Roland GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer
In stock at Guitar Center
Roland's GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer is a revolutionary new product combining PCM synthesis with digital instrument modeling derived from the respected VG-99 V-Guitar System. The GR-55 represents Roland's latest breakthrough advances in guitar synthesis, offering playability, features, and sound quality that far surpasses the capabilities of previous generations of guitar synthesizers.
Driven by Roland's newest proprietary digital processing technology, the GR-55 delivers lightning-fast tracking performance and previously impossible sound-making capabilities. It features two independent synthesizer sound engines, each loaded with over 900 of Roland's latest sounds, including pianos, organs, strings, vintage and modern synths, percussion, and many more. A third sound engine is driven by Composite Object Sound Modeling (COSM), the guitar modeling technology behind Roland's famous VG-99 V-Guitar System. With COSM, the GR-55 can emulate electric and acoustic guitars, basses, and other instruments, as well as guitar and bass amplifiers.
The GR-55 allows players to combine all three sound engines, plus their guitar's normal input, to create any sound from the familiar to the original. An independent multi-effects processor is available for a huge array of tone-shaping options, plus global reverb, chorus, delay effects and EQ to add final sweetening to any sound.
The GR-55 puts guitarists instantly in touch with a huge library of amazing sounds, with no editing required. The onboard lineup of ready-to-use presets takes the pain out of the process, from pop to rock and beyond, with quick-access category buttons. Creating and editing sounds is a breeze for guitarists as well, thanks to a large LCD display, simple front panel, and the intuitive EZ Edit and Sound Style features. Also, onboard is a phrase looper that lets players capture on-the-fly recordings with unlimited sound-on-sound style overdubs.
The GR-55 also features a USB song player that lets users play WAV files stored on USB flash memory, and song playback can be controlled with the onboard pedals. The GR-55 also functions as an audio/MIDI interface for computers, with a rear-panel USB 2.0 port for a quick and easy connection. Users can easily integrate with their favorite digital audio workstation software, recording GR-55 sounds as audio in the DAW and using the GR-55's super-fast pitch-to-MIDI capabilities to trigger MIDI sounds such as virtual synths and samplers with their guitar.
The GR-55 is equipped with Roland's industry-standard 13-pin GK interface. To access the GR-55's enormous palette of sounds, guitarists must use an instrument equipped with a GK-compatible pickup such as Roland's GK-3 Divided Pickup, which is available with the GR-55 (see dropdown menu to the right and select the "With Pickup" option). The GK-3 can be easily installed on most steel string guitars with no modification to the instrument. In addition, many different GK-ready instruments are commercially available from various top guitar manufacturers.
Reviews From Buyers
I think the trouble with doing a review before the product comes out is that we get a lot of miss information. Like the one about volume control of different instruments for live blending and mixing. Now that the manual is out for download we can get deeper into the workings and abilities of the GR-55. In fact the engineers created quite a bit of control for volume permitters both live and pre-programed. First off is the Volume pedal which can serve multiple functions. Besides the the fact that you can put a volume pedal on the separate modeled guitar out there is midi control for an expression pedal. Now the engineers also created what they call "Virtual expression pedal system (Internal Pedal / Wave Pedal) By assigning a desired parameter to the virtual expression pedal, you can produce an effect as though you were operating a physical expression pedal to change the volume or tone quality in real time. These can be triggered by 5 different realtime control devices coming from the GR-55 pedal board (2) and the GK3 controller (3). Five realtime controls should be more than enough even for experimental music. This is not including the preprogramed volume parameter controls But I think a lot of musicians may not dig that deep into it which I stopped counting after 100 parameters between effect, multis, pcm, and u-name there is a volume adjustment for it. I like to set these type parameters ahead of time for the sound that I'm using and the song that I'm using it for then program the order of the set list that the band is playing. This makes it possible for me to think less about foot gymnastics and more on the music and expression of it. To that end I could defiantly utilize the the GR-55 with the Virtual volume control, internal pedal and a pedal for the guitar only out. I think Roland has hit a home run with this unit by combining COSM + Multi FX + Synth Combis all in one pedal board. I have one on order (w/GC) and will review again after I've had time to set it up properly and choose the guitar that I will put it on probably the strat. So personally I'm not worried about the realtime expression abilities of the GR-55. The Creation Part is the fun part!!