Future of the GK5 and new products

Started by Nobulusprime, December 26, 2023, 06:34:40 AM

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Nobulusprime

I've thinking about the future of Roland Boss GK based products, specifically with regards to the future of pick ups and the 13pin cables.

With the new GK5 not having the facility to run regular guitar pick ups, volume controls and patch switching capabilities, does it seems like this will limit future products?

Not having a normal pick up signal being sent and having to run separate cables seems like a step backwards?

Would there be a TRS solution to this?

Elantric

Roland determined most pros use a Wireless system for normal guitar signal

IMH1234

I also suspect that a good number of pros would rather run their normal pickups through a dedicated signal path. We all know that us guitarists can be insanely picky about what sits between our instrument and amp and if we are not intending to process our signal with a particular box many would prefer to avoid it altogether, especially if it means replacing our esoterically selected polarity correct cables with a GK circuit, 13 pin cable and Roland unit. Am sure Roland are aware of this and also recognise that for those that like their FX and modelling for their normal pickups units it is more profitable to be able to sell a separate unit for this rather than bundle it up as one

admin_shawnb

It is possible there will be a GK-6 at some point with the combined path.  I believe it was confirmed earlier that GK-serial supports the mag pu & S1/S2:

Quote from: Elantric on July 26, 2023, 06:35:32 AMConfirmed the GKC-AD passes ALL GK-3 signals, including Normal Guitar. GK-VOL, S1, S2 into the TRS SERIAL GK data stream.

There is a path for  a future SERIAL GK Processor that supports the Normal Pickup signal 


Just not sure those features were a priority for the GM-800 launch given the unit doesn't do mag pu.  If they ever do a successor to the GR-55, I bet there will be a GK-6.


With the GM-800, though, it kinda feels like the "synth" part of "guitar-synth" was handed off to the synth guys...

arkieboy

#4
Lets look at this from a use case point of view, and try to guess how the use cases might be bundled into products ... 

(I know people won't agree with this!  ;D)

'I want to include an acoustic guitar in my song live'.  Lots of guitarists want a convincing acoustic guitar sound without changing guitar - the Variax sold fairly well I think, and I regularly get guitarists from the headline acts we support comment about the versatility of being able to get an 'acoustic-like' sound from the press of a footswitch.

'I want to be able to play synth lines from my guitar'.  Roland have sold enough guitar synths over the years to keep them making them, so this surely is a common ask.  This is partially satisfied by the GM-800, but we know you can get better responsiveness for simple sounds by reshaping the string's waveform.

'I want to make my electric guitar sound like another electric guitar'.  This is somewhat at odds with having a GK-3 or a GK-5 - a small unit you can put on your favourite guitar to access new sounds.  Also Strats and LPs feel different and we play different kinds of things on them, and because we're primarily electric guitarists, this matters.  I think that if you mostly want to play a Les Paul, you're generally going to put your GK pickup on some kind of dual-humbucker single cut guitar - equally if you mostly want to play a Strat, you'll put your pickup on something Strat like.  So modelling other electric guitars isn't something you're going to do for anything other than the odd song.

(I know lots of you do model guitars - I think teasing this out might help us second guess Roland better)

'I want to be able to re-tune my guitar by changing patch'.  This feels like a much better use case than 'make my LP sound like a Strat'.  Of course, when you change your tuning on your guitar, you'll need it to sound roughly the same as it did in normal tuning, so ironically I think the 'model an electric guitar' use case makes much more sense when you're thinking about recovering something like the original tone when you change the tuning to open G for a song.

'I like my guitar controller and I want to be able to use that sound too'.  You have a really small, unobtrusive hex pickup that can be fitted to your favourite guitar so why wouldn't you want to use your favourite guitar's sound?

'I like my amplifier/pedal boars and I want to use my modelled/retuned electric guitar through that amplifier and pedal board'.  Boss sell lots of effects - they don't want to say 'you can't use any of them with your SY-1000/VG-99 replacement'!

If you want to maximise your sales, you're going to want to try to satisfy one or more of these
use cases in a compelling way.  A complicating factor is that electric guitars require an amplifier and effects that don't do a good job of reproducing acoustic guitars or synths.

So here are some guesses that make some kind of sense in terms of those use cases, that might fit into the current 200 and 500 series form factors and suit the different kinds of amplification they need to address:
* an acoustic guitar unit (+/- dynamic synth pretty much as is in the SY-1k) (gk-serial in, stereo out)
* a stand-alone dynamic synth with more processing power for even more convincing synth sounds (gk-serial in, stereo out)
* a stand-alone electric guitar/retuner unit (+/- integration of the regular guitar signal) (gk-serial in, regular guitar in, mono guitar out) (i.e make my GK guitar into a variax)
* an electric guitar/retuner unit integrating the regular guitar signal and including amp and effect modelling (gk-serial in, regular guitar in, stereo out)

Main rig: Barden Hexacaster and Brian Moore i2.13 controllers
Boss SY1000/Boss GKC-AD/Boss GM-800/Laney LFR112

Other relevant gear: Line 6 Helix LT, Roland GR-33, Axon AX100 MkII
Oberheim Matrix 6R, Supernova IIR, EMu E5000, Apple Mainstage, Apple Logic, MOTU M4

IMH1234

Quote from: arkieboy on December 26, 2023, 04:44:09 PMLets look at this from a use case point of view, and try to guess how the use cases might be bundled into products ... 

(I know people won't agree with this!  ;D)

'I want to include an acoustic guitar in my song live'.  Lots of guitarists want a convincing acoustic guitar sound without changing guitar - the Variax sold fairly well I think, and I regularly get guitarists from the headline acts we support comment about the versatility of being able to get an 'acoustic-like' sound from the press of a footswitch.

'I want to be able to play synth lines from my guitar'.  Roland have sold enough guitar synths over the years to keep them making them, so this surely is a common ask.  This is partially satisfied by the GM-800, but we know you can get better responsiveness for simple sounds by reshaping the string's waveform.

'I want to make my electric guitar sound like another electric guitar'.  This is somewhat at odds with having a GK-3 or a GK-5 - a small unit you can put on your favourite guitar to access new sounds.  Also Strats and LPs feel different and we play different kinds of things on them, and because we're primarily electric guitarists, this matters.  I think that if you mostly want to play a Les Paul, you're generally going to put your GK pickup on some kind of dual-humbucker single cut guitar - equally if you mostly want to play a Strat, you'll put your pickup on something Strat like.  So modelling other electric guitars isn't something you're going to do for anything other than the odd song.

(I know lots of you do model guitars - I think teasing this out might help us second guess Roland better)

'I want to be able to re-tune my guitar by changing patch'.  This feels like a much better use case than 'make my LP sound like a Strat'.  Of course, when you change your tuning on your guitar, you'll need it to sound roughly the same as it did in normal tuning, so ironically I think the 'model an electric guitar' use case makes much more sense when you're thinking about recovering something like the original tone when you change the tuning to open G for a song.

'I like my guitar controller and I want to be able to use that sound too'.  You have a really small, unobtrusive hex pickup that can be fitted to your favourite guitar so why wouldn't you want to use your favourite guitar's sound?

'I like my amplifier/pedal boars and I want to use my modelled/retuned electric guitar through that amplifier and pedal board'.  Boss sell lots of effects - they don't want to say 'you can't use any of them with your SY-1000/VG-99 replacement'!

If you want to maximise your sales, you're going to want to try to satisfy one or more of these
use cases in a compelling way.  A complicating factor is that electric guitars require an amplifier and effects that don't do a good job of reproducing acoustic guitars or synths.

So here are some guesses that make some kind of sense in terms of those use cases, that might fit into the current 200 and 500 series form factors and suit the different kinds of amplification they need to address:
* an acoustic guitar unit (+/- dynamic synth pretty much as is in the SY-1k) (gk-serial in, stereo out)
* a stand-alone dynamic synth with more processing power for even more convincing synth sounds (gk-serial in, stereo out)
* a stand-alone electric guitar/retuner unit (+/- integration of the regular guitar signal) (gk-serial in, regular guitar in, mono guitar out) (i.e make my GK guitar into a variax)
* an electric guitar/retuner unit integrating the regular guitar signal and including amp and effect modelling (gk-serial in, regular guitar in, stereo out)



We are of course speculating but I agree that whatever actual units we see it would make sense from Roland's perspective to have separate use case specific devices as you describe - also helps to make sense of the GM800 in context. I could also see them making an all in one but with lite versions of more dedicated units - similar to how the GR55 has just a selection of the synth and parameter options available on the VG99 - enough to be useful for say a covers gig but less than you would typically want for dedicated synth programming.

pasha811

That's a Sales Opportunity to sell 'additional capabilities' in several other boxes. The GK Serial Output of the GM-800 tells a story about future expansions. Maybe in the future we could compose the perfect machine for each of us. Who knows?
In any case Roland/Boss has tremendous experience in all use cases and I'm sure they are working hard on using the new GK-Serial interface in new modeling products.
Listen to my music at :  http://alonetone.com/pasha/

arkieboy

Quote from: pasha811 on December 27, 2023, 06:48:44 AMThe GK Serial Output of the GM-800 tells a story about future expansions.
Exactly!

And if we look at the SY and the IR lines, we already see multiple products addressing the same basic use case at different price points and different levels of sophistication.

Main rig: Barden Hexacaster and Brian Moore i2.13 controllers
Boss SY1000/Boss GKC-AD/Boss GM-800/Laney LFR112

Other relevant gear: Line 6 Helix LT, Roland GR-33, Axon AX100 MkII
Oberheim Matrix 6R, Supernova IIR, EMu E5000, Apple Mainstage, Apple Logic, MOTU M4

pasha811

#8
I remember this :

There were other in the series. Is not sold anymore but it had it's 'why'.
I guess it was not a best seller but if you make it in a 800 series... it starts to make sense.

Especially if you think of this :

Listen to my music at :  http://alonetone.com/pasha/

aliensporebomb

I notice some of the sounds of the slow pad on that GR-S seem to reflect some of the capabilities of the SY-1000.
My music projects online at http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

GK Devices:  Roland VG-99, Boss GP-10, Boss SY-1000.

gumtown

#10
I am feeling confident of an expanded GK-5 feature set in the future,
the transport protocol and hardware should support one or two extra channels of pickup audio (A/D) and a few control options
(midi bus from guitar to unit for a few extra hardware options/addins like virtual tremolo).

My prediction is a GK-5-EX and a GK-5-KIT


Also can't see any reason these days for not doing a GK-5-Wireless, with an add in like the dual Boss BT Audio and Midi, but with included wireless GK (and wireless regular guitar using a Boss transmitter while I am planning the future  8)  )

like that v but with Wireless GK printed on it !!
Free "GR-55 FloorBoard" editor software from https://sourceforge.net/projects/grfloorboard/

pasha811

Quote from: aliensporebomb on December 27, 2023, 03:15:40 PMI notice some of the sounds of the slow pad on that GR-S seem to reflect some of the capabilities of the SY-1000.

Crystal, Rich Modulation and Slow Pad are on GP10 as well. The Brillant Clean cannot be obtained in GP10 but easy in VG99 and SY1000. In any case Roland makes a good use of its heritage and experience to reuse in various devices.
Listen to my music at :  http://alonetone.com/pasha/

aliensporebomb

Yes and the VG-99 (and probably the GP-10 and SY-1000) all can do the tri-stereo chorus emulation. 
My music projects online at http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

GK Devices:  Roland VG-99, Boss GP-10, Boss SY-1000.

loopman

For me, the future product that would make sense right after the GM 800 is a worthy successor to the SY 300.
Why? Because in my opinion the SY 300 is the last true guitar synthesizer made by Roland.
In my experience I have had units such as the GR 30, VB 99, GR 55 and lately the SY 1000. Sure, the SY 1000 has much more features and a wider and nicer sound palette, but to my taste none of these have ever come close to matching or competing with the sonic results that (after years of patch/sound programming) I've been able to achieve with my SY 300.

I can say this for several reasons:
1) I can use a standard 1/4-inch jack
2) it is able to generate such unique and almost 'live' ambient sounds
3) it's a real guitar synth because the oscillators are the same strings of my bass and this opens up a world of timbres and nuances of sound that in my opinion are unique

I sold my GR 55 and my SY 1000, but I will never sell my SY 300. When it happens that a fellow musician listens to the sounds I've created with the SY 300, he always is amazed and everyone is impressed

So, my dream is that there may be a new floorboard that continues the SY philosophy and I hope that some of the Boss/Roland engineers may read this wish of mine

Bill Ruppert

#14
Quote from: loopman on December 28, 2023, 01:14:50 PMFor me, the future product that would make sense right after the GM 800 is a worthy successor to the SY 300.
Why? Because in my opinion the SY 300 is the last true guitar synthesizer made by Roland.
In my experience I have had units such as the GR 30, VB 99, GR 55 and lately the SY 1000. Sure, the SY 1000 has much more features and a wider and nicer sound palette, but to my taste none of these have ever come close to matching or competing with the sonic results that (after years of patch/sound programming) I've been able to achieve with my SY 300.

I can say this for several reasons:
1) I can use a standard 1/4-inch jack
2) it is able to generate such unique and almost 'live' ambient sounds
3) it's a real guitar synth because the oscillators are the same strings of my bass and this opens up a world of timbres and nuances of sound that in my opinion are unique

I sold my GR 55 and my SY 1000, but I will never sell my SY 300. When it happens that a fellow musician listens to the sounds I've created with the SY 300, he always is amazed and everyone is impressed

So, my dream is that there may be a new floorboard that continues the SY philosophy and I hope that some of the Boss/Roland engineers may read this wish of mine
I agree 100 percent. The SY-300 is a Nobel instrument. But The 1/4 input in the SY-1000 is a wonder as well.
I vacillate between the two, and lately I am on the SY-1000 1/4 input.
Just amazing organic sounds.
I have tamed it and have wonderful, beautiful sounds.
You could not tear either one from my hands.
The 1000 does has a higher bit rate processor and I hear it.