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Re: Old Guitar Synths (was Re: Roland gr55)

mark francombe wrote:
Why nope Toby?
Rick said BLUE.. GR 09 was blue too!!
Im not sure tho, but I dont think it had any kind of arp/seq..
checkin´So im wondering if Rick actually got it mixed up with the GR30,
that I continue to sing praises for..

Back in the early 90's, buddy of mine had a GR-09. He'd previously used a GR-700, tied to a vintage Gibson Firebird with custom electronics. However, somebody offered him as much for the Firebird alone as he'd spent on his entire setup -- guitar, amp, synth, & all -- so he switched to a new guitar with the GR-09.

Heard it the first time, and all I could think was: meh! While the GR-700 was nowhere near as nice as the GR-300, it was still head & shoulders above the GR-09, IMNSHO. Not to mention, IIRC, he kept trying to play piano patches on the guitar, which to this day I still really, really hate the sound of.

FWIW, I bought the GR-700 floor module off him at a steal. At the time, there was a repair shop -- Dr. T's in NYC, I believe -- that advertised a retrofit for the GR-700 that would allow MIDI input so you could play it just like a regular synth module (the synth engine was the exact same as that in a JX-3P). While it was always on my 'to-do' list, I never actually got around to it. So I've still got the GR-700 locked away in storage back in the States. C'est la vie. <*shrug*>

And Mark Hamburg mentioned the disconnection from the instrument due to pitch lag, which I do agree with. Only controller I've ever used where that was never a problem is my Yamaha G-10/G-10R setup, which I've already posted about here ad nauseum (tracks like lightning, but with caveats; check the archives). Although I will say that I'm pleasantly surprised with my GR-20's tracking on the *internal* synth engine (not so great as a MIDI interface, however).

I've been using the GR-20 in my latest mad scientist experiment -- a cheap Rogue SX Lap Steel with a Roland GK-3 pickup controlling my VG-99 & GR-20 -- and surprisingly enough the tracking *doesn't* suck. It actually gives a somewhat pleasant effect when I quantize the synth to strict 12-tone note values, and then mix that with the normal pickup sound which, due to my lousy playing technique, is always just a scoutch off the mark. But I find the GR-20's internal synth can track free-pitch pretty darn well when I want it too, with only a little noticeable lag.


(P.S. Sorry for my long silence over the last six months or so. First, my email computer blew up and I was stuck with nothing but web-mail -- which I genuinely hate. Shortly after, I had a cool new job fall in my lap. So my family & I have spent the past few months running around trying to prepare for a move from Japan to Riyadh, KSA. Apologies to anyone who thought I'd perished in the earthquake/nuclear disaster here. So far, my life's still a bit spotty, but nice to be back for the most part.)