What is the Best Synth Pedal? Top Synthesizer Guitar Pedals for 2021
Before we get into details, it is crucial that we gain an understanding of what precisely a synthesizer pedal is.
So, what is a synthesizer pedal?
A guitar synthesizer pedal is an effects processor that allows a guitarist to use a guitar to emulate the sounds of a synthesizer. What happens is that, with the activation of the effect units of the guitar, the guitar creates an output signal that is taken and then processed by the guitar synthesizing pedal which in turn changes the entire sound from what was previously delivers. These processing features of a guitar synthesizing pedal are commonly applied during live shows and studio sessions in the process of composing music.
Passionate musicians are always looking to get products that can match their creativity and bring forth an output that first has to be satisfying to them before it is delivered to the listeners. When it comes to an instrument like a guitar synthesizing pedal, a lot of thought needs to be put into deciding which of the various brands in the market is the most favorable.
The fact that several brands are designing and building guitar synthesizers in the market makes the task of looking for the best a difficult task. In this article, we break down seven of the best brands in the market:
Best Guitar Synth Pedal List
|① BOSS GP-10 WITH GK-3 PICKUP **TOP PICK**||(5 / 5)|
|② ELECTRO-HARMONIX SYNTH 9 SYNTHESIZER MACHINE||(4.7 / 5)|
|③ ROLAND GR-55 GUITAR SYNTH-BLACK-WITH GK-3 PICKUP||(4.6 / 5)|
|④ BOSS SYB-5 BASS SYNTHESIZER PEDAL||(4.5 / 5)|
|⑤ DIGITECH DIRTY ROBOT STEREO MINI-SYNTH PEDAL||(4.4 / 5)|
① Boss GP-10 with GK-3 Pickup
This is a portable synthesizer that can be used on both guitars and a base. It delivers a wide variety of auto waves and dynamic synthesized sounds that can be converted in a variety of ways. It comes with three filter modes that include the high pass mode, the high pass filter mode, the low pass mode, and a combination of the two methods.
It also comes with a three-phase interface control mode and a wide range of control and interface. It also comes with three primary methods that can be deployed depending on the preferences of the audience. It is highly portable and effortless to use and to adapt to.
Its battery is also portable.
- It can be used on both guitar or base
- It is portable along with its battery
- It has a three-phase interface
- Its digital/ IDI/ Analog effects are excellent
- It is expensive
- It may run warm
② Electro-Harmonix Synth 9 Synthesizer Machine
This is a synthesizer emulation pedal used for guitar and bass. It is a rugged yet durable device that comes with a metal chassis that protects it from the internal circuitry. This device can produce searing lead synths through the spacey pads giving out some of the funkiest tones.
It produces both dry and wet output when used with the separate volume knobs that each is in charge of a specific production. It also has a variety of featured to choose from including Obx, Profit V, vibe synth, a mini mood, Ehx mini, solo synth, a mood bass, Poly VI and a string synth system. It has two control knobs that control the additional effects, voice intervals, and filters among several other features.
It has an inbuilt compressor that regulates its output.
- It is durable
- It has a compressor to regulate the sound output
- It produces both wet and dry sound outputs
- It may be challenging to figure out
- It is expensive
③ Roland GR-55 Guitar Synth-Black-with GK-3 Pickup
This guitar synth comes with up to nine hundred and ten tones. it is an expression and volume pedal that is used by professional guitarists. It is also designed with an Onboard USB WAV/ AIFF player that makes it more convenient than most of the other brands in the market.
This device is designed with a unique and newly developed pitch-detection feature engine that if faster than the others in the market. It is packed with several effects that give the musician a chance to explore with his or her creativity while performing in live events or while in the recording studio. It is a versatile and one of a kind synth with two versatile channel digital programmable effects (PCM).
For better functioning, this guitar synthesizer requires you to mount an interface called GK3 on your instrument.
- It has two channel PCM programs
- It has three channel pickups and a selector unit
- It offers a variety of effects and sounds
- It may be prone to some reliability challenges
- It is expensive
④ BOSS SYB-5 BASS Synthesizer Pedal
Upon acquisition, this product comes with a manual, a mode label, and a dry nine V type of battery. It has up to eleven DSP variations of saw, square as well as pulse synthesizing waves. The control filter can cutoff and LFO rate through optional EV-5 expression pedals.
It comes with an enhanced wave shaped mode that allows for the production of even the sharpest of sounds. Notes can be held correctly with the pedal onboard as well as the jam that is on top of the gadget. It also comes with an expression input element as well as an envelope filter in its internal control, making it different from the previous version by BOSS Audio Systems.
- It has an enhanced wave shaped mode that produces sharp sounds
- It has excellent filtering features
- It has an expression input element
- Setting it up may be difficult
- It is not quite versatile
⑤ DigiTech Dirty Robot Stereo Mini-Synth Pedal
This gadget is designed with two voices, synth, and vocal formatting features. It has a drift knob that blends the square wave with the octave and sub waves. It has three concentric knobs that allow for a ton of control in a small form factor than other features offered by other brands in the market.
It can access both stereo output and stereo output. This feature is however, optional. It has a warm analog synth feature that comes with sweeps that are either subtle of extremely enveloped. It also has a wide range of synthesized frequency sweeps and sounds that can be adjusted to change or trigger the sensitivity of the synth sweep.
- It has chorus modulation features
- It has an optional stereo input and stereo output features
- It has a wide range of effects and a range of sweep frequencies
- It is expensive
- It is may not be as compact as you would like it to be
⑥ MXR EVH90 Phase 90
This is a highly portable device that is also very simple to use. It is modeled to the classic EVH phase 90 Pedal. It can be switched from script to Block logo phase sound effects in an instant with the switch of a button.
It comes with speed knob controls that are the rate of phasing. It comes with an ultra-bright blue LED that lights up when it is engaged. It runs on a nine-Watt voltage, and it is powered by a 9 V power supply.
It was designed following a collaboration between two legends in the field; Eddie Van Halen and the MXR Jim Dunlop as the lead designer.
- It has speed knob that controls the phasing
- It is highly portable
- It is simple to use and useful as advertised
- It comes with additional features
- It may be hard to come by
- It is costly
⑦ Korg Miku Stomp Vocaloid Guitar Effects Pedal
This Korg pedal works acts as a synthesizer or a vocoder that stimulates a Japanese character called the Hatsune Miku. Its internal circuit system works on vocal synthesis technology that is part of the eVocaloid technology that is based on Yamaha’s next-generation sound engine.
This is a monophonic pedal that can only play a single tone at a single moment. It comes with eleven vocalized presets. However, it gives you the freedom to add your lyrics and vocal sounds through the KORG MIKU STOMP on an application that is found on the Apple store for iPhones.
It has a variety of sound settings, including the fascinating Looh setting that gives it its unique sound.
- It allows you to add your sound and lyrics while using
- It has 11 main synth sounds
- It runs on vocal synthesis technology
- It is monophonic
- It is difficult to master
What is the work of a guitar synthesizer pedal?
A guitar synthesizer pedal is a device that is used to process and manipulate the input signal of the guitar. It helps to emulate the sound of a synthesizer for a guitar. This is made possible by the interface settings that have been set on the guitar.
Owing to its nature, a guitar synthesizing unit, it is usually placed within the middle of a chain of signals. However, you have the option to play around with the position of your pedal board until you find a location that works for you.
What to look for when selecting a guitar synthesizing pedal
Is it monophonic or polyphonic?
Monophonic means that it can only play one sound at a time. On the other hand, a polyphonic synthesizer can play more than one sound at a time. The preferable kind of a synthesizer is one that can play more than a single sound at ago.
However, it is essential to note that a polyphonic synth pedal is usually more expensive than the latter. But then again, it is said that quality matches the price.
The variety of synth sounds that the gadget can produce
A regular synthesizing guitar pedal can produce up to a nine synth sounds also known as vocal synthesis or vocoder sounds. Each synth sound is usually based on different constant sounds. However, different synthesizer guitar pedals are designed to produce a different number of synth sounds.
Some gadgets can produce up to 18 sounds while others 11 and so on. It is wise to get one with the most extensive variety. However, it is good to note that the more range a gadget can offer, the higher the chances of it falling out of service faster as it works harder and may not be reliable when it comes to playing live shows.
The additional features
The regular features of guitar synthesizer pedals are the same in each brand. However, each brand works to increase their market base by making other features that make it stand out from the rest. Such features may include its sound features, its filtration features, the battery, and power features.
When choosing the brand of guitar synthesizer pedal, the choice of additional features that you decide on will depend on your musical preferences and the kind of sound you are looking to derive or create.
The kind of sound or music that you are looking to produce
When it comes to choosing any musical instrument, it is always wise to select one depending on the kind of sound you are looking to create and the type of music you are looking to compose. Synthesizer guitar pedals are no exception. Different varieties and different brands of guitar synthesizer pedals produce various kinds of sounds depending on the features of the gadgets as well as the additional features.
When looking into any kind of guitar pedal, it is essential that you consider how portable the device is. A guitar is generally a portable device. Hence its simple accessories should also be mobile to increase convenience.
Ease of use
Some synthesizer guitar pedals have been faulted for being challenging to use. Such are those that have complicated functions and settings. When choosing a guitar pedal, it is always wise to find one that you can use with ease.
Most people who complain of pedals not working are those that have not figured out the correct way of setting up the gadget as well as using it.
Types of Guitar Pedals
Other than a synthesizer guitar pedal, other types of guitar pedals are as important as the synthesizer. They include:
Pitch Shifter Pedals
This type of pedal is used to shift or to blend the notes of the guitar. This can be done physically, however, with a pitch shifter pedal, this can be done more effectively and in such ways that a physical endeavor may not be able to achieve.
When using a guitar pitch shifter pedal, the risk of the guitar falling out of tune is eliminated. A very particular effect is achieved that as this device can be used to create a unique sound.
An octave pedal is used to add a variety of sounds to every note that is played. Every octave pedal should be able to play at least a one-octave difference to every note that is played. In terms of processing, it is simpler than other kinds of pedals for guitars and its latency may be less noticeable than that of different types of pedals.
For owners of a 15-string guitar, an octave pedal is a way to go. Its circuit is very straightforward; therefore, it is quite simple to use and get used to.
The third kind of guitar pedal is the synthesizer pedal which we have previously defined in this article.
Effects that a guitar pedals offer
A synth pedal should be able to boost the signal that goes into the computer. It can perk up even the lowest output guitar and bring out more character depending on the quality of the amplifier that you are using. It works miracles for an artist that performs on live events or concerts.
This is the effect that is offered by an octave pedal.
Other effects include compression, tremolo, and several others.
What categories of guitar effect pedals do you need?
There are four basic categories of guitar effects that are used in the creation of guitar tones. These are:
The dynamic effect
This is a type of effect that is used to shape the volume of the tone of your guitar.
The frequency-based effect
This kind of effect is used to change the playback time of a regular guitar.
The time-based effect
This effect is used to make alterations to specific frequencies that are already functional in your guitar.
The Modelling effect
This is the effect that is used to model the precision of the electronic, the mechanical and the magnetic characteristics that make an instrument, an amplifier and a speaker to be able to produce and create new sounds. With this effect, your instrument can create a sound that is entirely different from other sounds there are.
It is important to note that there are categories of effects and types of effects as well. The aforementioned are categories while the below mentioned are the types of effects:
The acoustic simulator effect
This effect falls under the modeling category. It is used to make the sound the guitar makes to sound like that of an acoustic guitar. To create a variety of tones, you have the option of choosing the kind of acoustic guitar you wish to emulate.
The chorus, compression or sustain effect
This effect falls under the frequency-based category. It is used to make the guitar sound like more than one guitar is playing. It is created by dubbing the guitar tone once or a couple of times in a short delay period while varying the pitch of the double.
The variety can either be slightly up or slightly down depending on the dry guitar tone. These types of effects are created using a chorus panel that has two controls; the depth and the rate control. The rate control is in charge of the speed while the latter is in charge of the pitch.
The WAH effect
Like the latter, this effect falls under the frequency-based category. The sound that it creates is similar to that created when a person says the word ‘wah’ in their voice.
It’s a frequency-based effect that imitates the sound produced from rapidly vibrating a finger over a string resulting in the wavering of the note that is produced.
It’s a dynamic kind of effect that rapidly lowers and raises the volume of the guitar resulting in a wobbly and pulsating sound quality
It is a potent effect that makes the guitar tones sound like they are being chopped in and out. This effect can be produced by synthesizers.
The reverb effect
This a time-based effect that is used to simulate the echoes that take place in a room. This effect was created by putting a loudspeaker in a special room that produces echoes and recording the effects. Some of these effects, however, are achieved by objects the kind of springs or metal plates that can generate echoes.
This is a modeling effect that is used to recreate the sound that is made from the performance of a rotary cabinet. It is a modulating effect that is used by several guitarists across the globe.
The phaser effect
This is a frequency-based effect that makes a guitar tone that is swooshing or swirling filtered. This effect uses the phase cancellation principle through which filter passes over the tone of the guitar resulting in a flip of the waveform to a specific frequency.
It’s a dynamic type of effect that sounds as if your guitar is being played through an amplifier that is breaking down. It is more subtle as compared to distortion effects.
It is a frequency-based type of guitar effect that makes the sound seem as if a second guitar is being played in the harmony of the original guitar signal. This effect can be created by doubling the input signal of the guitar and then shifting the pitch of the double up and the down at a specific interval.
Conclusion & What is the Best Guitar Synthesizer Pedal
Guitars are very complicated instruments. Learning how to work a guitar is not an easy task. Also, using guitar accessories comes with an added burden.
However, once you learn how to operate and work a guitar, it is one of the essential instruments used in the creation and performing of music. The trick comes in getting the right kind of accessories to employ.
In this article, we have broken down seven of the best synthesizer guitar pedals in the market. Of all the seven, the BOSS GP-10 with GK 3 Pickup (CHECK BEST PRICE HERE) stands out.
Though expensive, this gadget has the best MIDI/Analog effects, can be used without employing any COSM effects, has impeccable effects, it is portable, and can be used on a variety of guitar types. These are just some of the impressive features.
Get the BOSS GP-10 with GK 3 Pickup device today from any verified dealers out there!