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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Strings and things
Roland GR55 - New Guitar Synth
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:11 am    Post subject: Roland GR55 - New Guitar Synth Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Guys,

I wasn't expecting this: http://synth.me/music-gear/namm-2011-roland-announce-new-gr-55-guitar-synthesizer

Now where is my wallet?
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

From what I read on this thread, it has a subset of the VG-99's features, and the synth engine is a fairly limited sample player.

It could certainly be a solution to guitarists who want a simple and small all-in-one synth box. I guess the main key to its success is how much better the MIDI tracking would be - to me this is a nonissue as I also play keyboards.

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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I read somewhere that the synth control is meant to be more advanced than the VG, more parameters are meant to be extracted from the strings, rather like the string port.

Also midi tracking is meant to be 3 times quicker than the GR20/VG99, faster than an axon apparently.

I will definitely go to a shop and have a play.

What I would prefer though is the new technology as a firmware update to the VG99!
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:
I read somewhere that the synth control is meant to be more advanced than the VG,


It better be, as the VG-99 has no onboard synth at all! Though I believe "synth" in this context refers to the rompler engine on the GR-55, not the COSM synth models such as the GR300, Crystal, etc.

Here's a VG-99 vs. GR-55 comparison thread:
http://www.futureguitarnow.com/forum/forums.html?topic=1545.0

Initial GR-55 thread on that same forum:
http://www.futureguitarnow.com/forum/forums.html?topic=1529.0

I didn't see any indication of more than 2 parameters (amplitude, pitch) extracted from string behavior for MIDI conversion but that info might be buried somewhere.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:
...What I would prefer though is the new technology as a firmware update to the VG99!

Roland had an upgrade planned. They were even taking feature requests for a while. I don't know what to expect. Dare we hope that they have held it off to include some of the GR55 feaures...

DJ
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Not sure what you mean by the vg99 not having synths?

http://www.rolandconnect.com/product.php?p=gr-55

Lightning-Fast Tracking
Thanks to Roland’s decades of research and dedication to guitar synthesizers and powerful new pitch detection technology, the GR-55 is far and away the fastest guitar synth ever. Furthermore, the COSM guitar-modeling engine needs zero detection time, allowing the GR-55 to respond instantly and exactly as you play. The GR-55 detects pitch, velocity, and behavior for unprecedented response to your performance.
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:
Not sure what you mean by the vg99 not having synths?


As stated earlier, I mean that the VG-99 does not have rompler engine.

The GR-55's synth parameters that you're interested in apply to it's onboard rompler.

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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

http://media.rolandus.com/manuals/GR-55_OM.pdf

I think I see what you mean now.

I thought the gr55 was a proper guitar synth, like the vg99. Where really it is just a midi converter with a midi synth in it.

Well that has saved me some money!
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Longer discussion thread, with a Roland rep responding to posts:
http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=834143

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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Now you have put me right about what it is my interest has dropped Embarassed

I am on the edge of getting a StringPort though now you can get at the AIM data via OSC it is beginning to look like a nice tool, a bit pricey though!
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I continue to be somewhat intrigued by the Stringport, except the amp/distortion demos sound terrible compared to the VG-99.
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

All the StringPort demos sound pretty bad to me!

They should have employed a better guitar player thats for sure.

I must admit I would not go for the software package, just the unit with the MIDI/AIM software.
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ReaktorFreak



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

it's very surprising that roland came back to guitar synths (and with some revolutionary improvement Wink)

too bad there's still no video yet demonstrating how good (or bad) the MIDI out is.
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I thought the string port was more or less a glorified audio interface, that came with some MAX/MSP software to do break out all the info regarding the strings (envelopes, pitch, etc). So, it'd inherently have many milliseconds of delay for USB/Audio buffering, compared to other units like the Axon that start sending MIDI data as early as 2ms after the initial pluck. Am I wrong on that?

I have an Axon50, and am really impressed by the tracking it provides for my 5 string bass. Even low-B gives me no problem at all.
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ReaktorFreak



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:
All the StringPort demos sound pretty bad to me!

They should have employed a better guitar player thats for sure.

I must admit I would not go for the software package, just the unit with the MIDI/AIM software.

how good is the MIDI out from the stringport actually (latency / glitch free / response / correctly interprets the playing style, etc.) ?

jksuperstar wrote:
I thought the string port was more or less a glorified audio interface, that came with some MAX/MSP software to do break out all the info regarding the strings (envelopes, pitch, etc). So, it'd inherently have many milliseconds of delay for USB/Audio buffering, compared to other units like the Axon that start sending MIDI data as early as 2ms after the initial pluck. Am I wrong on that?

I have an Axon50, and am really impressed by the tracking it provides for my 5 string bass. Even low-B gives me no problem at all.

if i understand correctly about stringport, its 'internal' synths doesn't need MIDI data, and that gives speed advantage, just like in those analog pre-MIDI guitar synths...while in PCM guitar synths, although it's not exactly MIDI for the internal synths, it does need MIDI-like data...and the conversion to MIDI or MIDI-like data is the annoying cause for latencies / glitches etc .
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stevenclements



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ReaktorFreak wrote:
it's very surprising that roland came back to guitar synths (and with some revolutionary improvement Wink)

too bad there's still no video yet demonstrating how good (or bad) the MIDI out is.


Thanks to Wayne... No video yet but
GR-55 Internal: 20.31 milliseconds.
GR-55 External: 19.01 milliseconds.


http://www.joness.com/gr300/MIDI_SPEED.htm

MC-1: 33.62 milliseconds.
GR-700 V1.4 with G-707: 29.87 milliseconds.
GR-700 Turbo V1.5 with GK-3: 28.54 milliseconds.
Korg Z3: 20.11 milliseconds.
GR-300: 3.32 milliseconds.
GI-20 GK-2A with Parker NiteFly: 15.96 milliseconds.
GI-10 GK-2A with Parker NiteFly: 18.58 milliseconds.
GM-70 with G-707: 40.39 milliseconds.
GM-70 with G-77: 45.64 milliseconds.
GI-20 with BX-13-VX + G-77: 39.54 milliseconds.
GR-33B with G-77: 13.00 milliseconds.
VB-99 with BX-13-VX + G-77 GR-300 Sim : 14.40 milliseconds.
VB-99 with BX-13-VX + G-77 Music Man: 3.76 milliseconds.
VG-88 (Polyphonic Pitch Transpose): 7.34 milliseconds.

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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jksuperstar wrote:
I thought the string port was more or less a glorified audio interface, that came with some MAX/MSP software to do break out all the info regarding the strings (envelopes, pitch, etc). So, it'd inherently have many milliseconds of delay for USB/Audio buffering, compared to other units like the Axon that start sending MIDI data as early as 2ms after the initial pluck. Am I wrong on that?

I have an Axon50, and am really impressed by the tracking it provides for my 5 string bass. Even low-B gives me no problem at all.


Apparently the USB interface is very quick and based on their own technology in some way.

The unit outputs OSC packages over USB, the max stuff converts to midi.

The OSC stuff looks interesting.
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

stevenclements wrote:
ReaktorFreak wrote:
it's very surprising that roland came back to guitar synths (and with some revolutionary improvement Wink)

too bad there's still no video yet demonstrating how good (or bad) the MIDI out is.


Thanks to Wayne... No video yet but
GR-55 Internal: 20.31 milliseconds.
GR-55 External: 19.01 milliseconds.


http://www.joness.com/gr300/MIDI_SPEED.htm

MC-1: 33.62 milliseconds.
GR-700 V1.4 with G-707: 29.87 milliseconds.
GR-700 Turbo V1.5 with GK-3: 28.54 milliseconds.
Korg Z3: 20.11 milliseconds.
GR-300: 3.32 milliseconds.
GI-20 GK-2A with Parker NiteFly: 15.96 milliseconds.
GI-10 GK-2A with Parker NiteFly: 18.58 milliseconds.
GM-70 with G-707: 40.39 milliseconds.
GM-70 with G-77: 45.64 milliseconds.
GI-20 with BX-13-VX + G-77: 39.54 milliseconds.
GR-33B with G-77: 13.00 milliseconds.
VB-99 with BX-13-VX + G-77 GR-300 Sim : 14.40 milliseconds.
VB-99 with BX-13-VX + G-77 Music Man: 3.76 milliseconds.
VG-88 (Polyphonic Pitch Transpose): 7.34 milliseconds.


So much for the GR55 being fast!
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The GR-55's external MIDI output is actually faster than it's internal synth???

I've read some claims elsewhere from new GR-55 owners that the 55 is just as fast as Axon converters. Then again, there are no Axon numbers on Wayne's site.

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alancarl



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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 10:52 pm    Post subject: Stringport AIM OSC Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey BobTheDog and other canines,
I made 5 demo videos for the Stringport Suite. The response of the system is good. I want to get a hold of a gr55 to compare triggering and latencies.... So much cool gear to play with these days eh?
Anyway, here is a link to my videos to get a better idea of what SP can do.

http://www.keithmcmillen.com/stringport/overview

I totally agree with you that the AIM protocol is much better suited for stringed instrument data than MIDI can ever hope to be and OSC is also exciting as well!
Enjoy,
Al
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Al,

Nice demos!

Now I want one.

Cheers

Andy
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oh and I would not bother getting the GR55, I have one here and it is not too great.

Issues:

1. Only really useable with GK pickups, piezos just do not work well.

2. Noisy audio. It creates loads of hiss on all outputs even with no guitar connected.

3. Low E string tracks very badly

4. Doesn't track anywhere near as well as the Axons.

5. Internal synth sounds are not that good

6. Very little setup options on the midi out.


Overall the midi out is slightly better than the VG99 but no where near as good as the axons.
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:
Hi Al,

Nice demos!

Now I want one.

Cheers

Andy


So good in fact I ordered one, well it is my birthday soon Wink
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So, did you get the Full Suite, or "MIDI OUT"? I wonder what is the big difference between the two, as the website descriptions don't differ. I was curious if the Suite comes with Synful Orchestra or something, while "MIDI out" comes with the standard Keith McMillen software (Analysis, VST rack, processing, notation, etc).

Please, review!
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I went for the full version, they kindly gave me a discount that they had offered me before so I got a bit off the price Smile

There is a comparison chart here: http://www.stringport.com/midiout/

The full version gives you access to Synful but the actual product is an extra $199 and I didn't go for that yet, I am hoping there is a demo to try out.

I will put up a review when I get it but it may be a while as parcels get from the States to the Uk in a day and are then usually held up in customs for a week!
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