Summer NAMM 2019: Boss crams 121 synth sounds into the SY-1 Synthesizer pedal

SUMMER NAMM 2019: Boss has come out swinging with the SY-1 Synthesizer, a compact pedal that boasts 121 synth sounds.

Packing the same tech as the SY-300, the SY-1 requires no special pickup and delivers polyphonic tracking for guitar and bass players.

As well as the typical lead, pad, organ and bass synth sounds, Boss is promising rhythmic synth patterns, while the whole lot is easily tweakable via tone/rate and depth knobs.

Boss SY-1 effects pedal

(Image credit: Roland)

There’s also a send/return loop to blend other pedals in parallel with the synth voices, while you can hold the onboard footswitch to sustain the most recent synth sound.

You can also hook up an external footswitch for tap tempo and octave-shift effects, or an external expression pedal for real-time control over tone and rate parameters.

The SY-1 is available this summer for $199/£175. See Boss for more, and also check out Boss's other big launch at the show, the RC-10R Rhythm Loop Station.

SY-1 sound types

  • 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.
Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.

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