There’s no shortage of instruments that can crank out synthesizer sounds. For musicians most comfortable with a six-string, it only makes sense to use the same axe to produce multi-layered electronic sounds. If you want something that’s both elaborate and richly-featured, you might want to take a look at the BOSS SY-1000 Guitar Synthesizer.
Billed as the outfit’s most powerful guitar and bass synth ever, the pedalboard gives your guitar a whole new range of sonic destinations, allowing you to take your sound to places it’s never been before. Whether you’re a seasoned musician who wants to add even more complex electronic layers to your repertoire or a guitarist looking to mess around with strange new sounds, this thing should make a nice addition to your growing stomp box collection.
The BOSS SY-1000 Guitar Synth builds on the tech found in the SY-300, integrating a custom DSP that delivers six times the processing muscle, while getting the newly-developed Dynamic Synth sound engine, which brings 10 oscillator waveforms, six different filters, two LFOs, amplifier control, and two 16-part step sequencers for controlling pitch, filter, and amplitude independently. Joining the new sound engine are refreshed version of old guitar synths from the outfit, namely OSC (an analog-style engine with full ADSR control) and the Roland GR-300 (yes, the one that all bands used back in the 80s). In guitar mode, it gets plenty of options for guitar and amp modeling (23 guitar types, including 10 acoustic, and 31 amps), while the bass mode gives it full access to the same three synth types, with 12 modeling options for bass guitars (including one acoustic) and 31 different amps.
It allows the playing of three simultaneous instrument types, complete with advanced real-time signal processing, with each instrument providing pitch, level, and panning of each string to enable instant alternate tunings and provide wide, layered soundscapes. Unlike other guitar synths, it allows for polyphonic tracking of notes without the use of MIDI by connecting using Roland’s proprietary GK Pickup, instead of the traditional ¼-inch input.
Want to use the BOSS SY-1000 Guitar Synth like a regular effects box? Not a problem, as it also integrates over 150 effects found in the outfit’s GT-1000 pedal, so you can use it as a more traditional effects box if you don’t feel like making weird synthesized noises during a practice session. A large LCD and tactile knobs allow you to quickly change instruments, edit effects, change routings, and more, with built-in memory allowing you to store your favorite setups for easily switching to during live play. By default the eight footswitches let you select patches, banks and two control assignments, although each one can be easily remapped to bring up any function of your choosing. Other features include external control support, an effects loop, configurable main/sub outputs, and BOSS’ Tone Studio editor for capturing audio directly from the pedal when you hook it up to the PC via USB.
The BOSS SY-1000 Guitar Synth is available now, priced at $999.99.