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-   -   Roland Guitar-synth and delay ??? (http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=101166)

Xbitz 03-23-2004 03:59 AM

Roland Guitar-synth and delay ???
Hi all,
Thinking about buying the Roland GR-20/GK-3 combi-pack ?
But are there any of you playing this thing and can tell about how much delay there is during playing, and how secure does it react on playing separate notes or chords???

About 10 years ago I gave myself a Casio-Midi-Guitar, Stratocaster model-black, but where not satisfied about the delay and reacting on my playing.

Need more info, tell me....


Xbitz, The Netherlands

mlemos 03-23-2004 05:45 AM

Re: Roland Guitar-synth and delay ???

I've never tried the Gr-20 but i've had the Gr-30 with the GK-2A pick-up for years. It works fairly well but not great. Maybe that's why Roland discontinued it.

I recently bought a GI-20 which works really well. The tracking is so much better than the Gr-30. I didn't need built in sounds because I mostly use it with Sampletank and other softsynths. All the GI-20 does is convert the signal to midi and it does it very accurately.

Here are a couple of tips that i've figured out over the years for better tracking and midi conversion with guitar synths:

1. Use a lighter gauge string for more accurate tracking. Guitar synth converters take longer to analyze and convert lower frequencies so the lighter the gauge, the quicker the conversion. I switched from 10's to 9's on my midi guitar and the tracking is much better now. If you're not comfortable playing with a lighter gauge then just stick with what you like. It's a compromise that you'll have to decide for yourself.

2. Play everything an octave higher on the guitar and then transpose the midi notes down an octave on your midi guitar synth or in your sequencer. This works especially well with bass lines. You can even use a capo on your guitar and then transpose the notes down. Again, this helps with the accuracy of the conversion but if you're not comfortable playing this way then it wouldn't be worth it.

Just remember, low end is bad for midi conversion.
Try these tips for sounds with fast attacks like piano, guitar, etc. and you'll see what I mean. You'll end up with very clean midi tracks in your sequencer.

Good luck,

crs117 03-23-2004 09:31 AM

Re: Roland Guitar-synth and delay ???
I am not sure what you plan on doing with your midi gutiar, but i personally could not stand working with them. I simply wanted more options as far as guitar sounds go and despite all the flexability, it never felt quite right when i played it. It made me feel like i was tracking my songs with 512 buffer in pt and that just drove me nuts.

I did end up picking up the line6 variax 500 because gc was selling them for $500. I actually went to GC and wore one out for 4 hours on a saturday and i could not believe how good this thing sounded. The strats sound like a strat, the pauls sound like pauls, the tele's (minus one setting) sound like tele's. I didnt need all the midi instruments that the midi guitar provided, so the variax was all that i was needing. In addition i use a vetta amp that has been upgraded with the vetta digital interface card, so now i hook my variax to my vetta simply using an eithernet cable and when i change patches on my amp, it can change which guitar patch i am using on my variax.

It is over all an incredible setup. There is no delay that i can tell (which i am sensitive to), and the guitars sound great. it cannot track midi notes as it is not a midi based guitar, but if all you are looking for is more flexability this thing is for you. Its funny how i have had $2k plus guitars as my main electric rig for the past 4-5 years, and then i purchase this $500 guitar and the others many times now stay in their cases.

I will say that if you wait till summer namm you may see a new electric variax model on the floor. The new model will provide alt tunings and other fun things the new variax acoustic can do with the new processor set although it will probly not be out till october at its earliest.


Xbitz 03-24-2004 12:31 AM

Re: Roland Guitar-synth and delay ???
Never heard of the Variax but looks a nice product to me, but my idea is more to play synth via my guitar, because I'm not a great keyboard player.
My 2 digitech FX can do a lot of sounds, GSP-21 and RP-1, so at the moment the possibility to have access to synth sounds via guitar is more interesting to me!
I will keep the Variax in mind for future spendings. also thinking about a Peaveay-Wolfgang EVH guitar and a TC-Helicon Harmonizer but my bank-account does not cooperate at all times...
Just upgraded my Pentium-3 to a Athlon 2800xp with 1024MB memory and a new VGA-card for PT.

Can I compare the Roland VG-88 with the Variax ???
Ain't it handy to have a separate floor unit to change parameters and sounds, just as with the floor-unit from the VG-88.
Are you doing all the switching of the Variax on the guitar itself with that one knob???

Thanx for the Variax tip !!!


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