A Closer Look At The Roland SY-300 Guitar Synth Pedal

Pedal's capabilities and functionality explored in-depth by Tom Quayle   19-Jul-15

When Roland released the SY-300 synth pedal in April this year, they were keen to point out that the pedal tracks in polyphony through a standard jack cable.

Very impressive indeed! But with such a complicated piece of kit released by Roland, we're only now starting to get a full view of the sounds you can generate with the SY-300, and the full functionality on board.

In the video above, Tom Quayle really puts it through its paces, testing the tracking, but also demonstrating a good range of sounds.

It seems to work best when only partially in the mix, working in the background to add extra texture to chords.

Some of the lead synth sounds still seem a bit, well... silly, but it's obviously a powerful piece of kit that allows your imagination to run wild.

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Trick Fall    Said...

I'd really like to see EHX come out with a synth pedal. I'd think they have the tracking issue licked as well since the POG and HOG work so well. This boss pedal is interesting, but the patches I've heard so far sound pretty uninteresting.

19-Jul-15 11:38 PM

Grantham    Said...

You know, when I first saw this on the Sonicstate Messe coverage there was so much cheesy synth brass-esque sounds being played I thought it was hugely unimpressive. But watching the first few patches of this video I actually started to see some potential (the last few are back into that cheesy synth lead sound best kept at cabarets and weddings). i thought if there was enough programming ability via the editor there was probably some interesting sequences and soundscapes to be had. I just headed over to Sweetwater to window shop....$700!!! You are having an Fing laugh Boss. My lord, you would really want to have more money than sense to buy one of these at that price.

20-Jul-15 08:09 AM

gentlewaves    Said...

Yet ANOTHER demo of this thing that doesn't feature any type of chords whatsoever. Not on any of the synth patches, anyway. He only played some chords when it was on what was basically an effect patch.


I wouldn't pay half the asking price for this thing. You could get a lot more poly-synthy with your guitar with some offerings from EHX and Earthquaker, especially by teaming up, say, a POG2 with that new Interstellar Orbiter Dual Resonant Filter from EQD.

Or, just save your money and wait for something like this from EHX. I don't have any inside info, but from the HOG/HOG2, to the POG/POG2, to the B9 and C9, they're clearly moving towards creating something along the lines of what the SY-300 should be.

21-Jul-15 10:42 AM

Synth plus    Said...

Why do none of these tones sound like the synths that we're hearing on professional tracks these days? So many of the sounds in this demo sound cheesy. The best ones sounded more like processed guitars than oscillators through a filter. If the SY300 is mainly processing the sound of the guitar string rather than generating real oscillators as the tone source, it's no wonder the tracking is no problem,

22-Jul-15 07:02 AM

gentlewaves    Said...

@Synth plus

That's a good point. I just focused on the idea that they keep staying away from strumming chords, but even as a mono "synth tone generator"/"effects processor to make your guitar sound synthy" this thing is cheesy and lame.

It's no Monark.

I'd prefer the tracking be a wee bit off/glitchy, but the quality of the sounds be top notch. So, basically, like what we have now, with the Roland GK pick-up and the under the saddles hexaphonic pick-ups.

And really, if you just clean up your playing, it all but eliminates tracking issues, not to mention the fact you can obviously clean things up in your DAW's sequencer.

What I'm getting at is this is in no way a step forward; more like a step sideways/back/down.

I don't know why Roland bothered with this. It feels like they're trying to cash in on a half-baked idea, dressing it up in some cheesy, unusable effects.

The reviews for this thing will not be kind.

23-Jul-15 01:54 AM

Cellomangler    Said...

As an owner of the pedal for about a week now, I'm satisfied with my purchase. Yes... it is a lot of money. But it really is a guitar synth with a lot of custom patch capability and without the GK and with "practically" zero latency. It is also very forgiving with your technique and blends great with acoustic guitar. I'm having a blast with it. But yeah, it's not for everyone - which is a good thing.

23-Jul-15 11:03 PM

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