Any experience with Roland GK-kit for midi guitar?

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julian gifford
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:01 pm

Any experience with Roland GK-kit for midi guitar?

Post by julian gifford »

Customer/friend just called and said he wants this installed. Anyone use one before? Does it come with software? What do you think of this product?

Thanks,
Julian

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Mark Swanson
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Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan USA
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Re: Any experience with Roland GK-kit for midi guitar?

Post by Mark Swanson »

I haven't installed a kit, but I have and still use the GK-2 pickup and it does a good job.
  • Mark Swanson, guitarist, MIMForum Staff

Will Morrison
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Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:46 am

Re: Any experience with Roland GK-kit for midi guitar?

Post by Will Morrison »

I was actually just reading a VERY old copy of Electronic Musician and it has an article about that very thing. It says that placement is critical. It also said that the G string tends to be a bit too high on the pickup, and the author (Craig Anderton) actually filed it down (yikes!) to make it more like the standard pickup magnet height. Apparently it makes it respond more evenly. Here are his recommendatins for installing it:

1) Mount the pickup as close to the bridge as possible.

2) Set the pickup so that it's top surface is located about 1mm from the strings. He says to check the 1st and 6th strings, as no two bridges and hex pickups are the same.

3) Adjust the sensitivity of the furthest away strings to max, and adjust the pickup height at the 6th string for the proper indication on the GM70 LED VU meters. (Do you have that piece of equipment, too?

4) Adjust the pickup height so that it's as equidistant from the strings as possible.

5) Carefully adjust each sensitivity control for uniform response from each string This setting is critical.

6) You are now set up (hopefully) for optimum tracking if you're a string basher. If you play lighter, start moving the pickup closer to the strings, and readjust the sensitivity each time you make a pickup adjustment. Readjust and reset (a tedious process, he mentions). At some point things will just get worse, then back off just a bit.

7) after you've played with the system a bit and are familiar with it's personality, try the above steps once more and you'll be able to tweak things even closer to the ideal

Hope that helps. He says that once it's set up to work properly, the system works quite well, and that most people don't like it because they don't take the time to set it up right.

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Mark Swanson
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Re: Any experience with Roland GK-kit for midi guitar?

Post by Mark Swanson »

Those instructions are for the Roland GM-70 and the GK-1 pickup. The GM-70 is a MIDI converter that takes the signals from the GK-1 and converts it to MIDI and the GM-70 has no synth sounds in it. These are both very early units, and the GK-2 is an upgrade.
I still have and use a GM-70 with a GK-1 pickup in my studio. The GM-70 will only work with the GK-1 and not with the newer GK-2.
  • Mark Swanson, guitarist, MIMForum Staff

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