Please list all available synth pedals and your pick that you've tried.


Silver Supporting Member
Not interested in the midi pickup Roland stuff. Just straight guitar into a pedal. Special bonus points if it sounded good in a band mix.

Tell me about why you liked the one you picked.

Thanks in advance.

T Dizz

Digitech Synth Wah. I really like this one and currently have it on my board. it sounds like a synth, has 7 settings IIRC. Some of the settings sound the same, but I found the one I want and stick with it. I think I paid 50 bucks for it.
*edit* That Pedal Show did a modulation pedal episode that you should watch.It's where I saw the Synth Wah demo'ed

Superego. I didn't like this one at all. I think you can plug an expression pedal into it but I didn't want to go any further.
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Silver Supporting Member
Not sure if you are counting things like the POG/B9/C9 -all of which I've had and really enjoyed.

I tried the Pigtronix Mothership which was a disaster to use with a live band.


Well, have not tried it but the new DigiTech Dirty Robot seems cool.
For some years back I couldn't stand DigiTech, but since the new "era" they have loads of good stuff...and for the right price, just WOW!

Windup 43

Silver Supporting Member
Currently have the Synth Wah which is really great fun for proggier stuff that I play, a no brainer at used prices...I got mine for around $35 in perfect condition. Can be tricky to dial in sometimes, but the sounds are definitely in there. I used to have a big box Micro Synth which I loved, very organic and tweakable. I'll get another eventually.
i used to use my SYB-3 on guitar, but i retired it to use as a waveshaper on my synths instead, the tracking was not stellar


I own all of them.

I own not just pedals which are true synthesizers, meaning they use an oscillator, but also pseudosynth pedals, which combine dirt with some kind of filter to sound like a synth.

In the first case, they all bring something to the table. The Boss SYB-5 (and its clone the Behringer BSY600) allow setting the decay rate to zero, so you can dial in a specific resonance/filter setting which is unchanging. Each can therefore do reed sounds (sax, clarinet, shenai). The Subdecay Octasynth does real square wave, not the clipped distortion which some mistakenly claim is a true square wave but sounds completely different. The Pigtronix Mothership has a ring modulator which can track the input, so that your metallic tone retains the same timbre all through the playing range. The biggest, most capable ones in this category are the Korg X911, which is a Korg monosynth with filters designed for guitar input, and the Markbass Supersynth, which is capable of deep programming with its editor.

Of pseudosynth pedals, there are those like the Ibanez SB-7, which combines dirt and distortion. The EHX Microsynth (both regular and Bass Microsynth) is extremely versatile. It has octave down, clipped square wave, attack/decay controls like on the HOG/POG line, and great filter controls (start and stop frequency, and rate).

You can also combine a great envelope filter with your choice of dirt. This is even more effective when the envelope filter has an effect loop, like the 3leaf Audio Groove Regulator or Wonderlove, or the EHX Qtron+ (careful, use a compressor to avoid resonance spikes with this one!), because the dirt level can be extreme without affecting how well the filter tracks the signal strength. My Chunk Systems Brown Dog fuzz and Agent 00Funk were designed to complement each other in this way, although Chunk Systems later combined the idea into one pedal, the Octavius Squeezer, adding analog oscillators. Other examples of a combination would be the Source Audio Manta or Stingray, which combine different choices of filters and dirt/fuzz.

Someone has reissued a form of the famed Akai Deep Impact, called the Future Impact. I still haven't gotten the new version, but it sounds great.

Lastly, there are many multieffects which have synths and/or pseudosynths built in. The Boss ME-50B (the bass one) has both synth settings, and it and the ME-50 have a resonance effect sweepable by the expression pedal. The Zoom B1on and B1xon have multiple synth models built in, as well as the ability to run up to 5 effects simultaneously, and both are the most capable, least expensive synth pedals I have ever run across. Other multis which get regular use are the Boss GT-10, which used to have lots of synthesis info available on the now deceased GT forum, and the Line 6 POD HD, which has all the synth models from the FM4 Filter Modeler *and* the ability to run up to 8 effects. Both the Boss GT-10 and the Line 6 POD HD also have the ability to run parallel signal chains, so you can use each line to build part of a full synthesized instrument.


In additional to all those choices, there are other pedals which can be added to the mix. The HOG/HOG2 allow you to build Hammond registrations/voicings for specific timbres, to which you can then add filtering. The HOG/POG pedals have the neat attack/decay slider which works polyphonically.

Throwing an eBow into the mix not only eliminates the telltale guitar picking, but it also affects signal strength, meaning that if you are moving into and out of the pickup's field, you can also vary how open an envelope filter is. Adding a slide alongside the eBow makes the sound even more organic, in terms of lacking the hard edges of fixed pitch.

There are many people who use their pedalboards as modular synths. If you're interested in exploring this idea, you can watch the excellent Effectology series from Bill Rupert for Electro Harmonix, and then read through the information-packed Synth Secrets series from Sound on Sound.

For what it's worth, I normally reach for the GT-10 or the POD HD when I want to program a specific sound, with the surprising third place being the lowly Zoom B1xon.


Here's a partial list off the top of my head of what I currently own:
Korg Pandora PX5D
Electro Harmonix HOG, POG2, Microsynth, Bass Microsynth, Superego, Ravish Sitar
Subdecay Octasynth
Red Panda
Ibanez SB7
Digitech Synth Wah, Bass Synth Wah
Boss SYB-3, SYB-5, ME-50, ME-50B, GT10
Markbass Supersynth
Chunk Systems Brown Dog and Agent 00Funk
3leaf Audio Groove Regulator
Red Panda Bitcrusher and Subdivision
Korg X911
Line 6 POD HD
Pigtronix Mothership
TC Helicon Voice Synth

I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting....
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I love synth pedals. The whole idea of basically making your guitar sound nothing like it's supposed to really, really appeals to me.

I've owned:

EHX Big Box Microsynth - tonnes of fun, sounded awesome with big fat filter sweeps but size, weird power supply requirement and terrible bypass made me let it go.

EQD Bit Commander - pretty neat, but not far off what you'd get with a pitch shifter and a fuzz to be honest. Was really finicky about chain placement too.

EHX Hog - good for organ and faux 12 string stuff and the freeze and expression pedal pitch shifts were good. It felt a bit complex and sounded a bit plastic-y and again, was far too big for a decent sized pedal board, particularly when the enormous preset switch was added on (which has been remedied with the HOG2).

EHX Freeze & Superego - I found the freeze only really good for drones. The superego was much more versatile for that floating choir type sound, but it was a bit harsh without any modulation and I ended up preferring to use an Ebow for that sort of thing.

Boss SYB-3 - Got this super cheap (£35) and it was surprisingly fun. Made some good squelchy sounds with it, but penury made me flip it for a profit.

Subdecay Noise Box - which is actually a foldback distortion, but sounded pretty synthy. Noisy nastiness in extremis. Really good make a hell of a racket and was a bit limited.

And my absolute favourite (and still on my board) the Subdecay Octasynth. Four knobs of fat, filter sweepy awesomeness. I've got it to do a pretty damned convincing Gary Numan, OMD and Depeche Mode. And, if you do my favourite trick of stacking it with a Boss Slicer, you can hit all the Sparks style early 80s synths too. Not too complicated. Easy to get a great sound out of and not that picky about where it sits (I've had it before and after buffers with no problem).

Would love to try a Boss SY-300 though...


I use the Future Impact mentioned above. It is pretty nuts, far and away better than the Akai Deep Impact (I also owned a DI). I was in the first run and have still only scratched the surface of what it can do. Highly recommended if you want a versatile synth pedal.


I wanted to add that I'm also really looking forward to trying Digitech's Dirty Robot.


Gold Supporting Member
Reading this thread, I guess I'm not sure what we're calling a synth pedal. I have a Freeze, a B9 (and a Mel9 on the want list) and a Line 6 M9 (which among many effects has some very cool and quirky monophonic synth sounds). That's been enough to quell my appetite for a "real" guitar synth and the learning curve that comes with it....


The Superego is pretty fun and a good way to add a backing tone if you are the sole guitar player. To me it's more like an expression pedal for effects that don't have that feature. Good way to fade in tones.


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Moog MF102 Ring Modulator

MOOG MF 101 Low Pass Filter...... Has 4 EXP Jacks

MOOG MF108M Clusterflux...... Has 5 EXP Jacks

MOOG MF 105M MIDI MurF.... Has 3 EXP Jacks

MOOG MF103 6/12 Stage Phaser... Has 4 EXP Jacks

MOOG MF104M Delay............ Has 5 EXP Jacks

MOOG CP 251 Control Processor.
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