Roland GR 55

posted on #1
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This is a cry for help to fellow guitarists

So when I restarted playing guitar some 5 years ago after not playing for 20, I bought myself a Vox Tonlab ST, and recorded with that. Everything was fine, but over time the tone started to deteriorate, and also the VOX did not work well when connected to an amp. I got fed up with it, and decided to build myself a pedalboard. Did that, and I have used it - the sound is ok, and the recording through the amp is also ok, but I miss all the effects and combinations I had when using the Tonelab.

Also, one of the many weaknesses I have is that if the tone is not right, if the sustain is not good... it just drains my creativity to almost zero. I just plod along.

Anyway, the other day I heard someone say that he gave up on all pedals when he bought the Roland GR55. So I looked at it, and it seems very impressive. The sounds this thing can generate will give me a lot of options to start creating again. It is quite expensive, but I guess if I get rid of some of the pedals I won't need anymore it won't be that bad.

The question is, does anybody here ever used it? Is it really that good? Any other recomendations? Tips? Heeeelp :D

Thanks guys :W
posted on #2
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I had a GK-3B equipped bass, so since Roland says it works well for bass i bought one.... returned it a week later, bad tracking on the lower strings and lot's of problems with it picking up ghost notes :/ However, i do think it works a bit better with guitar. But the whole thing about installing the pickup, that horrible cable and fitting the controller thing to your guitar is just terrible :P So it's a no from me :P

Go for a Line 6 Helix or something similar instead ;)
Edited by eGiL on March 25 2020 13:06
posted on #3
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Hey TeeGee - the Source Audio C4 is making a lot of waves in the bass community but it can make some nice noises for guitar as well. It's not a midi converter like the GR55 though so you are limited to the kinds of sounds it can make (which is a pretty broad range!)

Here's a nice demo showing both bass and guitar (I think there is extra reverb/delay on the guitar effects so you might want to factor that in).

posted on #4
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Hey T!
Using a GR55 means GK installation (“translator”). Then you will able to pilot the sounds section.

You will be able to drive many midi/expander with.

I know Jazzpick used to play Nylon from synth sound with his Godin electric guitar.
Roland was the first in guitar sound modélisation as well mainly because they worked on the sound capture trought the GK system.
If you want multiple kind of sounds it would be a cool investment.
There is a huge “library” (community) from guitar modélisation to synth sounds
If you are focused just on “guitar sound” collection... other kind of “simulation” (Variax, Bias Fox... custom shop :)
posted on #5
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Hey Tee !

GR-55 is certainly a whole new world if you never tried any kind of Roland device before !

I have been using a VG-99 for many years and most of the electric sounds i posted to wikiloops are produced with this device ... if you plan to adapt to this new instrument well this could be a very enjoyable trip my friend ;)

The GR-55 goes even further to what the VG-99 offers ... though personally ? i am sticking to guitaristic stuff and sounds because honestly ? what is the point of playing a piano sound from a guitar ??? that doesn't mean there are not interesting sounds to play with but in a guitaristic way ;)
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #6
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Hey TeeGee,

I've had mine for over a year now and I'm still learning.
I use software for programming the thing which you can download free here:

For me, using the floorboard software makes programming much easier.

Great gr-55 demo video by Alex Hutchings below.

posted on #7
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Thanks a lot Frankie. I have the time now to experiment with my synth and Multiac guitar. :)
posted on #8
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What turns me on with the Roland is that unlike my previous Multieffect, you can combine a lot of effects, and also allows you to play with different tunings without having to tune the guitar. If I want to play some slide I guess it will be quick. A multieffect can be a lot of fun once you figure out how it works, this one looks very complicated but then it's a hobby... I have started to look for used ones, but right now with the corona hanging over our heads I will be careful spending a lot of money. We'll see...
Edited by TeeGee on March 28 2020 20:43
posted on #9
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Do it Tee.

Myself , Acousticeg and Jazzpick have GP-10 guitar synthesizers.It has same presets and synth method as GR55.
We have shared many files between us and I have Jazzpicks personal Nylon string preset collection.As acousticeg can attest, we gave over 300 presets that can be adapted to the 55.

The Gp10 and Gr55 are very similiar units and Tof is correct , you have a special pickup that mounts easily just ahead of the bridge.

The GK pickup has a mount for all guitars and care must be taken to sure it is 1mm below strings.
The GK pickup can blend your guitar pickups with synth, have just synth or just pickups.

As for software:
Because all Roland synths are really the same in the last 5 years, there is a web community dedicated to sharing presets between devices.

Frank pointed out an alternate software called 'Floorboard" and Frank linked to it.Im not a fan of the Roland software only because its a system resource hog.Floorboard is an alternate software and you can do alot of things the Roland official software cant.I use Floorboard as well.

The BEST thing about using Floorboard as opposed to Tone Studio is that you can import presets from different Roland devices and convert to the Gr55 thus expanding your sound library. All Roland/Boss devices within the last 5 years are all the same processor and Roland simply changes the file extensions. But really they are all the same devices.

One thing to check however is the ability to have stereo amps. It may be stereo out but is it stereo amp cabinets.

Here is a track with the GP10. Dont assume the key sounds are all Marceys.

#156492 Used 5 presets that will be in the Gr55 as well.

It definitley will open doors and best part is you can use it as regular effects modeler and get Marshall stack, Soldano amp or any other amp simulations and just let rip good old fashion clean or distorted like you really are playing thru a 5150 amp or a mesa boogie amp....Just double check that it is infact STEREO amps.Its really awesome blending two different amps in stereo.

Yes its time to ditch the pedals.Youll have a blast exploring the Gr55.

Oh and one more thing...You could do this even though this is a GT100 I guarantee the GR55 can do this as well...Rolands units all use the same preset processor. This effect is called "Tone bending".
Edited by LittleWing on March 28 2020 22:52
posted on #10
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Hi, Tee, I have been using the Gr 55 for several years but only for the midi violin ... there are 900 possible sounds but we only use around 50 ... but for me there is no photo compared with pedals (analog) gr 55 about 600 € average price pedal 150 € ... to get the sounds I use with the Gr I would need about 10 pedals
of course it will miss some sounds in the GR correct octave genre but hey I made this choice to settle for the GR ... here I use a dozen GR sounds and it suits me very well ... listen to it track just before to see what is added only with the GR and the violin #126331
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