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Discussion Starter #1
This is a pretty incredible system. It's kind of the successor to the Roland VG-99 and has elements of the SY-300 and the VG-88 in it as well. By most accounts online it'll be available early next year.


Here's guitarist Alex Hutchings talking about the patches he created for the SY-1000 in the first video above:


Also note this can be used with bass as well. If you want to find out more about this check out:

BOSS - SY-1000 | Guitar Synthesizer
 

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Pricey. Then again, I just acquired the Bluguitar Amp1 Iridium edition, which is about $1100 Canadian. However, I will be used a lot, as opposed to being an effect.
 

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It will be the centrepiece of my rig. It’ll be used as my amp, my effects, etc.... I see it as an upgrade to the Boss GP-10 that I use now.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is my next purchase. I’m saving my pennies
Yeah I'd definitely be either saving some money or selling unused or unwanted gear if you want to get this. I just checked out L&M and Steves music and it's not cheap.

Pricey. Then again, I just acquired the Bluguitar Amp1 Iridium edition, which is about $1100 Canadian. However, I will be used a lot, as opposed to being an effect.
Yes it is pricey. Here are the links to the prices at L&M and Steves:

Long & McQuade Boss - SY-1000 Guitar Synthesizer
Steves Music: Boss - SY-1000 Guitar Synthesizer

It will be the centrepiece of my rig. It’ll be used as my amp, my effects, etc.... I see it as an upgrade to the Boss GP-10 that I use now.
I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I'm still kind of on the fence about this one. I've already got a VG-99, a GR-55 and other Roland gear. I guess I'll wait for more information and reviews.
 

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Funny. I initially thought it would take a standard mono guitar signal and work its pitch-recognition magic as so many synth-pedals do these days, Then I heard Hutchings talk about the GK- pickup, and I thought "Where?". Eventually, I spotted the little screws holding it on to the guitar, and realized that, in contrast to every single GK I had even seen before that was black, this one was white. Good camouflage!

I am slowly and painfully working my way towards a sizeable analog modular system to use with a MIDI-2-CV converter. Working on yet another envelope generator this morning, and ordering parts for the semi-finished quadrature LFO module. Sadly, the finished product will not have a screen and presets; just a lot of knobs, switches, and jacks.

Guitar synthesis has come a loooooonnnnng way from the old days, not just in terms of reliability, but also usability, and range of sounds. I doubt it will ever appeal to quite as many as a simple overdrive and/or chorus pedal will, though.
 

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You can use the SY without the GK- even the Dynamic Synth can be used monophonic. But it also has altered tunings, acoustic and electric modelling and an OSC and GR300 emulation that require a hex pickup. I’m completely sold on the benefits of the GK (not the looks)
It has a guitar in. You can use it as a regular guitar processor. Although you’d be missing out on some fun stuff
 

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I have a guitar with a MIDI encoder on board and direct MIDI out, but I also have a spare GK-1 hanging around that I'd like to adapt to 13-pin output. I also have some Graph-tech piezo saddles waiting for an installation on something. If I could finally get the sustainer I was trying to make working, I could make my own Adrian Belew Parker Fly, with sustainer, MIDI, and piezo all in one!

But enough about me....Nice that Roland has made the SY-1000 amenable to both sorts of inputs. The large and articulate display also increases usability. There are screens on the MIDI tone generators I use with my guitar, but they are both limited to 2 lines of 16 characters, which doesn't really let one think about how the patch is created or shapable.
 

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That Boss SY-1000 is quite the unit. It is pricey but it's cheaper than the Line 6 Helix. You can also save by going across the border an buying it.

Units like these just add more fuel to the fire that only one electric guitar is needed; the one with the best playability and an effects/midi unit like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Funny. I initially thought it would take a standard mono guitar signal and work its pitch-recognition magic as so many synth-pedals do these days, Then I heard Hutchings talk about the GK- pickup, and I thought "Where?". Eventually, I spotted the little screws holding it on to the guitar, and realized that, in contrast to every single GK I had even seen before that was black, this one was white. Good camouflage!

I am slowly and painfully working my way towards a sizeable analog modular system to use with a MIDI-2-CV converter. Working on yet another envelope generator this morning, and ordering parts for the semi-finished quadrature LFO module. Sadly, the finished product will not have a screen and presets; just a lot of knobs, switches, and jacks.

Guitar synthesis has come a loooooonnnnng way from the old days, not just in terms of reliability, but also usability, and range of sounds. I doubt it will ever appeal to quite as many as a simple overdrive and/or chorus pedal will, though.
Yeah, I think that's one of the "Roland Ready" Strats he's using. You can still find them on websites like Reverb, eBay, etc.

That Boss SY-1000 is quite the unit. It is pricey but it's cheaper than the Line 6 Helix. You can also save by going across the border an buying it.

Units like these just add more fuel to the fire that only one electric guitar is needed; the one with the best playability and an effects/midi unit like this.
That's what Boss/Roland is hoping. ;)
 

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I remember playing the first guitar synth back in 1977. Roland GR/GS-500.



I really thought it was going somewhere. It didn't, as witnessed by the fact that 40 years later, they are still a fringe product. Keyboard synths have always been the leader by far in this arena (no p-to-v converter required, so no complex tracking algorithms needed).

I 'd love to see a cheap, functional synth for the price of a decent MFX and that doesn't require a hex pup for poly operation, but it's never quite materialized. Baby steps but no eureka moment, apparently.


That Boss SY-1000 is quite the unit. It is pricey but it's cheaper than the Line 6 Helix. You can also save by going across the border an buying it.

Units like these just add more fuel to the fire that only one electric guitar is needed; the one with the best playability and an effects/midi unit like this.
The SY-1000 and Helix don't do the same thing and don't compete for the same customer.

A guitar synthesizer and an effects processor / amp modeler are completely different devices, should be considered more likely complimentary and not competitive and therefore, comparison is pointless. And neither will add fuel to a non-existent fire that they will ever replace different guitar models, or even try to in the next few decades.
 

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I've been following guitar synths closely, since the days of that initial GR. The challenge has always been that keys tell you directly what notes are being played, whereas guitars do not implicitly convey that information; it has to be inferred. That adds to latency, and can compromise reliability/tracking. And, much like noise gates, there is the challenge of differentiating between normal noise or finger glisses, and actual plucked/picked notes entirely on the basis of level. I don't find that a reason to avoid them, just a reason to be reasonable in my expectations. The old guitorgans that would provide organ sounds from a guitar did provide direct information about notes played, but did so via a complex wiring of the neck and electronic connection of frets themselves. That did not make for a very playable, or light, neck.

Many of the recent offerings from Meris, EHX, Boss, and others, incorporate polyphony and digital separation of a mono input to 6 separate signals for individual processing. They don't offer the sort of flexibility that one might expect from a keyboard that sends MIDI messages regarding the multiple keys that might be pressed, onset/offset, including how hard, after-pressure, etc., but even with their limitations offer a great deal of what many potential guitar synth users were looking to synths to provide.

If one is aiming for pads, washes, and similar sort of background textural elements, guitar synths have been more than adequate for many years now, even if sometimes cumbersome to play. Add a bit of slower attack time in the desired sound, and latency becomes a non-issue. Try to play the opening to Eruption, however, and you're dealing with limitations. Still, that hasn't held back players like Pat Metheny, John. McLaughlin, and Allan Holdsworth, who are not exactly slowpokes.

The guy I bought my GK-1 pickup from, bundled it with a Roland GM-70 that allows for complex coding and use of incoming information. In conjunction with my Casio MG-510 MIDI guitar, I could technically be assigning different strings to different synth engines, much like the way that pricey - and even not so pricey - keyboards can do splits and assign this voice to those octaves and that voice to those other octaves. I have to confess that I have been derelict in learning how to use it.
 

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With the new guitar synths, I think latency problems have been dealt with and are now a non-issue. The fact that a number of pros are using them attests to this IMHO. I would not suggest that anyone who is considering one hold back because of any supposed latency problem they think they may run into.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
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If one is aiming for pads, washes, and similar sort of background textural elements, guitar synths have been more than adequate for many years now, even if sometimes cumbersome to play. Add a bit of slower attack time in the desired sound, and latency becomes a non-issue. Try to play the opening to Eruption, however, and you're dealing with limitations. Still, that hasn't held back players like Pat Metheny, John. McLaughlin, and Allan Holdsworth, who are not exactly slowpokes.

The guy I bought my GK-1 pickup from, bundled it with a Roland GM-70 that allows for complex coding and use of incoming information. In conjunction with my Casio MG-510 MIDI guitar, I could technically be assigning different strings to different synth engines, much like the way that pricey - and even not so pricey - keyboards can do splits and assign this voice to those octaves and that voice to those other octaves. I have to confess that I have been derelict in learning how to use it.
Mark, another guitarist who's not exactly slow is Al DiMeola and he's used MIDI guitars in the past as well, along with Adrian Belew, Andy Summers and Reeves Gabrels (David Bowies guitarist for a while.) I think with this new unit we might see even more " big name" guitarists taking the plunge.
 

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Bit by bit, I also expect to see more uptake. Not just because latency and tracking issues are largely overcome, but because the taste/thirst for unusual and non-traditional sounds has increased dramatically in recent years. .The sound of a Les Paul bridge pickup through a JTM45 still appeals to us, but things that used to be only in the realm of post-production by leading-edge producers and the avant-garde are now standard pedals or pedal options. Consider the now "normal" reverse delay, and some of the things that EQD has released in the last few years.

It's a bit like the taste for "ethnic" food. Guitar players are a bit like the guy who grew up in a household where dinner was basically roast beef, peas and mashed potatoes, and suddenly "discovered" General Tsao's chicken at a party. That sampling of a small corner of Chinese cuisine leads to a willingness to try more and more, expand from Chinese to Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Indonesian, and eventually you start to find lemongrass and shitake mushrooms on their regular shopping list.

It won't appeal to everyone, just like "ethnic" food doesn't, but I expect it to steadily enter the player's toolbelt more often.
 

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Bit by bit, I also expect to see more uptake. Not just because latency and tracking issues are largely overcome, but because the taste/thirst for unusual and non-traditional sounds has increased dramatically in recent years. .The sound of a Les Paul bridge pickup through a JTM45 still appeals to us, but things that used to be only in the realm of post-production by leading-edge producers and the avant-garde are now standard pedals or pedal options. Consider the now "normal" reverse delay, and some of the things that EQD has released in the last few years.

It's a bit like the taste for "ethnic" food. Guitar players are a bit like the guy who grew up in a household where dinner was basically roast beef, peas and mashed potatoes, and suddenly "discovered" General Tsao's chicken at a party. That sampling of a small corner of Chinese cuisine leads to a willingness to try more and more, expand from Chinese to Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Indonesian, and eventually you start to find lemongrass and shitake mushrooms on their regular shopping list.

It won't appeal to everyone, just like "ethnic" food doesn't, but I expect it to steadily enter the player's toolbelt more often.
I don't want that all over my guitars and amps.:)
 

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But but I read on TGP that fish sauce is great for breaking in new speakers! :D
I would be okay with that, being a Maritimer but although my wife likes fish, she hates the smell in the house..........alas.
 

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Bit by bit, I also expect to see more uptake. Not just because latency and tracking issues are largely overcome, but because the taste/thirst for unusual and non-traditional sounds has increased dramatically in recent years. .The sound of a Les Paul bridge pickup through a JTM45 still appeals to us, but things that used to be only in the realm of post-production by leading-edge producers and the avant-garde are now standard pedals or pedal options. Consider the now "normal" reverse delay, and some of the things that EQD has released in the last few years.

It's a bit like the taste for "ethnic" food. Guitar players are a bit like the guy who grew up in a household where dinner was basically roast beef, peas and mashed potatoes, and suddenly "discovered" General Tsao's chicken at a party. That sampling of a small corner of Chinese cuisine leads to a willingness to try more and more, expand from Chinese to Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Indonesian, and eventually you start to find lemongrass and shitake mushrooms on their regular shopping list.

It won't appeal to everyone, just like "ethnic" food doesn't, but I expect it to steadily enter the player's toolbelt more often.
All the guitar synths I've played (most recently about 5 years ago - maybe a VG-99?) have required me to play differently, like I was playing a slightly different instrument. I think DiMeola, Metheny et al have been doing the same thing. I noticed that with the E-H 'tracking' pedals, like the B9/C9, as well.

I hope these newer generations of guit synth will change that, and maybe they have already. I am also not keen on having to mount a hex pup on an existing guitar, or a play a guitar I don't particularly feel like playing that has a synth output. These are necessary steps to finally get guitar synths into the mainstream, like key synths have been for 4 decades now.
 

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I think there are two different sorts of have-to-play-differently. One certainly IS the impact that latency and threshold-based note-detection have on what you can permit yourself to do as a player in order to extract a sound out of the gear. But even with flawless and instantaneous note-tracking, your playing WILL be shaped by the very types of sounds you get and aim for from the tone generator. If I pull up a marimba sound or sample from the tone generator, I am automatically play very differently, simply because of the envelope of that tone. Yes, I am also modifying my picking to accommodate the guitar's note detection and MIDI translation of the notes, but the phrases I attempt to play are also those more appropriate to those of an instrument that generates short punctate sounds.

None of that says you're wrong, or that manufacturers and designers will not keep aiming to fulfill the dream of note and pick-attack detection that feels perfect. Rather, even if they succeed in achieving the dream, one's playing and picking style will always have to be different to suit the sounds generated. Mandolins, banjos, and classical guitars are all stringed instruments, but we play them differently. Harpsichords, Bosendorfers, Fender Rhodes, and Hammond B-3s are all keyboard instruments, but we play them differently.

My own personal bias, with respect to acceptance of guitar synths into the mainstream, is that we have successfully cleared the hurdle of tracking, for the most part. Now, the psychological hurdle that has to be cleared is wanting, and planning, to incorporate the sorts of sounds that guitar synths can make into one's music. If one can only think in terms of playing Stevie Ray or Tony Iommi licks, then there's no real place for synth, no matter how easy it is to program and play. But like I say, the general appetite among players for unusual and "textural" sounds is increasing steadily. It'll come.
 
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