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  • New Roland GR-55 Guitar to MIDI processor with COSM guitar processing.

    http://synth.me/music-gear/namm-2011-roland-announce-new-gr-55-guitar-synthesizer

    "Roland unveiled today their new GR-55 Guitar synthesizer. Standards are still intact such as GK-3 divided pickup and built in foot controls. Roland is considering the new unit to be a revolutionary fushion of synthesis and COSM Guitar Modeling, plus more goodies. Read inside for the specs.

    Lightning Fast Tracking

    Years of Roland research and dedication to guitar synthesis and the latest pitch detection technology makes the GR-55 far and away the fastest guitar synth ever.

    The Gr-55 detects instantly pitch, velocity, and behavior for unprecedented response to your performance.

    Instant Gratification

    The unit features 270 Presets and 290 User Presets. No editing required. Easy to use catagories. Choose from100's of great presest from Rock to Pop, and beyond.

    The EZ edit function found on previous Roland and Boss COSM units is ready and willing to help you get the right tone and shape your sound.

    USB Connectivity

    The GR-55 features 2 USB ports. One for Audio/MIDI, while the other serves to allow MIDI song file playback from a USB stick with the built in foot pedals to conveniently control the playback of the song.

    Effects MIDI Looper

    As seen before in other GR units of the past two decades the GR-55 features COSM effects and 2 types of multi effects, global reverb and chorus, delay, and a looper, plus MIDI control.







    Video here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwmVXbW9Guo

    I will find out at NAMM. I'm heading there this weekend.

    I suspect this has arrived as the new Roland 13 pin device for 2011, and that a VG-99 update will NOT happen this year.

    it seems rather comprehensive piece.


    Hopefully they will have a Win/Mac GR-55 Editor - and not just a dumb librarian.

    seems GR-55 does the following:

    Guitar to MIDI - triggering its internal sounds.
    COSM Guitar Modelling - like VG-99
    COSM Amp Modelling, like VG-99
    SMF MIDI File playback from a USB stick, and supports embedded MIDI GR-55 patch change commands.
    Audio & MIDI I/O via a separate USB port to a PC/Mac, to perform with backing tracks.


    I will find out if the USB audio mutes during patch changes!
    http://www.vguitarforums.com

  • #2
    Do u still need those special midi pick ups on your guitar to play this?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Great Deal(s) With - LoFiBrian, eyeball987

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    • #3
      Of course you need a MIDI pickup for the synth sounds. Places have the GR-55 for $700 without a pickup; $800 with. I was so hoping a new GR would be announced at NAMM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I use "older" guitar synths quite a bit ( GR1, GR30, and GR33 plus the GI20 ) and am VERY excited about this release. Between the GR20, GR55, and VG99 I think I would definitely get the GR55 over the GR20 now. I never liked the GR20 enough to upgrade from my existing gear. However, I am not sure whether one should spend more and get the VG99 over the GR55 or not. What do users experienced with the VG99 think? It may be too early to tell.
        Jim Atwood Japan

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        • #5
          I think it's like comparing apples to oranges.

          It's got a kind of dumbed down VG-99 capability: only one cosm guitar path whereas the VG-99 has two.

          The VG-99 models a GR-300 this does not. The HRM waves in the VG-99 have their own characteristic tone - it's unknown what the HRM side of the GR-55 is like but the internal synth: It has its own new GR-55 engine. So maybe it's half a VG-99 and the other half a dedicated guitar synth. It looks and sounds promising, especially for the price.

          But the advantages are clear: small, metal, floor pedal, some VG capability, a new faster tracking GR synth engine.

          I'd like to try it out. The low street price means it is more affordable. The patches I've heard seem more suitable for a wide variety of music.
          The new looper looks interesting. I wonder how programmable the synth sounds are? Would some of the VG99 patches work on the GR-55?

          Re: The VG-99

          I found the factory patches for the VG-99 were honestly a poor representation of what the box could do. Hearing Bill Ruppert's original sounds made me realize the box was so deep that Roland likely didn't know what it had on its hands.

          In fact, I'm still discovering things two years on - the permutations of sound sources to effects to eq to outputs seems almost infinite in this box .

          Yeah, it's not perfect but it's like someone read my mind about my dream machine and there it is. There are some issues that would have been nice to correct but I can still play out with the box. In the last year I've played five gigs that lasted anywhere from an hour to five hours and the box was flawless. No problems at all.

          IMO The patches built into the VG99 seemed like something whipped together the weekend before NAMM. Rupperts' music and sounds were eloquent and deep like a Bechstein or Steinway. The built in sounds I've overwritten every one of them. All 200 in the first bank. I just wish the second 200 were overwritable too. It took me about eight solid months of programming to kind of suss the box out. It's got one of the widest tonal pallettes I've ever encountered on a piece of gear ever.

          You know that thing where a piece of gear has a certain characteristic sound that permeates everything? This does have a kind of sonic footprint but it will take you quite a while to hear it - the thing has an insanely wide tonal pallette.

          But, it's why it's $1500 and the GR-55 is $700.
          ________________________________________
          music projects are now available online at http://aliensporebomb.com

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          • #6
            i have a Godin + Axon that I plug into an M50 keyboard. I have the best of both worlds, because you can do a lot of things on a regular keyboard that you can't on a guitar. I'm not the greatest keyboard player in the world, but i can make do.

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            • #7
              I've already got a GR33 and VG99, but it seems whenever Roland comes out with a new guitar synth, I wind up selling the previous model to get the new one. Although, I didn't go for the GR20 since it was a more stripped down model. But I sold my GR50 to get a GR30, and sold that to get the GR33. I'm just wondering how the GR55 compares to the GR33 soundwise? I'm mostly interested in ambient sounds.

              Anyone know what the synth engine is based on? The GR33 is based on the JV1080 and the GR30 is based on the Sound Canvas. So I'd imagine it's based on some current Roland keyboard or module. I like the smaller size of the GR55 and the fact that it's got looping capability. In the video, it seemed to track extremely well on the lead sounds without glitching. It was also cool that you could use a USB stick to load patches or for backing tracks. Looking forward to test driving one of these as soon as they hit the local music stores.

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              • #8
                I've been wanting to get into MIDI guitar for a while. The GR-55 looks like the ticket for me.

                I like being able to use a guitar I already have with the pickup. Hope it can track pitch bends fairly accurately.

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                • #9
                  I was waiting for th new GTK too, hoping this time to finally replace 13 Pin with 5 pin MIDI in other words a really MIDI guitar.

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                  • #10
                    I have not posted here for a long while so forgive me for butting in. I have some mixed reservations about the GR 55. It always evolves around tracking for me. I'll be interested to see how the tracking works on this model. The GR-33's (yes I had a couple) were always too dicey to play live for me. YOu have to play precisely and with a guitar setup perfectly. Sometimes stage sound would throw it off the pitch to MIDI conversion....and I tried many guitars trying to get it tolerable.

                    If the GR-55 is more forgiving about the guitar, the playing style, able to reject odd string vibrations and have close to zero latency, I'll be all over it. I think Roland is counting on the VG-99 component of the box taking care of some of those complaints...if 50% of your output signal is through the VG circuit (a processor) and the rest in through the pitch to MIDI conversion it will cover up alot of tracking errors. Wish it had a squencer built in though.

                    Roland has always had a problem that sales people can't tell a processor from a guitar synth...this will fix that.
                    http://www.tunecore.com/music/frankkitts

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                    • #11
                      BADASS. I always THINK I know what I want 'til NAMM rolls around. lol
                      I made the mistake of including the name of the band I was in at the time I started my account here, but a lot of my friends really do call me "gibby"...
                      My guitfiddle vidyas
                      Xbox LIVE Gamertag: Gibby McFender
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                      bassist for Fools For Rowan. Check us out!

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                      • #12
                        I have not posted here for a long while so forgive me for butting in. I have some mixed reservations about the GR 55. It always evolves around tracking for me. I'll be interested to see how the tracking works on this model. The GR-33's (yes I had a couple) were always too dicey to play live for me. YOu have to play precisely and with a guitar setup perfectly. Sometimes stage sound would throw it off the pitch to MIDI conversion....and I tried many guitars trying to get it tolerable.

                        If the GR-55 is more forgiving about the guitar, the playing style, able to reject odd string vibrations and have close to zero latency, I'll be all over it. I think Roland is counting on the VG-99 component of the box taking care of some of those complaints...if 50% of your output signal is through the VG circuit (a processor) and the rest in through the pitch to MIDI conversion it will cover up alot of tracking errors. Wish it had a squencer built in though.

                        Roland has always had a problem that sales people can't tell a processor from a guitar synth...this will fix that.


                        Well that's the question, now isn't it? I have found that the tracking of the GR-30 is just fine in regards to the internal sounds, but the MIDI out is where it loses it. It just doesn't do well there. Oh well, only cost me $40 to try.

                        I've also owned the GI-20, that despite a year of constant tweaking was always aggravating as hell to use with AU instruments. Sold it. Never looked back.

                        The big question for me is this: I know I'll be happy with how this thing tracks internally, especially if it's improved over the 30/33. However I NEED it to do well plugged into my Mac, because I want to use Sampletank and other stuff there. If it still fails, then I'm sticking with the Starr Labs Ztar idea, even though it's a lot more expensive.
                        Court Jester of the Ibanez Wizards
                        Mesa/Boogie Mob

                        Guitars:

                        Ibanez JS2000
                        Ibanez RG421 w/ Dimarzio TZ+AN
                        Ibanez SC420
                        Fender MIM Strat with built-in Roland GK3
                        Seagull S6

                        Rig:
                        '94 Mesa DC-5 combo
                        Palmer PDI-09
                        L6 Echo Park
                        Boss chorus
                        Boss SD-1
                        AmpKit+ for iPad
                        Roland GI-20 MIDI converter

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                        • #13
                          The Roland GR-55 fails to deliver on a key feature found in the GR-50 from 1988. The GR-50 featured 12 PCM sounds at once and 12 Midi Channels out. The new Roland GR-55 only has 2 PCM sounds at once, COSM modeling and 6 Midi Channels out. Roland claims the GR-55 makes 4 sounds at once when it combines the clean guitar sound.

                          I've been having discussion with Roland's head synth guy, Peter S. Asking him to implement that GR-50 feature. Imagine if you would hear 4 different sounds on each string for a total of 24 sounds on 6 strings? It is an incredible sound. I went to this years NAMM Show hoping to hear the new guitar synth with what I was lead to believe from Roland. But it only has 2 PCM sounds at once, just like every Roland Guitar Synth since the GR-50.

                          Of the 910 types of PCH sounds there are no elaborate sounds like those on Roland keyboards. It's all bass guitar, guitar, flutes, sax, trumpets, strings, etc. The same sound set since the GR-1. Roland keeps returning to square 1 to reintroduce the Guitar Synth to new buyers. This failure of Roland's R&D and Marketing lacks innovation that existing Guitar Synth players expect. Why does Roland continue to give us 6 Midi outputs to play other synths but won't let is play 6 internal sounds at once? The GR-50 has 131 note/voice polyphony but does not plays 2 PCM sounds at once.

                          I spoke with 4 Roland reps at this years show. One told me if there was a Version 2 of the GR-55, it could have that GR-50 feature. We will have to wait and see.
                          StompboxMan.com
                          Pedals, Amps, Keyboards and Accessories

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                          • #14
                            I currently use a Gi-20 (just for my hone rig) with a RMC piezo. It would be nice to have some decent sounds built in and in addition to that have some modeling stuff to mess with a little. I also like the idea of a looper too as I currently use Ableton for that at home. Right now, all that stuff is a novelty to me as I don't want to bring my PC to gigs or rely on a PC in a live setting.

                            I have some routing questions maybe some of you can help me with:

                            1. Ableton Live allows me to direct the output of my Guitar to just my amp and the synth output just to my stereo. Since the GR-55 has amp modeling, will I be able to have the synth sounds come out of JUST my stereo/PA and the guitar modeling/non synth sounds JUST come out of my guitar amp? I'm guessing not but......

                            2. I currently have my PC in my amp effects loop so when doing looping with Ableton Live, the played back riff will have the effects (from my TC G-System) and amp channel (I have a 4 channel amp) that I recorded it using. Is the optimal routing for the Gr-55 to have it not in the amp effects loop?

                            3. Does anyone know if the Gr-55 will be able to control preset changes on the TC G-System in case I want to configure G-System presets to be paired with GR-55 ones?

                            Thanks!

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                            • #15


                              Of the 910 types of PCH sounds there are no elaborate sounds like those on Roland keyboards. It's all bass guitar, guitar, flutes, sax, trumpets, strings, etc. The same sound set since the GR-1. Roland keeps returning to square 1 to reintroduce the Guitar Synth to new buyers. This failure of Roland's R&D and Marketing lacks innovation that existing Guitar Synth players expect.


                              I haven't heard the GR55 in person but have seen the demo video's. But as far as the Roland GR line having the same soundset since the GR1 and not having elaborate sounds like Roland keyboards - I have to respectfully disagree. I'm currently using a GR33 (and have owned a GR50 and GR30 before this) and I find that it has lots of elaborate synth sounds like lush pads, evolving textures, and sci-fi sounds that I use it for exclusively in my ambient music. I never use the kinds of sounds you mentioned like guitar, bass, sax, trumpets, etc on it. But for the more ambient sounds, on some I use the presets, and I've also tweaked some fantastic new age soundscape-type sounds on it.

                              Each model of the GR line has improved sound-wise in my opinion. I'm not sure what the sound engine in the GR50 was but the GR30 was based on the Sound Canvas and the GR33 is based on the JV 1080 synth module which was a major upgrade and has lots of variety. As far as the GR50 feature you spoke of, it's been a very long time since I owned mine in the '90's so I don't remember that, but I do remember that the sounds I got out of it were pretty plain compared to what I get out of the GR33. Although I was much newer to synthesizers back then and probably didn't get into using the feature you described, or go beyond plug in and play with the presets, so perhaps not a fair comparison as to what the GR50 is capable of.

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