If you have played the guitar before then you ought to know that it is not easy to recreate all the sounds using this instrument alone. Whether you are a beginner or experienced guitarist, if you want to add personality and sense to your music then you need to add effects to your music.
This is where guitar synth pedals come in. A guitar synthesizer pedal refers to an effect processor that can be used by guitarists to emulate the sounds of a synth. If you are looking for the best guitar synth then we’ve got you covered below.
7 Best Guitar Synth Pedals On the Market
7 Best Guitar Synth and Pedal Reviews
- You can use it with electronic instruments as well as with bass
- Excellent sound quality
- 70 ready to play preset patches as well as 99 user patches
- Comes with a graphic LCD
Watch out for
- Comes with a limited selection of effects
- Lacks some serious features
Featuring first on this list of best guitar synth is BOSS SY-300 Guitar Synthesizer. The SY-300 can be used with all types of guitars immediately and does not require any pick-up. All you have to do is plug it into the standard 1/4 inch jack and you are ready to play.
It features 3 simultaneous synth sections as well as 4 effects processors that enable a rich, dynamic as well as diverse sound creation. Also, this guitar synthesizer has a graphic LCD, dedicated on/ off footswitch, and three assignable footswitches. B
BOSS SY-300 Guitar Synthesizer has a USB audio interface that allows you to capture audio tracks into the music production software which is available on the computer. You can also use the USB interface to feed tracks from a DAW to the BOSS SY-300 Guitar Synthesizer.
The new BOSS technology allows you to explore polyphonic synth sounds together with zero latency, which extends the familiar feel as well as the natural expressiveness of the musical instrument.
- A huge range of preset sounds
- Have altered tunings
- Easy to use
- Ability to blend 4 voices
- Comes with EZ Edit mode that makes sound-tweaking simple
Watch out for
- Some synth sounds are a bit outdated
Roland has been making guitar synthesis since the year 1977. Roland GR-55 Guitar Synth combines a revolutionary guitar synthesis with a powerful COSM guitar modeling. This guitar synth is easy to play and easy to use because it comes with hundreds of ready to use sounds for pop or rock guitarists.
Additionally, Roland GR-55 Guitar Synth has two USB ports that provide versatility to the synthesizer. The first port allows for computer connection so that the MIDI/ audio interface can connect to the GR-55. This allows you to record MIDI data or play samplers and virtual synths from a guitar.
The GR-55 comes with 2 PCM synthesizer sound engines that are loaded with more than 900 synth and conventional sounds. Thanks to the advanced Roland technology, the Roland GR-55 Guitar Synth offers up to 4 sound sources at any given time.
- Comes with excellent tracking
- Has plenty of functional classical synths
- Adjustable parameters
- Good options for blending or separation
- The musical range of synths
Watch out for
- Has no expression pedal implementation
Electro-Harmonix SYNTH9 Synth Pedal is the latest Electro-Harmonix’s series of stompboxes which transforms the sound offered by bass or guitar into the sound produced by a vintage synthesizer. It has emulated organs with the C9 and B9 pedals, the vintage Mellotron that has the MEL9, and electric pianos which come with the KEY9.
The Electro-Harmonix SYNTH9 Synth Pedal follows the blueprint of 4 pedals as well as offer sound of up to 9 different synths that can be played from the guitar. When it comes to sound, the SYNTH9 offers a variety of functional synth emulations while tracking is not a problem even for fast guitarists.
Additionally, it has a String Synth that is based on classic ARP Solina, with one knob adjusting the attack time which helps the sound to swell in while the other knob controlling the tone of the synth. The Electro-Harmonix SYNTH9 Synth Pedal comes with a usable tracking range that extends up to the 23rd fret available on the high E string of a traditional guitar and goes down the open A string which is available on a bass guitar.
- Six control knobs
- Comes with excellent sound quality
- Features useful arpeggio function
- Easy to use and versatile
- It covers a wide variety of analog synth-style sounds
- There is a good selection of effects
- Affordable price
Watch out for
- For you to change patches, you need to bend down
BOSS SY-1 Bass/Guitar Pedal can transform your bass or guitar into a versatile synth that is inspiring, fun, and ready to play. The latest Boss may be small in size but comes with plenty of guitarist-friendly synth sounds (121 total sounds) that are all ready to play and does not require programming knowledge.
Thanks to the standard 1/4 inch cable, it is possible to use the SY-1 with any bass or guitar. This guitar synthesizer offers latency-free performance that is great for unrestricted musical expression. The good thing about BOSS SY-1 Bass/Guitar Pedal is that it is simple to use just like a standard stompbox, which means that you do not need any background in synth programming. Besides, the sounds are polyphonic which allows you to play in both chords as well as single notes.
- 100 preset programs
- The mini-treadle is space-saving
- Easy to use because all you have plugin and play
- Lots of different tones and effects
- Easy to afford
- Comes with a compact design and is easy to work with
Watch out for
- It has a short battery life
- Some of the effects have tones which are not quite sharp
Vox is a well-known brand for amps but they also make guitar synths. The VOX Guitar Synth Pedal is sturdy enough meaning that it can be used on the road or at home. It features easy to use interface which helps novice users to access the sounds they want right away. Also, It comes with a hundred onboard factory presets which are divided into different styles such as Rock, Metal, Blues, Pop, Heavy Funk, Jazz and has 9 different bass categories.
This multi-effects synth pedal offers a clean, high quality, and distorted sounds and is available at an affordable price. VOX STOMPLAB2G Modeling Guitar Multi-effects pedal you can edit as well as save 20 of your user programs.
- It operates on vocal synthesis technology
- Features impressive graphics
- Comes with 11 main synth sounds
- You can add the sound as well as lyrics
Watch out for
- This synthesizer is monophonic
Coming at number 6 on this list of best guitar synth is Korg Vocaloid Guitar Effects Pedal. When you look at its interface, you will find that it simulates a Japanese character known as Hatsune Miku. This guitar effects pedal comes with an internal circuit system that works using a vocal synthesis technology that belongs to the eVocaloid technology which is based on Yamaha’s next-gen sound engine.
It features an AA battery-shaped and AC adapter battery life with about 5 hours of consumption current 200 mA. This is a monophonic guitar effects pedal which only plays a single tone at a given moment. It features 11 vocalized presets. However, you can add your lyrics as well as vocal sounds via the Korg Vocaloid Guitar Effects Pedal.
What makes this Korg stand out is the fact that it functions as a vocoder as well as a synthesizer. Korg Miku Stomp Vocaloid Guitar Effects Pedal comes with a variety of sound settings such as fascinating Looh setting which gives it a unique sound.
- Lightweight and portable guitar with multi-effects pedal
- Comes with an LCD screen
- Has multiple styles and 40 drum rhythm
- Studio quality multiple effects
- The dual power supply which includes AAA batteries as well as DC 9V adapter
- Affordable price
Watch out for
- No bypass switch as you need to turn all the different effects off to achieve a vivid sound
- The effects can be a little extreme
If you are looking for a good synthesizer that gives guitarists a wide array of options then Ammoon PockRock Guitar Multi-effects Processor is a great product. This guitar pedal comes with great delay as well as echo mode. It also features several effects settings such as distortion and overdrive which lets you play around until you get the right sound.
With 5 effect modules and 15 effect types, you are sure to have a sound library. Ammoon PockRock Guitar Multi-effects Processor comes with 1/8 inch Aux-in and headphone stereo jacks as well as 1/4 inch output and input mono jacks. Other features include dual power supply and metal buckle on the backside.
Best Guitar Synth Pedal Buying Guide
1. What is a Guitar Synthesizer?
Guitar synthesizers refer to several musical instruments that allow guitarists to access synth capabilities. Simply put, a guitar synthesizer refers to an electronic instrument that uses a form of analog or digital processing to produce audible sound. As the name suggests, guitar synthesizers seek to reproduce the sounds of a guitar.
You must know that synthesizers which emulate a guitar do not generate the same sounds like a guitar does. Many electronic synthesizers have a setting that is labeled “guitar” that produces a sound that evokes a guitar but is produced by several electronic tone generators. Synthesizers originated in the 60s with the first commercially available synthesizer being an analog synth by Robert Moog.
During the early days, there were three different types of guitar synths like guitorgan type, frequency-to-voltage converter type, and multi-effects type. Since then, synthesizers have evolved into many forms such as digital, sample-based, and FM.
2. What is Guitar Synth Pedals?
A guitar synth pedal is an effect processor that allows guitarists to use their guitars to emulate the sound produced by a synthesizer. In other words, a synth pedal refers to a traditional stompbox that allows you to play a synthesizer via notes that you play on a guitar.
Using a guitar synth pedal allows guitarists to create distinctive tones as well as expand their sonic palette. Guitar synths usually come in the form of a pedal which makes a guitar sound like a synthesizer. Note that each pedal has a different emulation process with some utilizing analog circuitry to embed squarewave LFO into the signal while others may use algorithms and digital computer chip.
Once you activate the guitar effects unit, the guitar synth pedal will take the output signal from the guitar and change the overall sound. You can use these processing units within studio recording sessions and a live performance setting.
3. How Does a Guitar Synthesizer Work?
A synthesizer is an instrument that works by generating sounds electrically rather than mechanically. From there the sounds are manipulated to offer an unlimited amount of sweet and saucy sonic solutions. The real value of a guitar synth is that it generates sound using a single source.
With a MIDI interface, it is possible to add a bass guitar and have total control over sounds. Guitar synthesizers come with several oscillators also known as sound tone generators that can produce waves of varying shapes like a square wave, triangular wave, sine wave, sawtooth and more. This synthesizer can combine waves to produce complex sounds, and it varies depending on sounds attack, sustain, decay, and make sounds that mimic existing instruments such as guitars.
A synth also has filters that come in different varieties like lo-pass, hi-pass, notch or bandpass. The filter (VCF) works by removing frequencies from the sound. The ‘Q’ value emphasizes the selected frequency which makes it resonate, thus helping produce a great sound. Amplifiers help boost the signal which alters sound volume. The final stage is the envelope which shapes the sound using parameters known as attack, decay, sustain, and release which is why they are referred to as ADSR envelopes.
4. How to Choose the Right Guitar Synth?
Guitar synths are becoming popular today because of the many benefits they offer. One of the main benefits of a guitar synth is that it allows a musician to play the synthesizer alone or with a guitar, or blend both. The market is flooded with many guitar synths which can make it confusing to choose the right one.
To help you choose the best guitar synth we are going to look at factors to consider before buying one.
Buying multi-effect synthesizers means that you will be using it quite often thanks to the sound effects. Therefore, you must consider if this musical instrument can withstand the test of time. In addition to buying a durable guitar synth, make sure you look for a high-quality synthesizer that comes with a warranty.
Another factor to consider is the size of the guitar synth. You don’t want to buy a musical instrument that does not remain in the garage or basement at all times. If you are going to buy a guitar synth, you want it to be of the right size so that it is convenient enough to be taken for gigs.
Ease of Use
It is important to note that some of the guitar synths which come with heavy effect features can be hard to know how to use. Before you purchase a guitar synth, make sure you know if the interface is easy to use.
The Type of Effects
The best guitar synthesizers come with several effects that you need to consider when purchasing this instrument.
Overdrive and Distortion
Overdrive refers to a natural distortion that occurs when you plug in an amp, but a guitar synth amplifies the throaty sound which is created by a guitar. On the other hand, distortion offers a smooth sound that blends the notes to create a different sound level.
EQ effects boost the sound aspects that limit effects that create a more unique sound profile. It is possible to raise the treble so that you can have a great cymbal effect or amazing bell, which goes a long way in boosting the bass which creates a great bass guitar riff.
This effect allows users to easily control the volume without stopping to fiddle using the volume knob available on the guitar. Gain refers to the strength that is behind the sound. While performing a solo, you need to have again in your riff which you can use to amplify your sound.
Guitars are one of the most complicated musical instruments available today. This means that it is not a walk in the park for users to learn how to use and work a guitar with a synthesizer. However, if you get the best guitar synth to work with a guitar, you may end up producing great sound and music.
In the above article, we have listed the top 7 best guitar synth which you can buy this year. In my own opinion, I chose BOSS SY-1 Bass/Guitar Pedal as the stand out guitar synthesizer. Just make sure you find the right instrument based on your guitar needs.