The new BOSS GA FC EX Expression Pedal and footswitch is a brand new perspective for Katana users! Today we take a look at all of the new features that make this footswitch essential for Katana fans.
The BOSS GA FC EX: Lots Of Letters, Lots Of Features!
If this is your first time reading an Electrikjam article, then let me go ahead and tell you how much we adore the BOSS Katana. Every member of our staff owns one, and I use mine every day for students and professional studio work. We ALL love the Katana for different reasons!
There are entire internet forums dedicated to the Katana where people share patches and tones they they create with Tone Studio. I have also personally seen a surge of Katana use with local bands, and even a few big studios are using these awesome amps.
Just recently, the Boss Tone Studio received a big Katana Update with the V2 software. BOSS listened to the public, and gave us some new features to play with when we are dialing in tones. The next thing consumers focused on, was controlling the new features. Especially the new whammy-style effect.
The problem with the original BOSS GA FC is that there is only one single expression pedal input, and volume input. This was fine for Katana users who used it for Wah effects. But now we suddenly have more than one effect that can be assigned to the expression pedal. You can see the problem, here.
There is also the problem of controlling some of the other effects from the original footswitch. Of course you could always buy the BOSS two button footswitch and chain them together if you wanted, but that can get complicated, really fast. Why not have one module that does it all?
The new BOSS GA FC EX not only relabels the footswitch for a more accurate representation of how it works (without the sticker that came with your MKII Katana), but it also solves the expression pedal dilemma. There is a lot of potential when it comes to control with the new BOSS GA FC EX.
So let’s dive into the BOSS GA FC EX, and check out all of the new features compared to the older model!
BOSS GA FC EX: Features And Specs
It was about time for the Katana to get its “own” footswitch. The original GA FC was meant to be used with several other BOSS/Roland products, and was sort of shoehorned in to work with the Katana series. I honestly think that BOSS had no idea how big the Katana was going to be when it came to popularity. Now BOSS is playing catch-up.
So with the popularity of the Katana MKII models, it was definitely time for an overhaul. Now you can still use the BOSS GA FC EX with other devices, but this time it was designed more with the Katana MKII as a priority. I am sure that BOSS had this all planned for 2022, and the new V2 software along with the footswitch is no coincidence.
BOSS GA FC EX: Features
- Works with all Katana MKII models, and Artist MKII (Minus the 50 watt version, of course)
- Same rugged metal chassis construction
- Retains the 4 channel option from the original
- Two color LED indicators (One for channel, one for effects)
- 2 dedicated Expression Pedal Inputs
- Three way mode selector for the third input
- Third Input for another Expression pedal or FA FC EX LINK (Links to a regular GA FC)
- FOOT CONTROL TWO mode for controlling to separate amps
- Includes a TRS cable
While the new BOSS GA FC EX can be used with many other BOSS/Roland amps, this was designed specifically for the hardcore Katana user. I always felt that the original GA FC controller was just “okay” when it came to versatility. But now, we have all of the control we could want!
The new BOSS GA FC EX was clearly designed for the people that want the Katana to be the “brains” of their entire rig. The Katana has the functionality available to be an “all in one” solution for most users, but was always held back by the footswitch. Finally, we have all of the tools we need to fully control the Katana.
If you want to keep your hands on your axe at all times, the GA-FC foot controller lets you drive the GA-212 or GA-112 from the floor. It also allows expansion. Plug in up to two optional Expression pedals* for volume and drive control, and link to additional stacked amps with the Link In/Out port.
BOSS GA FC EX: Explaining The New Features
The obvious new addition is the ability to use more expression pedals. The original GA FC gave us two, technically. We had one dedicated for volume only, and another for assigned effects. This worked fine until the V2 update of Tone Studio, since we have more assignable options now for the expression pedal.
Stereo expand has always been a feature unique to the Katana. You can hook up two Katana amps, and one acts as the driver, while the other acts as an additional speaker. The first Katana controls the sound of both amps. So the “Expand” function is nothing new, except now it is!
The three way switch allows you to control how the third input functions. This third input could easily be just another expression pedal if you want. If it sounds a little silly to have three expression pedals, it actually isn’t at all. Let me explain:
One can act as a volume pedal, one can be your Wah pedal, and the third input can be a control for one of the new features from the Katana V2 software. That third input could be assigned to your whammy/pitch bend feature if you want. This would allow you to immediately down-tune or dive the pitch up and down as you wish.
The third input can also link two GA FC units together, giving you a ton of footswitch options! This also works with the Expand feature if you plan on running two amps stereo. You can use just a single pedal for the driver, or control both at once! This opens up a wealth of possibilities for people who own more than one Katana unit.
The EXPAND function has changed. If you run your Katana in stereo, then you are used to the footswitch only controlling the “master” amp. The BOSS GA FC EX can now be ran with two cables to two amps. This can control each amp independently, instead of using stereo expand to connect the amps.
You can also use the BOSS GA FC EX LINK feature. This combines two GA FC controls together, meaning you can access all 8 memory banks without doing much footwork. This also gives you the option of having a tap tempo for dual delays, if you have created patches with two delays set up!
We also finally get dual colored LED lights. The BOSS GA FC EX has two colors now, so there is no confusion as to what you are controlling. If you are controlling the channels, it will be the standard red color we all know. But that changes if you switch to controlling the EFFECTS only section, which turns the LED green!
I’m almost positive that there are more options when it comes to features. However, BOSS has not officially released the GA FC EX to the public yet. So I have not had the chance to really deep dive into the features. In fact, BOSS has not been very helpful explaining how this even works yet!
I think it is safe to say that a full review will be coming when we get the opportunity to play around with one. There may be new assignable functions in Tone Studio that we have yet to discover. I guess we will see when I get mine in a few weeks.
BOSS GA FC EX: Wrapping Up
It was time for BOSS to finally give us a full-on, dedicated Katana footswitch. I think the company has seen the devoted Katana fanbase over the last couple of years grow to an almost cult-like status. The Katana is popular for a reason, and some of us use it all the time.
The new BOSS GA FC EX is going to make people that gig with the Katana have a much easier time on stage. The different colored LED lights will definitely help me when I accidently hit channel instead of effects! Beyond that, I have several dual delay patches that need controlling.
I have seen many people on forums gigging the Katana, so your lives just got easier. The same goes for anyone running their setup in stereo. Sure, you can continue to run the regular stereo expand feature. But you can also use the GA FC EX to control two amps independently now. The ability to have more than one expression pedal also solves some on-stage issues.
As of today, the price has been reduced by BOSS at all major retailers for the original GA FC. So if you have always wanted one, now is the time to grab one up! I recently paid full price for mine, so I am kicking myself for not waiting.
BOSS definitely knows its customers. We have all said that the original GA FC is not as good as it could be, and the Katana should have a dedicated footswitch. BOSS has addressed the issue, and actually given Katana users even more options than we could’ve imagined! I look forward to seeing what BOSS throws at us next!
The BOSS GA FC EX is currently on pre-order status with some dealers, but will be available everywhere within the next month. We will update this page with a link to the best deal when it ships in the coming weeks!
For pro expression control in a compact package, there’s no better choice than the BOSS EV-30. Its small footprint is perfectly suited for cramped pedalboards, while the die-cast aluminum chassis offers a rock-solid foundation and BOSS’s famous rugged reliability.
A key feature of the EV-30 is an innovative internal mechanism that provides ultra-smooth feel and precise parameter control, delivering performance that rivals full-size pedals.
What is The BOSS GA FC EX?
This is an updated GA FC footswitch aimed more at the BOSS Katana MKII amp users. The new footswitch allows you to control more than one expression pedal at a time, as well as control two Katana amps with one footswitch.
When can I buy The BOSS GA FC EX?
The release date for the BOSS GA FC EX footswitch is late September to early October. Boss has said that the shipping dates should start by mid-September.
Can I use my original GA FC with the new GA FC EX footswitch?
Yes. You can chain the two together to access all 8 of your presets. You can also chain the two together to control more than one Katana MKII amp at one time.
How much is the BOSS GA FC EX cost?
The Current MSRP from BOSS is $149.99. The original GA FC footswitch has dropped in price to only $99.