Boss revisits and reinvents its versatile Slicer groove maker as the compact SL-2

Boss SL-2 Slicer
(Image credit: Boss)

Boss has debuted the SL-2 Slicer, a compact, pedalboard-friendly reinvention of its larger SL-20 groove maker.

Much like its predecessor, the SL-2 lets players transform electric guitars, bass guitars and much more into “groove machines”, working to turn different sounds into unique percussive patterns.

Despite its smaller size, Boss notes the feature set of the SL-2 has actually been expanded from the original SL-20, boasting a modern DSP, 88 memory locations with pre-loaded patterns and an impressive choice of Slicer paths processed with multiple internal effects.

Specifically, the new DSP vows to take the Slicer into new sonic territories, promising a range of “rich, animated sounds”. For those unfamiliar with the Slicer sound, check it out in action in the video below.

In operation, the SL-2 flashes controls for six individual parameters. The first Type knob is charged with selecting the rhythmic and Slicing pattern, and offers two Single, two Dual, one Tremolo, one Harmonic and one SFX type.

That’s eight in total, with the collection offering up an experimental range of pitch-shifting, signal-boosting or multiple-effects-at-once sound types.

After the Type has been selected, the Variation knob then lets guitarists explore up to 11 distinct pattern variants. For those looking for more, the SL-2 is compatible via USB with the Boss Tone Studio, allowing users to load different patterns and variations.

It’s the responsibility of the Attack, Balance, Tempo and Duty knobs – which are stacked two-on-two to save space – to then shape the Slicer sound. While Attack shapes the edge of the waveform – from “hard-chopped slices to soft, fluttering movements” – the Duty control works to tweak the waveform’s length.

Elsewhere, Tempo is fairly self-explanatory – though can be substituted out for tap tempo control by holding the sole footswitch – while Balance is in charge of the overall mix.

In addition, expression pedals can be paired with the SL-2 to take control over individual parameters or the overall mix, and can be used to control instant tap tempo. 

As for connectivity, the SL-2 promises to slot into any rig with its TRS MIDI input – letting the SL-2 perform alongside drum machines or DAWs – and both its mono and stereo output modes.

Such stereo output modes include Fixed, Random, Ping Pong, Auto, 3D Cross, 3D rotation and more.

The SL-2 will be available in November for $170.

To find out more, and to hear a range of sound samples, head over to Boss.

It's the second release in as many months for Boss, which recently unveiled the Waza Craft we'd all been waiting for: the Waza Craft DS-1W Distortion.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.