Lap steel through an SY-1 synth pedal

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Digital Larry, Jun 30, 2020 at 8:37 AM.

  1. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I looked on YouTube to see if anyone was doing this. Couldn't find anything. Well I borrowed my friend's lap steel a few weeks ago and the SY-1 which my wife was kind enough to get me for Father's Day arrived yesterday.

    It's pretty nuts. I'd put 25% of the sounds into the unusable category (mostly the arpeggiators that put out 15 notes when you just play one), but that leaves quite a few with some possibilities.

    I'm "writing" a little ditty to help develop my nascent skill on the lap steel. Will post when it comes together. So far it doesn't have any synth on it but I think that phase is about to end!
     
  2. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I had owned a Casio MIDI guitar back in the 80's and it was nearly unusable. Glitchy, false triggering, had to match pitch bend range to the synth setting. Since this pedal has the synth built in, it has really solved all those problems. No indication of false notes, pitch tracking is dead on, no obvious note cutoff with sustaining sounds, etc. As others have noted, the limitation is the sounds themselves. You don't get any pianos for example. They are mostly analog synthy sounds and a lot of the "FX" section patches sound like ring modulator stuff. That section is not too practical for making regular music.

    The string and lead and bass and organ sounds are all pretty cool when combined with the steel on top. By themselves they give off sort of a low-fi vibe although I can't quantify that any better. One thing that came to mind was some of the mellotron pitch bends that Mike Pinder would occasionally do on the old Moody Blues tunes. You don't really expect a Hammond organ type patch to do a 2-step pitch bend and vibrato, but now you can.

    I am anything but a purist but I am giving this pedal a solid thumbs up 5/5 at this point as far as tracking and 4/5 for ease of use (you call up preset sounds with a couple rotary knobs and you can't save anything, but there is a tone knob and "rate" knob for modifying the sound). So, you can use it in a direct hands on way, which I like, but you can't save sounds or deep dive on it, which is more of a personal choice. I wasn't sure how much to commit to the concept, and still am not sure how much it will creep into my recordings, but certainly a bit.

    I'd give it a 3/5 for sounds again on the average. I haven't tried it with bass yet but it works great with both regular and lap steel.
     
  3. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    I've wondered about the SY-1 and the SY-1000. They seem like they would be fun but $200 and $1000 respectively, that would be more or a lot more fun than what I'm allowed to have. I guess I'll keep using my MIDI controller for when I want to have synth fun.
     
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