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BOSS SY-1 Synthesizer: Space Age Stompbox

BOSS SY-1 Synthesizer: Space Age Stompbox

More delights from BOSS in pedal form

In the world of musical instruments, 2019 is proving to be the year that keeps on giving. From industry heavyweights to new kids on the block, we’ve seen some extraordinary releases already! For those who might balk at the notion of indulgence and say that it’s possible to have too much of a good thing, well feast your eyes on the BOSS SY-1 Synthesizer and let’s keep the good times rolling!

Synths in a stompbox: SY-1

BOSS SY-1 Synthesizer Guitar Effects Pedal

When the SY-300 came out a few years ago, we were dumbfounded by its covetous abilities. Boasting a powerful synth engine that responds to any and every guitar sans special pickup is unreal. However, some find the SY-300 a little out of reach in terms of space requirements on their pedalboard and, in all fairness, price. Plus, not everyone needs that amount of firepower at their disposal but having a little of the SY- synth magic would be nice. Enter the SY-1 Synthesizer.

Standard stompbox durability

First of all, the SY-1 is presented in a classic BOSS stompbox chassis, which means it is as robust as a bomb shelter and operates under extreme pressure. You’ve got dials across the top, standard Input/Output jacks, Send/Return Loop, and an Expression/Control pedal input. Also, the pedal operates using a standard 9V battery or power supply. So far, so good.

The good stuff

Right, let’s dive in. The SY-1 boasts 121 sounds to play with across 11 types with 11 variations of each. The beauty of the SY-1 is that like its larger sibling the SY-300, you don’t need any fancy pickups to get the job done, simply connect via a standard guitar cable (or wireless unit) and you’re good to go. Not only that but the SY-1 works seamlessly with any guitar or bass! As the unit is polyphonic, you can play single-notes and chords with the same gleeful abandon. Oh, and you can set aside any concerns with regard to latency.

Get ready to explore

As noted above there are 11 ‘Sound Types’ to choose from, which each offer 11 variations to play with. The sound types on offer are as follows:

  • LEAD 1/2: Vast array of sounds for those who like to noodle
  • PAD: Full-bodied tones for creating everything from dense pads to synth brass and much more
  • BASS: Chunky synth bass including filtered and sub-octave beefiness
  • STR: Strings off the classic analogue variety with layered voices and sweeping textures for good measure
  • ORGAN: A plethora of organ sounds including a healthy number with rotary-style modulation
  • BELL: Percussive synth sounds with metallic resonance for when you want to “chime in” (I’ll get my coat)
  • 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 (who doesn’t like the sound of that?)

All that in a stompbox?!

Tactile control

BOSS SY-1 Synthesizer Guitar Effects Pedal

As ever the ability to tweak your tone without any fuss is at the heart of the SY-1 control layout. Thanks to the Tone/Rate and Depth controls you can readily adjust any sounds in real-time. Not only that but the built-in Hold function enables you to sustain synth voices whilst playing your rhythm chops or solo licks over the time. The Effect/Direct volume dials allow you to blend your guitar and synth tones independently for the perfect mix of both.

Expansive connectivity options

Alongside the Input/Output connections is the Send/Return loop, which unlocks greater potential within the SY-1 Synthesizer. Whether you want to blend several pedals with the SY-1’s synth voice, patch in external pedals, send independent/combined outputs to processing pedals (modulation, reverb, etc.) or send dry signals and synth sounds to separate destinations, all can be done easily. Add to that the ability to connect an Expression pedal for real-time attenuation of Tone/Rate parameters or an external footswitch for adjusting tap tempo/octave-shift effects, and you’ve got a whopping range of hands-free control options to play with.

Get in touch

So, there we have it. Not one but two monumental releases and it’s not even the end of July! For more information on the SY-1 Synthesizer head to the Dawsons website now.

If you liked that then you might like this

We covered another recent addition to the BOSS family in the form of the 200 Series Multi FX Units, absolute powerhouses that are pedalboard ready.

About The Author

Jon

Jon is a multi-instrumentalist with a passion for inspiring others to get involved in making music. After spending many years playing venues here, there and - pretty much - everywhere, he joined the Dawsons' Music Web Team before progressing into his current role managing the Dawsons Blog.