6 Best Synth Pedals For Guitarist (November 2022) – Buyers Guide 🥇

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In this article we’re going to be discussing the best guitar synth pedals, that exist in 2022.

Synthesizer pedals have become a more common tool to shaping a unique sound amongst musicians in order to take their tone to the next level. In this article we will look at the six synth pedals that we believe are the very best on the market. Here you will find all the key details, videos and information regarding each pedal, with our number one pick, best value for money and premium choice at the end.

Best Synth Pedals

 

What Is A Guitar Synth Pedal?

Simply put, a synth pedal is usually a regular stompbox that allows you to play a synthesizer through the notes you play on the guitar. Using one allows a guitar player to create distinctive tones and overall expand their sonic palette. Most synth pedals you will find typically work in a similar fashion, they use oscillators to active a synth circuit housed within a small guitar pedal enclosure.

There are various degrees of control that are typical for a synth pedal. Many have presets that emulate classic synthesizers, allowing guitar players to instantly dial in a classic synth sound without having to manually adjust the controls. Other synth pedals allow for much more functionality by allowing guitarists to tweak filters, dry signal, attack and decay to create a truly custom sound.

From the examples that you will see in this buyers guide, some synth pedals take up a typical knob controlled pedal, such as they Electro-Harmonix Synth 9. Some other pedals use sliders, allowing you to combine a number of octaves to generate the sound. All the pedals featured are highly recommended pedals on the market and can be placed on your pedal board in the same manner as any other guitar pedal you may have, lets get started.

Guitar Synth Pedals

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Electro-Harmonix Synth 9

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Electro-Harmonix Synth 9

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We start with the polyphonic Electro-harmonix synth 9 which features nine pre sets that emulate classic synthesizer sounds, selected by a white knob on the face of the pedal. This pedal allows you create funky sounds and impressive lead synths with a highly cusomtizable preset parameters.

These parameters are all accessible in a four knob control that are precise and super easy to use. The individual knobs are dry control, synth control, CTRL1 and CTRL2. The latter two will shape the presets in your desirable way whereas the dry and synth knobs control the ratio between guitar and synth in your signal.

We love this pedal because the sounds it creates, generally down to the presets not only cover a wide range of styles, they also allow you to replicate iconic synths well. The likes of Kraftwork, Peter Gabriel and Joy Division recording can be found within the Synth 9 with some manual adjustment.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

The Synths 9 is a fantastic synth pedal that covers all the boxes very well, therefore we are it as our number one choice for all guitar player. Not only have Electro-Harmonix created a synth with fantastic presets, it’s also easy to use and suitable for all standard of player. This pedal also tracks the notes of your guitar well without latency. Give it a try!

BOSS Guitar Synthesizer (SY-300)

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BOSS Guitar Synthesizer

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As many regular readers of this website will know, we love BOSS pedals, and the SY-300 is no exception. No longer will you be required to use a GK pickup and a 13 pin cable to use a BOSS synth, you can no plug in a guitar with a regular 1/4 inch jack and have instant access to this advanced synthesizer.

The SY-300 is a real polyphonic synthesiser that boats zero latency and is essentially the perfect synth pedal for live performance or studio recording. The pedal consists of three polyphonic synth sections with multiple effects running from separate processors simultaneously. This pedal is especially good at layering sounds giving you the full extent of its capabilities.

Despite the fact that the SY-300 is an advanced synth pedal, presets are available to give you a basis to form a desirable sound. In fact 70 presets are available for you to instantly access with a separate 99 patch banks available for you to store sounds into the memory of the pedal. This allows you to save an entire set of sounds especially useful for live performance.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

There is no doubt that the BOSS SY-300 is the ultimate guitar pedal synthesizer on the market, this is why we have included it as our premium choice. This synth is perhaps for valuable to the experienced musician who needs to store and access presets within the click of a button during live performance. However any serious synth pedal user should have this pedal to really explore the possibilities that BOSS have allowed.

Earthquaker Devices Data Corrupter

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Earthquaker Devices Data Corrupter

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Earthquaker devices are an interesting pedal manufacture responsible for some of the best and innovative pedals on the market. Perhaps the best way to describe this pedal is fuzz synth, however non fuzzy tones are also capable. The Data Corruptor literally crushes your guitar sound and spits out an incredible square wave fuzz.

A three-voice Modulated Monophonic Phase-Locked Loop Harmonizer, this synth takes your tone to the extreme as it insists to modulate your sound further to produce weird yet wonderful fuzzy synths. A frequency modulator within the pedal gives it a sci-fi edge whilst remaining extremely experimental throughout.

If that wasn’t enough, you can then use the subharmonic switch to activate different harmonics and octaves, simply tweak until you are happy. Earthquaker devices produce their pedals one at a time with an All-analog signal path and high quality components, this for us totally justifies the price point of their pedals.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

It’s safe to say that the Earthquaker Devices Data Corrupter is a truly unique pedal that is bizarre and unique. We would only recommend this pedal for very experimental guitarists who are looking to create new sounds. There is a heavy fuzz element to this particular pedal which we find very unique, so if you require fuzz and synth within the some pedal than its worth checking out. For the best idea of what to expect, watch the video below!

Electro-Harmonix Mono Synth

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Electro-Harmonix Mono Synth

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The Mono Synth is the second pedal on our list from Electro-Harmonix. In similar vain to the synth 9, it is a versatile pedal with presets instantly producing patches and soaring lead synth tones. In fact, the mono synth provides you with eleven presets which can be individually tweaked using the four knob control.

Again showing similarities to the Synth 9, which we love, there are two knobs to control the volume and blend between the synth tone and original guitar tone. Also featured are the Control and Sensitivity knobs which are the tools that allow for plenty of customization on the presets.

A preset switch is featured on the pedal which when activated will lock in and allow you to switch between the presets at ease. The other switch will deactivate the pedal for full true bypass. An expression pedal is an additional option that the mono synth allows for which gives more functionality to the pedal. Final point: Use this pedal at the front of your signal chain for the best results.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

The Electro-Harmonix Mono Synth is simple to use and will appeal to guitarists looking for their first synth pedal. The presets are great, and any user from beginner to experienced will understand the way in which they can use the Sensitivity, Volume and Control knobs to alter the tone. Also the price point is excellent which again might well appeal to first time synth buyers.

Read the full review here for the Electro-Harmonix Mono Synth

DigiTech Dirty Robot

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DigiTech Dirty Robot

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The Dirty Robot is DigiTech’s best offering at synthesizer emulation with two separate voicing that can be altered for desirable effect. The pedal also has four control knobs which control a variety of parameters including Mix, Modulation, Drift, Start, Stop, Sensitivity and Time. The pedal also uses conventional 1/4 inch jacks for input and output.

Lets talk briefly about each voicing, V1 provides warm analog synthesis with 80’s style envelope sweeps that produce classic synthesizer recreation through a guitar pedal. Using the V1 setting you will be able to emulate notable synth tones such as that by the likes of Gary Newman and similar artists from the 1980’s.

Switch over to V2 and a vocal formant synthesis effect comes into play which emulates a vocoder or talk box effect. Once V2 is activated, you will want to use the four knob control to dial in custom tone, which you can do effectively by using the Dirty Robot’s Drift knob. Furthermore, built-in chorus pedal and vibrato pedal effects will add versatility to your synth sound and make you glad that you placed a synth pedal on your pedalboard.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

If you’re a fan of 80’s music and particularly 80’s synth, then the Dirty Robot will very much appeal to you. It’s a great little pedal with a lot of versatility based around two separate voicing that emulate a real synth and vocoder really effectively. DigiTech really excel in producing expressive pedals so you’re in safe hands should you choose the Dirty Robot to be your new synth pedal of choice.

EarthQuaker Devices Bit Commander

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Earthquaker Devices Bit Commander

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The final pedal is this buyers guide is another offering from Earthquaker Devices, this time the Bit Commander. Being the second version of this pedal, several physical aspects of the pedal have been improved. A new ‘soft touch’ switch has been included for easy live on/off switching and more durable components so that the pedal will take a lot of abuse on stage.

As a monophonic analog synthesizer, the Bit Commander offers you four octaves of square wave tones with a simplistic knob control system that allows you to add or take away octaves without the complication of dealing with oscillators or envelopes. A combination of the four octaves gives you endless possibility of old classic synth tones.

Filter control will turn the tone from extremely dark all the way to bright and loud across the four voice analog octaves. The Bit commander works best with single not tracking on the neck pickup, particularly from the 7th fret up. However even on the lower notes, any glitches from this synth pedal are rare.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

Anyone who wants to switch on a pedal and have the entire room know its happened, thats the impressive effect of the Earthquaker Devices Bit Commander. At a relatively expensive price point however, this may be more of a pedal for experienced guitar players who really want old style synth tones for specific lead parts. Having said that, anyone would love to own and use this beautiful looking and sounding pedal.

Our Number One Choice

Electro-Harmonix Synth 9

For our number one choice of guitar synth pedal we’ve gone with the Electro-harmonix synth 9. An easy to use pedal with a wide range of customizable presets and easy to use controls. The pedal itself is small and therefore is perfect for your pedal board and will operate like any other pedal you have. Also for the price, it’s quite amazing how much synth possibility you will have.

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Our Premium Choice

BOSS Guitar Synthesizer

The BOSS SY-300 is an advanced unit that really is the premium guitar synth pedal on the market. 70 presets, zero latency, 99 band patches and unlimited versatility make this the untlimate choice for serious synth users. Its also the most expensive pedal included in this buyers guide, however it offers much more than a standard synth pedal and is from the extremely reputable guitar pedal manufacture BOSS. You must consider this pedal.

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Best Value For Money

Electro-Harmonix Mono Synth

For this choice, we have gone with the Electro-Harmonix Mono Synth. This is a fantastic pedal for the price and gives users eleven presets to create lead tones and even synth pads. The tweaking knobs word really well and the pedal produces no latency which is really important for the effectiveness of a synth. If you’re ever on a budget or a beginner to the world of synth pedals, we recommend that you look at this pedal as an option.

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That concludes this full buyers guide on the best synth pedals for guitarists. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions regarding the products you have seen in this article. Check out our other buyers guide for reverb pedals and overdrive pedals.

Here at Guitar Effects Pedalz we also provide full reviews of the best online guitar services so you can learn guitar online

Last update on 2022-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API