Author Topic: Just acquired a GR-50  (Read 514 times)

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Offline jodama

Just acquired a GR-50
« on: March 06, 2017, 07:49:06 AM »
I found one of these at a local store, and I'm basically buying any 13-pin stuff I find at the moment (also grabbed a GR-D which I'll address elsewhere), so I picked it up.

I have to say, I think this thing is pretty underrated. Or maybe it's not? How do people feel about it?

In addition to PCM, it has an actual sound creating synth engine inside of it (LA synthesis), and as far as I know it's the only 13 pin synth that does. Most of the others are PCM only (which is fine...just different), unless I'm missing something? I know the GP-10 has a subtractive-style oscillator synth, but it seems kind of tacked on as an afterthought.

I'm not even close to understanding how to program the GR-50, but I'm really enjoying it so far. The tracking is pretty good too. There are missed notes here and there, but overall it's impressive for 1989 tech. It's definitely way better than it would be if I were controlling a D-110 (more or less same synth engine) with a guitar-MIDI converter, so there's that.

Is anyone else actively using one of these? Any programming tips/tricks?

Offline chrish

Re: Just acquired a GR-50
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2017, 08:18:49 PM »
My gr50 tracks pitch to midi with less glitching than my vg99 through the 5 pin midi out.

it also tracks it's internal sounds quite well. That DiMeola pan pipe sound that he used with an acoustic ovation guitar is in there.

On the King Crimson 'Discipline' alblum, Adreian Bellew, used the gr50 and created many unusual sounds.  i think that the elephant sound  is the gr50.

It's a bear to program
however.

It has a fast guitar tuner. 

Offline alexmcginness

Re: Just acquired a GR-50
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2017, 12:04:42 PM »
Ive got one too. It works well. Been using mine since they first came out.
VG-88V2, GR-50, GR-55, 4 X VG-99s,2 X FC-300,  2 X GP-10 AXON AX 100 MKII, FISHMAN TRIPLE PLAY,MIDX-10, MIDX-20, AVID 11 RACK, BEHRINGER FCB 1010, LIVID GUITAR WING, ROLAND US-20, 3 X GUYATONE TO-2. MARSHALL BLUESBREAKER, SERBIAN ELIMINATOR AMP.


Offline jodama

Re: Just acquired a GR-50
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2017, 06:40:22 AM »
Has anyone tried putting Roland D-110 patches on it? I know they have the same engine, but I'm not sure if that is supposed to work or not. My attempts have failed, but my sysex setup is glitchy, and I never know if it's the setup or the synth/patch causing the problems.

Offline chrish

Re: Just acquired a GR-50
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2017, 08:56:19 AM »
Roland created some sound cards specfic to the gr-50. Those sounds may be online for free from roland on their site. They also sent me a another bank of sounds on a floppy disk for free, back in the day of that synth.

Offline Yohanes

Re: Just acquired a GR-50
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 10:10:16 PM »
I just got mine last week, I use my GK-3 (which work great with my Boss GP-10) to drive the GR-50. I try to set the strings sensitivity in GR-50, but after set to maximum, the signal indicator still cannot reach maximum (I have strummed the guitar hard), so far everything in the GR-50 is working fine, I just feel not comfortable with the GK input signal level is not optimum. Are there somewhere any gain control to increase the GK input signal in the GR-50?

At the GR-50 GK input there is printed GK-2 IN, my question: is GK-2 divided pickup output is hotter than GK-3 output? Because I don't have GK-2 pickup.

Thanks for any information.
Yamaha Pacifica 510V
Roland G-707
Godin Freeway SA
Boss GP-10
Roland GR-50

Offline alexmcginness

Re: Just acquired a GR-50
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2017, 07:58:05 AM »
Has anyone tried putting Roland D-110 patches on it? I know they have the same engine, but I'm not sure if that is supposed to work or not. My attempts have failed, but my sysex setup is glitchy, and I never know if it's the setup or the synth/patch causing the problems.

They will work, but right now I cant remember how I did it. I also have a D-110 and two expansion cards for it. I believe I dumped the memory from the D-110 on to a M-256E card and loaded that into the GR-50 and then dumped it off. Also theres Midiquest that does a librarian for the GR-50. It doesnt work great but it can be noodled with.

Heres a couple of resources for the GR 50

http://www.marksmart.net/sounddesign/bysynth/gr50/gr50.html

https://coffeeshopped.com/patch-base/editor/roland-gr-50
VG-88V2, GR-50, GR-55, 4 X VG-99s,2 X FC-300,  2 X GP-10 AXON AX 100 MKII, FISHMAN TRIPLE PLAY,MIDX-10, MIDX-20, AVID 11 RACK, BEHRINGER FCB 1010, LIVID GUITAR WING, ROLAND US-20, 3 X GUYATONE TO-2. MARSHALL BLUESBREAKER, SERBIAN ELIMINATOR AMP.

Offline Yohanes

Re: Just acquired a GR-50
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2017, 02:39:35 AM »
I solved my GR-50 weak GK-3 signal problem. I used a stock Godin Freeway SA guitar, and it is playing beautifully with full signal. I have to reposition my GK-3 to an optimal position to get "louder' signal later which is not a problem for Boss GP-10 but too weak for the GR-50.

It's good to know that the only GR-50 GK pickup setup is the sensitivity, where as GP-10 has so many parameter besides sensitivity to set. GR-50 is a simple machine compare to today technology, but I am astonished with it and will keep it.

Cheers.
Yamaha Pacifica 510V
Roland G-707
Godin Freeway SA
Boss GP-10
Roland GR-50

Offline Yohanes

Yamaha Pacifica 510V
Roland G-707
Godin Freeway SA
Boss GP-10
Roland GR-50

Offline jodama

Re: Just acquired a GR-50
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2017, 06:52:54 AM »
I really like this synthesizer. I haven't even begun to plumb the depths of programming it, but I love tweaking the thing.

As a side note, I recently picked up a Korg Z3 modded for 13 pin input. It has similar sounds, as they're from the same era (and descended from competing synth engines), but the Z3 is little more badass. Maybe it just has better presets (there are actually a number of usable ones) or something.

I've always loved the sound of FM (leads especially), and having an actual TX81Z I can play with my guitar is fantastic. The tracking is really impressive for old tech (same with the GR-50). I think it's my favorite synthesizer.

I have them on a rack together, and it's hard for me to decide which to switch to when synth time comes around.

Offline chrish

Re: Just acquired a GR-50
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2017, 08:43:52 AM »
I always wondered why roland became the industy standard for guitar synths over what korg had to offer.

Overall, i prefer the korg synths and fx.

Both my korg wavestation a/d and korg triton provide analog inputs to use an analog signal for wave forms and to access the digtal fx.

For many years, if i wanted to only use the analog inputs to feed the fx, i would just turn the volume down on each pcm synth part that makes up a patch.

Yesterday, i finally realized that i could just unplug the midi cable and the synth sounds will not trigger, however, the analog inputs to the fx still work. Duh! 

Online Elantric

Re: Just acquired a GR-50
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2017, 11:16:05 AM »
Quote
I always wondered why roland became the industry standard for guitar synths over what korg had to offer.

several factors  - poor sales principally, and Some behind the scenes politics

Back in the early 1990's,  Korg became  heavily financed by Yamaha, essentially working as Yamaha's custom R&D shop.

Many of Korg's DSP code found its way into Yamaha products,  and Yamaha introduced their  G-10,



http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/yamaha-g10/347

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korg

In 1989, Korg recruited the design team from Sequential Circuits just as they were relieved of their duties by then-Sequential owner Yamaha. Yamaha Corporation has always been a major partner of Korg, supplying them with circuitry and mechanical parts. In 1987, shortly before the release of the M1 Music Workstation, Yamaha acquired a controlling interest in Korg's stock. The takeover of the company was amicable, with Katoh drawing up the terms, and the two companies continued to independently develop their product lines and compete in the marketplace. After 5 very successful years, Katoh had enough money to rebuy most of the Yamaha share back in 1993.
   

« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 11:24:26 AM by Elantric »

Offline chrish

Re: Just acquired a GR-50
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2017, 09:50:51 AM »

Interesting that the two companies competed with each other while in joint ownership.


There is a Yamaha g10 currently for sale on reverb.com along with the tone module, all for just $1200.

Offline admsustainiac

Re: Just acquired a GR-50
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2017, 09:53:42 AM »
Quote
Interesting that the two companies competed with each other while in joint ownership.

Not much different than Korg who owns Vox

Yamaha who owns Line-6


Offline chrish

Re: Just acquired a GR-50
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2017, 11:42:06 AM »
In the case of trying to establish a market for a new product category, such as guitar synth,  does it  make sense to compete against yourself and Roland?

 Or promote one product brand to it's fullest potential market?

Online Elantric

Re: Just acquired a GR-50
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2017, 11:52:55 AM »
On thing I know - it pays to have your product mentioned at VGuitarforums
http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?board=108.0
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 12:49:27 PM by Elantric »

Offline chrish

Re: Just acquired a GR-50
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2017, 12:02:53 PM »
On thing I know - it pays to have your product mentioned at VGuitarforums
http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?board=108.0
that's very true, however there is more to it then just posting a link to a product.

Reading other members opinions on a product and hearing user demos, and patch creations is the main driving force for actually purchasing a product, imo.

For example, I would think that many here purchased a gp10 based upon anosph's and antana's patches (and joined the forum).

I purchased the rc300 Looper based upon member feedback, demos, and that frippertronics thread.

Have you ever considered ad revenue to help fund the forum expenses? Not pop up ads(they are annoying,) but something like posting a product link along with the company's demo,product specs, etc.

Sorry for the thread drift.



Offline Yohanes

Re: Just acquired a GR-50
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2017, 03:20:20 AM »
Is anyone else actively using one of these? Any programming tips/tricks?

I post an attachment of GR-50 tutorial here: http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=20582.0

Hope you find it useful.

GR-50 can be programmed to have different sound per string, ie: piano on strings 1-4, and bass on strings 5-6.
You can also program your strings to have different tuning, (don't forget to plug something into guitar out at the back panel of GR-50 to remove the normal pickup sound, or just turn off your guitar volume).
GR-50 is a synthesizer, you can program your guitar sound to sustain for a while even after you have removed your left finger from the string.
....and so on.
Yamaha Pacifica 510V
Roland G-707
Godin Freeway SA
Boss GP-10
Roland GR-50

 

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