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Woodinblack

Boss SY-1

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15 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

I guess it reminds me that we're first and foremost bass players and then somewhere down the list, computer editing boffins!

Speak for yourself :D

 

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4 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Excellent! When's it due?

Due tomorrow. It is the sustain pedal aspect that is drawing me in. I have an FI for synthy goodness. 

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54 minutes ago, owen said:

Due tomorrow. It is the sustain pedal aspect that is drawing me in. I have an FI for synthy goodness. 

Good man!

You'll have guessed from my earlier post that my "will to live" as regards computer editing has been entirely filched by my multi-fxs, which obviously can deliver a much wider range of fx as the reward for the time invested. So I've not had any motivation to pick up yet more computer editing skills on my FI and which has consequently lain somewhat forlorn on my board!

Given that you're the only other person I know who has both the FI and SY-1, particularly interested in getting your views on whether you feel the SY-1 is going to be good enough for your live use (are you currently in a band?) especially it's superb tracking, sustain pedal and polyphony or whether the tonal "extra" that the FI can undoubtedly deliver makes it noticeably better in terms of classic synth tone, given that you seem to have got far more into your FI than I have managed to!

Edited by Al Krow

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20 minutes ago, owen said:

It is the sustain pedal aspect that is drawing me in.

And that will be an FI feature at some point in the future too, all being well. 

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On 02/02/2020 at 16:03, Al Krow said:

 particularly interested in getting your views on whether you feel the SY-1 is going to be good enough for your live use (are you currently in a band?) especially it's superb tracking, sustain pedal and polyphony or whether the tonal "extra" that the FI can undoubtedly deliver makes it noticeably better in terms of classic synth tone, given that you seem to have got far more into your FI than I have managed to!

The reality is that i have never gigged my FI in anger. Every time I fired it up in a gig situation with one band the keys player looked at me with a smile and then called up something obscene on his Moog/Nord/ARP and I slid backwards into the wings. Or I fired it up on DB with a singer I worked with and she looked confused. I have no issue with the FI tracking and do not expect this to be any different. If the sustain thing was happening on the FI then I would not be bothering but a job I did owed me some money and I treated myself to this. The actual amount of FX I use out in the real world are negligable so my opinion is not going to sway anyone. I can see myself using the sustain thing in Church so that makes it a useful experiment. Pretty soon all the online retailers in the UK will blacklist me because you can have an awful lot of fum messing with stuff at home and then sending them back.

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4 hours ago, owen said:

The reality is that i have never gigged my FI in anger. Every time I fired it up in a gig situation with one band the keys player looked at me with a smile and then called up something obscene on his Moog/Nord/ARP and I slid backwards into the wings. Or I fired it up on DB with a singer I worked with and she looked confused. I have no issue with the FI tracking and do not expect this to be any different. If the sustain thing was happening on the FI then I would not be bothering but a job I did owed me some money and I treated myself to this. The actual amount of FX I use out in the real world are negligable so my opinion is not going to sway anyone. I can see myself using the sustain thing in Church so that makes it a useful experiment. Pretty soon all the online retailers in the UK will blacklist me because you can have an awful lot of fum messing with stuff at home and then sending them back.

I’ve alluded to this in other threads but the idea of a synth bass is far more alluring than actually employing it on a gig. We cover some tunes where a synth ‘could’ work but the reality is that adapting a bass line to work in the context the your band is often preferable to getting a dialled in ‘tone’. That’s certainly what’s worked for me in my bands, confounded when there’s been a keys player too which there has been in one of my main gigging ventures. Sometimes groove, feel and the 1 are the priority. No disrespect to established synth  users. I just couldn’t make it fit in my current gigs and accepted this many moons ago🙂

Edited by krispn
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I fired it up and messed with it. The polyphonic nature of it makes it quite forgiving of sloppy playing. It tracks well all the way to bottom. The arpeggiator is lots of fun, but with no tap tempo option I cannot see how I can use it in the real world. I had hoped that aspect would replace my Boss Slicer. It wont. There is a movable filter doobrie on it but that is universal so if it is set for one sound it is set for everything so that is not so great. The sounds are fine. The sustain pedal function is the bomb. The lack of tweakability which is programmable means it is not for me. 

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It turns out that tap tempo for the arpeggiator IS available from a control pedal input. Sorry for the misinformation.

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10 minutes ago, owen said:

It turns out that tap tempo for the arpeggiator IS available from a control pedal input. Sorry for the misinformation.

Given it's outstanding tracking and easy tweak-ability without needing any recourse to a PC, is that going to get it over the line in making it a keeper for you?

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Just now, owen said:

Nope. It has gone back. 

Ah well...c'est la vie.

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Forgot to plug the SY1 into power yesterday, thought it wouldn't be an issue as it had a reasonably new battery in it (like just over a practice). Died on me half way through the last song of the first set 😫 The bass was fading in and out, didn't know what it was.

Second half it was plugged in, won't make that mistake again!

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How are people finding the sequencer on the SY-1? I cannot figure out how to make it accept external tap tempo. I have tried the correct Normally Closed (but, for thoroughness also Normally Open) external tap input - but all this does is activate the "hold" function, rather than tap the desired tempo. I am aware from ther manual that you can use the dual Boss FS-7 external tap footswitch to activate "either" the hold or tap function - but:

1) I believe this be ambiguous, as the manual also states the function of the External input is contingent on the preset selected (but fails to provide details of how these change)

2) I split my TRS cable signal into separate "tip" and "ring" leads - and this either triggers the hold function or does nothing....so how would this setup be different to using a FS-7?

Is anybody getting tap tempo to work for the sequencer function? If so, how!? Without it, this thing is useless for me live.

Thanks

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On 27/03/2020 at 15:35, RaNoFuNkY said:

How are people finding the sequencer on the SY-1? I cannot figure out how to make it accept external tap tempo. I have tried the correct Normally Closed (but, for thoroughness also Normally Open) external tap input - but all this does is activate the "hold" function, rather than tap the desired tempo. I am aware from ther manual that you can use the dual Boss FS-7 external tap footswitch to activate "either" the hold or tap function - but:

1) I believe this be ambiguous, as the manual also states the function of the External input is contingent on the preset selected (but fails to provide details of how these change)

2) I split my TRS cable signal into separate "tip" and "ring" leads - and this either triggers the hold function or does nothing....so how would this setup be different to using a FS-7?

Is anybody getting tap tempo to work for the sequencer function? If so, how!? Without it, this thing is useless for me live.

Thanks

Hey - did you find a fix for this?

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Just picking up on this excellent mini review on this thread so we don't lose it. And which btw I very much agree with.

On 22/04/2020 at 01:48, The GroovyPlucker said:

Well, I decided to take the plunge and get this....and.....it's f****n great.

I love Boss pedals, always have, love their little footprint & design.

I've been after a decent Synth pedal for a good while. Had a dalliance with the Future Impact & the EHX Bass Mono Synth and for me this SY-1 pisses over both of them. Don't want to diss the F1, will diss that heap of junk which is the EHX, but this thing tracks better than any I've ever used.

The downside is the limitation of sounds over the F1, if the F1 tracked anywhere near as good as this then that would be the obvious choice, it of course may be down to the sounds that the F1 has over the SY-1 that may be the tracking situ, don't know, but the SY-1 has some very, very workable sounds.

For me, my target sounds have always been 80's pop, think of all the great synth bass sounds their have been Whitney Houston, Gary Numan, Chaka Khan to name countless others, I haven't delved into emulating Night Shift by The Commodores yet but that's up soon.

This wee boyo can handle your Muse type indulgences too, along with more modernistic & experimental tones.

So I'd recommend it for those who are looking at this avenue, I'd guess that if it sells well then in a couple of years you'll see a new stomp box with a few more varied sounds and that all important 5-10 preset scenario.

On 22/04/2020 at 12:04, The GroovyPlucker said:

As mentioned Rollin Thunder it is awesome, but so is the F1, the boss is a neat, smaller unit which fits on your pedal board well. There's a couple of you tube videos that go through each individual sound so you know what it can offer, each variation can be tweaked further with the tone & depth dial, although many are very similar variations of the rest, it's the tracking that's killer on this, even my sloppy play is forgiven whereas on the F1 it wasn't......

@The GroovyPlucker - be good to get a couple of your favourite settings to try out, and I'll do the same.

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Thanks for sharing Al, I'll have another mess around with the SY-1 soon, again hope to use it for the cover band to do some of them 80's tunes I keep yapping on about so all settings will be pointing that way...

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On 22/02/2020 at 12:31, Woodinblack said:

Forgot to plug the SY1 into power yesterday, thought it wouldn't be an issue as it had a reasonably new battery in it (like just over a practice). Died on me half way through the last song of the first set 😫 The bass was fading in and out, didn't know what it was.

Second half it was plugged in, won't make that mistake again!

yeh its super power hungry!

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Posted (edited)

I was asked recently on TB to give some pointers to someone starting out with the SY-1. I've included my post on our main SY-1 thread, in case it's of wider interest / use to fellow BC'ers:

Patch ideas for the Boss SY-1: getting started 

Basic set up

Recommend having the SY-1 at the start or close to the start of your signal chain - by all means after your HPF and / or compressor if you are using these. This is to give the synth the cleanest possible signal to latch on to. And, of course, make sure to switch the pedal to bass mode on the rear.

I like to set the balance at wet 6/10 and dry 2/10 to keep a touch of clean blend to fatten up the tone, without dominating the synth output. 

Auditioning the various sound types

A good place to start is with the inner (tone) and outer (depth) filters both set at 5/10 i.e. noon and then systematically run through the 9 core sounds with each of the 11 settings to find a few that grab you as being decent / usable. Many of them likely won’t and a fair few will sound quite “samey”– but that’s fine, at the end of the day if we’re planning to use this synth live, we probably only need to get 2 or 3 really good sounds for live use; and the ability of this pedal to track like a deer hunter makes it a killer app for that! 

So that’s 99 sounds to have a bit of fun working through. 

The magic sauce is in the filters!

When you’ve got a few favourite basic sounds, the magic ingredient is adjusting the filters to open and close these to improve on the base sound. This can massively change the output sound to give you multiple variations for each of the basic 99 settings you’ve just auditioned. Ok you’re starting to get a feel for the versatility of this thing! 

For example: I quite like the Bass-6 setting. Dialling back the outer filter to 2/10 gives me a really good Bootsy squelchy filter down-sweep and dialling up the inner filter to 7/10 brightens up the tone. I now have something quite different to the base sound with both filters set at 5/10 and certainly, to my ears anyway, a big improvement and a synthy tone that I would be happy using live.

 Boss SY-1 III [Bass6].jpg

But there’s more

I’ve left out mention of the two SEQ settings for now, which add a whole further dimension to this pedal. They give us a further 22 settings to take the total initial settings to 121. Then there is the ability to hook this thing up to an expression pedal with a TRS cable. 

The SY-1 also allows you to include other fx in a parallel loop, to blend in without garbling the synth tone itself. I’ve got a Tech21 Red Ripper fuzz in my SY-1’s loop to thicken up the sound and might then choose to feed into a short delay which can add a cool dynamic to the sound.

Edited by Al Krow
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22 hours ago, 0175westwood29 said:

yeh its super power hungry!

It draws 85mA from a power brick said Boss when I asked them so looks like I'll have to use it with my T-Rex Chameleon......

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19 minutes ago, The GroovyPlucker said:

wow Al Krow, that's quite involved, must have a tinker when I get my fretless sire 5 string....

Yeah you definitely should - this thing has a ton of options and soundscapes under its bonnet! But it gets pretty quick to dial in when you've done the first few. Also worth making a note of any settings that you particularly like :) 

The key to this pedal is definitely the dual filter (that and its incredibly tight tracking!). Several folk on TB mentioned they were finding the settings giving pretty "samey" sounds - bet your bottom $ that's 'cos they are comparing them on identical filter settings. Altering the two filters can significantly change the sound of pretty much all of the 121 presets.

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46 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

The key to this pedal is definitely the dual filter (that and its incredibly tight tracking!).

Why do people keep saying 'tracking'. This thing does not track, it is not a 'synth' in that sense. You are modifying the smoothed waveform you put in, there is no pitch detection like in something like the FI, GR etc.

Sorry, my pet hate with this!

46 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Several folk on TB mentioned they were finding the settings giving pretty "samey" sounds - bet your bottom $ that's 'cos they are comparing them on identical filter settings. Altering the two filters can significantly change the sound of pretty much all of the 121 presets.

Some of the sounds are pretty samey, but never exactly the same and I think that is because they are variations of the same thing. I mean they could have just provided the 9 basic sounds, without the variation knob and it *still* would have been a great pedal. 

 

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49 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

Why do people keep saying 'tracking'. This thing does not track, it is not a 'synth' in that sense. You are modifying the smoothed waveform you put in, there is no pitch detection like in something like the FI, GR etc.

Sorry, my pet hate with this!

Haha - that's definitely an electronic engineer speaking!

As far as average Joe bassist like me is concerned, when we play a note and hear the effected sound coming out of our cabs without noticeable latency or glitching then that, in simple terms, is "great tracking". Soz Woody - but "accurate smoothed waveform detection" just ain't gonna catch on 😁

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55 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

...I mean they could have just provided the 9 basic sounds, without the variation knob and it *still* would have been a great pedal. 

That's in big part 'cos it has accurate smoothed waveform detection - nah blow that - great tracking(!) Which makes it really usable live.

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