Roland releases new GR-55 guitar synth
(Dave Molter | Posted 2011-01-16)
Roland's new GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer is an affordable entry into the guitar synthesizer market that uses technology derived from the company's highly acclaimed VG-99 V-Guitar System. The GR-55 represents
Rolandís latest breakthrough advances in guitar synthesis, offering playability, features,
and sound quality that far surpasses the capabilities of previous generations of guitar
The GR-55 is the pinnacle of Rolandís exhaustive efforts in the field of guitar synthesis
over the last 35 years. In 1977, the company created the GR-500, the worldís first guitar
synthesizer. This milestone product ushered in a new era of guitar expression, allowing
guitarists to play an entire palette of sounds that were previously available only to
keyboard players. Since then, Roland has remained steadfastly dedicated to guitar
synthesis, constantly developing and improving the technology to make it accessible and
easy to use for all guitarists.
Driven by Rolandís 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
Rolandís 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 (COSMģ), the guitar modeling technology behind Rolandís famous VG-99 VGuitar
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 guitarís 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
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-55ís 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 Rolandís industry-standard 13-pin GK interface. It is
possible to use a GR-55 as an effect processor for a non-GK equipped guitar, but to
access the GR-55ís enormous palette of sounds, guitarists must use an instrument
equipped with a GK-compatible pickup, such as Rolandís GK-3 Divided Pickup. 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.
Street price for the GR-55 averages $750 USD.
From information in a press release and on the Roland website: www.rolandconnect.com.