BOSS SY-1 Synthesizer Pedal Turns Your Guitar Or Bass Into A Synth

BOSS has introduced the SY-1 Synthesizer, a new pedal that transforms your guitar or bass into a synthesizer, without the need for a special pickup.

The BOSS SY-1 Synthesizer features 121 sounds in a compact pedal, with easy connectivity via a standard 1/4-inch cable. Leads, pads, organs, basses, and more are included, plus a variety of sound effects and rhythmic synth patterns.

Sounds are organized into 11 different types, with 11 variations in each.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

Thanks to custom DSP and the latest BOSS innovations, the SY-1 offers latency-free performance for a natural and organic playing experience. Tone/Rate and Depth knobs provide quick adjustment of synth voices, including changing the pitch on some sounds. And with a rear-panel switch, the input circuitry can be instantly optimized for either guitar or bass.

Like any BOSS compact, the SY-1 excels in a typical serial pedal chain. But with the send/return loop and dedicated mix controls, it’s also possible to blend one or more pedals in parallel with the SY-1’s synth voices. The send jack functions as a direct out too, letting a player to route synth and guitar sounds to separate destinations.

The SY-1 offers a numbers of ways to make synth performances more dynamic and expressive. Holding the pedal switch sustains the last-played synth sound, perfect for jamming regular guitar over the top. Users can also connect an external footswitch for tap tempo and octave-shift effects, or plug in an expression pedal for continuous Tone/Rate control.

Pricing and Avaialbility

The BOSS SY-1 Synthesizer will be available for $199.99 (U.S. street) at authorized BOSS retailers in the U.S.

11 thoughts on “BOSS SY-1 Synthesizer Pedal Turns Your Guitar Or Bass Into A Synth

  1. I’m still disappointed that the Boss AC-3 didn’t make my Rhodes sound anything like a Steinway.

  2. There aren’t too many Pitch-to-MIDI converters. Even the iOS app MIDIMorphosis seems to have disappeared.

    If it has latency-free operation, then including a MIDI out would have been welcome.

    There’s probably a good reason why they made it a preset-only rig. And hopefully, the presets cover some tasteful ground, but in my experience, close enough is rarely close enough.

    1. They already made a non preset version with tons of modulation. It’s called the SY-300. My guess is that it didn’t sell as well as they hoped, because a lot of people don’t get deep on their patches. So something 1/3 of the price with a lot of presets will appeal to the mass market.

  3. No MIDI out, but the SY-300 didn’t have MIDI note out either. The MIDI connections supported patch change, sysex, etc. but not note out. This makes me think these are not real pitch-to-note converters, but some sort of waveform reshapers (like a sophisticated distortion pedal) with pitch shifters, which would explain why there’s no latency. And the way the filter warbles when you play a chord suggests it’s paraphonic (one filter over all notes), not true polyphonic.

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