After all these years, I was just getting to know my trusty old GR30. All the parameters were labeled right on the front of the unit, and you could see all configuration possibilities. A simple finite set, easily comprehended. With the GR55, many of these simple configurations have been exploded into many, many configuration options.
To answer your first question (to the best of my limited understanding anyway) - yes, the various Nuance settings AND a lot of the Attack Velocity settings have replaced the old 'Play Feel' (which my GR30 has as well).
Play Feel was intended to help direct the synth how to interpret the dynamics of your playing on older GR units. On the GR55, at the PATCH level, the settings related to how the dynamics/velocity of your playing are interpreted include:
- Level Velocity Sens
- Velocity Curve
- Nuance Sw
- Cutoff Velocity Sens
- Cutoff Nuance Sens
- TVF Attack Vel Sens
- TVF Attack Nuance Sens
- TVA Attack Vel Sens
- TVA Attack Nuance Sens
- (TVA) Level Nuance Sens
- Pitch Env Level Sens
Under the MASTER settings there are global settings as well (Under GK Set - VEL and NUA pages) that are worth experimenting with. ***The MASTER setting that helped me out a lot was the LOW VELOCITY CUT, under GK SET | VEL - just decrease it by 1 or 2.
So it's not as simple as saying NUANCE replaces Play Feel - there's a ton of related functionality.
One note - I believe that some of the squelches you hear are actually pinch harmonics. I've encountered this as well - I think there are a bunch of voices (not all voices) where a pinch harmonic is interpreted as a very high note being triggerred. Play around & see for yourself - try to do them on purpose. Once understood, it's easier to avoid.
To tame these unruly voices, I would work each PCM voice independently, and would first start experimenting with the voice's Level Vel Sense and Velocity Curve settings, then work your way down the list I provided above.
Hope this helps.
If I've misunderstood/misstated anything, folks please chime in & help us both out!