Roland V-bass system.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by mebusdriver, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. Thinking about pickin up this thing. I've played with it a little at shops but not enough to know if I like it. Need some opinions from owners if you guys don't mind. Adam.
  2. I have one. Had some issue up front, but after getting the proper Gk-2b install, everything seems to work well.
    To me you'll have to decide if it fits your needs.
    First off, its by far the best sounding emulator you will find, The unit pretty much cops the tone of a J bass rear pickup, a fretless, a rickenbacker, Gibson EBO, etc, as well as cops some specific tones from known basses, like jacos tones, alain carons tone.
    The unit also has some convincing Upright bass sounds as well.

    Now the question you have to ask yourself you want the sound of those basses coming out of your bass? I don't know about you but i bought my Dingwall basses to sound like I'm playing Dingwalls, and i don't want to mask the tone- unless I have to. This unit works pretty well live, and I'm not totally sold on using it for recording, becuz the tones aren't exactly like playing the same instrument.
    Next, the unit is full of effects and premade patches; some are nonsense and just make noise other after some tweaking sound pretty good. (Xush's website has a few Vbass mp3s to listen to)
    The unit is a tweakers paradise, if you like to tweak this unit is great, and IMO tweaking helps many of the sterile sounding patches.
    so the next question is do you want a fancy effects unit to make some synth sounds, or flanging, or chorousing? if so this is a really expensive one? and it still doesn't have lot of effects. I still use my EBS octobass and trace elliot quadchorus.
    The Vbass does make you play and think a little different becuz all these tones are available, but how useful are they too you?
    In my band i use 3 patches. A upright tone for stray cats/brian stezer/rockabilly stuff (and honestly i've played them using my regular bass tone and it also works-the upright just sounds cooler.). I use a mix of a fretless patch and my fretless bass to give a 4-level fretless sounds, fills up alot of sonic space. Lastly i use a synth patch which works well on some dance tunes.
    Remember this is not a Midi unit, while you can do some fooling around to make the GK unit drive a midi controller it does NOT produce midi, so no grand piano, no keyboard or saxaphone sounds.
    Lastly, i'm prayin that Roland keeps updating the software on this unit, else it becomes a Dodo bird. I'd love a computer-based software editor, also some new sounds/tones. This unit has the potential to be great, but right now i would consider it a expensive effects pedal.
    Sorry the reponse was so long.
  3. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Wonderfully stated, Frank. I do love the VBass. When I have a few hours to kill, it's great fun playing around with it. That said, mine hasn't left it's box since late summer. :( I just don't have the time that much lately.
  4. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    Yes it does, it produces midi signals. That is how the whole kit & kaboodle works. Midi is not a sound, it is a data signal that tells other midi compatible equipment what to do, eg, note on, note off, patch change etc...
    I think what you are getting at is it doesn't produce any keyboard type instrument sounds. That is what the GR33 is for.

    Just to clarify :)
  5. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    No it doesn't. It is not a midi based system - that's why it manages to track quickly, because it's not tracking the pitch, it's just applying very cunning algorithms to the bass signal.

  6. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Alexclaber is correct.

    ga_edwards is patently wrong when it comes to the VBass.

    The VBass creates sound by processing the vibrations of the bass's strings, not by triggering samples or creating electronic waveforms.

    Just to clarify.
  7. I kinda figured it doesn't produce any midi signals, as to get it to run an axon unit or a midi controller, required you to purchase a converter.

    but Ga is kinda right, I meant the Vbass is not like a Gk33 or Peavy cyberbass. Meaning you can't hook the Gk or the vbass up to a synth unit and expect it too work (well not w/o said converter in between).

    As for tracking the Vbass unit is amazing. It out tracks any of the true midi units (becuz its isn't midi). You can do harmonics, multifinger tapping and the unit never messes up.
    Thanks for the clarification
  8. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    Ok, I'm sorry, you can all spit in my face and slap me silly. I jumped the gun, and made assumptions, without checking my facts first. I didn't realise the GK-2B p/up, and v-bass were built from completely new technology.

    My old guitarist has the VG88 and GR33, which he used to control from the Roland GK p/up, then from a built in p/up system (not a GK system) in a Godin guitar. He was able to control other midi gear with these, he even controlled a keybaord synth from it once, and I don't think he had a convertor. As I understand it, these units did employ midi ( i think, but don't quote me, he took a midi lead out of one of the floor units to the keyboard)....thus my error.

    As a side note, after some research, I've now found out the GK2B is so different, it can't be used with any of the older guitar units, such as the GR33. So if you're after all manner of keyboard sounds, you're out of luck. Which strikes me as bad planning, as this make the whole thing a closed system, woth no room for expansion with other existing units.

    Also, could someone tell me what the midi i/o ports on teh V-bass are for? I take it they don't send note information, just basic start/stop, midi clock, data dump, bank/patch funtions.