Author Topic: How a "13pin MIDI Cable" destroyed the "Roland GK" V-Guitar brand  (Read 4149 times)

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Offline Elantric

How a "13pin MIDI Cable" destroyed the "Roland GK" V-Guitar brand

Here is a common misconception in the Music Gear world

http://line6.com/support/topic/9778-me-too-goodbye-line-6-hello-boss-gp-10/
Quote
The Boss / Roland GK-3 converts your guitar notes into MIDI data, and using a standard 13 pin connection, triggers MIDI audio from one of their devices - such as the GP-10, or the older VG-99, or the GR-55. How it *tracks* is a combination of the installation of the pickup on the guitar coupled with the DSP


The above is flat wrong ! ( Fake News)

The Roland "VGuitar hex COSM modeling (as well as competing DSP Guitar Modeling systems from Antares) do not employ a Guitar to MIDI conversion function. The Strings are the oscillators. and it functions quite similar to the Line-6 Variax signal processing flow - (Hex Guitar PU > six A/D's ( one per string) >DSP >D/A) and latency is similar to Variax (under 5 milliseconds for all strings) and substantially faster than any Guitar to MIDI system

The biggest difference between Roland VG Series and Line 6 Variax is the DSP is inside the Guitar on the Line-6 system

Click here and see how many folks (and many new VGuitarForums members) STILL call the GK cable a "13 pin MIDI Cable"
http://bit.ly/YaDgM7

http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=5188.msg56700#msg56700


The posts above reveal the common misunderstanding of Roland 13pin GK Modeling gear

http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=7912.msg50135#msg50135

Roland US's lack of Dealer education on the simple matter of

 "How should marketing describe the Roland GK 13 Pin DIN Cable on the sales order sheet?

- all helped to slow the sales of VG-8/VG-88/VG-99 /GR-55/GP-10 Roland Hex COSM Modelers


Test: Go to most any Guitar Center and you will find the Roland 13 pin cables are typically never stocked in the Guitar department, instead they are stocked over in the Keyboard department - on the same rack with 5pin MIDI Cables.


Even the Planet Waves GK 13 is incorrectly labeled as a "MIDI Cable" !


 This misinformation Fake News damaged the "Roland GK" brand)



When Roland dealers continue today to call the GK13 DIN cable a "MIDI cable", THIS KILLs their sales of Boss / Roland GK Processors.

Today even casual guitar players  know Guitar to MIDI has a battle with latency and mis-triggered Notes that make you look like a fool at the live gig.

Many Newbies and younger guitarists , even the sales staff at music stores hear the word MIDI Guitar , and  think:

"MIDI Guitar is old school 30 year old tech that should have died" ,
https://www.midi.org/articles/does-midi-have-an-image-problem

and never look at the near zero Latency VG-8/VG-88/VG-99 /GR-55/GP-10 Roland Hex COSM Modelers because they think:

"Roland GK gear uses that 13pin MIDI cable, I don't want those latency delays."

Roland US Marketing Failed since they continue to not deal with the general public's mis informed idea of what a Roland GK 13 Pin interface actually Is and what a GK-3 actually does, and how its an ANALOG CONNECTION .

if you examine the details of the Roland Hex PU Circuit , it becomes apparent MIDI data messages have never existed in ANY 13 pin interface from Roland or Any other manufacturer at anytime.
Essentially the GK-3 is a multichannel analog Buffer/Line driver

http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=7893.msg56178#msg56178

Only Roland Japan Corporate Global site tries to clear up the confusion

Roland COSM Reference Library
http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=88.0


http://roland.com/V-Guitar/about.html




---

https://www.roland.com/us/support/knowledge_base/201922959/
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GUITAR SYNTHESIZERS AND THE VG-8
Back to Results

Tags: gi-10, gr-1, vg-8, vg-88, gr-09
The VG-8 / VG-88 V-Guitar is not a guitar synthesizer like the GR-09, GR-1 or
GR-30/33, or a Guitar-to-MIDI Converter like the GI-10. In the GR-Series and
the GI-10, the signal from the GK-2A pickup (which is analogous to a standard
pickup signal for each string) is converted to a pitch which is then available
to trigger a sound, either internally (GR-09, GR-1, GR-30) or through MIDI.
This makes these units ideal for sequencing and playing realistic sounds like
pianos, organs or drums.

On the VG-8 / VG-88, the signal from the GK-2A is modified in realtime into an
entirely new sound which allows all of your picking and playing techniques to
be preserved. The VG-8/ VG-88 does not transmit MIDI note numbers, nor does it
act as a MIDI sound module. Although the VG-8 / VG-88 has the ability to modify
the guitar sound into unique sounds (like a synthesizer would), there is
absolutely none of the tracking delay normally associated with guitar synths
because the sound of the guitar is modified in real time. The VG-8 / VG-88 is
unsurpassed in creating a multitude of authentic guitar tones which would
previously only be attainable by purchasing a truckload of different guitars,
amps and speakers.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 01:42:23 PM by Elantric »

Offline Alec Lee

Re: How a "13pin MIDI Cable" destroyed the "Roland GK" V-Guitar brand
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2015, 07:56:20 AM »
Good point.  One reason I use the built-in synth voices in my VG-99 and GP-10 is because there's no latency.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 02:03:07 PM by admsustainiac »

Offline Tony Raven

Re: How a "13pin MIDI Cable" destroyed the "Roland GK" V-Guitar brand
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2015, 07:00:49 PM »
Wow -- you nailed it. :o My "gut" says you're probably correct about the fallout as well.

In my day job, I build transit buses, & sometimes help run wiring harness, so I'm pretty aware of the importance of describing a cable & its terminals precisely, & I've got it locked in my little brain that "MIDI cable" <==> "five-pin DIN" -- period.

And having owned Roland/Boss gear for almost 20 years, when I decided to move into hex guitar, I still had to work to separate "synth" & COSM in my mind. If I found it to be such a stumbling point, chances are there's a LOT of people who mosh it up even worse.

Offline aliensporebomb

Re: How a "13pin MIDI Cable" destroyed the "Roland GK" V-Guitar brand
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2015, 10:57:09 AM »
At gigs I've had people go "Oh!  Midi guitar."  And I say "nope.  Hex guitar with processing - it's not a MIDI cable..."
"this is aliensporebomb" - my instrumental debut with the vg99 now on itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/this-is-aliensporebomb/id391880218
More online at http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

My VG-99 based music projects:
http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

Offline mapperboy

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  • Transcending the ordinary with the GR-55 & VG-99
Re: How a "13pin MIDI Cable" destroyed the "Roland GK" V-Guitar brand
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2015, 12:45:29 PM »
All these posts are well noted.
Since I became involved in electronic technology as a nerddy 9 year old, building my first FM wireless transmitter with 90V battery power peanut vacuum tubes, I realized there are at least two or more brain types of people in our world.  My Dad, who was a military technologist and flew cold war nukes in SAC (Strategic Air Command) bombers was required to understand complex systems and was a great influence and encouragement to my 'hobby'.  We could discuss the design nuance and build parameters for the my early experiments at length. My mom on the other hand simply wanted to know 'Does It Work Now" and "Can I Talk Into the FM Radio Now?" If I tried to engage her with why it wasn't working yet using technological and electronic terms, her eyes glazed over. 
So it is with many in the music industry, musicians and sales/vendor people alike.  How many guitarists do you know who can't or won't change a string or understand what basic instrument string-action set-up involves? 

Many of those musical brains are great even fantastic musicians but they just don't want to know or don't want to be bothered with knowing.  They rely on 'experts' to help them do their work.  This is where the abuse easily creeps in.  I saw it in the building design and construction business as well.  The perfect fit as one architect often said to me was working with a knowledgeable client, someone who could articulate their needs but also knew (or a lot) about how things were put together and the constraints one has to work with to achieve the perfect job.

When many good players don't really know what comes out of the 1/4" jack it's easy to see how marketeers, either out of ignorance or just plain bad product wrapper descriptions, totally ignore the nuances of what signals are conducted through a Roland 13 pin cable.

Unfortunately this is also what much of the gear industry feeds and depends on to drive sales.     
« Last Edit: June 01, 2015, 12:49:14 PM by mapperboy »

Offline vanceg

Re: How a "13pin MIDI Cable" destroyed the "Roland GK" V-Guitar brand
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2015, 04:09:29 AM »
I can't even begin to count how many times I've needed to explain this..no...I'm not playing a MIDI guitar. When I purchased my Planet Waves cable my heart sank when I saw it referred to as a MIDI cable. The Moog guitar referred to the 13 pin modification as the "MIDI OUTPUT" modification.   ADRIAN BELEW has even been seen referring to the 13 pin as the "MIDI Output" of his guitar. 
Sigh.

Offline imerkat

Re: How a "13pin MIDI Cable" destroyed the "Roland GK" V-Guitar brand
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2015, 07:16:20 AM »
When i first got into COSM tech I thought 13-pin cable was a old computer cable for the DOS era. I don't believe MIDI has that reputation since the DJ/home producer EDM musicians took off.

Offline matigrob

Re: How a "13pin MIDI Cable" destroyed the "Roland GK" V-Guitar brand
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2015, 08:55:47 AM »
this is a great point! by reducing the players subtle touches to MIDI, we loose the most musical information, the direct processing of each string is a lot more expressive and fun to play.
but also the connector itself make the Hex idea sick (it did not kill it in 30 years :-) : the mechanics and the pin usage (we need more control)
at least it brings power supply to the guitar, the stupid old 1/4" makes us use batteries!
but we keep thinking of new solutions, with sufficient demand, a more modern guitar standard will be possible.
maybe the lack of a good name also kills the idea? "Polyphonic" has its meaning for hundreds of years, and "Hexaphonic" is a not very correct modification that does not sound good and does not explain: its not about "several strings" but "separate string processing"
Matthias
http://paradis-guitars.com

Offline Elantric

Re: How a "13pin MIDI Cable" destroyed the "Roland GK" V-Guitar brand
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2016, 09:12:30 AM »
http://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/articles/clearing-up-roland-midi-guitar-synth-modeling-confusion/

Clearing up the Roland “MIDI” guitar / synth / modeling confusion.
Article #945 Updated on Apr 27, 2007 at 12:00 AM
We seem to encounter a good deal of ongoing confusion about Roland’s guitar synthesizers, in particular the hex pickup (GK-2A, GK-3), and how it relates to other products, including some of Roland’s more recent modeling products. Here’s a brief overview.The Roland GK-2A pickup is NOT a MIDI pickup. It simply contains six humbucking pickups – one per string.A Guitar with a GK-2A or a “GK Ready” 13-pin output equipped guitar is NOT a MIDI guitar.Any guitar with a 13-pin output (Godin, Brian Moore, Fender, Ibanez, etc.) is NOT a MIDI guitar. They are “GK ready” guitars. Meaning they can be used with GR-33s, VG-88s, VGA-7s, GR-55, GP-10, VG-99 and other 13-pin compatible products. There have been some guitars made over the years with actual MIDI outputs (meaning they had to convert the signal to MIDI in the guitar), but for the most part they haven’t worked that well or been very popular. They cannot be used with modeling products like Roland’s VG-8s, VG-88s, VGA-7s, GR-55, GP-10, VG-99  etc.The GR-33 guitar synthesizer converts the GK-2A’s analog output to MIDI. Remember the GR-33 makes it MIDI, not the GK-2A. In the old days (older products) this conversion was somewhat slow, but it has dramatically improved over time. When you hear people refer to “triggering time,” (aka, Latency) they are talking about the speed with which the pitch of the string is converted to MIDI data or a data format that can trigger a synthesizer. When you listen to the output of the GR-33 synthesizer you are hearing sample based synthesis triggered directly by what you are playing/triggering on the “GK ready” guitar.The VG-8/88 and VGA-7 are modeling products and require no type of conversion to use the output of the GK-2A or any GK ready instrument. This means there is NO triggering and there is no MIDI note data. The VG’s use the output of the GK-2A and then filter any harmonics other than the fundamental frequency. The VG’s and Boss GP-10 then use Roland’s C.O.S.M. Modeling to construct various guitar sounds, alternate tunings, amplifiers, speakers, effects, etc. based on the actual string sound coming from the instrument. When you listen to the output of the VG-88 & VGA-7 you are hearing COSM Modeling applied to the output from the GK-2A pickup. There is NO conversion to MIDI. Consequently it is actually possible for different guitars to sound slightly different in terms of the modeling features due to inherent differences in their sound, and how it reacts with the specific modeling being applied. In most instances, however, these differences are very subtle.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 09:45:48 AM by admsustainiac »

Offline imerkat

Re: How a "13pin MIDI Cable" destroyed the "Roland GK" V-Guitar brand
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2017, 06:43:17 AM »
Not sure if this was posted somewhere else but more evidence for the main thesis of this thread:
http://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/blog/post/ptc_guitar_overhaul_vernon_reids_s2_vela

"When the paint had dried it was time for hardware and final assembly. A custom pickguard was fabricated to fit the two EMG humbuckers, Roland GK3 MIDI pickup, and new electronics controls. If you were wondering what the 13-pin connector was for, it allows connectivity between the Roland MIDI pickup and MIDI control unit!
Refer to the image below for a run-down of the electronics controls:
1. Magnetic Pickup Volume Control
2. 3-Way Blade Pickup Selector
3. Roland MIDI Pickup Volume Control
4. Magnetic Pickup Tone Control
5. 3-Way Mini Toggle (Up = MIDI Pickup, Middle = Both, Down = All Magnetic Pickup)
6. Toggle Up Through MIDI Sounds
7. Toggle Down Through MIDI Sounds
"

Offline Elantric

Re: How a "13pin MIDI Cable" destroyed the "Roland GK" V-Guitar brand
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 01:31:40 PM »
https://www.roland.com/us/support/knowledge_base/201922959/
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GUITAR SYNTHESIZERS AND THE VG-8
Back to Results

Tags: gi-10, gr-1, vg-8, vg-88, gr-09
The VG-8 / VG-88 V-Guitar is not a guitar synthesizer like the GR-09, GR-1 or
GR-30/33, or a Guitar-to-MIDI Converter like the GI-10. In the GR-Series and
the GI-10, the signal from the GK-2A pickup (which is analogous to a standard
pickup signal for each string) is converted to a pitch which is then available
to trigger a sound, either internally (GR-09, GR-1, GR-30) or through MIDI.
This makes these units ideal for sequencing and playing realistic sounds like
pianos, organs or drums.

On the VG-8 / VG-88, the signal from the GK-2A is modified in realtime into an
entirely new sound which allows all of your picking and playing techniques to
be preserved. The VG-8/ VG-88 does not transmit MIDI note numbers, nor does it
act as a MIDI sound module. Although the VG-8 / VG-88 has the ability to modify
the guitar sound into unique sounds (like a synthesizer would), there is
absolutely none of the tracking delay normally associated with guitar synths
because the sound of the guitar is modified in real time. The VG-8 / VG-88 is
unsurpassed in creating a multitude of authentic guitar tones which would
previously only be attainable by purchasing a truckload of different guitars,
amps and speakers.