Summer NAMM 2019: Boss’ New SY-1 Synthesizer Pedal Offers an Impressive 121 Synth Sounds

(Image credit: courtesy of Boss)

Summer NAMM 2019: Boss has unveiled the new SY-1 Synthesizer pedal, which houses 121 synth sounds in a compact design.

The new pedal boasts 11 sound types, each with 11 variations. The circuit features the same technology as the SY-300, and all sounds are polyphonic, allowing the user to play both single notes and chords. Additionally, the SY-1 offers latency-free performance with no special pickup required.

The sound types are, according to the company:  

• 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."

Sounds are easily adjustable via Tone/Rate and Depth knobs, and a send/return loop allows the user to blend other pedals in parallel with the SY-1’s synth voices. Additionally, pressing and holding the pedal switch sustains the last-played synth sound.

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.

The SY-1 can be used with any guitar or bass via a standard 1/4-inch cable.

For more information, head to Boss.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.