With people wanting to control more of their sound through their pedals it has lead to an epidemic of tap dancing on pedals. Although a fine jig can look great on stage while changing sounds it would be much easier if you could control all of your pedals with a single switcher. That is what makes the ES8 from Boss such a handy tool.
8 Different Pedal Loops
With the ES8 you have eight different pedal loops which you can plug any of your pedals into and then control later on through the ES8. So if you want to go from a clean channel with compression and reverb and change to your amps lead channel with an EQ pedal, reverb, delay and boost pedals, it only takes on switch press rather than five or more.
These loops can be programmed to be in any order so if you suddenly decide that you want the reverb to change from being in front of your drive to after it is really simple to do without having to unplug anything. This gives you ultimate creativity in optimizing your pedalboard layout without ever having to physically move your pedals.
Manual or Preset Mode
With these different modes you can control your pedalboard however you need it. In manual mode you can turn off each of the 8 loops as you want meaning that even if you don't have your pedals accessible on your board you can still control each of your 8 loops on the fly. In preset mode you can instead switch between 8 different programmed presets for each bank. There are enough presets for a long gigs worth of sounds but when you want to work out your sound the manual mode gives you that extra control
Amp and Midi Control
Controlling your pedals is all well and good but what if you have MIDI capable gear or need to switch channels on your amp? Well it can handle those fine as well. If your amp supports MIDI or 1/4" Jack channel switching you can plug the ES8 into your amplifier to control that as well as being able to control a bunch of external rackmount MIDI gear as well.