17 Best Synth Pedals For Guitar 2024

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There are times when the actual sound of an electric guitar just doesn’t cut the mustard in a song. In such instances, you might opt to reach for a synth pedal, which can completely transform the guitar’s sound.

Today’s pedal market is filled with worthwhile synth guitar pedals suitable for players of any skill or budget range. If you’re in the market for a synth pedal, you’ll find the following pedals to be exceptional choices. 

Source Audio C4 – Best Overall

Source Audio C4

Looking for the best value for your money when it comes to a synth pedal? The Source Audio C4 (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is packed with limitless capabilities. 

It might appear to be a simple pedal at first glance, but don’t let its appearance fool you. Source Audio has made the C4 a platform designed to handle your wildest imagination when it comes to synth sounds. 

This pedal is the ideal meeting ground between guitarists desiring a simple experience and those wanting full tone-shaping control. You can operate the pedal like any traditional guitar pedal, using a 3-way switch to select the waveform.

However, Source Audio has integrated the C4 with its proprietary tone-creation software. This allows you to create custom synthesizer sounds and download presets created by other guitarists in the community. 

The C4 is packed with immense features, including:

  • Sequencer capabilities
  • 14 LFOs and 8 LFO waveforms 
  • 11 different envelopes
  • 24 different filters
  • MIDI capabilities
  • Monophonic/Polyphonic tracking
  • Stereo input/output
  • Expression pedal compatibility 

For the price, it’s hard to turn away from a pedal like this. Being able to download presets is like downloading a new pedal in itself. 

Empress ZOIA – Best Premium

Empress ZOIA

Are you only concerned with finding a pedal that can do everything synth-related under the sun? The Empress ZOIA (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is what you’re looking for, but it will cost you. 

Make no mistake about it, the ZOIA is not for somebody looking to have a simplistic guitar pedal experience. However, the ZOIA is a dream come true for any hardcore pedal tweaker insane about crafting unique and custom tones.

The ZOIA’s layout might appear daunting at first glance, but it’s rather intuitive once you spend time with it. Anybody who has ever worked with samplers like the Maschine will feel right at home here.

In a way, the ZOIA presents itself as a digital version of the analog modular synth design. Over 80 different digital modules are included here, with modules ranging from:

  • Analysis modules
  • CV modules
  • Interface modules

Plus it also has a module family dedicated to effects, with offerings such as

  • Overdrive/distortion/fuzz
  • Time-based effects
  • Modulation
  • Filters
  • Amp simulation

The ZOIA is insanely extensive and you could easily spend a lifetime learning its every nuance. With MIDI capabilities, SD storage, and high-quality audio, you could use the ZOIA in almost any circumstance.

To top it all off, the ZOIA also lets its owners upload custom patches and download patches created by others. 

TC-Helicon Talkbox Synth – Best Budget

TC-Helicon Talkbox Synth

Looking for one of the most expressive synths you can find without spending an exorbitant price of admission? Give the TC-Helicon Talkbox Synth (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) some open-minded consideration. 

Now, I know your mind probably jumps immediately to thoughts of Peter Frampton when a Talkbox is mentioned. Some people have an aversion to Frampton’s guitar work in Do You Feel Like We Do? which features extensive talkbox.

Well, this version from TC-Helicon is a much better upgrade than the original design. Originally, the effect required putting a hose inside of the mouth, which could become quite unsanitary. 

The Talkbox Synth works by plugging in your microphone’s input, with an XLR output provided for the PA. In turn, it analyzes the input of what you are saying, which means that it can double as a vocoder. 

The 2 main modes feature both a vintage and modern sound, both of which primarily track monophonically. You can have this effect on exclusively, or you can allow the dry signal to also pass in the “+” modes.

There are also 4 different synthesizer modes, in addition to 3 different reverbs. If you wanted to, you could easily just use this to only add processed reverb to your vocals.

Electro-Harmonix POG2

Electro-Harmonix POG2

Looking to add something legendary to your rig? The Electro-Harmonix POG2 (see price on Sweetwater, Guitar Center) has been a community favorite for years. 

This pedal is immediately recognizable due to its red graphics and multi-band slider design. The pedal itself creates some fantastic synthesizer tones through the use of octave filters.

Finding usable tones is a relative breeze in that the faders resemble the control that knobs have on synth modules. The POG2 is divided in half, with the left side controlling octaves, and the right side controlling expression. 

On the left, you’ll have access to:

Level for dry signal output for blending

  • +1 octave
  • +2 octave
  • -1 octave
  • -2 octave

On the right side, you’ll find levels for note attack, overall frequency range, and detune warble. With just a simple arrangement like this, you can create a massive range of synth tones.

Electro-Harmonix Micro Synthesizer

Electro-Harmonix Micro Synthesizer

The POG2 is a fantastic pedal, but it might resemble an organ a little too much than some would prefer. If this is you, the Electro-Harmonix Micro Synthesizer is worth checking out.

At a glance, you’ll notice that the Micro Synthesizer has an interface that is designed very similarly to the POG2. Despite its similar use of faders, the Micro Synthesizer is more tonally akin to a fuzz-influenced synthesizer. 

What this means is that you could use the Micro Synthesizer as a flavorful sort of fuzz if you wished. However, if you want something a little more electronic sounding, the pedal’s Filter Sweep section can accommodate nicely. 

The Micro Synthesizer is best looking for a sort of honky synthesizer that has a little bit of grit. It definitely possesses the gravitas to push a synth lead above the mix in the middle of a tight groove. 

When compared to the POG2, which is better is really only determined by personal preference and taste toward synth tones. The Micro Synthesizer drives a little more, and it costs a little less money than the POG2, too. 

Boss SY-200

Boss SY-200

Looking for something time-tested and loaded with possibilities for different sounds? The Boss SY-200 (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is a pedal that needs to be on your radar.

This is actually quite the extensive synth pedal, with just over 170 different synth tones available for tasty sonic creations. While the pedal is loaded with options, Boss has found a way to make this pedal relatively easy to use. 

For starters, the SY-200 has a rotary knob to switch the synth mode, with sounds from the following families:

  • Organ
  • Noise
  • Dual
  • Lead
  • Sequencer
  • Bell
  • Arpeggio
  • Bass
  • Sound effects
  • Sweep
  • String
  • Pad

There is a convenient digital view screen provided so there’s never any confusion as to what you’re doing. The screen actually plays an important role in communicating the function of the 3 adjustment knobs.

As each synthesizer-type is different, the function of the knobs can differ from one synth to another. You will also have dedicated knobs for the dry level and effects level, as well as a variation knob. 

The SY-200 also boasts MIDI capabilities, 128 programmable presets, and expression pedal capabilities. 

Meris Enzo

Meris Enzo

Some synth pedals completely miss the mark when attempting to provide synth sounds. That is definitely not the case when it comes to the Meris Enzo (see price on Sweetwater, Guitar Center).

Upon its release, the Enzo quickly became a hit among guitarists looking for authentic synth tones. The pedal offers the ability to operate in monophonic or polyphonic modes, proving that it’s suitable for anything.

There really is quite a stunning range of synth tones that are large and robust in sound. The pedal’s arpeggiation mode takes things another step beyond what was thought impossible to create with a guitar. 

With the Enzo, you’ll have an easy time dialing in the sound you’re looking for. The pedal offers pitch-shifting abilities up to 2 octaves above and below standard pitch, with glissando provided if desired. 

Plus, if you wanted to, you could use the Enzo as a pitch shifter without any synth sound at all. It’s never a bad thing when a pedal can have multiple functions like that. 

Many people have claimed over the years that the Enzo has some of the best note tracking on the market. 

Electro-Harmonix Superego Plus

Electro-Harmonix Superego Plus

Needing a pedal that can create sonic landscapes and ripping synth leads? The Electro-Harmonix Superego Plus (see price on Sweetwater, Guitar Center) is just what the doctor ordered.

EHX’s original Superego design was an innovative breakthrough for its time, quickly finding dedicated users adopting its use. The Superego Plus takes all of the original’s capabilities and adds an astonishing number of different upgrades. 

Perhaps the biggest upgrade is that the Superego Plus has an entirely new section of additional effects onboard. With a turn of a dial, guitarists can easily utilize the: 

  • Ring mod
  • 2 different tremolos
  • Filter
  • Pitch shift
  • Delay
  • Detune
  • Echo
  • Phaser
  • Flanger
  • Rotary

In addition to the effects unit, there are controllable parameters that are unique to specific effects. Electro-Harmonix has attempted to provide the most tone control possible in a sleek layout design.

The signature aspect of the original Superego was its ability to hold a note indefinitely. That same “Freeze” function is offered here, which can be perfect for landscapes or as a basis for improvisational solos. 

Electro-Harmonix SYNTH9

Electro-Harmonix SYNTH9

Looking for the Swiss Army knife of synth pedals for guitar? The Electro-Harmonix SYNTH9 (see price on Sweetwater, Guitar Center) provides options in a straightforward manner. 

Sometimes, synth pedals can become overcomplicated. This, in turn, causes higher prices with features that guitarists might never use. 

The SYNTH9, on the other hand, is almost the exact opposite of that. For one reasonable price, Electro-Harmonix has provided 9 different synthesizer types in one pedal, including:

  • Profit V
  • Vibe synth
  • OBX
  • Mood bass
  • Poly VI
  • String synth
  • EHX mini
  • Solo synth
  • Mini mood

The tones provided here range from that ideal early 1970s synth sound to the keyboard-driven synth of the 1980s. You could almost fill in for keyboard roles in a cover band if you have this pedal in your rig. 

In addition to the synth modes, the SYNTH9 allows blending by providing level controls for both synth and dry levels. Each synthesizer-type has 2 different dedicated controllable parameter knobs.

The SYNTH9 also provides a 1/4” output for both wet and dry signals. 

Electro-Harmonix Mel9

Electro-Harmonix Mel9

Looking to expand your sound just beyond that of the synthesizer? You might want to consider looking at the Electro-Harmonix Mel9 (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon).

Technically, this isn’t a synthesizer in any fashion, but it does operate in a similar manner. Perhaps the biggest commonality is that it completely changes the guitar’s sound as a synth would. 

This pedal actually takes its inspiration from a Mellotron, which originally utilized short tape recordings looped infinitely. Press a key, and that recording of a few seconds would continually play until the note was released.

You’re probably familiar with the Mellotron if you’ve dug into the later 1960s works of The Beatles or King Crimson. The instrument produces a very familiar sound that is unmistakable once you know what it is.

Like the SYNTH9, the Mel9 features 9 different Mellotron types, including:

  • Brass
  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Cello
  • High Choir
    Low Choir
  • Saxophone
  • Strings
  • Orchestra

Using this in conjunction with some basic pedals can actually produce quite desirable results. This is definitely a viable option if you want something synth-like with its own unique flair.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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