Roland MIDI bass setup

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by knight, Sep 29, 2003.

  1. knight


    Nov 3, 2002
    Hi all,

    I searched, and I searched, but I couldn't find...(name that tune) specific info on this. Here's my questions. I'm having a custom 6 string built by FBB. I'm thinking about going MIDI.

    I see Roland now sells internal GK-2B pickups, so that would be neat. They also have the new GI-20 GK to MIDI converter, which uses USB to plug into your (my?) computer. What I want to use this for is:

    1. Home recording. I want to use the bass as a MIDI controller (triggering sounds, etc)

    2. Inputting music into Sibelius G7 (it's supposed to take MIDI input and transcribe it).

    Will this do the trick?

    AND in future, if I want to use this setup live, what else will I need? How do I connect the thingamabob to the thingamajig (the "sounds" to the amp)? Should I even be thinking about this? Probably not.

    Lastly, once I get this going, what will I need in terms of programs to give me MIDI sounds? I'm learning to use ACID pro and soundforge, will I be needing anything else?

    Thanks so much for your help.


  2. knight


    Nov 3, 2002
    somebody MUST know something about this...please?
  3. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Here I am! :bassist:

    First of all, I would avoid using Roland's internal thingy. If I am not mistaken, it is just a fancy way of internalizing the magnetic pickup and stuff. RMC makes a Roland compatible pickup that uses peizos to trigger the sounds, not magnetics. It triggers alot faster, and you get a peizo sound option as well.

    You will need a converter to create actual MIDI note data; it won't come straight out of your bass that way (unless RMC makes a MIDI converter inside your bass, which takes up ALOT of space in there. Not good for tone).

    Roland makes a converter called a GI20, I believe.
    You plug the 13 pin output from your bass into this thing, and it converts it to MIDI note on, note off data. Yamaha makes one of these too, I think. Once you've got that covered you can trigger synths and computer stuff.
  4. knight


    Nov 3, 2002
    Thanks basstriaxis. The reason I don't want a piezo system is that I already chose the bridge I'm going to use for my bass. and besides it would be much more expensive than the $250 the internal Roland costs. I also knew about the GI-20 (see post above) but I was wondering what I would need to add to the setup if I wanted to be able to trigger synth sounds live (without using a laptop).


  5. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    After the GI20, you'd just need a synth module to run off of the midi out jack. There are lots of them out there, shop around in the keyboard section of a big music store to find one w/ tones that you like.
  6. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    john turner is into this stuff. PM him and ask.
  7. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Buying a tone module is like buying a bass. Each are good at different things, but no one module is good at everything. I've found that Roland is good with synthy sounds and pads, but sucks on drums. Yamaha's MOTIF rack is killer for realistic sounds, but doesn't do alot of stranger stuff, and is expensive. Korg does the oldschool thing well, and EMU does some cool modern tones.

    You are going to have to do some tweaking if you are looking for more out there sounds. If you are, make sure you get something that has an intuitive interface.
  8. knight


    Nov 3, 2002
    Thanks people! this is informative. I think I got the hang of it now. hmmm, modules. Got to think about that. More opinions on modules are always appreciated (I'll try to do a search too).


  9. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    well, i use an axon ax100sb. it's the best option, imo, since it doesnt' have a low frequency cutoff - the roland synth stuff doesn't track below the c on the a string, iirc.

    as far as synth modules, the axon has a build in sound source, and i also have a few others - in my rack i have a jv1010 that is very cool. i also own kurzweil, korg, kawai and yamaha sound modules that i use, but the key is the converter - the ax100 is the best choice for bass, ime.
  10. knight


    Nov 3, 2002
    Thank you JT. I think I get it now. Two, three, perhaps 23 sound modules, hooray! At this point, it doesn't really matter if I get the Axon without sounds. Except of course I have to pay for the sound modules too...

    One last thing: from a search, it seems that the GK-2B is compatible with the Axon -- did anyone really try this?



  11. When I first ran my bass to MIDI I used a Roland GK-2b to my AXON, it worked well. I've switched to the RMC for better tracking though. Like JT said the AXON is the key. Though I don't use many of the sounds in the AXON sound bank itself. An EMU Planet Earth is my main sound module, great for drums/percussion.
  12. Zoot H Rollo

    Zoot H Rollo Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    er um..

    (cough) shh, lightwave to roland (cough, ahem...)


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