BOSS reveals Next Generation GM-800 Guitar Synthesizer

Boss reveals its first new guitar synth pedal system in over a decade: the GM-800 and GK Series, which they say “elevates guitar and bass synthesis into a new age of natural playability”, with the advanced Roland ZEN-Core sound engine and newly developed Serial GK converters

Boss’s parent company Roland was always ahead of the game when it comes to guitar synth; the GR-500 system dates back to 1977.  Now, over a decade since its last guitar synth system release, it has at last revealed its next step: the Boss GM-800 pedal and GK Series.

Driven by their newly developed Serial GK digital interface, the ZEN-Core engine in the GM-800 can be used to create realistic acoustic sounds and original synth sounds. The company says that the system tracking stability and expressive scope never before possible.

The GM-800 is built around the expandable ZEN-Core Synthesis System, the sound engine of Roland’s Jupiter-X and Fantom keyboards and Zenology software synthesizer.

“ZEN-Core combines modern PCM synthesis and advanced modeling to provide an infinite playground for sonic discovery,” says Boss. “With over 1200 Tones, GM-800 users can play everything from pianos, organs, and orchestral instruments to classic Roland synth sounds like the Jupiter-8, Juno-106, and many others.”

The pedal’s workflow is centered around ‘Scenes’ – each containing four Tone parts, a Rhythm part, and a huge selection of synth parameters, effects, pitch settings, and sensitivity adjustments.

“Users can layer Tones to create combined voices or assign Tones to individual strings, such as a bass sound on the low strings and a piano or sax sound on the high string,” Boss explains. “It’s also possible to assign Tones to specific fret ranges, a powerful new feature made possible with the GM-800’s advanced pitch detection.”

The streamlined GM-800 pedal offers the connectivity of up to four assignable footswitches, plus two external control jacks that each support up to two footswitches or an expression pedal. MIDI I/O is also included for interfacing with other synths and MIDI equipment.

In addition, the GM-800 and Serial GK System also supports a growing range of options through Roland Cloud, including ZEN-Core Sound Packs, Wave Expansions, and more, including the GK-5 and GK-5B Divided Pickups for guitar and bass, BGK-15 and BGK-30 connection cables, and GKC-AD and GKC-DA GK Converters for interfacing with classic 13-pin GK products are offered to create a whole guitar synth rig for players.

The BOSS GM-800 and GK system will be available in the U.S. beginning in August, with the following pricing:

GM-800 $749.99
GK-5 $249.99
GK-5B $299.99
GKC-AD $199.99
GKC-DA $199.99
BGK-15 $49.99
BGK-30 $69.99.
Details are available at the BOSS website.

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