NAMM 2020: Last month, Boss unveiled the SY-1000, a powerful synthesiser and modelling processor pedal for guitar and bass. We were there at the company’s booth at the NAMM Show, where we were treated to a crazy jam session in which the pedal played a starring role.
Boss says of the unit: “The SY-1000 is the most powerful guitar/bass synth processor to date, fusing decades of R&D with the latest software and hardware advancements. Leveraging custom DSP and GK independent string processing, the SY-1000 brings numerous musical advantages to players, including ultra-articulate tracking, lightning-fast response, instantly variable tuning, sound panning/layering, and more.”
The pedal features in-depth controls, with eight footswitches that can be programmed to control almost any aspect of the unit. Taking cues from Boss’ GT-1000, a large LCD screen gives you quick, detailed information as to what you’re tweaking when you put together patches.
The SY-1000 can build these patches with three simultaneous instruments – each with a number of distinctive types to choose from – and combine them for an endless range of sounds. The unit’s 13-pin GK input means that every instrument can have an extensive set of parameters for tone shaping, mixing, and tuning. A normal quarter-inch input is also available to blend in regular guitar/bass pickup sounds.
Alongside the extensive instrument modelling, the SY-1000 offers a recreation of the GR-300, the OSC analogue synth engine and the new Dynamic Synth. All three offer numerous filter options, but the Dynamic Synth is the most fully-featured, with ten oscillator waveforms, six filter types, amplifier control, two LFOs and two 16-part step sequencers for automating pitch, filter, and amplitude parameters. It’s possible to play the Dynamic Synth using the normal guitar/bass input, however Boss recommends using the 13-pin GK input for optimum performance.
In order to do so, and access all of the synth and instrument sounds the SY-1000 has on offer, you will need a Roland GK-compatible pickup and a 13-pin cable. Options include the GK-3 Divided Pickup for electric guitars, or the GK-3B Divided Bass Pickup.
The BOSS SY-1000 will be available in January 2020, listing for $999.99. More information at boss.info.