It’s ok for a guitar to not sound like a guitar.
As much as we all love juicy, organic guitar tones, it can be just as inspiring to go the opposite way. Combining various modulation effects, envelope filters, oscillators, and more can result in sounds that owe more to Kraftwerk than Led Zeppelin.
A compact version of the company’s well-known polyphonic synths offers 11 types of sounds each with 11 different variations. It also includes a parallel loop, guitar/bass mode, and expression pedal support.
Source Audio C4
An incredibly deep collection of Eurorack-style tones are available via a rather straight-forward 4-knob setup and the companion Neuro editor (available for Mac, PC, and mobile devices). It offers four independent voices, 11 envelope followers, and two programmable 16-step sequencers.
This multi-voice synth is a digital unit with an analog signal path for maximum clarity and response. It has stereo outputs, MIDI, switchable buffered bypass, and more. On the effects side, it houses two tap-modulated delays, mono, poly, and arpeggiated synth modes, and an extremely shapeable envelope.
Containing nine different synth voices including emulations of some of the most recognizable synth sounds, this pedal offers independent volume control of both your dry signal and synth signal plus two CTRL knobs that change function depending on the preset.
EarthQuaker Devices Bit Commander
This monophonic analog synth offers a three-octave (one up, one down, and two down) range to blend the glitchy with the pedestrian. Depending on what fret you’re on, the results can be either destructive or spacey.
Pigtronix Space Rip
This is tiny pedal that includes an onboard VCO that produces square and sawtooth waveforms that are controlled via rate and tune knobs. It also has an octave button that drops the entire signal down 12 frets.
Dig polyphonic synth sounds but don’t have a lot of space? The E7 offers seven different types of synth tones, seven slots for presets, and controls for attack, speed, high and low cut, and mix.
Empress Effects ZOIA
Think of this as a DIY approach to creating your own modular synth. It has a library of more than 80 different modules that cover a host of effects such as delay, reverb, compression, bit crusher, and more. Plus, you can save up to 64 different patches.
Red Witch Synthortron II
Packed with two synth oscillators, along with dedicated controls for amplitude modulation and envelope filter, this analog machine offers a wealth of different options that range from wickedly weird trem to sample hold, and more.
This single-note wave generator offers quite a few different sounds via a relatively simple control set. It has attack, level, and blend knobs along with a powerful filter section that shapes the EQ of the fuzz. You can also hook up a TRS expression pedal to alter the filter in real time.