Author Topic: IS the GR-33 better than the GR-20?  (Read 312 times)

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Offline howarddavidp

IS the GR-33 better than the GR-20?
« on: August 02, 2017, 08:30:55 PM »
Hello,

My 1st MIDI/13pin "brain" was a GR-20 and a GK3 pickup.  IT worked well from day 1, but I recently traded in the GR-20 for the GK33.

I never had any tracking problems with the GR20, I just read the GR33 was the best, possibly even tracks better than the GR55?

I can go buy back my GR20 next week if I want to, but since I did a factory reset on my GR33, it seems like it has fewer sounds, or I seemed more familiar with the GR20.  Now I have seemed some people selling patches on eBay, and maybe there is a way to trade patches through members on this forums, but I am looking for more sounds.  My GR20 seemed to have a dozen or so brass sounds, as well as a dozen or so pianos.  I seem to only have about 3 sax's, 1 trumpet, and a few pianos on the GR33?

If all I am missing with the GR33 is to trade for some patch collections, I see no need to go buy back my GR20.  I also read the GR33 can hold somewhere around 300 patches?  I have cycled through A - F presets, but it did not seem like 300 to me, and they started to repeat after C.

I am going to use my UM-ONE USB-to-MIDI cable this weekend to see if I can download the patches that came with it, and also look around for software to upload patches, once I finally get some.  I did read the manual, and it seems like, with the built in effects, you can build and customize your own patches.  Being new to this device, I have yet to see how that works.  I guess this weekend will be a big "reveal" to me on how well this GR33 will work for me?

And beginner advice or You-Tube guides you suggest I am willing to try.  I also saw someone selling an instruction DVD on eBay, has anyone watched this and is it worth $30?

Thanks,
Dave





Offline sec6

Re: IS the GR-33 better than the GR-20?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 08:55:21 PM »
See the vguitarforums GR33 patch exchange section:
http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?board=203.0
Les Paul DC Standard (GK Kit), Ibanez RG420GK, Boss GP-10, Ableton 9 Intro, Omnisphere 2, Arturia Synclavier, Arturia VDM

Offline gumtown

Re: IS the GR-33 better than the GR-20?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2017, 11:30:57 PM »


Grapelight editor for the GR-33 here, quite an old windows program, but it works well.

http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?action=downloads;sa=view;down=30
« Last Edit: August 03, 2017, 10:46:03 PM by Elantric »
Free "GR-55 FloorBoard" editor software from http://sourceforge.net/projects/grfloorboard/

Offline gumbo

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Re: IS the GR-33 better than the GR-20?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2017, 04:55:58 AM »
Hi Dave,

You say you have / are reading the user manual..but check that the documentation you have is the same as available for free download here:

https://www.roland.com/us/support/by_product/gr-33/owners_manuals/

..it is a good book to settle down with over a rainy weekend with a store of food and the phone off the hook.. :o
...it is important that you understand how this thing works

There are 384 available "Tones" within the GR-33...that could be where the number you speak of originated.

There are (or should be!) 8 Groups of "Patches"..Groups "A" through to "D" are User patches (can be overwritten and saved), and Groups "E" through to "H" are Preset patches (read only).  When you do a factory reset, everything from Groups E-H gets copied into the respective Groups A-D.

At the time (Circa 2000 !), Roland figured that would be the easiest way for users to start creating their own flavors of patches...  ...find a patch that was something like what you wanted in the Preset area, get the copy in the corresponding User area, and modify it by changing parameters and/or adding/ substituting 'tones'    ....cute, but it worked for a while until people started getting a bit more adventurous..

Since each Group has 40 patches, the four Groups in the User area (A-D) give you a possible 160 patches that you can modify and save as All Your Own Work.. 8)

The GR-33 (which owed most of its ancestry to the preceding GR-30, with the exception of the on-board expression pedal) really has its main roots solidly set in the late 1990s, and while about two decades have elapsed since then and a whole lot more bells and whistles have been added to more recent Roland hardware, the tracking and range of available effects suffered when dragged kicking-and-screaming into the 21st Century.

Couple that with the World's difficulty in understanding Roland's 'Random-Model-Number-Generator' software, and it's quite easy to get lost along the way when trying to figure out just what followed what in the natural progression of things.  As I mentioned when replying to one of your other posts, the GR-20 is about 5 years YOUNGER than the GR-33..   ;) 

There is a dedicated sub-forum for things GR-33 here:

http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?board=140.0

...and it's a good place to start learning about your unit.

While I am by no means an expert on things GR-3*, I WAS around at the time (like some others here), so continue to ask questions while we are still able to remember the answers..

HTH
Peter

ps
Remember to leave the phone off the hook at the weekend !

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Offline howarddavidp

Re: IS the GR-33 better than the GR-20?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2017, 10:29:37 PM »
Dang Gumbo,

Your answer NAILED it!

I have since learned the GR-20 is newer tech than the GR33, and that the 160 user patches are more than the GR-2o offers.  I don't remember if you can even make user patches on the GR20, but I do remember it was mindless to use.  All the patches were well organized, never had to look for anything, it was all super easy to get to sounds you wanted.

Now the GR-33 seems to be the BEAST if you want to mix and customize your sounds.  I might have made a mistake doing a factory reset, there might have been good patches in there I erased.  I found the GrapeLight editor, and I found some patch collections, so I will get out my UM-ONE and USB transfer some patches to my 160 spots.

I can say the stock patches leave much to be desired, especially compared to the GR-20.  The GR20 seemed like most of the stock patches were good to go, with little to no tweaking needed, maybe because you can't tweak them?

I might actually buy back my GR-20 and have both units, I have 2 13pin guitars, so I could run both at once if I have a friend over to jam.

I will spend much of this weekend trying to see if I can get familiar enough with the GR33 and the patch collections I found to not spend the $150 to buy back the GR20.  I don't get paid until next Friday, so I have time to get the hang of the GR33.

Thanks for your info, I have other questions about hex pickups I will post in the correct forum.

TY
Dave

Offline gumbo

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Re: IS the GR-33 better than the GR-20?
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2017, 01:18:57 AM »
You're very welcome Dave..   ;)

Never be afraid to ask questions here...even if our eventual answers don't solve your immediate problem, invariably they set someone else thinking...which is what it's all about.

FWIW, while I have both GR-55 & GP-10 (sadly never got around to spending the bucks on a VG-99!), I DO have a lot of time for my two old GR-30s when I get the time to dig them out of the cobwebs every now-and-then..   ;D

One point that I meant to mention (it was late at night here when I wrote that!) was that you may (?) find it necessary to play with some parameters here & there when working with a GK3 into the GR-33, 'coz when IT was built, the latest pickup was the GK2A.  I suspect that most things will work (as they do when I sometimes play a GK3 into my GR-30s), but just be aware that some fine tuning sometimes works wonders with the eventual output and your satisfaction level....   ::)

All the best and enjoy your weekend !

Cheers,
Peter

Read slower!!!   ....I'm typing as fast as I can...

Offline howarddavidp

Re: IS the GR-33 better than the GR-20?
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2017, 07:23:19 PM »
Thanks again Gumbo.

I have questions about my next move with regard to a Hex pickup guitars...

My choices are:

#1)  Spend $300 and get the built-in GK3-kit?  ( I won't have the wire in my way when I palm mute like I do with the GK3)

#2)  Spend $300 and get the Graphtech Floyd, I already have the board from my Fretlight MIDI, and the jack too.  So I would move all that over to my EVH strat?

#3)  Spend $170 and just get the saddles to use with my existing Floyd (not a terrible Floyd, but not as nice as a new Graphtech one)?

#4)  Spend $500+ and get a used BOSS SY-300 and be done with this Roland 13pin technology (provided the SY-300 tracks well enough?)?

The issues I have with the Fretlight strat are:

#1)  Nut seems too high, need to file it down some for better action.
#2)  Tuners suck, so it seems, they are hard to get in tune, then they don't seem to stay once it is tuned.  At least this is my theory that I was willing to spend $50 on for better tuners.  They OEM ones are cheap, I know this from their feelings and looking at them.
#3)  The neck I think is a lefty, even though Fretlight sold this as a reverse headstock.  I don't know how much this matters, but maybe this is why I am not very fond of the way it plays.  Once I make some changes, I can tell more if I will stick with this neck/guitar.

The EVH was originally a Washburn Lyon strat, a $70 Goodwill store purchase.  Many mods later, it looks like crap but plays like a dream.  The unfinished neck is a thing of beauty and feels like butter in your hands.  I actually paid a pro luthier to do the frets, so no buzz and insanely low action make this one heck on a player's guitar.  The EVH Frankenstein buckers also help the tone.

So, what to do with the HEX pickup?  If I make any of the 3 choices above, I will have an extra GK-3 I can put on another guitar.

Thanks again,
Dave
 

 

« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 07:41:55 PM by howarddavidp »

Offline gumbo

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Re: IS the GR-33 better than the GR-20?
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2017, 08:38:23 PM »
Hi Dave,

Lunchtime saturday here and impending visitors for the afternoon, so I'll be short (and I'm sure someone will chime in on this soon).

If your major issue is the placement of the GK3 Wart cable, the pickup wiring (in the wart) can be altered to allow you to mount the hex pickup the other way up so the cable exits in the opposite direction..later GRs can be programmed to deal with this but the GR-33 pre-dates this option...(re)-hardwiring is the only way to go.

Stuff on this Forum about how to do that..sorry but I don't have time right now to search for it.

The Gr-33 will probably track better using a magnetic (Roland ) hex pickup...if you're talking Graphtech piezo saddles here..and they have other issues as well in terms of performance...   more here about that too..

While I am obviously pre-disposed to the 13-pin brigade (seeing as how I manufacture jacks to suit) I think you also need to know that the SY-300 is a (completely) different animal to the GR-33 (or GR-20) in terms of what you can get out of it..

I think you need to spend a bit of time working with what you've got at the moment before you start considering too many variables...and work out what you want back out of it.



Someone else will have to take over here as I am now tied up for a good 24 hours..

HTH

Cheers,
Peter

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Offline CodeSmart

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Re: IS the GR-33 better than the GR-20?
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2017, 11:27:38 PM »

- This guitar with plastic pick guard looks easy to work with
When mounting a GK-Kit.
- GK (six small humbuckers) = better tracking, no rumble, less sensitive for damage.

SY-300 is not a PCM synth. Cannot compare with GR-33. You will virtually never get the sounds of a GR-33 out of SY-300 (and vice versa). Tracking of SY-300 is immediate as there's no guitar to midi conversion. Regarding the sounds, read elsewhere and listen to YouTube clips.

GR-33 is a MIDI synth with pre-made PCM sounds mostly sounding like other real instruments.
Got more gear than I need...and I like it!

Offline howarddavidp

Re: IS the GR-33 better than the GR-20?
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2017, 05:23:22 PM »
Hi,

I read about re-wiring the GK-3 so I can mount it in reverse, but rather than do that I will most likely get the GK3-Kit and not have to deal with any wires externally.

I loaded some presets today, lots more sounds, but some of the custom preset I found seemed like renamed OEM patches, some were better.  As for the number of sounds, with the software and my UM-ONE, there is no limit how many sounds I can get now.  I still might buy back my GR-20, I just liked the way the sounds were arranged and easy to use.

I now see what is different, the like ability to mix delay and sample sound, stuff like that and arpeggios the GR-2o just has nothing similar.  I guess the GR-20 is the easy way to get sounds quickly, and IF you are willing to do deep dives with the patch settings, there GR-33 has a much higher ceiling when it comes to making sounds.

My bigger question is whether to buy back the GR-20, or get something like a a BOSS GP-10 used?

If I stick with this, I think the best endgame is something like a GODIN XTSA, seems to have the best of everything and it is all built in.  If I am still using the GK-3 in a few months, I will start shopping for a new guitar.

I wish more of the presets packs I downloaded has a single file to import, rather than having to pull in the patches one at a time.  Not a huge issue, but it would make testing 100 patches much easier.

What is another good site for patches other than macminer.opoka.org?

Thanks again, good luck with your afternoon Gumbo!

Dave

Offline gumbo

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Re: IS the GR-33 better than the GR-20?
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2017, 03:51:11 AM »
..consider finding a S/H Roland-Ready Strat (or Fender/Roland GC-1)..
..cheaper than an XTSA and no piezos to worry about when they fail..

IMHO, a quicker, cheaper way out without forking out for an Internal GK3 Kit
...and yes, I'm biased about that too   ;D

Afternoon was ok, thanks, now wall-to-wall family stuff happening for a few daze, so might be a moment B4 I get back here..   ;)

Peter

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Offline howarddavidp

Re: IS the GR-33 better than the GR-20?
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2017, 11:46:07 AM »
I think I just had a eureka moment...

So the GK type pickups are hex magnetic, and the GHOST/Godin stuff is piezo based?  I thought all were piezo based, so that is new to me.

I have experience with piezo's from my Electric drum kits.  Piezo's will wear out from oxidation, even if you just kept them in a case 100% of the time.  The V-drum piezo's would turn green around the edges when they started to stop working well, and I guess this can happen to guitar bridge peizos.  It happened so much, I started to buy and replace my own piezo's on my V-drums.

I can get a Casio MG-510 for a reasonable price, but that does the hex to midi onboard the guitar, and there is only a MIDI out, which I guess I could send to the GR-33.  As I get better finding patches for the 33, I am less likely to want the GR-20 back.

I am still looking for other sites with collections of patches, other than the already mentioned ones.  Many sites are down nowadays, so suggestions appreciated.

Does anyone make a magnetic pickup bridge, or does this not exist?

Thanks,
Dave

PS - The tuners I added, along with slightly filing down the bottom of the nut, made the Fretlight play like a different guitar.  I was right in that the nut height was way too high, made it hard to play, and chords would go sharp if I pressed too hard.  The action is now great, plays much better, and lastly, even with new strings, it stays in tuner better than before, at least twice as good with regard to staying in tune.  Those Hipshot open-geared 18:1 tuners are very good, as good as my Schaller, Grovers, and even my Sperzels.  They were less expensive, and the staggering might also help the tuning?  2 small adjustments and now I don't consider selling this guitar, even if it has a left neck on a righty body, it plays well, that is most important to me :)


« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 12:12:54 PM by howarddavidp »

Offline admsustainiac

Re: IS the GR-33 better than the GR-20?
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2017, 01:58:22 PM »
Read the GK interface top things to know area for answers to most of your questions

http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?board=65.0

And use search tool
http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=2978.0

 Casio MG 510 driving a GR 33 via 5 pin MIDI interface is going to be a pretty terrible experience with high latency

by contrast a guitar with GK-3 directly connected to the GK 13 pin input on GR-33 will yield substantially lower latency / much better results

Take moment and actually read the Manuals
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 03:41:57 PM by admsustainiac »