Borrowed GD: My Teacher Is Awesome
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Thread: Borrowed GD: My Teacher Is Awesome

  1. #1


    Join Date: Jun 2010
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
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    Borrowed GD: My Teacher Is Awesome

    I've been learning from my teacher for many donkey years, from general rock/jazz then switching to classical guitar exclusively. He's been aware of all the different genres I've been involved in so he decides to throw me a curve ball; he offered to lend me his old Roland GR300 Guitar Synth for the purpose of making music with it. Even if I already own a Boss SY300, the prospect was just too good to turn down.



    When I got the rig, the pedal was working fine but the guitar was unplayable due to being in storage since 1991. So I got my tech to refurbish it for him at my expense and did a quick crappy clip using it.

    This is a full vintage proto/pre midi rig. The cable used for the synth is so ancient my tech (who's notorious for nicknaming my instruments) called it "I Can't Believe It's Not SCSI". The Roland Guitar itself sounds pretty good (like an MIJ Fender) but I'm currently all about the analog synth tones. And it can certainly do all the fat moog/oberheim sounds. Controls aren't as intensive as the newer digital units like my SY300 but the sound is still great.

    I'll definitely be using this on my next solo effort.


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  3. #2


    Join Date: May 2012
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    That looks like tons of fun to mess around with! Enjoy!!

  4. #3


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    Scsi cable

    That would be a blast. Couldn't tell by the photo but are you running all the same gauge strings on it? Back in the day guys used to string up synth guitars with all 9s because it tracked better.
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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  6. #4


    Join Date: Jun 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vegetta View Post
    Scsi cable <img src="https://www.metalguitarist.org/forum/images/smilies/laugh.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Laugh" class="inlineimg" />

    That would be a blast. Couldn't tell by the photo but are you running all the same gauge strings on it? Back in the day guys used to string up synth guitars with all 9s because it tracked better.
    I got my tech to put 9-42 Optiwebs, because I didn't know any better. I didn't notice much, and the current gauge tracked fine. So fine to the point of near unforgiving. Small errors will make unwanted string noise (you can hear some on my vid link) and I was really treading lightly to get that as clean as I could.

    I might lighten the string gauge to 8-38 some time down the line.

  7. #5


    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloody_Inferno View Post
    I got my tech to put 9-42 Optiwebs, because I didn't know any better. I didn't notice much, and the current gauge tracked fine. So fine to the point of near unforgiving. Small errors will make unwanted string noise (you can hear some on my vid link) and I was really treading lightly to get that as clean as I could.

    I might lighten the string gauge to 8-38 some time down the line.
    Flatwounds or all-unwound strings (as Vegetta mentioned) might really help with the oversensitivity problem. Once you play around a bit, you'll probably notice that the problem is mainly on the wound strings.

    By the way, I'm pretty sure that this is the same 13-pin system that Roland still uses for the GR-55 and VG-99. The cables are a pain because they are fragile and difficult/expensive to replace. However, you could could use the GR-300 with any Roland-Ready Strat with a hex-pickup built-in, or a Godin that has the 13-pin piezo-based system built-in. The Godin would probably track better than the Roland hex pickup does.

  8. #6


    Join Date: Jun 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacksonplayer View Post
    Flatwounds or all-unwound strings (as Vegetta mentioned) might really help with the oversensitivity problem. Once you play around a bit, you'll probably notice that the problem is mainly on the wound strings.

    By the way, I'm pretty sure that this is the same 13-pin system that Roland still uses for the GR-55 and VG-99. The cables are a pain because they are fragile and difficult/expensive to replace. However, you could could use the GR-300 with any Roland-Ready Strat with a hex-pickup built-in, or a Godin that has the 13-pin piezo-based system built-in. The Godin would probably track better than the Roland hex pickup does.
    Cheers for that. My teacher used rubber bands on the nut to compensate from over sensitivity and I've just grabbed a hair tie. Didn't think of using flatwounds, I'll have to consider it.

    You're right about the 13 pin cable, and it was miraculous that of all the components that lasted, the cable lasted longer than the guitar.

  9. #7


    Join Date: Jan 2013
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    You didn't record the careless whisper clip?

  10. #8


    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloody_Inferno View Post
    Cheers for that. My teacher used rubber bands on the nut to compensate from over sensitivity and I've just grabbed a hair tie. Didn't think of using flatwounds, I'll have to consider it.
    You could also experiment around with the height of the hex pickup. Too low, and you'll miss notes. Too high, and every single contact with the strings will generate a note.

    I've owned both a GR-33 and a VG-99. Started with a Godin Freeway SA and ended up using a Roland-Ready Strat.

    The GR-33 was sample-based (more like the leading synths at the time it was released) rather than the pure synthesis of the GR-300. It was fun to play "piano" and "sax" on the guitar, but the patches weren't up to the standards of the better keyboards of the time, and the guitar controller introduced too many artifacts for those patches to be convincing. Pad sounds and mono lead patches were fantastic, though, especially layered in with regular guitar sounds. Anything percussive didn't work very well.

    I mention the VG-99 here because any 13-pin controller can use it. Unless you're looking to go weird, the sounds are not convincing for studio use, It's very cool for a live gig requiring a zillion different guitar/amp combos, though. Tracking isn't an issue, but programming it is very time-consuming.

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