The Boss GM-800 Guitar Synthesizer is the company’s latest synth pedal and is accompanied by two new MIDI pickups. With both a guitar and bass model pickup available on launch. It has been over a decade since the last major system and so things have certainly improved somewhat.
Boss GM-800 Guitar Synthesizer
This new Boss GM-800 Guitar Synthesizer is the latest in a long line of MIDI/synth pedal systems developed by Roland/Boss.
It has been over a decade since the previous line and so this new flagship model has a lot of updates and way more power than ever before.
The GM-800 offers connectivity for four assignable footswitches, plus two external control jacks that each support up to two footswitches or an expression pedal. Plus, of course, MIDI is also included for connecting with other synths and MIDI equipment.
It utilises their expandable ZEN-Core Synthesis System which is based on the company’s JUPITER-X and FANTOM keyboards and ZENOLOGY software synthesizer.
That’s a lot of core sounds available on launch.
It features over 1200 Tones and 70 Rhythm sounds which cover everything from pianos, organs, and orchestral instruments. This is its first guitar synth to feature piano sounds since the GR-55 from way back in 2011.
Along with classic Roland synth sounds and percussion. For example, if you want Jupiter-8 and Juno-106 synth sounds, then you are covered.
The GM-800 offers a natural playing feel and solid tracking stability via high-performance DSP and so should feel a lot better than previous units. This is where many guitarists have had issues in the past, so high-performance tracking and feel can make and break a product like this one.
The system is based on Scenes which contain four Tone parts, a Rhythm part, plus a selection of synthesis parameters, effects, pitch settings, and sensitivity adjustments.
Great for building new expressive tones and walls of sound alike.
ZEN-Core Sound Packs
It also supports Roland’s ZEN-Core Sound Packs and so users can download more content. This is all facilitated via a free Roland Account and this provides access to essential Roland Cloud services. Allowing additional content via three paid membership levels.
Then via USB, users can further craft Scenes in more detail from their computer by using the Boss Tone Studio software.
GK-5 and GK-5B
Plus, the pickup’s internal sensors can now be adjusted to accommodate different bridge spacings.
These new pickups now feature a secure, space-saving connection with a lower profile than previous GK products.
This can all be used with the GKC-AD * and GKC-DA GK * converters which provide simple integration between the new Serial GK system and the previous analogue 13-pin GK interfaces found in earlier guitar synth products.
There is a lot about this new system that looks good and it could obviously be perfect for a lot of creative musicians. Especially, as it appears to have plenty of power and these new pickups also sound as though they could be great for tracking.
I can see a lot of people wanting to try this new system out, especially with all those ZEN-Core Sound Packs and editability via Tone Studio software, etc
MSRP – Boss GM- 800 EUR 799 *
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- Boss GM-800: Boss
- Natural Feel: Boss
- Rear Panel GM-800: Boss
- Scenes: Boss
- ZEN Core: Boss
- Boss GK-5 Guitar Synth Pickup: Thomann
- Boss GK-5B Bass Synth Pickup: Thomann
- GKC-DA: Boss
- Boss GM-800 Guitar Synthesizer: Thomann
- Boss GKC-AD GK Converter: Thomann
- Boss GKC-DA GK Converter: Thomann