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Synth..sound architecture...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jedi, Sep 10, 2003.


  1. jedi

    jedi

    Apr 11, 2003
    north texas
    I'm really confused about what you would 'call' what I'm looking for information on. But my direct correlation would be the Roland GR33GK2A 'guitar synth'(a friend has one with a midi pickup on his guitar, and it's the most fantastic thing ever...). A board or module or whatever that gives you the ability to play various instrument patches, etc. What do you call these damn things, and does anyone have any information or recommendations on such devices?
    This is all very confusing to me, so please be gentle:(

    -Kyle
     
  2. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Greetings, young padewan. What you are looking for is a bass synth. Roland makes a thing called a VBass (although not technically a synth, since it is not triggering a sample), which will emulate different basses and amps and effects. I can't remember what the pickup is called (GK2B, maybe?). You can plug this pickup into the GR33 or other synth, and trigger internal sounds.

    There are other options, however more expensive. Some companies like RMC will make piezo pickups that will transmit MIDI messages directly, so you could plug a MIDI cable straight into any tone generator and play it. Peavey also used to make a bass MIDI controller, which are pretty hard to find now, but they were the best for what you are talking about.

    Don't know if that was the answer you were looking for, but that's what you are going to get for now.
     
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    As per definition a synth does not trigger samples, that would be a sampler.
     
  4. jedi

    jedi

    Apr 11, 2003
    north texas
    Hahaha, thanks for the info, but I'm not persay looking for an emulator of other basses and amps, but more of other instruments, like strings, brass, piano, etc. Thanks though, informative none te less. I want to learn about it all :)

    -kyle
     
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Check the tutorials @ www.computermusic.co.uk

    It's all the same except that you have to use a midi pickup instead of a midi keyboard.
     
  6. You have entered a realm of disapoint and sorrow. The Roland pickup only works with a V-Bass module that has some synth "effects" but it is not a true synthesizer or a midi interface and it will not drive midi devices. To use a bass to drive a synth or sampler you need a MIDI converter and here is where sorrow begins. Yamaha and RMC offer piezo pickups and converters but because of the latency these work best on piccolo instruments as they track very slowly on bass. The mentioned PV MidiBass is probably the best solution so far but it is a complicated and sensitive system that uses sensors in the neck for pitch/note on and off and magnetic sensors for other information. Check out the link JMX offered to learn a bit more about the secret synth world.
     
  7. SoComSurfing

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

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    The string, brass, and organ simulations on the VBass are rather sub-par, IMO. I don't know about the GK2B only working on Roland devices (I wouldn't doubt it), but there are several other choices of MIDI pickups, such as those already mentioned. To process the MIDI signal, another option is the Axon unit. I think this is what JT uses along with his RMC saddles to drive his synth units.
     
  8. jedi

    jedi

    Apr 11, 2003
    north texas
    Hmm, that is a bit dispairing. I checked out that site earlier today and there is a lot of information. But nothing really directly addressing my situation, but i'm going to post on the forums and see what kind of info i can get out of there. I'll check out the Axon thing too. It's nice having people respond to posts :)
    thanks

    -Kyle
     
  9. alankroeger

    alankroeger

    Sep 1, 2003
    No need to ponder they don't unless you see something along the lines of Roland Compatable on the package, then count on it not working. The Roland Guitar/Bass synths are a combination of Note to MIDI Convertor and Synth Sound Module. There is a GI series that is only a Note to MIDI convertor with these you have to use some separate Synth Sound Module connected via a MIDI cable.

    I ordered a GK-2b the other day so I can try the GR-09 with the bass (four string Mustang clone, short scale) I have heard from people who have tried string up guitars with extremely light and thin strings to improve tracking now to me this made no sense as I have used the GR-09 with an SG using a fairly standard light heavy set of strings with very little difficuly as far as tracking is concerned. I think some people have problems understanding the concept of envelope(Notes have a rate of attack, decay, sustain and release time all intruments have ther own envelope)and that they may have misunderstood the characteristics of the synth patch they had chosen. You actually have to play to what the synth is trying to output and forget about playing guitar or bass you are now just playing a note like a keyboard does and just need to actuate the note accurately.

    One should remember that a synth guitar/bass is not going to make you a better player it just gives you a bigger sound palette to work with so, think hard before you jump into this.
     
  10. jedi

    jedi

    Apr 11, 2003
    north texas
    i'm well aware it won't make me a better player, and that array of sounds is what i'm interested in. which seems to be problematic because of the midi pickups for bass? i really don't want to have my computer near me to play such things. bleh, nevermind, i'll just keep reading everyone's comments, this whole thing has me confused to hell, and i need to be worrying about calculus.

    -Kyle
     
  11. alankroeger

    alankroeger

    Sep 1, 2003
    I tell you what when I get my GK-2b and install it I will let you know here how bad or well it works as far as tracking is concerned. Actually the best bet is to buy one of the full setups which is some second hand GR series convertor/sound module this way you don't have a dependency on the PC. The GR are plentifull these days on the secondhand market try searching ebay for roland GR and see how many hits come up. You find that the Bass pickup is less common then the guitar and most of these are being sold with a GK-2a (Roland MIDI Guitar PU) the GK-2b has wider spacing of the coils that really have to be directly under the strings. The pup's need to be mounted as close to the bridge as is possible also you need to get the height of the pickup close enough that the strings almost touch it (thats what worked on my SG). I suspect that some people misunderstand that part too and don't set the PUP as recomended bare in mind that these pu perform only on function note to MIDI note conversion they do not produce an analog note that could be fed into an amp.

    Whats intersting about the GR convertor/sound modules is the you can setup individual strings to play in different ranges. A few of the patches (designed primarily for use with a guitar) use a split scheme one notable patch is the String Bass and Piano patch in this patch the lower two strings are set in a double bass range and tonality with the upper four set to use a piano voice. These split patches can be setup for customized purposes in other words you could reverse this configuration for the bass say string bass for the lower two strings in there normal range and the upper two strings as piano but an octave up from the bass's normal range. Synths are a blast but they don't really do much but offer you some interesting tonal capabilities and it is an extra layer of complexity that could interfere with playing the instrument. I wouldn't be doing this except that I already have a GR-09 and I would be bored with just playing bass which is why I acquired some of the gear I have. You might be better off with gear like a G-Major, Adrenalinn II both of which are in the $500.00 mark (the list is longer then this but I know these units so I can talk about them) There are better items (only in that they do more then the cheaper units) like Lexicon MPX G2, TC Electronics G-Force ($1500.00) you could always go for the really high end stuff like the Eventide Orvilles (@ $3000.00) these beasties do almost anything but, I did say almost.

    More MIDI guitar stuff http://home.epix.net/~joelc/midi_git.html
     
  12. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I've got the old Roland GR77B from the '80s. It is a true bass synth, w/ many great tones. You can midi out from the floorboard to other sound modules to get even more tones. Some patches have a bit of latency, others do not. I always mix in the bass tone w/ the synth tone so latency doesn't bother me. Since this unit is old and out of production, it is not super-reliable or easily repairable. The floorboard works fine after all of these years. 1 of my controllers (Steinberger) doesn't work at all anymore :( and the other (Roland) has 1 intermittent string :( I *will* eventually get someone to repair these, or just buy another old controller, because I can't find any other way to get these cool tones. I've got many synth pedals, including the expensive Korg G5, and they are cool but they do not compare to the thick and juicy analog synthocity that pours out of my GR77B.
     
  13. alankroeger

    alankroeger

    Sep 1, 2003
    Dang SOL on the currently available supplies of GK-2b's everyones out till next month and none on eBay except for one that was removed due to seller fraud issues? (that will raise your confidence won't it :rolleyes: :eek: )
     
  14. thatmalibucat

    thatmalibucat

    Sep 26, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    Greetings,

    I have not read all of the responces to your question, but I gcan possibly help in this area as I own a Roland V Bass system.

    (1) The GK2B can be used with other converters (midi) and Roland has also introduced a 1/2 rack dedicated converter for this pickup sysytem. So you would be able to use it to trigger other sysnth units. The GK2B can NOT be used with the other Roland guitar synths!

    (2) The GK2B is a very sensitive thing. It MUST be installed correctly for it to work well with the V Bass system (and other converts I would expect).

    (3) The V Bass is a MODELER. Roland said hey, why don't we take a bunch of synth and instument tones and REVERSE ENGINEER the way to get a bass to play those sounds. This means NO TRACKING PROBLEMS, because the V Bass is NOT midi.

    (4) The V Bass is also a very cool combination of amp models, effects, synth tones, and a vertual instrumrnt creater. You can build Basses in the digital domain. There are classic basses provide as pre-programed patches (Firebird, Ric 4001, Upright basses) So it has a very BIG possiblity for someone looking for a PALET to work from (as I didi)

    I hope that this is of some help for you:)

    Peace, take care my bassplying mate!