Author Topic: How to effectively use the maligned and underestimated GR-55 PCM Guitar Patches  (Read 288 times)

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Offline Dream_Theory

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OK, we all know that the PCM tones for guitar in GR-55 are terrible out of the box, however, if you manipulate them, they begin to get interesting. This short, step by step tutorial lets you hear each element being added in to build a patch. It goes from that awful, fake sounding, out of the box thing (and you can hear the latency and glitches) and becomes a very full sound.

Using multiple sounds panned and layered works by distracting the ear from any one part. The latency sound more like live room reverb.
 
The end result is like a processed acoustic guitar, not a totally natural sound. If you want a totally natural sound, just record an acoustic with a mic! But think of a player like Lindsay Buckingham doubling up and EQing to get a hyped acoustic sound. You can get that sort of thing this way.

I actually did this demo 2 years ago, and came across it this morning in my archival drive. I was shy about posting it before because this  forum has such skilled people. I guess I want to bring this up now because it seems like people are forgetting about GR-55, and because if they mention it at all they only list its shortcomings. One of the first things people say when listing reasons it failed is that the PCM tones sound fake, are glitchy, and have latency and are therefore useless. While it is true that they are fake sounding, have latency, and are glitchy, they are far fro useless. In fact they are what makes GR-55 unique and fascinating.

The first tutorial builds a basic acoustic patch. The second tutorial shows why the PCM tone helps, and also begins to experiment with adding in bass. The demo runs very briefly through some acoustic simulations but also includes a final patch which is really far out sounding. For that one I increased resonance to make it zingy and added delay.
electric: Ibanez SA 73 semihollow body with Gibson Classic '57's, acoustic: mahogany jumbo, recording: Cubase Artist 8.5 or Tascam DP008
Eph 5:19
"Every patch has a story to tell."

Offline sixeight

I have done pretty much the same experiments. Thanks for posting...

Offline Mrchevy

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Have you done any experimenting with using the delay to offset the latency and try to tighten it up some. I have often thought some day I might get in there and really work on an acoustic guitar patch myself, but as you said, if you want an acoustic guitar, just mic a real one. :) Adding the bass to it does give it a nice touch to the low end for sure.
Les Paul Custom
SG 50's prototype
Squire classic vibe 60's
Gibson WRC w/GK3
Vantage VE 565
Schecter Hellraiser & C1 classic
PRS SE FR Custom 24
Martin acoustic

Tubemeister18 w/Egnater 112cab
Princeton chorus 210
Yamaha THR10C

GT100
GR-55
Mustang Floor
Boomerang III

A lot of stuff I DON'T need

Offline jassy

Yes the GR55 is being unjustly forgotten IMO and while I myself have criticized it and I pray for a better one I find it yet one of the most amazing devices I own.
Thanks for posting your ideas about it, That is why I love the GR55, because it can sound complex and in some way 3D.
I sometimes (when I can move more equipment) even mix it with my guitar processed with another guitar processor, the result then can be named 4D, well maybe   ;D
But TBH I getting old and 90% of times I play live I use only the GR55 and mix guitar real/VG guitar/ pcm tones to make big comping and solo sounds and my fractals and kemper devices keep sleeping in my home.

Offline shawnb

Nice work!

In a word: layers.  There are issues with the GR-55's PCM triggering, but the sounds are good, so you work around the issues with careful layering of sounds. 

The GR-55 is extremely versatile.  I think the high sales (for a hex product) are due to cover bands who want to branch out with their song selection. 

It is still my "if you are in a rush and have to grab ONE item..." choice. 
Address the process rather than the outcome.  Then, the outcome becomes more likely.   - Fripp

Offline CodeSmart

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The GR-55 is extremely versatile.  I think the high sales (for a hex product) are due to cover bands who want to branch out with their song selection. 
Exactly what I use it for in a trio, and here it shines. It's a live gig thing. Agree it could be even better, but I really love the GR-55.
Got more gear than I need...and I like it!

Offline Mrchevy

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    After years of owning the GR55, there are always things you find that you wish it would do but doesn't. In those same years however, I am still discovering new things I can do with it all the time. I have just recently in the last couple of months been exploring with mixing the 2 PCM's presets to discover the endless combinations and layers that can be achieved. Even though some of the PCM presets may have limits as far as manipulation, there is still plenty that CAN be done to them. I hear different presets from the likes of Omnisphere, and think I need that and the triple play. But then I think, I wonder if I can get that from the GR55. Maybe, maybe not, but in trying, I end up with some very unique combos between the 2 PCM's that sound awesome. I like doing and playing meditative and ambient soundscapes. I have found the GR55 a very massively productive tool for this. You have the audio player where I can make wave files of nature ( water, rain, crickets, birds, thunder, etc.) to play while I use the PCM's with various presets layered. Add in my GT100 for a whole other world of effects and CTL features, and I can't realistically imagine being limited by anything other than my own imagination, creativity, and knowledge of the GR55.
   
    I have slowly become aware of the pitfalls of my techno addiction and obsession with this stuff and that I have got to the point of how very little playing I actually do. It is disheartening. It's like spending years building the ultimate race car in the garage, while everyone else is out racing on the weekends, having the time of their life. I am now trying to shake the addiction and return to the concept of making music, not what the latest and greatest rehash of technology has come out with. I have all I need and more, I just need to start applying it now and actually recording it.

      But I digress, the first step to overcoming an addiction is admitting you have one...... My name is Mark, and I'm a techno addict........ 8)
Les Paul Custom
SG 50's prototype
Squire classic vibe 60's
Gibson WRC w/GK3
Vantage VE 565
Schecter Hellraiser & C1 classic
PRS SE FR Custom 24
Martin acoustic

Tubemeister18 w/Egnater 112cab
Princeton chorus 210
Yamaha THR10C

GT100
GR-55
Mustang Floor
Boomerang III

A lot of stuff I DON'T need

Offline Dream_Theory

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    I end up with some very unique combos between the 2 PCM's that sound awesome.

Which combinations are working? Maybe mention what processing you apply, like how you EQ or delay.

I posted a huge atmospheric patch called Cave Troll, which if you look will show how to make gigantic sounscape


electric: Ibanez SA 73 semihollow body with Gibson Classic '57's, acoustic: mahogany jumbo, recording: Cubase Artist 8.5 or Tascam DP008
Eph 5:19
"Every patch has a story to tell."

Offline Mrchevy

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While I haven't spent nearly as much time as I'd like on creating patches, I have done more just trying out different PCM tones in various combos. One I have tried that I like which I'm still experimenting with is PCM1 set on #691 SOUNDTRACK(+1 oct---Atk+15---rel+28) and PCM2 set on #687 BOWED GLASS(-1 oct---atk+20---rel+20). I have CTL set for hold type 3, latch. I use a very clean electric guitar sound with delay and rev for a nice soft chimey Gilmour type sound to play melody over that. Guitar comes from my GT100.

Thats the only one I have actually saved at this point. I just don't seem to ever get the time to tinker like I used to. Generally I like to have several hours free ahead of me as it can take me a while just to get into the right creative mood. Theres always something interrupting....., my business, work, wife, kid,....sure I could do it in the middle of the night but by then I'm tired and burned out. Back when I was in my 20's i'd do an 8 hr job, punch out, get a little buzz on the way home, grab a bite to eat, take a shower, boost the buzz, and spent the rest of the evening just playing, jamming and recording. Somewhere along the last 30 years responsibilities creeped in. I guess I need to put my foot down and just flat out designate a couple of nights a week a "DO NOT DISTURB" time.

Anyway, hundreds of tones and sounds to play with, just start mixing them up. Hopefully I can get some mp3's together and start posting some music for a change. It's ironic, the kind of music I'm wanting to create is the type of music you create to relax :-\
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 12:51:31 PM by Mrchevy »
Les Paul Custom
SG 50's prototype
Squire classic vibe 60's
Gibson WRC w/GK3
Vantage VE 565
Schecter Hellraiser & C1 classic
PRS SE FR Custom 24
Martin acoustic

Tubemeister18 w/Egnater 112cab
Princeton chorus 210
Yamaha THR10C

GT100
GR-55
Mustang Floor
Boomerang III

A lot of stuff I DON'T need

Offline imerkat

I've actually gone the other direction with my Gr-55. Ever since i downloaded @Fuzzfactory's "41 standard "analog" patches for electronic music " i haven't needed much else. I've created more in the spirit and tweak them so they don't sound too alike then run it through other effect units. Haven't tried layering as much as i should since it seems to be it's forte

 If you want to get the most out of the PCM sounds I've always run them through an old school compressor (or line level amp).