What pedal can transform my guitar sound into ... keys or strings or synths?


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Is there a pedal (or magic box) that can change my guitar chording and/or single-note lines into ... well, something totally non-guitar? Like keyboards, or strings, or synth sounds?

Constraints: I don't play keyboards; I'm not going to add a synth pickup to an existing guitar; I'm a MIDIot; plug-n-play.

What I have in mind is some magic box to plug into (for recording) to make weird and wonderful noises for recording. Just to add variety to the tonal palette.

E-H Micro Synth? Anyone used that? POG? What else?

Operating problems or limitations (tracking delay time, no chording) that I should be aware of?

All comments from actual users welcome. Thanks -



EH HOG (not POG) can pull some of that stuff off.... especially with the expression pedal...

I have one, its full of new sounds everytime I pick it up..


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digitech synth wah is cheap & fun.

fuzz, octave & envelope filter pedals combined will also go a long way.

a wah pedal after a fuzz can produce some real synthy tones

Line 6 filter modulator has a lot of options


Silver Supporting Member
I had a Retro Sonic Chorus that could get pretty B3 sounding at times with the right combo of pedals and volume.

Jason Lynn

EH POG or HOG if you got the $ are excellent. I got the POG.
Line 6 FM4 but it's not polyphonic.
Vocoders can be cool too but they're cumbersome to work with. Mine was made by electrix.

Those are the only 2 pedals I've had that excel at what your looking for. Now I've used combinations of pedals to get cool otherworldly non guitar tones...but that's a long and windy road ;)


Has anyone directly compared the HOG and Micro Synth? I know their differences spec-wise (HOG is digital, polyphonic, etc) but has anyone owned both? I own a HOG and am pretty happy with it, but am considering a Micro Synth just because I've wanted one for ages. You know how it is – once you get an itch you gotta scratch it at some point…

Kiwi- the HOG will do synth stuff, especially using the expression pedal (which it now comes with) to control the filter, BUT it generally gets into "organ" territory much easier than synth. It does pad sounds really well but is somewhat lacking as far as lead sounds.


The Digitech Synth Wah has some cool settings. I got one for $60 new. Worth checking out.


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I have a POG - love it. I'm sure the HOG is extra-spacial... special...

However, the one simple tool I use for synth/string sounds that I'd never replace is a volume pedal (or volume control on your guitar - I'm just better at the pedal) Combine with other effects, fade in to mask the attack and you've got some cool textures.

Last thing I did was Strat>Rat>Delay>Ring Mod, using a slide and fading the "notes" in. What a mess!


Silver Supporting Member
The HOG WILL make your guitar sound like an organ.

An Ebow can make your guitar sound like a monophonic synth. So can a volume pedal and a delay in combination.

The whammy pedal can make your guitar sound like a chipmunk playing an asian instrument or King kong playing bass.

Ring modulators make the guitar sound alien or computerized.

envelope filters/ auto wahs, although fairly common, can be very cool

The adrennalin has crazy filter effect that can seriously tweak your guitar into another realm.

Leslie sim pedals can imitate organ like textures.


Gold Supporting Member

Hey, it's a pedal :)


an octave up (whichever your preferred method, be it HOG, POG, Whammy or other) into a volume swell delay into a pitch vibrato gets some really organ-like sounds. Not so much B3, more like Napoleon Dynamite organ sounds...

Go here: www.myspace.com/krisdonegan

The first track's guitars are all a drop-tuned tele into a DL-4 volume swell patch into a Verbzilla set to the octo setting. Played with a slide, of course. It's organ and 3 different tracks of guitar.
Second tune has the Whammy-->Volume Swell--> Leslie thing going on in the verses and bridge
Third has an ebow "bagpipe" solo in there.

None of these are necessarily all out crazy sounds, but they work in the context of these tunes. I find that something to knock the attack off of the front end of a note goes a long way when trying to disguise the "guitarness" of your guitar.


The Hog is cool, but its really not that versatile. It pretty much just sounds like an organ, + or - a few octaves. It can also get pretty digital sounding.


Look for a used Boss GT-5 multi-effect unit. It had a built-in guitar synth effect that did exactly what you are talking about and it did not require the addition of an extra pickup. It allowed you to set a couple of different wave shapes to emulate different synth sounds. The tracking was pretty darn good as long as you didn't play ultra-fast shred licks.

I had one and used it for a number of years. Besides the synth, the rest of the effects in the unit were really good IMO. I regrettably sold mine to finance a different GAS pain.

I'm not sure if any of the newer line of Boss GT multi-effects units had the same synth built in.


Silver Supporting Member
Thanks to all who replied - lots of stuff to go look for now!

Has anyone used the EH Micro Synth? Just curious.



I use a Micro-Synth but it's not a standard on my board.
It has a beautiful analouge sound to it, capable of some amazing noises especially with the envelope sweep.

The thing that holds it back is that the sub and +1 octave voices are monophonic and cannot track anything more than a clean, single note. Try to play a triad and chaos will ensue (which isn't always a bad thing if you ask me)
Two other things i should mention is that a: it's very input sensitive so works best at the start of your chain and b: it's sounds horrible when combined with another distortion pedal. This isn't such a bummer becouse the squarewave voice (aka distortion) sounds great anyway.

Overall though i do love the sound of this pedal even with it's flaws, I just don't use it in enough songs yet to justify building a bigger board!

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