GR-55 F.A.Q.

Started by Elantric, February 12, 2011, 03:37:17 PM

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The GR-55 in Guitar Mode using GK-13 interface supports 6 strings in A4440 tuned as follows

String    Frequency     Pitch notation
6 (E)       82.41 Hz     E2
5 (A)     110.00 Hz     A2
4 (D)     146.83 Hz     D3
3 (G)     196.00 Hz     G3
2 (B)        246.94 Hz     B3
1 (E)        329.63 Hz     E4

The GR-55 in BASS Mode using GK-13 interface supports 6 strings in A4440 tuned as follows

String    Frequency     Pitch notation
6 (B)       30.868 Hz    B0
5 (E)       41.204 Hz     E1
4 (A)       55.00 Hz      A1
3 (D)      73.416 Hz     D2
2 (G)      97.999 Hz     G2
1 (C)      130.813 Hz    C3

Remember Roland /Boss is a Japanese company and their best info is there first

Boss Japan Support Q&A site
(I  use Chrome Browser with an Auto Translate function, and search foe latest info here)

Your guitar's setup, intonation, and fret condition ( should be very polished) ,  is crucial for best GR-55 performance

Anyone interested in  GR-55  must read the eye opening thread:


Amplification recommendations for DSP Guitar Modeling systems

GR-55 - What type of amp?

GR-55's Guitar Output jack

GR-55 -Guitar Out -- Sucks Guitar Tone, why? How to fix?

GR-55 : Q&A

Verify your guitar is setup well - no fret buzzing , and GK String Sensitivity is set for uniform response across all strings and for your style of playing - set the proper settings of:

* Low Velocity Cut


* Nuance

Learn about those and more by reading all GR-55 docs here
* GR-55 Documentation Library

and you can achieve this:

GR-55 - James' (UK Roland Demonstrator) video and patches

GR-55 volume jump switching patches - solved![

QuoteThere's a related limitation that you can't use the GR-55 as an audio interface for Guitar Rig or Amplitube as you can't mute your guitar's input in the GR-55 and send it to your computer (you will always hear your raw guitar in addition to the computer processed sound).

Prior to using the GR-55 as an audio interface for Guitar Rig or Amplitube, be sure to perfom this important step:

In the GR-55 USB Settings, disable "Direct Monitor"

see page 80 of the GR-55 Owners Manual
GR-55 Owners Manual:

and retry with NI Guitar Rig

GR-55 -What do all these PCM synth parameters (TVA,TVF) do?

QuoteIf they made their own hardware PCM player; I'd definitely give it a go again.

If you are seeking the same PCM tones as the GR-55 PCM

The Roland SD-50 Mobile Studio Canvas uses same PCM sounds


<Germanicus wrote>

Faster Scrolling Tip

For anyone delving into the deeper editing, a tip for navigating menus a bit faster (sorry if this obvious to most folks).

Theres some pretty extensive options when in the deeper editing screen for the PCM tones. To quickly scroll down, hold the down arrow and then hold the top arrow simultaneously. You can do the reverse to scroll up super fast.


* How to enable  the GR-55 "Guitar Output" jack:


GR-55 - Pan guitar to Left Output, and Synth to Right Output?


How to make the GK-3 three-way switch work like the GR-20, when connected to the GR-55:

QuotePaults wrote>
1) Go to System

PEDAL/GK CTL (enter)

Tab over to VOL
    If you want to be able to hear the normal guitar when your switch is in the "GUITAR" position, change GK VOL to "TONE VOLUME", and turn NORMAL PU "OFF".  With the switch in MIX, you'll hear both the GK knob output, and your normal guitar output, with independent control for each.  In GK position, you'll just hear COSM/PCM sounds, and in GUITAR, just the normal guitar.

The other advantage to "TONE VOLUME" is it lets the guitar models be much more responsive and expressive.

The GK settings can also be changed per patch, but this is based on the factory settings. I'm used to having my VG set up this way, so this setting may stay global for me.


Roland COSM Reference Library

Please download ALL the docs posted as attachments to posts in  thread linked below.

These are essential Roland COSM Reference documents ALL GR-55/ VG-99/ VG-88/ VG-8 /GT-X users can learn from.   
click here:


Using the Nuance parameters (owners manual page 28)

The Nuance parameters detect when you play your guitar/bass with a soft touch, and apply a corresponding change to the sound of the
PCM tone.
For example, if CUTOFF NUANCE SENS is set to a positive "+" value, the cutoff frequency of the PCM tone will be lowered when you play a
muted or a finger-picked note, producing a softer tone quality.
As another example, you might use PCM TONE 1 to create the sound that will be heard when you pluck the string with a pick, and PCM
TONE 2 to create the sound that will be heard when you pluck the string with your finger. Then set the Nuance parameters as follows,
allowing you to switch between PCM TONE 1 and 2 by alternating your performance technique.
• PCM TONE 1 settings
TONE CATEGORY/NUMBER: the tone sounded for a note played with a pick
• PCM TONE 2 settings
TONE CATEGORY/NUMBER: the tone sounded for a note played with your finger
To enable the Nuance parameters, turn NUANCE SW "ON" and adjust each NUANCE SENS parameter as desired.
If you want to adjust the nuance so it's appropriate for the guitar or bass you're using, set the SYSTEM - GK SETTING parameters NUANCE


GR-55 Guitar to MIDI Controller setup

While playing with the GR-55 and and a midi controller, I discovered the two parameters represented in the nice 3d graphic in the EZ-EDIT screen.  These are parameter REVERB | TYPE | REVERB LEVEL for the vertical axis (DRY to WET), and parameter EQ | CHAR | CHARACTER for the horizontal axis (MILD to BRIGHT).  The third parameter, PATCH LEVEL is just that lol...   I tested about 10 random patches and all responded equally to the same parameters under the EZ-EDIT screen.

By the way, all the screens respond to live midi input if properly configured.  Nice.


I assume these were manipulated by your remote MIDI controller?

What MIDI CC# numbers worked?


Quote from: Elantric on February 21, 2011, 07:33:44 PM
I assume these were manipulated by your remote MIDI controller?

What MIDI CC# numbers worked?

I used the ASSIGN feature, in the MASTER page for the patch.  CC's 1-31, 64-95 work.  It seems that up to eight parameters can be controlled as such. 


With the GR-55 off, press [< PAGE] and [PAGE >], then turn on the unit while keeping both buttons pressed.  After a while you'll see the VERSION screen.


An example of the use of assignments to create a wide-ranging guitar patch

Assign two different COSM guitars to S1
example: Strat & Les Paul

Assign two differents pickups to S2 (you might have to use two assigns depending on your choice of guitars)
example: Rear+Center and Front for a Strat, Rear and Front for a Les Paul

Assign both the AMP Gain and Level to the GK volume (to be able to clean up your sound without losing too much volume)
example: Gain decreases and Level increases when you turn the volume down
Assign a Delay "Send Level" to the EXP and EXP ON pedals (to "wet" the sound depending on your needs)
assigning it to both EXP and EXP ON enables you to control the amount of delay whether the EXP Switch is engaged or not

Assign a Chorus (or effect of your choice) "on/off" to the EXP Switch

Assign a Distortion "on/off" to your CTRL pedal

Diaz Guitars (work in progress)


Quote from: ddlooping on March 20, 2011, 11:47:39 AM
An example of the use of assignments to create a wide-ranging guitar patch

Assign two different COSM guitars to S1
example: Strat & Les Paul

How do you assign to S1/S2?


Welcome to the forum, celtic_dude. :)

Quote from: celtic_dude on March 20, 2011, 07:05:32 PM
How do you assign to S1/S2?

The same way you assign to other controllers. :)
(from page 54 of the manual)

1) Edit
2) Assign

Edit: before you try the example below you have to do the following.
1) Edit
2) System
3) Pedal / GK CTL

Example: assigning pickups for two different COSM guitars (Strat & Les paul)

Assign 1
Switch: ON
Target Min: 01 CLA-ST
Target Max: 05 LP
Source: GK S1
Source Mode: TOGGLE

Assign 2 (will work when the Strat model is selected with S1)
Switch: ON
Target Min: R+C
Target Max: FRONT
Source: GK S2
Source Mode: TOGGLE

Assign 3 (will work when the Les Paul model is selected with S1)
Switch: ON
Target: Model EGTR/HH,TE,LP... PU SEL
Target Min: REAR
Target Max: FRONT
Source: GK S2
Source Mode: TOGGLE

Notice that the two preceding targets are assigned to the same controller (GK S2).
Only one will work depending on which COSM guitar has been selected with S1.
That's what the trick is
. ;)

Diaz Guitars (work in progress)


Just realised the other night that you can change the tempo of the pulsed / Beat PCM tones by adjusting the master BPM.
Makes these tones a lot more flexible.

If you want (and know how) you can adjust this further in the LFO parameters in the individual PCM tones
Parker fly deluxe,
Roland GR-55,
Laney LC30II

Jim Williams

I found some products online that will let you use your EV-5 and FS-6 with the GR-55 midi ports. The company is called Midi Solutions and they make converter boxes that let you use your foot switches as midi controllers. Both boxes are midi powered and can be chained together. They can be edited via your computers midi port with their software.

Here is the link
Skype: (upon Request)

Everything from modeling to the real deal, my house looks like a music store.


Thanks for the info, Jimmy. :)
They do look like good products but I personally find the price a bit steep compared to the price of the GR-55. :/
Diaz Guitars (work in progress)

Jim Williams

QuoteI personally find the price a bit steep compared to the price of the GR-55.

I agree I stumbled across them online and thought that so many GR-55 users complain about the lack of Controllers and this solution might be worth it to some. Someone might be able to find out how they work and make a cost effective mod for the GR-55.
Skype: (upon Request)

Everything from modeling to the real deal, my house looks like a music store.


Rocktron also makes a small midi switch box with two controller inputs.  It also has bank up/down and one select switch.  One of those would be cheaper than two Midi Solutions boxes, but would weigh more, if that matters.

One caveat: the Rocktron transmits pedal status with each program change. If you want them to work that way, no problem!


I just noticed that if you select a GK Set in Guitar mode (say GK SET 3), when switching to Bass Mode, the same GK SET is set for that Mode as well.
So you can't have a GK SETup 2 for Bass Mode and GK SETup 3 for guitar Mode, without having to change these each time you change modes.
GK SET selections in both modes share the same control - a little dissapointing.
Free "GR-55 FloorBoard" editor software from


I'd be tempted to call that a bug.
Diaz Guitars (work in progress)

Jim Williams

QuoteI'd be tempted to call that a bug.

No I think in all Roland's not so great wisdom figured you were either a guitar player or a bass player... not both.
Skype: (upon Request)

Everything from modeling to the real deal, my house looks like a music store.


* Best Amplifier recommendations for Guitar Synth / Modeling systems

Jim Williams GR-55 PDF tutorial documents.;sa=view;down=26

True "Initialized" patches
« on: September 24, 2011, 08:26:54 PM  Jim Williams wrote>»
Here are the 2 initialized patches I mentioned in my PDF tutorial documents. the first one is for the structure 1 and the other is structure 2.

GR-55 FloorBoard Editor Help;sa=view;down=86

This thread explains methods of  hooking of GR-55 to an RC-50/RC-300 type looper

* GR-55 Documentation Library

* Must Join VGuitarforums to view, Download  / Upload File attachments. If you are browsing here as just a Guest, you are missing out on 90% of the content here.

The Roland terminology can be a bit confusing for new GR-55 owners.

But this is  the GR-55 Control parameter "Top to Bottom hierarchy:

"System" settings impact all GR-55 patches

However, each GR-55 patch can have different unique "Master" settings for the currently selected patch. "Master" settings are recalled and updated to the values stored within each GR-55 patch.

* How to install the GR-55 USB Driver and use the Roland GR-55 Librarian - do this first!

* How to attach files to your post

* Download all GR-55 User docs here and follow the advice;cat=18

* Can't download patches

* GR-55 Setups & Tone Configs that affect tracking

* GR-55 Training Videos

* How to Install a Roland GK-3 Pickup?

* * Hex Pickup Type Advice. (GK-3 vs Piezo)

* How to prepare  and maintain your 13 pin GK cable

* Roland GK 13 pin Cable Maintenance Tips.
Always refer to the VGuitarforums Search engine before posting a new question:
("Advanced Search How-To" here)

GR-55 Reference Library area of our Forum is first place to go, as this area has solutions and tips for most new GR-55 users issues/problems:

The GR-55 parameters that control Accuracy are all described in these docs  I suggest is mandatory reading for all GR-55 owners. There are no instant solutions for success, one must learn how to use the technology.;cat=18;sa=downfile&id=37;sa=downfile&id=31;sa=downfile&id=26;sa=downfile&id=16

* GR-55 Firmware version 1.50

* How to install GR-55 Firmware update

* Gumtowns shareware GR-55 Floorboard Editor: (essential)
A Tour of the Roland GR-55 Voice Architecture and GR-55 Floorboard Software

* Learn how to repair a failed GR-55 Win7 USB Driver install here:

* All known MIDI specs, signal routing Diagrams

Gumtown's GR-55 Editor has a mode to reveal the sysex commands which control bulk of GR-55 parameters.

* GR-55 Quick Start:

* GR-55 Tips and Tricks ( Routing, MIDI Control Assignments)

* GR-55 Tips and Setup PDF Docs by Jim Williams, Shawn B and Guitar Jimmy;cat=18

* GR-55 Setups & Tone Configs that affect tracking;sa=view;down=31

*GR-55 Control Assignments

* Building a Patch Library for the GR55 (By Toby Krebs)

* Best Amplifier recommendations for Guitar Synth / Modeling systems

* GR-55 Cool List (Fave Features and how to use them)

* GR-55 Owners Manual summery of all important Notes and Memos explaining important concepts of the GR-55.

* How to enable "Normal Guitar Pickups" and make the GK-3 Guitar/Mix/Synth three-way switch work with the GR-55:
Next post is related to the above,

* Roland US-20 A/B Selector BUG (Importance of GK-VOL Assignment)

* Buy a Stereo Volume Pedal, like the Roland FV-50L (50K pots or less)  and connect to GR-55 Output. GR-55 Patches jump around in Volume, and Expression pedal is often mapped to control other effects on MANY GR-55 Patches

GR-55 Control Assignments

* Best Quality Sound Output from VG-99 / GR-55 -  Through Which Amp?

* How to enable  the GR-55 "Guitar Output" jack:

* Guitar Out Noise in Live Rigs

* GR-55 MIDI Patch Change Map

* GR-55 Control Switch - More than 1 function?

* GR-55 Ultimate Multi Control patches (solves the GR-55 long Patch change delay (with mute) issue)
Jim Williams Multiple Assignment Patches.
Learn multi-assignments by following all steps outlined here - then edit to suit YOUR needs.

Guitarplayer_10's  GR-55 Ultimate Multi Control patch step by step

GR-55 - Use all four GR-55 tone sources mixed via Expression Pedal position

Toby Krebs posted dozens of GR-55 patches he uses at his gig. Each patch uses Multiple Control Assignments for the Expression pedal to allow you to "pan" between rhythm and solo tones withing each patch  - this allow you to use One GR-55 patch per song and circumvent the long mute silence gap that occurs when changing GR-55 patches during a song.

* GR-55 not saving User Patch data

Solution for Roland GR-55 not saving settings to a patch.

* GR-55 - Configure MIDI Program Changes and MIDI CC# Transmission

* Use all four GR-55 tone sources mixed via Expression Pedal position

* No Output sound after connection to a Computer ( USB Direct Monitor Switch);topicseen#msg37354

* Debug GR-55 MIDI Transmission data with a third party free MIDI Monitor:
Windows - MIDI-OX

= No MIDI Thru on GR=55

* That black plastic plug over the USB port is a USB dust and beer shield. It pulls out when you want connect to a Computer with a USB cable. Retain it and reinstall  when  USB is NOT being used  to extend the life of the USB port connections.

*GR-55 Pitch Shifting

* GR-55 User Created Guitar Patches:

* Get most of the GR-55 Guitar Mode Forum Patches Here  (over 1,400)

* GR-55 User Created Documents Downloads area;cat=18

* GR-55 User Created Bass Patches

* Downloaded Patches dont sound correct

* Roland Germany "Sounds of the Heroes"

* How to Load GR-55 User patches.

* Roland GR-55 Bugs, and solutions.

* Roland GR-55 Solution for User Patches not saving.

* Discover your Pick (plectrum) preference  makes a huge difference on the GR-55 PCM/MIDI tracking.

* Why does Roland US-20 A/B selector not work?

* How to contact Roland to report a GR-55 Bug

* Suggested settings for using RMC / Ghost Piezo pickups with the GR-55

* Have a Godin Guitar with tracking/ Noise problems with the GR-300 patch when using a guitar with Piezo hex bridge pickups? Order the RMC OPT-01 Subsonic Input Filter Board here:

GR-55 Guitar to MIDI Controller setup

*I should note that the  Metal guys report the GR-55 Guitar Out is noisy when feeding their ultra high gain Tube amps on Lead channel. An external Noise gate pedal in front of the Tube preamp may be required if you play metal.

* For the lowest latency when triggering external Soft synths with the GR-55, many factors are involved and other options exist beyond simply using the GR-55's USB Driver and USB cable.
Instead, try a 5 pin DIN MIDI cable from GR-55 MIDI Out to an external MIDI adapter.

* GR-55 cases & gig bags

* GR-55 Freezing?

* GTRJimmy413's  GR-55 Tips:;sa=view;down=16

* There has been much disscussion over the last two years on the GR-55's list of short-comings, or as we say "close but no cigar".
Read these threads for details

* GR-55 vs GR-300

* Control GR-55 with Behringer FCB1010

GR-55 Mods
*  Add a Normal Guitar Input jack on your GR-55

* DIY GR-55 guitar pickup input output fx loop Mod with Pictures!


More of a GK2A/ GK3 top thing to know, but I'll repost audiotrax's excellent comment from another thread:

"If there is ONE thing that's critical in getting the Roland technology to track accurately, it's getting that pickup as microscopically close as possible to the strings, without actually touching them."



With ALL Roland COSM modeling systems that perform Alt Tunings - you MUST use headphones.

The natural pitch vibration of the non amplified strings is actually quite loud - and your ear can be fooled into thinking any odd distortions or pitch errors you hear are emerging from the Output Jack of the Roland Gear. 

In most cases, there are no problems with the Roland Gear - but your ears will be hearing a mix of your speakers AND the natural pitch vibration of the non amplified strings on your guitar, and often these are NOT the same frequency.

New GR-55 USERS start HERE:

Roland COSM Reference Library

Roland GR-55 Knowledge Base

Marc Benigni's GR-55 TouchOSC Navigator for iPad

* Downloaded Patches dont sound correct

* Can't download patches

Recommended Amplification Systems


Hey I tried to update the firmware to 1.02 but no luck. After pressing Vlink and User amd rebooting it just goes to a white screen and does nothing. Formated Corsair drive to Fat 32....any suggestions ?


Continue holding V-Link and User Buttons during the Pure White Display which lasts nearly a minute before the Display changes , and then release the Buttons when you see the inverse Text Display with Completion Status Dots.

Download the PDF Instructions. That's my GR-55's Display during the update in the photos at each step.

Folks forget these facts

1995 - Roland VG-8 $2500 - no editor

1997 - Roland VG-8EX $1900 - no editor

2000 - Roland VG-88 $1500 - no editor

2001 - Roland VG-88 V2 $1500 - no official editor, but a french "V-EDITOR" arrives created by Ralph Benchetrit, but never goes beyond beta version 0.51

2007 - Roland VG-99 - $1500 - first GK 13 processor with graphic Editor based on a reworked version of the  "GT-PRO " editor. But development costs skyrocket.

Late 2008 - global economic meltdown  / inflation  = dealer margins lowered as "buy in" costs raised, dealer training materials are rarely implemented to the dumbed down salesforce on the showroom floor and sales for the VG-99 evaporate.

2011 - Roland GR-55 introduced, specifically designed to be a stripped down , lower hardware cost gateway into the Roland 13 pin Modeling world and compete head to head with Line -6 offerings -  no Guitar in, no external expression pedals, no Editor keeps manufacturing cost to bare minimum. but GR-55 as a relatively fast tracking dual PCM Rompler / synth with Guitar to MIDI at $600 street did kill the KMI Stringport.

2013 - GR-55 Price goes up $100 due to further inflation

Read the GR-55 FAQ for the history of Roland philosophy on why no GR-55 Editor -

Back at 2011 Winter NAMM  when the GR55 was released., VanceG and myself had a personal GR-55 tour by the Roland Guitar Product manager ( which is now in three parts @ youtube.

Roland basically stated that the burden of creating editors for their processors was a very high cost , and Roland GR-55 was designed to be a lower cost entry point into the 13 pin world


QuotePuzzling as to why a 3rd party genius had to come up with the editor software while Roland seems to not care.

The reason the Roland GR-55 shipped from Roland without an Editor is  all explained at the 2011 Winter NAMM show  by Peter S, the Roland US Guitar Product  Manager

At 4:45minutes

Elantric: Will there be an Editor?

Peter S: No:

Elantric: (&*^%)  ?

Peter S: Sorry  - live with it. -I don't mean to be blunt but  creating Editing Software on our side frankly is a Huge, Huge endeavor! 

Elantric: I know, but maybe we can hire a Grad School Student to do it?

Peter S: I'll leave it to you ( and VGuitarforums)  - If you chose to,  let me know

Elantric: If you get me the full GR-55 MIDI Spec  - (in the words of Star Trek II's Captain Jean Luc Picard)  " I'll Make it So!"

Peter S: Anything is possible!

Luckily veteran Boss GT Programmer / Bass player  Colin from New Zealand created

* Gumtowns shareware GR-55 Floorboard Editor: (essential)

and review our Forum stats

Prior to the release of the GR-55, we only had 2900 members and the explosive growth here at VGuitarforums (now over 13,000 members ) is a direct result of the GR-55 support knowledge shared here

Luckily veteran Boss GT Programmer / Bass player  Colin from New Zealand created

* Gumtowns shareware GR-55 Floorboard Editor: (essential)