Upgrading from VG-99. What module? GM-800, SY-1000, GR-55, GP-10 etc...

Started by wynnanon, January 27, 2024, 12:20:49 AM

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wynnanon

Hi

So I have used the VG-99 since it came out with a FC-300 Midi Foot Controller. I am looking to upgrade to something more compact for my live setup.

The main 3 reasons I use midi guitar:

1. Every song I write usually has a completely custom tuning so to switch from one song to the other these types of modules are a must for the ALT (custom) Tuning capabilities.

2. I control VST synths and samplers on a laptop which I prefer over using any of Rolands module synth sounds. So the synths on these modules are of no importance to me.

3. I really use the GK modules to have access to basic acoustic and electric guitar sounds without having to switch to an acoustic on stage.

So since the VG-99 obviously there have been a few new units come out over the years and I am wondering if any of you had a suggestion for what might suit my specific needs.

GM-800, SY-1000, GR-55, GP-10 ?????

I am open to other brands and eco systems (fishman triple play, Midi Guitar 2, etc...) but when it comes to those systems I don't know what access to acoustic/electric sounds there are once it hits the computer and if it's as robust as what Roland/boss provide out the box.

Thanks for any input

All the best
PS
I use a GK-2 but am open to upgrading to any pickup/non-pickup system

gumtownadmin

You can take the GM-800 off your list, as it is a midi based rompler  synth.
The SY-1000 is a good recommendation as a VG-99 replacement, has the latest hrm modeled instuments/synths.
Where the VG-99 does two instances, the SY-1000 does three.
The SY also has the amp modeling and some effects from the GT-1000.
The GP-10 is also a viable option, although only has USB as an external midi connection, and like the GR-55, has only one instance of instrument modeling.
The GR-55 amp modeling is a bit dated, simlar to VG-99 generation.
Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.

sixeight

Best upgrade is SY1000, Though it does not do guitar to midi as well as the VG99.

Brak(E)man

GP-10 has the best guitar to midi over usb.
Compact, not expensive so easy to have a backup .
(The modeling is close enough to SY which probably is best in this regard.
The SY is also newer and have more fx etc)

but OBS there's been issues with the alt tune

see https://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=13752.0

Not all people experience this but I'd try it first.

I have this problem with the GP but not with any of the VGs ( same guitars)

(The SY-1000 had the same warbling issue but it's been addressed
but not on GP-10.)

I'd recommend trying the GP unless you need more than one instrument in one patch if so the SY-1000.
swimming with a hole in my body

I play Country music too, I'm just not sure which country it's from...

"The only thing worse than a guitar is a guitarist!"
- Lydia Lunch

IMH1234

Of the options you mention, I am not familiar with the detail of the GP-10 so cannot comment on this. Of the others you mention:

GM-800 Whilst not strictly a Rompler as Gumtown suggests (Virtual Analogue is also part of the Zencore platform and is one of the most interesting aspects of this unit) it is not a replacement for the VG-99 as it does not include Guitar modelling - it is basically a midi sound module for guitar synth users

SY-1000 is the closest to the VG 99 (and exceeds it in many areas) although many have highlighted issues with its alt tune capabilities which might be a concern given these seem key to what you are looking for. Overall, to me it sounds more realistic for modelled electric and acoustic guitars than the VG-99/GR-55

GR-55 this would be trading down from a VG-99 - it is a good all-in-one unit but the modelled sounds and tuning options are all 'lite' versions of what is in the VG-99. Also, only has one modelled voice to the VG-99's two and less models available. I use mine as a third modelled voice alongside the VG-99 but would not ever consider it as a replacement

As an alternative option - if you are fundamentally happy with the VG-99 but want to save space, why not keep the VG-99 and go with a modern compact floor controller? A Morningstar+expression pedal(s) or similar takes up little space and even with the VG-99 is not actually that much bigger than the SY-1000. I got rid of my FC-300 last year because it was too bulky, got in the way and was actually less flexible than the newer alternatives but the VG-99 has remained as the main guitar synth as it does what I need right now

wynnanon

Thank you so much. That is actually where I keep landing but wanted to put out feelers before I pulled the trigger on the SY-1000.

When I look for custom acoustic etc...patches for the SY-1000 I have found some options on "boss tone central/exchange" and here at "Boss SY-1000 - GUITAR Mode User Patch Exchange".

But I was wondering if there were any other avenues anyone here may know of for custom patches/presets. I will create some myself but its always nice to see what the community puts out in their own eclectic ways. Maybe this should be a new post too?

Thanks again for the input, much appreciated.

Brak(E)man

If you consider getting the SY I'd say try the guitar to midi first.
Especially if you rely on  softsynths and not going to use the synths in SY

https://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=33434.0
swimming with a hole in my body

I play Country music too, I'm just not sure which country it's from...

"The only thing worse than a guitar is a guitarist!"
- Lydia Lunch

aliensporebomb

As far as guitar-to-midi I've always said the VG-99 was a lot better than most people knew about but you had to use a very specific setting to get the right result:   example:

https://soundcloud.com/aliensporebomb/mystica-guitar-to-midi-with-vg-99

I recently found a way to get decent results on the SY-1000 but I need to do some further tests to verify what I found because it seemed somewhat inconsistent since I did the primary testing with v1.06 (which still has its uses) and then again v1.09.   More testing is needed.   Some people seem to think the GI-20 was the best guitar-to-midi from Roland but that device was a dedicated guitar-to-midi box and did nothing else.
My music projects online at http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

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

Brent Flash

Welcome to the group wynnanon!  :)

Being a VG-99 with FC-300 user for live performance myself, I would say leave the FC-300 home and get an FC-500L and two FS-5Us plug them into the back of the VG-99 then add those controls to your patches. Start using the patch category section for quick patch changes and also organize your patches around the direct patch buttons on the face of the VG-99.

This has helped me downsize for those times when I just want to use less stuff to make my setup and tear down quicker and also make my stage footprint smaller.

I know we are running on borrowed time using the VG-99 but in my opinion there is still nothing out there that can do what it does. 8)

wynnanon

Quote from: Brak(E)man on January 27, 2024, 02:40:43 AMIf you consider getting the SY I'd say try the guitar to midi first.
Especially if you rely on  softsynths and not going to use the synths in SY

https://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=33434.0

Is the SY-1000 worse than the VG-99 as far as MS latency to computer VST's ??

Thanks for the heads up.

Brak(E)man

Quote from: wynnanon on January 27, 2024, 10:32:45 AMIs the SY-1000 worse than the VG-99 as far as MS latency to computer VST's ??

Thanks for the heads up.

It's not the latency that's the real problem, it's glitches , misstrigs.
Difficult to set the cutoff level etc

I'd still say that as far as guitar to midi the GP-10 is by far best imho.

swimming with a hole in my body

I play Country music too, I'm just not sure which country it's from...

"The only thing worse than a guitar is a guitarist!"
- Lydia Lunch

aliensporebomb

What I found out is that where the VG-99 had the ability to set guitar to midi actuation threshold the SY-1000 so far as I can tell seems to need a higher than normal amount of pick pressure to actuate a note.  I didn't think that GK Sens had any effect on the SY but I will doublecheck.  My life has been extremely busy of late so maybe later today if I'm lucky.
My music projects online at http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

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

sixeight

Quote from: aliensporebomb on January 28, 2024, 06:25:29 AMWhat I found out is that where the VG-99 had the ability to set guitar to midi actuation threshold the SY-1000 so far as I can tell seems to need a higher than normal amount of pick pressure to actuate a note.  I didn't think that GK Sens had any effect on the SY but I will doublecheck.  My life has been extremely busy of late so maybe later today if I'm lucky.

I find if I play soft, some notes just do not register on the SY. And the velocity has to stay maxed out, otherwise it only gets worse.

Brak(E)man

I've found that's similar to my first findings with the OSC synth
QuoteHalfway up , then I get misstrigs in the form of no trigs.
Which is odd , I have the GK sensitivity high compared to what's recommended on this forum and I pick hard.
Off or at 1 on low velocity cut,  that's it , past that no go...

https://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=27794.0
swimming with a hole in my body

I play Country music too, I'm just not sure which country it's from...

"The only thing worse than a guitar is a guitarist!"
- Lydia Lunch

arkieboy

I think an important questions to ask yourself is 'how wedded am I to 13 pin' and 'how urgently do I need to replace my VG-99'?

From what Elantric was saying, his friends at Boss have hinted that there is to be at least one GK Serial product released this year.  You would have to assume that this product will be a wave-shaping VG-99/SY-1000 style unit so if your need isn't urgent, and especially if you could jump to GK Serial, then it might be best to hang tight for the moment and see how the releases play out.

I don't think it's clear precisely what this product is going to do - lots of people are hoping for a reprised GR-55, or an updated SY-300.  I don't think so - if I were a betting man, I'd put my money on several VG-99/SY-1000 derived releases, with smaller (200 series) boxes doing specialist tasks with easy-to-use controls, plus a bigger box (500 or 800 series) with more comprehensive functionality.  For the 200 units I'm imagining an acoustic guitar modeller with selectors for body style and tuning; something similar for electric guitars that also manages your regular pickup sound so it integrates with your normal pedal board.

We could also get more crazy stuff if Roland has their software platform nicely integrated and these things are easy to punch out - how about the OSC synth from the SY-1000 and GP-10 but with the new GM-800 tracking algorithm and full editing capabilities from the font panel?  Or a GR-100 equivalent in a 200 series box?

Boss has some form with this - they have cannibalised the VG-99 for different individual functions before.
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

vanceg

I suspect these are very good assumptions about what Boss may be up to.  It would be logical to proceed this way, and as you point t out - they've pulled out various sub-sets of features from flagships over the years and put them into smaller, single purpose, units.  Now that they have an easy way to send multichannel audio and control from one unit to another, one might think they'd take advantage of this.

arkieboy

Quote from: arkieboy on January 28, 2024, 03:54:13 PMI think an important questions to ask yourself is 'how wedded am I to 13 pin' and 'how urgently do I need to replace my VG-99'?

From what Elantric was saying, his friends at Boss have hinted that there is to be at least one GK Serial product released this year.

FTR Bill Ruppert seemed to downplay this later in the same thread.  Maybe I was putting two and two together and getting 5!
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

Elantric

QuoteFrom what Elantric was saying, his friends at Boss have hinted that there is to be at least one GK Serial product released this year.

Products compatible and expand upon the The GK SERIAL (A2B BUS) ecosystem will arrive throughout 2024

IMH1234

Quote from: Elantric on January 29, 2024, 01:11:36 AMProducts compatible and expand upon the The GK SERIAL (A2B BUS) ecosystem will arrive throughout 2024

Whatever these may be this is good news - we know the Roland/Boss tend to make some infuriating choices in that functionality they include/omit in each successive release but at least they are continuing to support guitar synthesis with a range of products. Lets hope at least one of these is a indisputable future classic

Slappy_G

I'm eagerly watching this space.  I have had my VG-99 and FC-300 for a while now and I really enjoy using them, but I use them in a small band with some friends, and not for touring or stage use typically.  I have a Fender/Roland Ready Strat that I got used a couple years ago.  This is the old classic from the early 2000s that is a normal Mexican Strat with an added pre-installed GK-3 pickup and switches.

My biggest issue is the cost/fragility of the 13-pin cables and the risk of a broken VG-99 being unrepairable.  Recently, I have seen that turning my Patch Level knob, in addition to changing patch volume also pops up a second message saying "Control unassigned" which I am hoping is not a sign my circuit board is failing.

I don't typically do a lot of the features like Harmonizer or Poly Slow Gear that really use the GK pickup to its fullest, though I do use the guitar modeling and acoustic/nylon/sitar pretty frequently.  I also don't really care about pitch-to-MIDI.  Given those statements, I had been assuming the GT-1000 would be the logical next step, but is the SY-1000 really a superset of the GT-1000 or not quite?  If a new product is yet to come, I would love to hold out hope for a "VG-1000" or whatever even if it meant I'd have to have the built-in GK pickup swapped out for a newer one.

arkieboy

Quote from: Slappy_G on January 30, 2024, 07:04:26 PMGiven those statements, I had been assuming the GT-1000 would be the logical next step, but is the SY-1000 really a superset of the GT-1000 or not quite?  If a new product is yet to come, I would love to hold out hope for a "VG-1000" or whatever even if it meant I'd have to have the built-in GK pickup swapped out for a newer one.
The GT-1000 is a guitar fx and amplifier modelling unit, like the Line6 Helix, Quad Cortex and AxeFX.  It will sort out your regular guitar, but do very little about your need for acoustic guitar sounds.

The SY-1000 is not quite a superset, but how much that 'not quite' is depends on your application.  IIRC the GT-1000 has two guitar signal paths (like the VG99) whereas the SY-1000 has one, but you can use the COSM instruments as simple regular guitar inputs with their own amp sim - but no FX before the amp - and get a total of four guitar paths. 

I think you probably get more effects blocks with the GT, and those blocks have more processing power for more complex effects, but honestly I've not met a real world guitar-rig need that I can't get a sound perfectly good enough for live (ed. out of the SY), and unless the sound is very exposed, high quality demos.  With the SY you get blocks that sound like a generic tape delay and spring reverb, whereas with the GT you get a Roland Space Echo sim - you'll hardly notice the difference if drums are playing though.

(ed.) There is also AIRD, but I've not had chance to do a side-by-side comparison to see the difference it makes

Like I say, I think Boss' ultimate aim is to unbundle the SY1000/VG99/GR55 and sell you two or three (cheaper) boxes in their place (but your overall spend could be more!), with options on how sophisticated those boxes are.

I'd put money aside incase the '99 fails, but hang tight.

(ed.  missed a couple of points)
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

I would definitely hang in there and see what boss come out with this year. It might just meet your needs better and if not there will be plenty of options to pick up the legacy units

aliensporebomb

If you could give me an idea of some of the tunings I could punch them into the SY to see if they would work well - I know sometimes custom tunings can be a bit dodgy but...   Yeah, give me some to check out and I'll post a recording.
My music projects online at http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

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