Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

roland gk3b bass midi pickup users?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by D.A.R.K., Apr 24, 2005.


  1. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    Virginia
    greetings
    anyone out there using the gk3b bass midi pickup from roland?
    i'm looking for a midi pickup to bridge the gap between
    my use of ableton live on my laptop and my bass...
    i really want to control the electronics with the instrument
    through the use of midi.
    is the pickup stand-alone as far as midi conversion or do you need
    the roland processor as well?
    i downloaded the manual but it is not clear.
    any info or experience would be greatly appreciated.
    cheers
    d
     
  2. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    The GK-3B (or the 2B) are NOT MIDI pickups. They are divided pickups which can be used with some other units (Axon, GI-20, etc) to achieve MIDI conversion, but they are not stand alone converters. Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, you might be happier with the GK-3B and V-Bass setup. Much better tracking (flawless really) with zero latency, because there isn't any pitch-to-MIDI going on (this is a common misconception about the V-Bass). This is precisely why I opted for the V-Bass instead of a MIDI setup. I can get pads, organ sounds, screamin' lead guitar, etc. And I don't hafta alter my playing to accomodate the system at all.
     
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    yup, it's purely something to divide the signal into one signal per string to make the midi conversion easier.

    The Vbass is a cool unit, but if you're looking to get note information into sequencing software then you'll need the guitar to midi conversion which the Vbass doesn't provide. That's done in a unit like the Axon 100, Roland GR20 etc.
     
  4. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    True, which is why I was saying depending on what you wanna achieve. I'll usually enter MIDI info with a keyboard, tho there are a few times it would be nice to have a stringed controller. For recordings and demos, I'll usually just record bass and guitar live, often adding live bass on top of synth bass. If what you're trying to do is increase your pallete of sounds in a live application tho, the V-Bass can't be beat.

    I've got my piccolo wired up for V-Bass use; been thinking of getting the GI-20 for MIDI since the higher pictch would help with conversion.
     
  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Definitely, just wanted to stress it to make sure D.A.R.K. understood
     
  6. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Oh we'll MAKE him understand allright.... ;)
     
  7. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    Virginia
    thanks for the info, good help!
    i'm looking to control software, not make my bass sound like sax or guitar(yuck).
    now if i could just find a pickup to fit my ns eub... ;)
    cheers
    d
     
  8. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    I'm looking to have my bass double as a bass AND a guitar (distorsion or clean) or double as a string orchestra for some songs in a new band I'm putting together.

    Is the V-Bass best for this or the other bass midi converters that I think Roland puts out? Sorry for the vague question, but I'm just getting into effects/ midi.
     
  9. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I posted a review in the gear review section. From what you're saying, I think the V-Bass should work nicely. Not sure what you mean by "string orchestra". Great lead-guitar sounds. Understand, there is no sample playback. There are no samples in the unit...at all. Think of it as an effects unit on steroids. There are a lot of pad-type sounds that might work for you. Got mine at musicians buy, they had the best price with free shipping, but that was a couple years ago.
     
  10. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Marcus: Thank you for your responce, but here is my question more specifically. There are a couple of songs that have strings playing the same line as the bass. Can I get an orchestra sound with my bass by using the V- Bass? Also, since I am playing a bass guitar, can the orchestra effect be raised one octive. I realize that the orchestra sound would be in unison. In order to get the sound of the bass guitar and the orchestra, I would run the plane bass sound out of the 1/4" jack to my bass rig and the orchestra sound via the appropriate pick up to the V- bass to the PA or a separate amp.

    That brings up another question. For those of you who use midi effects for unbass like sounds, do you run the "unbass like sounds" through your bass rig, PA or a keyboard amp with a DI box???
     
  11. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I don't believe the Vbass has string sounds in it, I don't recall that from my times trying it. Since the Vbass isn't doing any note to midi conversion, it really can't trigger any GM Midi type sounds so you're limited to what it can model. Don't get me wrong, the Vbass is a great unit and you've got nothing to lose by trying it out - musiciansfriend, zzounds etc all have 30-45 day trial periods.

    The GR-20 has built in string sounds
     
  12. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    The VBass has SYNTH string patches, but that's it.
     
  13. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Well, there aren't any "string" sounds that sound like a bowed string, no. There are a good deal of pad-type and sustained sounds that might work for what you're talking about. Really as davidmwilson said, the best advice is to try it. As to your second question, the V-Bass sound can be transposed independently, yes, including being harmonized diatonically. As to you third, generally your normal bass output and the V-Bass output both come out of the V-Bass. Your normal 1/4" out is routed to the GK pickup and both are sent to the V-Bass through the 13 pin cable. You can control the mix within the V-Bass or assign the mix to one of the controllers on the GK.

    I thought about a MIDI setup for a while. But when I really stopped and thought about the issues I'd hafta deal with, as well as the fact that for me, I have a lot more use for the ability to jump from a fretless to a slapped MusicMan to an upright to a bridge-pickup-soloed-Jazz (with 0 hum, BTW) to a screaming lead guitar up 2 octaves to a Deep Purple organ sound to.....

    A MIDI setup would be nice, but I just don't really see much need for it, nor much I can't do without it. If I REALLY need something that specific, I'll just track the damn strings and play that tune to a click.
     
  14. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Thanks guys. I'm going to try out the V-bass. I think one of the music stores 45 minutes away has it. I'll also try the bass synth stuff too if I can.

    Bob

    I was also thinking about just getting a good synth keyboard and playing a couple of those songs on a keyboard. Bass Player magazine had a pretty good article about that about a year ago.
     
  15. I got a GK2b on my fretless Dingwall and a RMC piezo w/ 13pin out on my DIngwall Super J, obviously to run the Vbass unit. but like Marcus mentioned this is not a midi device -its a tricked out effects pedal really. I like a number of the Vbass patches, and i rountinely run both my Dingwall and a "vintage bass" tone simulataneously to give a nice fat punchy bass tone (you gotta hear the fretless patch being played on a fretless bass yao-zaa), but IMO the synth patches and other musical instrument sounds are not its strength. There are about 4 or 5 moog like synth patches, a couple of them are useful as is, IMo they need tweeking to really dial in something cool. The string patches i.e.,crystal is gimmicky & useless. Even after i installed the new patches (see the yahoo Vbass user group), I still didn't uncover any keyboard or cooler synth type patches. So I've tweeked ones already onboard to suit my taste.
    I've only read and heard that the new Gr-20 V2 has patches that will work well w/ a GK-equipped bass.
     
  16. i have a GK2b. i run it in to the roland gi-20. it converts the singal in to midi.it has midi in and outs and a usb out. i run it in to my g3 ibook and my house pc. iam useing reason 2.5 and ableton live on both. i also use acid to goof with all the free vst plugin synths. on mac i use garageband pretty well. if i jam with a metal head drummer and hes doing just double kicks. i load up the rock set and do fast hammer on and pull off on the two frets that are kick drum. the drummers normale stop and stare at me.


    i get great results with my g3 ibook playing for freinds and wat not. iam not sure if this goes for every pickup but i cant slap and play low e notes too fast. i have heard useing thinner strings like piccole strings help.

    its great if your band uses samples and sound effects. think radio head of floyd.
     
  17. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    Does anyone have a link to a forum or any other place for user info? I'm wondering if it is just 4 strings or if the GK-3B is able to handle 5. Also just poking around in Google and I didn't find anything.

    Pete
     
  18. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    having not used it, I can't say for sure. But the GK-2B worked on 4,5 and 6 string basses so I'm certain the GK-3b would also
     
  19. Mo_Fonk

    Mo_Fonk

    Oct 14, 2010
    I need a few cord hooks. You know the ones that come with the GK-3B kit ? You stick them on your bass, and it has a small clasp that secures wire from controller to GK pickup. Anyone have any laying around you could spare ? I called Roland, they dont have a part number for them :meh: