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Guitar Synths- which is the best and why do you think so?

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  • Guitar Synths- which is the best and why do you think so?

    In my internet research, I looked up different models of guitar synths, among them Boss SY-100, SY-300, Electro-Harmonix Synth 9, and a Roland GR-55. For reasons of already having some of the gear needed to run it, I chose the Roland GR-55 and was finally able to get a slightly used one on Reverb.com for a considerable discount. In my opinion there is a lot of potential for this as an addition to my studio, but there may be other opinions out there.

    George Johnson this might be of interest to you, as an owner of a GR-55. For example, what made you decide to go with the GR-55?

    https://metapop.com/sonic-bodhi
    https://www.youtube.com/user/SonicBodhi1
    https://sonicbodhi.bandcamp.com/
    https://hearthis.at/sonic-bodhi-iw/

  • #2
    It's kind of a funny story actually..
    I went to guitar center one day with my son with the intent on buying an american-made Stratocaster. when we got there however they had the brand new gr55 on display.

    I had always wanted a guitar synthesizer but others I had tried in the past were somewhat limited.

    After trying it out I was really blown away with all of the different capabilities it had and different patches. It had a lot of nice modular sounds that reminded me of the Edgar frose guitar effects.

    After playing around with it for a while I was torn between the gr55 and the fender strat. I eventually asked my (son who was 10 at the time) what he thought I should buy and he was emphatic that I get the Roland.

    So I guess to answer your question honestly a my 10-year-old son decided for me LOL.

    That being said the gr55 has so many different sound options and capabilities to this day I still haven't figured them all out. I still play around with the settings sometimes and I'll still find something new.

    A word of advice however. Make sure you back up your settings. A couple of years ago I was trying to create a new patch and I accidentally messed around with a global settings. Without knowing it I changed absolutely every sound I had ever programmed into it. Needless to stay I could have cried.

    Luckily the display for the different patches remained unchanged so I was able to pain stakingly recreate every patch. I back up frequently now.

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    • #3
      George Johnson I notice there’s a usb port for usb memory sticks- is that what you use to back up your settings to? There’s also a ‘factory reset’ according to the manual, which means all your unique user-made patches would go bye-bye, but all the original sounds would be restored.
      https://metapop.com/sonic-bodhi
      https://www.youtube.com/user/SonicBodhi1
      https://sonicbodhi.bandcamp.com/
      https://hearthis.at/sonic-bodhi-iw/

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes that's all correct.
        ITs best to save your settings on the USB and back that up to your computer or whatever just in case the USB stops working.

        The gr 55 is so versatile and has a lot of different capabilities.
        For instance the expression pedal can manipulate severall different things at once depending on it's position. It was difficult for me to figure out however. The gr 55 can be really complex.

        There's several different tutorials on YouTube to walk you through everything.
        Last edited by George Johnson; 03-21-2021, 08:52 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by George Johnson View Post
          Yes that's all correct.
          ITs best to save your settings on the USB and back that up to your computer or whatever just in case the USB stops working.

          The gr 55 is so versatile and has a lot of different capabilities.
          For instance the expression pedal can manipulate severall different things at once depending on it's position. It was difficult for me to figure out however. The gr 55 can be really complex.

          There's several different tutorials on YouTube to walk you through everything.
          So is it better to use the separate left and right outputs, or can I use a TRS 1/4 cable in the headphone output and still have quality sound?
          https://metapop.com/sonic-bodhi
          https://www.youtube.com/user/SonicBodhi1
          https://sonicbodhi.bandcamp.com/
          https://hearthis.at/sonic-bodhi-iw/

          Comment


          • #6
            I use the left and right outputs. I'd be interested to hear how the headphone output with sound though.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by George Johnson View Post
              I use the left and right outputs. I'd be interested to hear how the headphone output with sound though.
              Right now I am using a TRS cable with the headphone jack, but it is a cheap Radio Shack cable that does not provide adequate line noise insulation.
              https://metapop.com/sonic-bodhi
              https://www.youtube.com/user/SonicBodhi1
              https://sonicbodhi.bandcamp.com/
              https://hearthis.at/sonic-bodhi-iw/

              Comment


              • #8
                George Johnson I finally downloaded and installed the Librarian app, and backed up all my patches to PC. However, I’m not really thrilled that I have to replace one patch with another if I want to create a new patch. This should be a standard feature of using external USB memory, instead of having to back up the whole library. Also, I found some patches that allowed me to finally make some interesting sounds in a recording- it should be showing up in the next Ambient Compilation.

                Wondering if I can use my new E-Bow with this?

                I have a new pair of TRS cables coming, so I will figure out how to port them to the hardware recorder. The sound is much better in stereo than stereo-ized mone which is what I was getting by plugging into the Roland SP-404 SX microphone input, and using onboard efx.
                https://metapop.com/sonic-bodhi
                https://www.youtube.com/user/SonicBodhi1
                https://sonicbodhi.bandcamp.com/
                https://hearthis.at/sonic-bodhi-iw/

                Comment


                • #9
                  I thought you needed to add the special pickups for the GR55. Is this not the case?
                  I had a Source Audio C4 Synth for a while. It seems very powerful but ended up selling in favour of the Jam Origin MIDI Guitar software which is much more effective at tracking without additional pickups.
                  Makrotulpa - SKON - Blog - Soundcloud

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Makrotulpa View Post
                    I thought you needed to add the special pickups for the GR55. Is this not the case?
                    I had a Source Audio C4 Synth for a while. It seems very powerful but ended up selling in favour of the Jam Origin MIDI Guitar software which is much more effective at tracking without additional pickups.
                    I thought I had made clear that I already owned the GK-3 pickup from the Roland GR-20 unit I've had for years?

                    So how does the Jam Origin work? Do you have to have a guitar interface like Apogee Jam, or a Line6 TonePort GX? (Both of which I also own, and don't need additional pickups).
                    https://metapop.com/sonic-bodhi
                    https://www.youtube.com/user/SonicBodhi1
                    https://sonicbodhi.bandcamp.com/
                    https://hearthis.at/sonic-bodhi-iw/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sonic Bodhi View Post


                      So how does the Jam Origin work? Do you have to have a guitar interface like Apogee Jam, or a Line6 TonePort GX? (Both of which I also own, and don't need additional pickups).
                      It just needs an audio interface so I'm sure those will be fine.


                      Makrotulpa - SKON - Blog - Soundcloud

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sonic Bodhi View Post
                        George Johnson I finally downloaded and installed the Librarian app, and backed up all my patches to PC. However, I’m not really thrilled that I have to replace one patch with another if I want to create a new patch. This should be a standard feature of using external USB memory, instead of having to back up the whole library. Also, I found some patches that allowed me to finally make some interesting sounds in a recording- it should be showing up in the next Ambient Compilation.

                        Wondering if I can use my new E-Bow with this?

                        I have a new pair of TRS cables coming, so I will figure out how to port them to the hardware recorder. The sound is much better in stereo than stereo-ized mone which is what I was getting by plugging into the Roland SP-404 SX microphone input, and using onboard efx.
                        I'm unfamiliar with the librarian app.

                        If you're referring to overwriting a patch on the unit itself remember that the pre-existing patches in the user section are also in the other Banks as well so you're not actually deleting a unique patch.

                        You can absolutely use an E-Bow although some patches work better than others. I'm not exactly sure why this is but for some reason the E-Bow's string vibration doesn't trigger very well with some patches. This may be to the string sensitivity settings but I'm just not sure. If you could figure this one out I'd really appreciate it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          George Johnson while I was looking around in the EDIT function, I thought I saw a section on string sensitivity for the individual strings. I will look around some more. I have already tried the E-Bow out with some of these patches, and found the same thing you did- some work better than others.
                          https://metapop.com/sonic-bodhi
                          https://www.youtube.com/user/SonicBodhi1
                          https://sonicbodhi.bandcamp.com/
                          https://hearthis.at/sonic-bodhi-iw/

                          Comment

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