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Boss SY-1


Woodinblack

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23 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

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". 

Odd - never heard anyone say that their distortion pedal or their HPF had great tracking. Exactly the same thing!

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21 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

Odd - never heard anyone say that their distortion pedal or their HPF had great tracking. Exactly the same thing!

Yeah but octave users do it all the time even when the method of creating the octave note differs. Drive pedals and HPFs don't generally suffer from latency or glitching in the way that octave pedals and synth pedals typically do.

I guess it's simply about having a common parlance so we have an idea of what we're all referring to. 

So for the avoidance of doubt when me and everyone else talk about "great tracking" we simply mean that there's v low latency and glitching even when we are playing funkily fast. I'm guessing most of us are not too fussed about how the circuitry gets us there. Although, fair do's Woody, you're approaching this at whole level deeper and respect to you for that, mate.

Edited by Al Krow
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15 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

I guess It's simply about having a common parlance so we have an idea of what we're all referring to. 

Indeed - I get that. It is comparing apples with oranges, but I guess if people need that

15 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

So for the avoidance of doubt when me and everyone else talk about "great tracking" we simply mean that there's v low latency and glitching even when we are playing funkily fast. I'm guessing most of us are not too fussed about how the circuitry gets us there. Although, fair do's Woody, you're approaching this at whole level deeper and respect to you for that, mate.

I don't think I am really - its not a 'synth', I think the problem is that it has synth written on it, its more like 'synth effects' for a guitar / bass. 

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40 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

I don't think I am really - its not a 'synth', I think the problem is that it has synth written on it, its more like 'synth effects' for a guitar / bass. 

That last point is an important one i.e. this is a synth emulator and not an actual synth. In other words similar to what EHX "synth" pedals are providing and not the same as the Source Audio C4, Panda FI or indeed the Markbass SS. Although I'd take this over the Markbass SS every day of the week!

The dual filters, polyphony, SEQ feature, and ability to sustain the 'synth' tone whilst playing the bass-line over it are however all pretty neat and make this worth entry price and oh that great tracking...

Edited by Al Krow
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1 hour ago, Stub Mandrel said:

How does the polyphonic bit work if it doesn't track?

Because you are playing a polyphonic signal into it. So the effect happens to that. It isn't analysing your signal for pitch, just for dynamics. If it changes the pitch it is doing it in an effective analog way, rather than a pitch to note way such as a proper synth

You will find if you change your bass sound it will affect the synth out. Just not that much because of the depth of the effect.

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2 hours ago, Woodinblack said:

Because you are playing a polyphonic signal into it. So the effect happens to that. It isn't analysing your signal for pitch, just for dynamics. If it changes the pitch it is doing it in an effective analog way, rather than a pitch to note way such as a proper synth

You will find if you change your bass sound it will affect the synth out. Just not that much because of the depth of the effect.

But it isn't. If you play one note, then another overlapping it applies a separate effect to each note.

I know it blends the unprocessed signal in to reduce perception of latency, but it is truly polyphonic, applying different processing to each note so it must be splitting the signal?

If they are not synthesising each signal from scratch but actually splitting and processing each not individually is actually more demanding   as they have to determine pitch AND capture a waveform for each note.

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2 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

But it isn't. If you play one note, then another overlapping it applies a separate effect to each note.

I know it blends the unprocessed signal in to reduce perception of latency, but it is truly polyphonic, applying different processing to each note so it must be splitting the signal?

If they are not synthesising each signal from scratch but actually splitting and processing each not individually is actually more demanding   as they have to determine pitch AND capture a waveform for each note.

I don’t think that’s quite what is happening either. It applies processing to the whole overall signal, so that if you play an overlapping note you have simply added to the harmonic content of the original note. The pedal now applies the effect to the new overall signal and is triggered by the new volume envelope of the second note.

The way to test and demonstrate this would be be playing two overlapping notes and seeing if the filter and volume envelope is applied solely to the second note (after being applied to the first note) or whether it gets applied to the first and second note together (after of course first being applied to the first note alone). I’m certain you’ll find it’s the latter. So basically it behaves a little like a paraphonic synth in that the filter and volume envelopes are shared by all voices (though the SY-1 doesn’t have separate voices in the way a synth does) and both are triggered each time a new note is struck. Some of this behaviour will likely be masked by the fact that there is some dry signal present in the sound so that you’ll hear a distinct new volume envelope of any newly-struck note. 

I’m happy to be proved wrong if someone can record and post a clip demonstrating otherwise. 

Edited by Quatschmacher
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Right - time knock this debate on the head. The Boss SY-1 is a cut down non programmable version of the Boss SY-300:

"The SY-1 transforms any guitar or bass into a versatile synthesizer that’s fun, inspiring, and ready to play. Backed by advanced tech first developed for the SY-300, this super-cool pedal delivers a huge selection of analog-style synth sounds while occupying minimal space on your board. What’s more, all the sounds are polyphonic, allowing you to play both single notes and chords." [Source: https://www.boss.info/uk/products/sy-1/ ]

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/boss-sy-300

polyphonic pitch extraction is dealt with in the section "Right On Track" 

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39 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Right - time knock this debate on the head. The Boss SY-1 is a cut down non programmable version of the Boss SY-300:

"The SY-1 transforms any guitar or bass into a versatile synthesizer that’s fun, inspiring, and ready to play. Backed by advanced tech first developed for the SY-300, this super-cool pedal delivers a huge selection of analog-style synth sounds while occupying minimal space on your board. What’s more, all the sounds are polyphonic, allowing you to play both single notes and chords." [Source: https://www.boss.info/uk/products/sy-1/ ]

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/boss-sy-300

polyphonic pitch extraction is dealt with in the section "Right On Track" 

OK, so pretty much what I said then?

It is fairly apparent if you really listen to it.

Now, if we were talking about the Boss SY-1000, then that is a whole new ballgame!

Edited by Woodinblack
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1 minute ago, Woodinblack said:

OK, so pretty much what I said then?

It is fairly apparent if you really listen to it.

Well you weren't going to get any debate on electronic stuff from me matey! 

Your ability to use your Helix LT to be a rock god, well now that's a whole 'nother matter 😁

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3 minutes ago, owen said:

From my fleeting experience of the SY-1, the "polyphonic" aspect of it did enable it to be less fussy about the cleanliness of the playing than other pedals. 

Agreed. For me the polyphony and great tracking / lack of glitching combine together, so the pedal can easily work with your playing style rather than forcing you to change your technique so that it can cope. Means you can play naturally rather than needing to go for a more staccato approach. 

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22 hours ago, Quatschmacher said:

I don’t think that’s quite what is happening either. It applies processing to the whole overall signal, so that if you play an overlapping note you have simply added to the harmonic content of the original note. The pedal now applies the effect to the new overall signal and is triggered by the new volume envelope of the second note.

If it did that I would send it back with the comment that it isn't polyphonic...

16 hours ago, Woodinblack said:

OK, so pretty much what I said then?

It is fairly apparent if you really listen to it.

Now, if we were talking about the Boss SY-1000, then that is a whole new ballgame!

Yes, but tracking and latency aren't the same thing.

As I said it avoids latency by using original signal, but it still has to track and process each note separately.

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17 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Yes, but tracking and latency aren't the same thing.

In common parlance must admit I use the term "tight tracking" to mean that it can follow the notes played without glitching or noticeable latency.

So that we're on the same page, sounds like you're distinguishing accurate note tracking (pitch) from instantaneous tracking (latency), right?

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5 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

That's how I understand it! 

Gotcha. And the point is the SY-1 does them both together better than any other synth pedal I've played (and I've now been through a fair few). It's light-years better on note & latency tracking than e.g. the SYB-5, its immediate predecessor, and means that when you're doing fast runs, this thing can keep up with you. 

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24 minutes ago, owen said:

The Korg G5 followed whatever was happening very easily. And you could have 9 memory slots. I miss the G5.

Just a mono tracking thing? Wouldn't be much good for me. The GR55 is pretty good tracking at higher notes and not too shabby on bass too, especially with pad sort of notes.

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50 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

In which way would that not be polyphonic? You put two notes in, two notes are coming out, that is polyphonic. 

 

 

 

You can play two notes into a non-polyphonic octaver and two notes come out but that doesn't make it polyphonic...

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SY-1 owners/users 

Ive been approached by some mates to play in an 80’s soundtracks covers thing once this lockdown ends. I think they’ve  been holed up watching classic movies from their childhood/teens and had the brain wave (they are flat mates and muso’s). They asked if I have a bass synth pedal or could get one as they wrangle a keys player but have said they would like the bass to do some synth type sounds too if possible. 
 

Has anyone got any patches setting which would impress my potential Kenny Loggins and Don Henley?

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