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In the Wake of Boss's superbly successful SY-1 Synthesizer - Synth fans could really do with a SY-200 edition - with even more flavours and Presets!

BossBoss MonthEffects Pedal MakersGuitar Synth and SequencerModelling AmpModulationMulti-FX+-
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This was actually suggested by a follower - Alex on Instagram. I really love my SY-1 and use that a lot - and it would be even better with a few more flavours, and more importantly - Presets onboard!


So I’ve mocked-up my final Boss Month speculative entry - certainly for the 200-Series format. My version is largely just the SY-1 with a few extra bells and whistles. I think it looks really good in that format!


I’ve taken all the Sounds / Types from the SY-1 and just added a few more to make up the usual 200-Series 12 Selections. It’s not really that relevant what ’Sounds’ I’ve suggested - but I think I made some cool choices - by all means let me know what flavours you think should be onboard. I would definitely instantly scoop this one up of and when it hit the market.


Here follow a few more details on each of Boss’s key Synth Pedals :

SY-1 Synthesizer - $206 | €199 | £165


Controls - Effect Level / Direct Level, Tone / Rate / Depth, Variation : 1-11, Type : Lead / Pad / Bass / Strings / Organ / Bell / SFX / Sequencer.


This is another Boss Compact Triumph and easily my favourite of its type - with so many different flavours up its sleeves - yet with relatively simple controls - mostly about 11 variations of each of the key Synth Sounds - which included all kinds of cool pulses and arpeggiations.


In fact the only thing this pedal is missing is tap-tempo and presets - which is why a 200-Series equivalent evolved from these roots would be such a brilliant proposition - as it would bring exactly those things needed to improve the SY-1.

SY-200 - Mockup - TBC! - Estd - $257 | €245 | £219


Suggested Controls - Variations, Tone, Effect Level, Type : Lead / Pad / Bass / Strings / Organ / Bell / Sequencer / Orchestra / Melotron / Vibes / Dynamic / Arpeggiator, Dual Footswitches - including Memory / Tap-Tempo.


Essentially I've just take the SY-1 and accommodated that in the larger format - with a touch more granulised control - and a few more flavours. I've split the Arpeggiators out of Sequencer - and added Dynamic, Vibes, Melotron and Orchestra.


I'm sure Boss has its own ideas on voicings - those are just e.g.'s really. While I feel those extra details would really elevate the hear of the SY-1. The Variations here can pretty much be unlimited - you don't necessarily need to stick to just 11 per type.


Also instead of Rate + Depth, we could have Param + Rate - where the Param could be a different control parameter per algorithm.


It makes so much sense to make a SY-200 - I would snap one up on sight! Hopefully Boss sees fit to make one materialise!

SY-1000 Guitar Synthesizer - $1,030 | €975 | £799


Controls - 6 x Params - e.g. Patch, BPM, Key, Tuner, Sub Out, Patch Level, Output Level, Instrument, Effects, Control, Exit, Write, System, Page Down/Up, Bank Down/Up + Tuner, CTL 1, CTL 2, 1, 2, 3, 4.


With synth pioneer Parent Company Roland - there was never any doubt that the SY-1000 would be the most fully-featured Guitar Synthesizer of all time! Obviously a Proper Synthesis Workstation based on core oscillators with secondary effects - just like on a typical analog keyboard, but then with Instrument, Modelling, String Filtering, Advanced Tunings, Waveform Manipulaiotn - and of course the classic Pitch-Bend and Glissando.


This is quite structurally different to the SY-1 - which is more a sort of ready take-away solution. While the SY-1000 is really about assembling those sounds - component by component and then adding the various secondary and after-effects. So really at the opposite ends of the spectrum. While the SY-1000 comes with a tonne of presets - so it's still easy to access from that angle. Also the GK input is optional for the first time as the default tracking just though the instrument cable has become that good.


Here are the essential features of the SY-1000 :

  • BOSS’s most powerful guitar/bass synth and modeling processor ever
  • Next-generation synth engine with custom DSP and 48 kHz/32-bit processing throughout
  • Unprecedented sound and expression with three simultaneous instrument types and advanced real-time signal processing
  • Each instrument provides pitch, level, and panning of each string for instant alternate tunings and wide, layered voicings
  • New Dynamic Synth perfectly follows the guitar’s natural envelope for uncompromised tone shaping
  • New sound engine and GK 13-pin interface deliver clear, dynamic sound and precision tracking with zero latency
  • Dynamic Synth includes two 16-part step sequencers for evolving control of pitch, filter, and amplitude
  • Newly refreshed versions of historic BOSS/Roland guitar synth and modeling technologies: OSC Synth, GR-300, E.Guitar, E.Bass, Acoustic, VIO Guitar, and Poly FX
  • Normal ¼-inch guitar/bass input for blending and Dynamic Synth processing
  • Premium effects and amps derived from the flagship GT-1000
  • Large LCD and intuitive editing interface for free-flowing sound creation
  • Eight freely assignable footswitches, external control support, effects loop, and configurable Main/Sub outputs
  • USB Audio/MIDI and MIDI I/O, plus Guitar-to-MIDI/Bass-to-MIDI function
  • Dedicated Guitar and Bass modes
  • Customize sounds with the BOSS Tone Studio editor and download pro patches at BOSS Tone Central
  • Roland GK-compatible pickup and 13-pin cable required for full access to all synth and modeling features

And here are its Key Instrument Types :

  • Dynamic Synth
  • Oscillator Synth
  • GR-300
  • Electronic Guitar
  • Acoustic Guitar
  • Electronic Bass
  • VIO / V-Guitar
  • Poly-FX

From my perspective the SY-1000 is a little large and a little too much really for my particular needs. Part of me would still quite like one - while I don't really have the floorspace or pedal-chain flexibility to fit in a pedal of such enormous dimensions - it would knock out too many other essentials.


It seems clear that there is an obvious need for a mid-way solution which sort of combines the best of the SY-1 and SY-1000 into those 200-Series dimensions.

Final Thoughts


I feel this category is really about how much synthesizer power you need to wield - and how much space you are willing to yield. There's no getting around the fact that the SY-1000 is a very sizeable and highly complex box - even with all those presets.


If you want to dabble - then the SY-1 is an excellent starting point - the only downside really the lack of ability to save your favourite settings and presets.


I really like the SY-1 but I also really would like a little more - more flavours, presets and tap-tempo too - so some sort of 200-Series variant would be perfect.


Boss has two different places to start from - it can size up from the SY-1 or do more of a compact version of the SY-1000 - with that rather more granularity onboard. I have a feeling that it's going to be the perfect blend of the SY-1 and SY-1000 - with all that ease of use intact.


With Roland's synth roots - surely it's a shoe-in that we get one of those SY-200's fairly soon!


What do you think dear readers - are you onboard for a SY-200?

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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