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Author Topic: ADA Gear Combined with Guitar Synth?  (Read 217 times)

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Harley Hexxe

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ADA Gear Combined with Guitar Synth?
« on: Time Format »

Richard,

   To reply to your post in the New Speaker Day thread, I'll say that was my original idea was to get a guitar synthesizer module and run it separately from my guitar amp rig. It seems like the CG-1 Strat I bought would give me that ability. It's basically a standard MIM Stratocaster with the magnetic pickups and 1/4" output jack, but there is only a volume and tone pot for the guitar. What would normally be the 2nd tone knob is actually a volume for the synth. There is a three-way mini toggle that lets you select guitar, synth, or both. There are also two push buttons under the guitar volume knob that lets you scroll up or down the synth programs. On the side of the guitar, under the jack is a 13-pin socket to connect to your synth module. No wireless on this guitar, you're on a double leash.

Connecting the 13-pin plug into the GP-10 gives me a blend of the guitar and synth effects, albeit a limited amount of synth programs. A few of them are cool and kind of useful, and there is a good version of the GR-300 synth in this. The problem here is that if you only use the 13-pin plug, the guitars are mostly the virtual guitars that are in the pedal. There are a few programs that allow the actual guitar pickups through and have added effects with it, which is kind of why I bought it. I wanted to see how this might work as a fly rig kind of thing. It's not too shabby, but it certainly can't replace my ADA rig, or any other actual guitar amp for that matter. That is my initial impression, and that could change as I get into the editing and experiment with it more. Last Thursday, when I got it, I had my guitar plugged into my GK 250ML, and the 13-pin plug into the GP-10. The speakers in the GK were shut off, and I was running both the amp and the GP-10 into my audio interface. I found it difficult to get a good mix, since the GP-10 effects and synths were set more as background sounds to the default guitars in the pedal.

I have a feeling the GR-55 is going to be much the same process since in addition to being more guitar synth based, it is also a guitar processor like the GP-10. Essentially, it's the synth module and a VG-99 system with the COSM amp modeling and IR processors too. However, Steve Stevens uses one with his rig and it sounds killer. I've been a longtime fan of his for his imaginative use of effects in his music. What I may have to do is run these processors out to their own power amps and cabs and blend them with my guitar amp rig.

The SY-1000 seems to be a dedicated guitar synthesizer though, and of course, it's the most expensive one of the GK pickup family that will work with this guitar.

I'm probably going to pick up one of those next and give it a go. In the meantime, I'll keep experimenting with this little box and see what I can get out of it and determine what kind of application in the real world it's best suited for.
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Dante

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Re: ADA Gear Combined with Guitar Synth?
« Reply #1 on: Time Format »

I had a guitar synth for a while, it was fun but more trouble than it was worth for me. We used it for horn parts and keyboard parts, but I found myself playing the guitar entirely different when it was a piano or organ. No strumming down the strings, that sounded wrong, had to pluck multiple strings at once to emulate a true piano chord. It was a pain. As soon as I was out of that band, I sold that damn thing. The best solo patch I had was actually a harmonica.

It was a GR-30, I had the midi pickup attached to the top of my guitar with double sided velcro (didn't want extra holes in my guitar). I have a great story about that unit:

Playing on St' Patty's day, we had a great gig despite our rhythm guitarist having waaaaaaay too much green beer. After the gig, I'm tearing down my stuff, and he spills a FULL cup of beer on top of my pedal board, causing a puddle of beer to gather on the top of the GR-30 (it's shaped just like a tray, and it was full of beer). I cringed as I watched the beer quickly drain down into the GR-30! Ahhhhhhh, I felt like I was watching it slowly die.

Next day,  I plug it in, yup....it's dead. Nothing happens.

I pulled it apart, found out it was a giant PCB with knobs and buttons attached that simply poked through the case. The whole inside stunk like day-old beer and it was sticky all over. So, I took the PCB outside, literally hosed it off with water and left it in the sun to dry. Came back later and found some sticky spots of beer residue, washed them off with a damp rag, let it dry for another day.

Next day, I plug in the PCB (still not in it's plastic case) and it comes on! It seems to work!!!

I put it back together and it never gave me any more trouble....I think it worked better than before - haha!

Pic below of the unit I had
« Last Edit: Time Format by Dante »
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: ADA Gear Combined with Guitar Synth?
« Reply #2 on: Time Format »

Dante,

  It sounds like you converted it from a work horse to party animal! You should have kept it at that point.  :lol:

  I know what you mean, and it's true, you do have to change the way you work the synth for certain instruments. I knew that going in. I'll figure out how to do what I need to get the textures I want.

  The GP-10 has a harmonica in it. I don't have a use for it just yet, but I'm just getting into it. So far, some of the useful non-guitar sounds in it are Synth Bass, Dual Sync, GR-300, (which you can play chords with), Sequencer Tap & Hold, Synth Pedal Blend, Clean Bass, Slow Pad Filter, Hyper Wah, Synched Sequencer, Oscillating Crystal, Crystal Bell, Soft Brass, Chorus Strings, Synth Mix Solo, Strings, Expression Pedal Follower, Rotary Crystal, Fretless Bass,  and the Heavy Funk Drive.

   Three of these I listed have modeled guitar  mixed in with the synth effects, and several of the others I didn't mention also have that, but the synth sounds are so far in the background, you barely hear it. In most cases, I'm not interested in the modeled guitars it offers. Then this also offers a wide variety of guitar oriented effects, but half of them don't use your actual guitar pickups. There are some patches that do use your guitar and you can set up your effects chain the way you want it, (I think), so that could be useful for using this as a stand alone fly rig.

   Overall, if I had to rate this pedal at this early stage, I would say there's about 40% of the things I hear that I can actually use as a guitar player. If I have a gig where I can't use an amp, and have to go into the mixing desk, this could be a very good tool for that if I edit it correctly. As a fly rig, If I go to Best Buys, and get a small zipper case for it and its cables, I can put it in the glove box of my car or truck, and go. That's pretty cool.

    So far, that's all I can say at the moment. I've been having fun with it though. The manual is rather brief on each topic, but it may be enough to guide me through it. I'm counting on my experience with multiple signal processors to be able to figure out editing parameters in this. I'll be posting more on this GP-10 as I gain a bit more experience with it.

   When I get any of the other Roland guitar synth modules, I'll probably post them in this thread rather than start a new one.
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: ADA Gear Combined with Guitar Synth?
« Reply #3 on: Time Format »

Okay, an update on this set up so far.

I've been doing a lot of experimenting with this GP-10 and trying different ways of combining guitar and synth sounds. I'm really not too impressed with just going with the 13-pin connection.

It seems the best sonic blends I'm getting are using the guitar jack to a dedicated amp, and the synth effects into its own system. This means a separate stereo amp and speakers for the GP-10, with the blend switch on the guitar set to synth only. You can use the "both" position on this switch, but I find that the V-guitar tones will often drown out the synth tones behind it. Plus, when you mix that V-guitar with your guitar tones coming from your amp, it sounds weird. This isn't really going to cut it IMHO as far as a fly rig goes. Apparently, I'd need to bring an extra power amp and speakers for the synth sounds. That's the kind of rig I expect to use with the GR-55.

As a straight up effects pedal, bypassing any synth effects, it gives you the Boss quality type of effects you'd expect. Not bad, but nothing spectacular. For that matter, I could run it through the effects loop of my rigs. I haven't tried that yet, but that's next.
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rnolan

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Re: ADA Gear Combined with Guitar Synth?
« Reply #4 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley, very interesting journey.  BTW I'm also a big Steve Stevens fan.
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: ADA Gear Combined with Guitar Synth?
« Reply #5 on: Time Format »

Richard,

  It's interesting to see if it lives up to the hype. I'm also a fan of Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, who uses one of these for session work. He claims he just takes this and his guitar and plugs into the desk with it. I can see that with an engineer working you into a mix. I'm not really convinced at this point it would work beyond a certain point as a live fly rig.
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Dante

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Re: ADA Gear Combined with Guitar Synth?
« Reply #6 on: Time Format »

Y'know, the last time I was in the studio (who knows, maybe the last time I'll record), it took a good half hour to dial in our other guitarists' Line6 pedal board that he runs directly into the PA. It took 2 minutes to dial in my Peavey Classic 20mh.

20 watts of fury beats 128 patches of modeling

rnolan

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Re: ADA Gear Combined with Guitar Synth?
« Reply #7 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley, well it would be great if you can tune it to do both, it's allot of sound(s) in a small and light box.
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: ADA Gear Combined with Guitar Synth?
« Reply #8 on: Time Format »

Y'know, the last time I was in the studio (who knows, maybe the last time I'll record), it took a good half hour to dial in our other guitarists' Line6 pedal board that he runs directly into the PA. It took 2 minutes to dial in my Peavey Classic 20mh.

20 watts of fury beats 128 patches of modeling

Nothing beats real amplifiers. That was never in question. The real question with this particular pedal was would it be good enough to gig without an amp? So far, I'm not hearing it that way.
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: ADA Gear Combined with Guitar Synth?
« Reply #9 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley, well it would be great if you can tune it to do both, it's allot of sound(s) in a small and light box.

Richard, I can have it do both, I just need to use a real amp with the guitar part of the overall sound. There are still a few other cabling ideas I want to try though. I want to try this  in a 4CM set up, then there is the option of trying it in the loop for the effects only, (not including the synth portions of the sound). It's kind of a neat thing to mess around with at home, but I still need to take a deep dive into the editing and see what I can do with it.
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rnolan

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Re: ADA Gear Combined with Guitar Synth?
« Reply #10 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley, an option for using it in a loop would be combine it with your MP-2.  As the MP-2 stereo parallel loop is just before the cab sim outs, it's very similar (if not slightly better for recording) to a standard 4CM.  But then you have other rack FX you can use that way  :dunno:

I saw some soft rack thingys a while ago and thought about a 2 RU with MP-2 plus rack FX unit.  Then you just need either a stereo amp set up for live or plug cab sim outs into a desk (or both).  A bit bigger and heavier than where you are going with the GP-10, MP-2s have a bit of weight to them, but with a shoulder strap it would be like a big laptop and be carry on on a plane.  Although you'd still need a lead bag or some such for the midi pedal etc.

The last session I did I just took my 4 RU MP-2 rack (MP-2, Midiverb 4 (in MP-2 loop) and B200s).  I didn't need the power amp and just went into the desk with the cab sim XLR outs.  I also have a small suit case thingy (like every one uses on planes) for my MXC, expression pedal and leads.  I even manage to fit one of those small folding guitar stands in it. 

It will be interesting to see how you go when you deep dive into the editing.  From the review I watched, his main apprehension for using The GP-10 live was it has no banks and you can only go up or down with the patch selection.


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Harley Hexxe

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Re: ADA Gear Combined with Guitar Synth?
« Reply #11 on: Time Format »

Richard,

  I went to the Roland/Boss site to try to get some more info on the effects that are in this pedal, specifically, I'm looking for some kind of chart or table that tells you what kind of effect it is and what kind of parameters I can edit. There is nothing apart from the very brief and nearly useless info in the owner's manual. When I try to do a search on the site for info on the GP-10, it says "No Data Available.

That's very odd for a pedal still in production IMHO.  :dunno:
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rnolan

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Re: ADA Gear Combined with Guitar Synth?
« Reply #12 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley, that's really disappointing, I'd expect better from Roland. Although it seems to be a trend over the years with most things. 

I expect the best way would be to download the BOSS Tone Studio driver (https://www.boss.info/global/support/by_product/gp-10/updates_drivers/) and the corresponding manual for it (https://static.roland.com/assets/media/pdf/BTS_GP-10_e03_W.pdf).  The Tone Studio manual seems to detail the FX etc. with lots of pics. And IIRC the review I watched said it was the best way to access everything, also to set up Live Sets, groups of patches.  I was going to attach the manual but it's over 6MB (lots of colour pics in it) however the 2nd link above takes you straight there.  What was a bit confusing (at first) is the alphabetic listings for the various bits and pieces isn't alphabetic within each letter group, i.e. under G the GP-10 is toward the top of the listing, not down lower near or just before the GT-x listings (which you might expect  :dunno: ).
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: ADA Gear Combined with Guitar Synth?
« Reply #13 on: Today at 09:15 AM »

Richard,

   I've just been going through some of the effects in it on my own. As I spend a bit more time with it and get deeper into it, I'll probably figure out what I need to do.

   I'm just getting into it and tweaking things. If I don't like what I'm hearing, I'll exit it and start over.
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