Boss SY-300

Guitar synthesis comes loose from its moorings
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You can finally say goodbye to all the proprietary cables and technological hurdles: Simply plug in a standard ¼-inch cable and you’re ready to play the Boss SY-300, which packs a three-oscillator, analog-modeling synthesizer and powerful effects into a compact floor unit. All of the guitarist’s bags of tricks are spoken on the SY-300, including polyphonic pitch bend, glisses, and strums, with a fluency even the best MIDI guitars can’t match. In fact, the SY-300 can process anything you can pass through its single, ¼-inch input, including violins, bass, vocals, or prerecorded tracks.

A USB B port on the unit’s rear panel passes audio bi-directionally, which adds basic audiointerface functionality and the ability to send your DAW’s audio tracks through the synth or the effects, in addition to supporting MIDI for saving and loading patches. The synth’s easy front-panel programming lets you go well beyond the less-than inspiring presets. Better yet, download the excellent, free software editor-librarian; our reviewer had no problem finding his way to his own sounds. The Boss SY-300 may be the most revolutionary leap forward in guitar-synth technology in decades, and leaps into the limelight for Editors’ Choice.