Roland GR-55 Bass Sound Samples



Here are some sound samples recorded with my Roland GR-55.

Note I'm a self-taught, intermediate player. While I have no previous Roland GK experience I do have a fair amount of pitch tracking experience with hardware effects such as BOSS OC-2 analog mono octaver, BOSS SE-70 synth effects, BOSS VF-1 synth effects, BOSS GT-10B synth effects, Sonuus B2M pitch-to-MIDI (fast tracking but wayyyyy too glitchy), and various pitch tracking VST such as FrettedSynth (excellent and free), KORG MS-20 (also tracks pitch well on upper frets of bass), and pretty much every other software pitch-to-MIDI attempt (all with too much latency).  

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Hop over to the VGuitar Forums to chat about the GR-55, access other user patches, get tips and help, and more!

My quick review:

  • Pros: You're going to buy this for the PCM SYNTH functionality and not as a full featured multieffects like the GT-10 / GT-10B; it is hands down the most full featured guitar / bass hardware synth product on the market with tons and Tons and TONS of parameters to control the synth; a huge amount of synth voices to choose from; 2 synth voices which are blendable or configured to turn on/off by envelope or string splits; full ADSR VCF and VCA; two LFO for each PCM synth (though they cannot control a lot of parameters) plus LFO via assigns (which can control just about anything); good sounding COSM bass when in bass mode; good sounding COSM guitar when in guitar mode; lots of useful effects.
  • Cons: Honestly, there's a lot of cons with this unit which is why you buy it for the PCM synth functionality specifically. Even then there's no arpeggiator (hello, this is a synth product right?); no harmonizer; truly poor bass amp sims and no Ampeg sim at all (bangs head on desk); no bass-specific effects and no clean/bottom blend as seen with the GT-10 / GT-10B; while there are a lot of useful effects provided you are limited to running just two effects simultaneously and they're restrictively placed into two blocks which prevents you from running drive and wah effects simultaneously - really it's extremely poorly designed as a general multieffects when compared to the BOSS GT-10 / GT-10B or Line6 floorboard products; still no MIDI Thru (what-the-WHAT?); still no way to control when the LFO period start and instead they just run on and on on their own with a period starting who-knows-when (I ask them about this with every product release, Line6 lets you set the LFO period start via tap tempo even when in MIDI sync mode); still no BOSS / Roland provided user forum, editor software or patch repository (hello it's 2011, the 1990's called and want to know where your Line6 competing editor and online library is!!!); no MIDI IN to trigger PCM synths which makes using this product basically useless for reamping synths (you cannot score in MIDI in your DAW and trigger the GR-55 with that and record it's output). 
Conclusion: Honestly, this is my absolute FAVORITE synth device, it's letting me do things I've always wanted but couldn't, and things I didn't even think I wanted to do. It totally kicks butt for live synth fun. But has wayyyy too many bang-your-head-on-the-desk functional omissions which simply have to be intentional for whatever reason. Mostly it seems to make users mad so they have to buy the GR-56 which includes all the stuff I want like arpegiator, LFO with period reset, external MIDI triggering of internal sounds so I can do some non-live recording.

Roland GK-3B 




MP3 Patch Download
(right-click and choose Save As)
Description Instrument Used Interface Used MODENotes
2013
n/aPiano sounds
Peavy Fury P, D'Adarrio rounds, fingerM-Audio Profire
BassBOSS Clean Amp sim, mild compressor, then a single PCM piano voice set to monochromatic. I cycle through most of the acoustic piano voices. There's also a ton of electric, organ, and other keys to choose from. Sorry, mixed the piano voice too high on the GR-55, probably could've panned them so you could solo them easier.
COSM instruments VS real instruments. 
n/aCOSM JazzSquier Jazz, D'Adarrio rounds, fingerGR-55 USBBassBOSS Clean Amp sim, no additional processing. 
n/aCOSM JazzSquier Jazz, D'Adarrio rounds, pickGR-55 USBBassBOSS Clean Amp sim, no additional processing. 
n/aCOSM P BassSquier Jazz, D'Adarrio rounds, fingerGR-55 USBBassBOSS Clean Amp sim, no additional processing. 
n/aCOSM P BassSquier Jazz, D'Adarrio rounds, pickGR-55 USBBassBOSS Clean Amp sim, no additional processing. 
n/aReal BassLakland Duck Dunn, Lindy Fralin pickup, D'Adarrio rounds, tone 1/2 down, fingerGR-55 USBBassBOSS Clean Amp sim, no additional processing. 
n/aReal BassLakland Duck Dunn, Lindy Fralin pickup, D'Adarrio rounds, tone 1/2 down, pickGR-55 USBBassBOSS Clean Amp sim, no additional processing. 
n/aReal BassLakland DPLEII, Darkstar pickup, LaBella flats, tone slightly down, fingerGR-55 USBBassBOSS Clean Amp sim, no additional processing.
n/aReal BassLakland DPLEII, Darkstar pickup, LaBella flats, tone slightly down, pickGR-55 USBBassBOSS Clean Amp sim, no additional processing. G
n/aCOSM Jazz & PLakland 44-60, GHS piccolo strings, pickGR-55 USBGuitarBass Crunch Amp sim, no additional processing. 
n/aReal Bass, COSM J, P, MusicManSquier Jazz, D'Adarrio rounds, fingerGR-55 USBBassSquier Jazz, front pickup full, rear puckup about 20%, tone full, straight through bypass compared to Jazz, PB, and Music Man all set to tone full. All straight bypass, no amps.
MIDI OUT
n/aMIDI Out to VSTSquier Jazz, D'Adarrio rounds, fingerGR-55 USBBassI'm not extremely skilled with software VST synths, but generally you need to adjust the ASDR and parameters to provide fast playing response, and heavily adjust for pitch bend response which is usually a huge cause of "bad" MIDI out performance if your pitch-to-MIDI device provides pitch bend at all. Setup is both audio and MIDI provided via the GR-55 USB into separate tracks in Reaper. I used ReaperSyn with a 0ms attack. You'll note that the synth doesn't reproduce quick notes. However, reviewing the actual MIDI data shows the GR-55 is in fact providing two triggers. So I'm assuming it's something I'm doing wrong with ReaperSyn, or the voice and parameters I've chosen simply cannot produce those fast notes. Here's some supporting screenshots to illustrate the relative MIDI out lag on the E string, and the raw MIDI data generated from my playing.  GR-55 BASS MODE.


EFFECTS
n/aGT-10B vs GR-55Lakland DPLEII, Darkstar pickup, LaBella flats, tone slightly down, fingerGR-55 USBBassComparing the GT-10B amp sim patch that I've been using (comp, light OD, Ampeg bass sim, EQ, then chorus) in mono. The GR-55 clean bass amp only, then MOD chorus, then MFX Space-D, them master chorus all in stereo. All set to effects set to rate 40, depth 50.  One thing with the GR-55 is that there's not a lot of controls over the chorus compared to the GT-10B, and most of the GR-55 effects have no clean blend which is typically bad for bass players (read: usually a loss of low end). GT-10B, then the GR-55 and the three different chorus. I forgot to do the GR-55 hexa chorus.  GR-55 BASS MODE.
PCM SYNTH
n/aAll PCM Bass Synth TonesSquier Jazz, D'Adarrio rounds, fingerGR-55 USBBassPCM 1 synth only, set to -1 octave, played around 12th fret, all other synth parameters off or at minimum. Not run through any additional effects or processing. Note that each PCM responds differently to the same playing as you'll hear. Some have annoying attack noises, you can negate that by adjusting TVA attack up from 0. Glitching is likely from my playing though it seems some PCM seems to glitch more than others for whatever reason. Simple riff with a hammer off to show portamento (if any) and regular finger playing. I step through all of the Bass Synth PCM tones # 228 - 314  So go get a drink, this is going to take a while (13 minutes / 12MB). GR-55 BASS MODE.
n/aPCM tracking & performanceSquier Jazz, D'Adarrio rounds, fingerGR-55 USBBassCOSM bass panned right, PCM tone # 228 MG BASS 1 panned left and set to OCT=0 for fastest tracking. Played finger, eventually run down to open low E.
n/aPCM tracking & performanceLakland 44-60 Jazz, GHS piccolo stringsGR-55 USBGuitarNormal pickup panned one side, PCM tone # 228 MG BASS 1 panned the other. Note the open low E doesn't track well in this mode, none of the open strings do. But everything else feels faster and more responsive as compared to normal strings in bass mode.
n/aPCM portamentoSquier Jazz, D'Adarrio rounds, fingerGR-55 USBBassDual PCM leveraging super fun portamento, envelope based chorus, string splits for PCM2 to ramp down pitch on only the G string, minor chorus and EQ. Apparently I need to start using that 55Hz or 110Hz low cut on all of my patches to eliminate subsonic frequencies.
n/aPCM upgright bassSquier Jazz, D'Adarrio rounds, fingerGR-55 USBBassAcoustic upright bass. Bowed, then fingered. I always forget there's built in vibrato on most orchestral and wind instrument voices. So I mangled the end of the bowed sample by adding my own vibrato via playing before I remembered. String bends sound natural and good. The bowed PCM tone is very sensitive to pitch tracking (read: glitching) and triggers better played in the upper registered and then octave shifted down, in my opinion.
n/aMono PCM triggering from non-GK instrumentLakland Duck Dunn, Lindy Fralin pickup, D'Adarrio rounds, tone slightly down, pick (no GK-3B)GR-55 USBBassI installed a DIY FX Send / Return loop that allows a non-GK instrument to route to the normal pickup signal.  I then used this pickup signal and jumpered it to GK PIN1 for PCM triggering directly from the pickup without any Roland GK pickup used at all. Read more here.
n/aLive PCM triggeringLakland 44-60 Jazz, GHS Piccolo strings, pickedGR-55 USBGuitarTwo different live PCM patches played totally live against a simple Addictive Drums factory beat arrangement. Showcases the GR-55 tracking setup using a bass guitar strung piccolo in GR-55 guitar mode. Also showcases my intermediate playing skills.

Mono PCM triggering from non-GK instrumentLakland Duck Dunn, Lindy Fralin pickup (no GK-3B)GR-55 USBBassI installed a DIY FX Send / Return loop that allows a non-GK instrument to route to the normal pickup signal.  I then used this pickup signal and jumpered it to GK PIN1 for PCM triggering directly from the pickup without any Roland GK pickup used at all. Read more here.  Drums by Addictive Drums. Dual PCM with one sent through amp sim, the other through MFX beat synced and input triggered slicer for cool evolving decay that sounds totally, at least in my opinion, like a sequenced synth.  You definitely lose playing speed with mono triggering, at least when jumping strings. But otherwise it's a breath of freedom not being tethered by a GK-3B pickup and controller.
Live PCM triggeringLakland 44-60 Jazz, GHS Piccolo strings, pickedGR-55 USBGuitarDual-PCM patch setup with a string split. Low strings trigger a bass synth into a beat synced slicer, which ends up sounding like a delay due to the decay of the synth tone. High strings are a basic synth lead type sound into delay. Synth parts are played totally live which is the benefit of a string split using the GK-3B. As you can hear I personally lack the performance and timing skills necessary to keep tightly synced to a 140bpm percussion track but it's probably good practice for me to keep trying. 
n/a
Live PCM triggeringn/an/aGuitarMy entire patch list to date. What you'll see is a variety of generically named patches in the beginning that are single voiced building block patches I think typically leverage from to create more custom patches which you'll recognize by their less generic names. Some of these are likely duplicates of patches shared above, some of the building block patches have a -6 low-mid EQ applied which I tried to correct but I'm guessing I missed that in some of the patches.






Last updated 10-29-2013 

 

 
 

 

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