS engineers never stop innovating. I, for one, am looking forward to what comes next.

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Created by Roland V-Drums specialist Simon Ayton, these patches were designed using the internal factory sounds and many of the techniques covered in the TD-50 guide. Enjoy exploring the possibilities!