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  /    /  Guitar Effects Pedals  /  BOSS SY1 Synthesizer – BOSS Pedals

BOSS SY1 Synthesizer – BOSS Pedals


The almighty BOSS SY1 Synthesizer has never quite chanced more natural to instil creative skills.

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SKU: SY1 Category:


Travel to New Sonic Frontiers

With the BOSS SY1 Synthesizer, it’s never been easier to infuse your creative arsenal with BOSS’s fabulous guitar synth technology. This brilliant expressive tool is packed with 121 ultra-responsive sounds, all compressed down into a BOSS compact pedal that slides easily into any setup. Best of all, it’s as simple to use as a standard stompbox, so you don’t need any background in synth programming to bring a new world of sonic textures to your music.

Journey to New Sonic Frontiers

Expressive Synth Sounds, No Programming Needed

The SY-1 transforms any guitar or bass into a versatile synthesizer that’s fun, inspiring, and ready to play. Backed by advanced tech first developed for the SY-300, this super-cool pedal delivers a huge selection of analog-style synth sounds while occupying minimal space on your board. What’s more, all the sounds are polyphonic, allowing you to play both single notes and chords.

Plug-and-Play and Latency-Free

The SY-1 can be used with any guitar or bass via a standard 1/4-inch cable, providing an easy, plug-and-play experience. Thanks to custom DSP and the latest BOSS innovations, the SY-1 offers latency-free performance that’s a natural extension of your instrument, letting you to play freely and organically without altering your normal technique in any way.

A Universe of Synth Sounds Inside

With its 11 categories and 121 total sounds, the SY-1 puts an enormous array of synth colors at your fingertips. Expressive leads, sweeping pads, layered organs, fat basses, and more are all on tap, plus a variety of rhythmic synth patterns that are a blast to jam with. And with the grab-and-go Tone/Rate and Depth knobs, you’re able to adjust any synth voice just how you like, including changing the pitch on some sounds.

At Home in Any Rig

As a standard BOSS compact, the SY-1 drops into a serial pedal chain like any other stomp. 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. For example, you can patch drive pedals in the loop, and then send the combined output to mod, delay, and reverb pedals for overall processing. The send can be used as a direct out as well, enabling you to route synth and guitar sounds to separate destinations.

Enhance Performances with Real-Time Control

The SY-1 offers a numbers of ways to make your synth performances even more dynamic and expressive. Pressing and holding the pedal switch sustains the last-played synth sound, allowing you to jam with regular guitar over the top. You can also connect an external footswitch for tap tempo and octave-shift effects, or plug in an expression pedal for continuous Tone/Rate control.

SY-1 Sound Types

• LEAD 1/2—A wide range of sounds suitable for single-note soloing.
• PAD—Full tones that work great with chords, from layered pads to synth brass and more.
• BASS—Fat synth bass sounds, including filtered and sub-octave tones.
• STR—Classic analog-style strings, including layered voices and sweeping textures.
• ORGAN—A large selection of organ sounds, including many with rotary-style modulation.
• BELL—Percussive synth sounds with metallic resonance.
• SFX 1/2—A variety of synth sound effects, including explosive one-shot sounds, animated pitch/filter voices, and more.
• SEQ 1/2—Pulsating sounds with rhythmic pitch or filter changes.

Standard Features

  • Authentic BOSS polyphonic guitar synth in a compact pedal
  • No special pickup required—play rich, dynamic synth tones with any guitar or bass
  • 121 total sounds (11 types and 11 variations), all ready to play with no programming knowledge needed
  • Includes a wide variety of analog-style synth sounds, from leads, basses, and layered organs to sweeping pads and arpeggiated sequences
  • Latency-free performance for unrestricted musical expression
  • Quickly adjust sounds to taste with Tone/Rate and Depth controls
  • Hold function for playing normal guitar over sustained synth voices
  • Blend synth and normal guitar sounds with independent level controls
  • Parallel send/return loop for easy integration with other pedals on your board
  • Mode switch optimizes the synth engine for guitar or bass
  • Supports extended control with an external footswitch or expression pedal

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Review Time

Today we’re checking out the brand-new
sy1 synthesizer pedal from boss now the
sy one is based on the technology that
was first introduced in the sy 300 and
the amazing thing about this pedal like
the sy 300 is that you don’t have to
have a polyp or a hex a phonic pick up
on your guitar, you just plug your
regular guitar cable in and it creates
That sounds right it reads all the strings
individually resolve the notes
individually how does it do it it is
amazing so it’s working by
processing the signal that’s coming out
of your guitar and separating those six
strings and then applying synthesis
techniques to that and small as this
the pedal is it does an amazing amount of
stuff it sure does I mean that’s a lot
of computations like really fast yeah it
is it is amazing there’s no
latency no latency and you’ve got a string
separation no separation it knows
exactly what to process it knows the
difference between noise and actual
notes right right yeah amazing so we’ve
got 11 different types of sounds and
we’ll give you some examples of those a
A little bit we’ve got 11 variations on
those so we’ve got a total of 121
presets inside the sy1 but this is
a dual path pedal when you plug
in the affected sound comes out of the
output but we’ve also got a loop here
and that loop is carrying your dry
guitar signal if you don’t plug anything
into it mixes in with the the
synthesizer sound that’s coming out of
the output but if you add say an
overdrive like we have it here or delay
or reverb that’ll just be applied onto
your dry signal and in fact you can use
that output to split the signal so your
the dry signal goes to one amp and the synth
signal goes to the other amp which is
very flexible yeah I mean it’s perfect
for the process I mean that’s kind of the
way you’d want to do it ultimately
anyway but of course you know when you
want it small and you want it to scale down
just come straight out of the main out
right right we’ve got the standard boss
switch a foot switch here on the
the front now that’s obviously your bypass
switch but when you push that down it
becomes a hold switch so it’ll sustain
the synth sound and you can play on top
of that, you can use the sy1 with either
guitar bass there’s a switch on the back
to optimize it for either of those
instruments and we have control over two
parameters inside each of the synth
sounds we’ve got a tone rate knob and
then we’ve also got a depth knob so
depending on the effect depending on the
synthesize that you’re using those
control different parameters we can also
plugin a dual foot switch or an
expression pedal and take control of
parameters that way now let’s take a
tour of some of the sounds that this is
as I mentioned there’s 11 different
types of synth sound yeah yeah let’s do
that definitely because they are all
completely different right and with the
11 different variations there’s a lot of
different sounds in there but we’ll just
step through the first variation each of
the types to get an idea of what each of
those types consists of sure yeah good
starting point we’ll begin
with lead one then we have lead – next
up we have pads since basis well since
strings organs the next type is Bell
which are sort of metallic and resonant
sounds special effects one special
effects – then we have two banks of
sequence sounds which generally have an
arpeggiator attached to them

dawn with just those 11 types without
even exploring the variations there’s a
lot of different sounds that oh my gosh
yeah I mean just thinking about the
usability of all of that just how many
different ways you can use this thing
right and keeping in mind that you can
layer your guitar with that you can
process your guitar and layer it on top
and of course we also have control over
different parameters as well Don you’ve
come up with a quick way to really
explore what each of these sounds is
capable of doing
tell us how you approach setting up a
new sound yeah it’s really pretty simple
you start with the tone and death knobs
at basically at 12 o’clock and start
with your first variation there and then
that kind of gives you the basic flavor
character of that sound right oh and and
that variation as well and then the next
step is just to kind of pan those too
wide and start tweaking in your sound
from there you can hear what they’re
doing at that point
let’s give an example here we’ll go back
to the lead lead type we’ll set up a
variation one
why don’t you play and all just the
controls okay so here we are at 12
o’clock with tone and death

so you can see we have a lot of
possibilities for tweaking in the sounds
there it’s pretty dramatically different
from where we started yeah certainly is
and depending on you know where you have
those two knobs in conjunction with each
other even it’s it’s pretty it can get
pretty tricky but you can find exactly
what you’re looking for and then you can
step to the variation so let’s do that
well stay on this same lead type one
we’ll leave our knobs or the controls so
you’ll notice that in variation eleven
the pitch changed right so the depth
control actually controls pitch at that
point so why don’t you play a little bit
and I’ll adjust the depth control sure

so that allows you to really dial in the
register that you’re playing in and of
course it affects what’s happening with
the synth sound as well right right so
you can create harmonies or you know
just oblique noise stuff if that’s what
you’re really after you know pretty
right right one thing I want to point
out here is how responsive the sy1 is
you could hear the filter opening in
different places and that’s due to the
dynamics and Don’s playing so you can
either adjust the filter it’ll adjust
different parameters automatically
inside the sy1 depending on how hard
you’re picking but it also tracks bends
it tracks vibrato all those things you
do as a guitar player are translated
inside the sy1
yeah perfectly actually and as far
as like pickups and guitar output is
concerned the biggest factor really is
the amount of output you know so it’s
the amount of input signal that the sy1
is seeing that that has the most
the dramatic effect over it so like
necessarily changing pickups or changing
a tone control or whatever doesn’t
affect it as dramatically is just the
amount of output but what it does affect
of course, is when you blend in the dry
the signal which is a big part of what we’re
talking about here so let’s give an
For example here you came up with a really
cool effect using the organ and an over
driven guitar tone
so that shows just how practical this
pedal can be on stage because you’ve
really become a combination of John Lord
and Ritchie Blackmore all-in-one exactly
I mean it’s so easy to it’s just really
just dialling in the sound click it on
when you want it and there you go so
let’s show what the pedal is doing in
that case so I’m gonna turn both of them
off now we’ll bring up just the effect
sound or just the synthesizer sound

then you’re using the angry driver in
the loop to process just the dry guitar
signal right when you combine the two
together we get that layered guitar and
organ effect

so cool yeah and we could also use this
as a splitter again we could take that
send the output and route it through the
pedal and into a completely different
amplifier so we have two different
things going on simultaneously right and
and that way you have a real control tone
control over both sounds speaking
of control, we can use external foot
controllers of this as well
you’ve got an expression pedal plugged
in right now let’s hear what that does

so at this point, the expression pedal is
controlling the filter cutoff one so
you’re hearing that filter opening up in
the sound kind of wah in as you do that
but basically what the expression pedal
does is duplicate the function of the
tone control in the front panel right
right and the setting that you have the
the knob at is actually your toe down
setting okay so if I turn that all the
way up we get a much wider sweep down
the pedal

if we want to control the brightness we
can dial that back and limit the sweep
of the pedal

now depending on the type of synth sound
that you have selected the function of
the expression pedal and the tone rate
knob changes so for example let’s go to
one of the sequences sounds now we can
also, choose instead of the expression
pedal to plug in a dual footswitch when
you do that the first footswitch
becomes the hold function that normally
would be handled by the onboard switch
right and this just becomes just the
five-step pasture the function of the
second switch changes depending on the
type of sound you have if you’re using
something with an arpeggiator or a
the sequence in it it’ll be a tap tempo for
that so you can match it right up to the
the tempo of your song if you’re using a
lead or a pad or another type of sound
that doesn’t have a tempo to it that
the switch will become an octave rise switch
time we’ve really only scratched the
surface with this pedal can do sonically
I know it’s really wide it’s amazing the
different sounds that you can use and
how usable they all really are I mean
you’ve got a dial-in exactly what you’re
looking for but you can surely find it
right so I think what we
should do at this point is let you play
through some of those sounds and show
what this pedal through the cable

thanks for joining us for this tour of
the new sy1 one pedal from boss you
don’t want to check this out
it’s an amazing pedal but thank you for
joining us for Sweetwater’s guitars and
gear be sure to tune in next time we’ll
have more guitars more amps more effects
we’ll be making lots of music.


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