BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software: A Brand New AMAZING Update!

By Christoper Horton •  Updated: 07/14/22 •  15 min read

The BOSS katana MKII V2 Software just dropped yesterday, and it has a LOT to offer Katana Owners! Today we take a look at all of the new features and show you how to use them!


BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software: A BIG Surprise For Katana Users!

We talk a lot about the Katana here, because we absolutely love our Katanas in the ElectrikJam studio. I know that I personally use mine every single day. I use mine for recording, practice, and even when I am giving/receiving lessons. I use the BOSS Katana 100 constantly, and I wonder how I ever lived without it. Just last week, I listed the the main reasons I love my Katana, and most of you seemed to agree.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up today to the BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software update! I had thought that the MKII Katana series had “seen its best days” already. By that, I mean that the BOSS Katana MKII has already seen all of the updates and additions, and that anything new from BOSS would be a whole new Katana Series. I thought BOSS was done with updates, since we already have so many options. An amp that is this cheap has no business being so great!

In our last article about the Katana, we talked about the “lesser known” features that I use often. That article had a lot of readers seeing the true power of the Katana for the first time! We have also taken a look at things like the “Sneaky Amps“, that make the Katana so interesting. I guess what I am saying, is that the Katana has already surprised users time and time again. The Katana is already an amazing product right out of the box, though. You don’t even need Tone Studio to have an amazing, budget amp.

But the BOSS Katana MKII Software for Tone Studio that was just released has taken all of the things that I love, and made them even more accessible. But on top of that, we also get new effects, new FX chains, and some recording options that take the Katana to the next level. BOSS really hasn’t made a big deal about the new update, but I promise you…it is a very big deal. And the update is totally FREE.

That being said, this BOSS Katana MKII V2 software update is going to appeal to the real gear-heads that use the Katana as their primary amp. Sure, casual users should also go ahead and update their Katana if only for the new pedal that you get. But those of us that use the Katana to its full potential are in for a real treat!

Let’s dive in, and take a look at what this update does!

Our #1!
BOSS Katana-100 MkII 100W 1x12 Guitar Combo Amp
$399.99

The BOSS Katana MKII 100 watt combo amp is a stage ready beast! You get 8 preset slots for different tones, as well as a dedicated FX loop for all of your pedal needs. The built in attenuator allows you to play quietly at home, or full stage volume with the turn of a knob. Get our #1 pick for any guitarist!

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BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software: Make Sure You Update!

Boss Katana MKII V2 Software

The BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software update has a lot of stuff to unpack, so we are going to look at each feature in depth. There is a ton of new options for recording that need to be addressed, for sure. We are going to try and describe how you can use each feature to the maximum potential. But to do that, you need to make sure your Katana amp is up to date!

Right out of the box, the BOSS Katana MKII amps need to be updated to the newest firmware. This isn’t some big operation though, and I found that it was pretty easy to do. The BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software update only works with the MKII Series, not the original Katana. So if you have the original Katana, this update will not work at all for you. I know it sounds silly, but just a precaution, make sure you have an MKII before updating software.

You also want to make sure your amp and drivers are up to date. If you already have Tone Studio, it should do this for you (I think). If you are new to using Tone Studio, go to the Update Page and download the file for your model and OS. These are different for the 50 watt, and 100 watt. This is where the only tricky part comes in, but I had no problem with it at all, and I am not great with technology. This may seem complicated, but it is very easy.


BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software: What’s New?

BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software

Now it’s time to get to the good stuff! You need to download the new files for the BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software. I have marked them above with a star. Get the right one for your operating system, and go ahead and update. Upon first glance, it may seem like the regular old Tone Studio. But there are some new features lurking around, and today we are going over each one in detail!


BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software: Let’s Explore!

Boss Katana MKII V2 Software

The BOSS Katana MKII V2 software update adds a TON of what I call “quality of life” upgrades when it comes to setting up the Katana. These new features make the Katana much easier to gig with, and record with. You will see why as we go over each new feature individually. But I want you to know that these new features might add a lot, but the Katana is still one of the most simple “all in one” amps. These new features retain the simple vibe that Tone Studio has always had. Let’s dig in:

3 Global EQ Presets: This is by far the most exciting part of the BOSS katana MKII V2 Software to me. In my One year Katana Review I talked a lot about how important the Global EQ settings were, and how underutilized this feature was. I have several Global EQ settings written down on a piece of paper for when I record. Now you can program 3 Global EQ Settings and save them in Tone Studio!

Having 3 Global EQ Settings already programmed is going to make my recording life much easier. I change the Global EQ depending on a variety of factors: the guitar, pickups, gain setting, number of strings, and pickup position. The Global EQ is a powerful effect that can change your whole sound, and now you can save three in Tone Studio and recall them for any patch. It has the Red, Green, and yellow setting buttons on the main Tone Studio page. See Starred Section Below:

Boss Katana MKII V2 Software

Contour Control: This is right underneath the Global EQ button, and it adds yet another way to reshape your tone. Try moving the Contour knob on some of your old patches that you have created! I think you will be surprised with the different sounds that you get just from changing the Contour around. Like I said before, BOSS has added a lot of new stuff, but kept the User Interface simple.

The Contour Control has a few different settings starting with “type”. This can be a mid-scoop, or a treble boost amongst all kinds of other sounds. There is also a “Frequency Shift” that can control which part of your EQ that is being “Contoured”. I played around with this for a while on my high gain patches, and got some pretty interesting results. try out the Contour Control on some of your favorite patches. You will be surprised, I promise!

Solo Boost: Now this is not a new feature exactly, but now the Solo Boost has its own EQ section. You can also choose whether the Solo Boost is “Amp In/ Amp Out” and this will change the way the amp reacts to your guitar. The Solo Boost was always a cool feature, but now you have control over it. For example, if have one guitar with active pickups and it is louder than your other guitar at a gig, use the Solo Boost to compensate for the active pickup volume change on stage with a push of a button!

Of course, you can still use the Solo Boost in a “classic” way. You can have the Solo Boost set to not only be louder now, but also boost certain frequencies! You can totally change the frequencies now. I would program the Solo Boost to have a huge midrange spike for solos, so that way you are not only louder at a gig, but you will also cut through the mix better! You can also “muddy” up the tone to get that buttery smooth solo tone, like Slash or Santana. There’s so much potential here!

New Effects: The Solo EQ is counted as a new effect technically, but there are two new pedal effects in the BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software that are awesome! The first is a Pedal Bend, which allows you to use an expression pedal to change the pitch of the guitar. Now I don’t use an expression pedal with my Katana, so I cannot test this feature. But it should act like a controllable pitch bend, think of it like a Digitech Whammy pedal. It does that Dime Pantera effect, basically. Gojira are also famous for using this effect in “Stranded”.

The Pedal Bend effect is fully controllable in the Tone Studio app, and it can go up an octave, or down an octave. I could try it out by moving the mouse over the controls, but there is no replacement for an actual pedal. Going down and up both seem to track really well, meaning they follow the notes perfectly. It doesn’t sound “overly digital”, if you were thinking that. It sounds a LOT like the Whammy, and that’s a good thing.

But the more exciting pedal that we get is the CENTA OD, which is based on the famously expensive KLON Centaur pedal. Now the KLON is out of most of our budgets by far, since these pedals go for thousands of dollars! John Mayer is famous for using this pedal, and it is a VERY versatile overdrive. It can be tame, or it can go all out Marshall crunch if you want. You should definitely try this pedal on the clean channel!

FX Chain Changes: The BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software update also expands your options for how your virtual FX Chain works. You can now have a MOD in front of the amp, as well as a FX block if you want. This means that you can throw a compressor in front of the amp, or a delay if you want! The expanded FX Chain options is something that could easily be overlooked. But if you do deep dives like me into the Katana, this just opens more doors to tones.

The last new feature that comes with the BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software update deserves its own section, in my opinion. This last feature is an absolute game changer for people that record at home with the Katana. This is a feature that I didn’t know I needed, but after spending the last few hours playing with it, I NEED this feature. That’s right, we finally get IR options on the Katana!

Our #1!
BOSS Katana-100 MkII 100W 1x12 Guitar Combo Amp
$399.99

The BOSS Katana MKII 100 watt combo amp is a stage ready beast! You get 8 preset slots for different tones, as well as a dedicated FX loop for all of your pedal needs. The built in attenuator allows you to play quietly at home, or full stage volume with the turn of a knob. Get our #1 pick for any guitarist!

BUY NOW

BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software: Output Options

Boss Katana MKII V2 Software Output

This is by far the most exciting feature in the BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software update, because it can make huge differences in your recording tones. Before you get too excited, you cannot upload your own IR to the Katana. While this may seem like a little bit of a bummer, the options that BOSS gives you have a lot of potential. You get:

Cab resonance Is still an option, by the way. That feature was not removed to make room for the new IR features. So you can mix and match the Cab Resonance if you want, along with the IR options! This gives you a ton of speaker output options for recording.

Starting with the microphones, you get five different options. The main one that caught my eye was the SM57, which is exactly what I use when recording my amp live. But you also get a an 87, and two other great “classic” mic options. The final choice at the bottom of the drop-down menu is a ribbon mic. All of these have a different flavor, and can change your recording tone so vastly! Each one has a personality of its own, and you should try each one out!

If you have no experience recording with a mic in front of the amp, I am here to help you! By most rules, the Dynamic Mics like the 57, and 421 are more midrange focused. Just like in real life, these are bright microphones that capture the upper end of your tone. The Condenser Mic options are a little more flat in EQ, and more compressed. The Ribbon Mic option is going to be a little more muffled, or “flat” sounding. Ribbon mics sound good on clean tones to me in real life, and it is the same with the Katana.

Then you have the Mic Distance setting, which is set to centimeters and represents how close the mic is to the cone of the speaker. The further away you have the mic, the more you have a “room sound” and this can have a huge effect on your delay and reverb settings. I found that a close distance is where I really like it, about 3cm seems to be MY sweet spot. But playing around with the other mic distances changed my tone pretty drastically.

There is also a Mic Position is relative to where the mic is positioned on the speaker cone’s center of the virtual speaker. this can have a lot of impact on your sound as well. This can contour your guitar’s EQ a little. I found that the closer settings work best for high gain, and a little further away from the center of the cone works better for cleans. The further from the center you get, the more bass you get as a rule of thumb. I found about 3cm works for most of my tones, just like in real life applications!


BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software: Wrapping Up…

This came as a big surprise to me, since I thought that BOSS was done with the MKII series. I did not expect an update of any sort, since you already have so many options with the Katana. I use mine to record all the time, and things like the IR feature will change my workflow entirely! I can’t wait to really tweak these new settings, and add them to my album that I am working on.

Does this compete with the Helix when it comes to configuring IR options and dialing in a tone? I don’t think so. But those are two different things. The Katana is not a full modeling suite, and the Helix is not a solid state amp. They are completely different in approach. That being said, the Katana is closer than ever to having those kind of options with the BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software. This is a game changer!

The new pedals are a great addition, and add a couple of effects that we were missing. Although I use the Blues Driver on most clean patches to get that KLON-like tone. But having it at my disposal as a Blues Driver counterpart is great! I can’t wait to really dial in the the new pedals, and create some great tones. I suppose I need an expression pedal now to play with the Pedal Bend feature.

The biggest upgrade here is the new Global EQ options. In my One Year Review, I talked about how important that Global EQ really is, and how to use it effectively. Being able to program 3 different EQ settings to easily scroll through is OUTSTANDING. Everyone that commented on my last Katana article agreed that the Global EQ was super important, and I agree.

So don’t waste any time! Go download your BOSS Katana MKII V2 Software today and start creating some amazing tones!

Our #1!
BOSS Katana-100 MkII 100W 1x12 Guitar Combo Amp
$399.99

The BOSS Katana MKII 100 watt combo amp is a stage ready beast! You get 8 preset slots for different tones, as well as a dedicated FX loop for all of your pedal needs. The built in attenuator allows you to play quietly at home, or full stage volume with the turn of a knob. Get our #1 pick for any guitarist!

BUY NOW

Christoper Horton

Christopher has been playing guitar and piano for 27 years. He has been active in the professional music industry for over two decades. He has toured for years with several bands and music projects. He worked in LA as a studio musician and engineer working with bands like IAMSOUND, Baroness, Kylesa, Black Tusk, Reflux, and Tripping Daisy. In between giving private lessons, he is recording a solo album for 2022-2023. Christopher plays Schecter guitars, BOSS amplifiers, and uses STL Tones in the studio.

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