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Author Topic: Hex Pickups - midi and VG (Roland Virtual Guitar)  (Read 5646 times)
ST
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« on: July 30, 2011, 04:42:44 AM »

Spinning this off from Black Beauty



ST so cool I use my MIDI on my telepartscaster with a Bigsby.Its nice to see I'm not the only insane one out there.
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2011, 04:45:19 AM »

Hi unclrob,

I'm running mine into a Roland VG-99



I have three guitars with GK pickups on them and the axe does make a difference. If it didn't I could move a lot of guitars out of here.
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2011, 04:48:37 AM »

I haven't moved past the GR33.I have helped set up for a couple of clients the VG88.I use the keyboard patches,sax's,trumpets and the string patch's mostly.I'm not a fan of the amp or guitar sample's I hope there better sounding then what I've heard.
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2011, 05:01:21 AM »

I always found that archtops were the toughest for me mostly due to my palm muting.I've had them on LP's,strats and there variants always with good results.I think I need to find a nice sampler so I can record the tone banks I want which like I said are keyboards and strings.Though I really like a couple of the drum  and vocal programs on the GR33.Years ago I had a friend that had a real nice recorder/sampler from Ensonic which was great he recorded my bass tone and the translation from recording to performance was spot on.I'm not real happy with any of the guitar programs and though its not available with the GR33 the amp sym's were a real pain in the butt to shape into a decent tone.But back to the recorder/sampler with this I could get some great organ tone's which aren't bad in the GR33 also keys like a really good piano,electric piano.I would love to record my acoustic so I could bring just the electric and lighten my load.
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2011, 05:02:45 AM »

Hi unclrob,

As far as the VG (Virtual Guitar stuff goes) I think I've had every version Roland has put out. Each one has been better enough to move to each successive new version.  It was a tough call to get into the VG99 though. I waited for 3 years to get that one because most of what I wanted to do, I could do with the VG88 (version 2).

I don't do anything with midi (except for the foot controller), and I do very little with the synths, strings, horns and general midi stuff.

I'm not big on the COSM / Virtual Guitar stuff in the sense that I don't use them with a mindset of emulating anything in particular. So I don't care if I'm using a model for a Fender Twin or a Marshall something or other.  I just do what I would have done with any old guitar amp. Plug in, turn up the volume, maybe fiddle with the dials for a couple of seconds, and start playing. While it's all very cool to create a virtual guitar in front of a virtual amp with a virtual cabinet and a virtual microphone in front of the virtual cabinet, I not really looking to emulate any particular sound. I just want to hear something that moves me in the context of the rest of what I'm hearing.   What's neat in the VG 99 is you can have two completely different signal paths (eg.  Les Paul with a Marshall AND a Strat with a Twin) and you can blend those. You can also mix in the sound from the pickups of the real guitar on which the hex pickup is mounted. So two virtual guitars and a real one all mixed together.

I really like being able use the hex pickup. For people unfamiliar with the concept - that's six individual pickups - one for each string.  With that I can do things like this:

Low E and A - Bass Guitar
All the rest I add the root plus a fifth

Plus - have the sound from the guitar without the pitch stuff.

Sounds amazing.
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2011, 05:14:41 AM »

As you could see from the picture, I've got a GK2 pickup on an archtop.

I just got the little mounting bracket that fits on the bridge. In the picture below, it's called the pickup holder.  This just slips in under the bridge just above the thumbwheels for adjusting the bridge height. It took me all of 3 minutes to mount that. And then you mount the hex pickup on the bracket.  Super easy.

The attached is the accessory sheet with part numbers for the GK3 pickup. My old GK2a pickups are the same electronically - they just came up with a new style controller and mounting system. But you can get the bits and pieces of the mounting system dirt cheap. The mounting brackets highlighted below were $2.56. I got a couple.  At least in Canada you can still order parts directly from Roland. I'm within minutes of the warehouse.  In the US - I think you have to order through an authorized Roland dealer, but if you have the part numbers - it should be easy.



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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2011, 05:24:23 AM »

Am a Big Fan of your Posts ST  bowdown
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2011, 05:24:31 AM »

Here is the whole page showing all the GK3 accessories.

With minor modifications you can use these parts to do really decent installations of the older pickups. If I was handy with tools, I suppose I could have made what I needed but the parts were cheap and saved me from having to buy a GK3 just for the mounting stuff.

Why am I telling you about this...
Now after all of that - I wanted to mention that I do a lot of right hand damping and with the new mounting system the position of the pickup is rock solid.  Also - with the VG99 you can mount the pickup upside down. I had not done it at the point when I took the picture above, but I now have the wire from the pickup coming out near the high E string. So I don't touch it at all when I'm playing.
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2011, 07:22:45 AM »

Here are some pictures. I'm so sorry about the quality - I took them with my phone.


Note that the wire from the pickup is pointing down toward the treble side of the guitar. This is because the VG99 let's me reverse the normal orientation.


I have the controller tacked to the Bigsby with double sided tape. It's tacky - but it works because it's tacky.




Here is a dusty close-up of the pickup holder that supports the pickup.



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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2011, 02:48:26 PM »

I still have the mounting bracket somewhere that came with the GK3 for archtops.I've been looking at the Shadow Hex pickup which looks good but I already have the GK.Also I believe that you need to purchase seperately the transposer for the system to work.As for Roland stuff I found that Sweetwater has there stuff in stock unlike most roland dealers.I just ordered a new 13 pin cable from them,$50 for a 15 foot cable.I use to have a 6 foot cable but one of the pins just broke and they don't make that lenth anymore.I'm looking for a place that I can get some custom lenths made.I'm trying to get info on samplers as you can't tweek much in the the GR33.
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2011, 04:50:39 PM »

Hi unclrob,

I still have the mounting bracket somewhere that came with the GK3 for archtops.I've been looking at the Shadow Hex pickup which looks good but I already have the GK.Also I believe that you need to purchase seperately the transposer for the system to work.As for Roland stuff I found that Sweetwater has there stuff in stock unlike most roland dealers.I just ordered a new 13 pin cable from them,$50 for a 15 foot cable.I use to have a 6 foot cable but one of the pins just broke and they don't make that lenth anymore.I'm looking for a place that I can get some custom lenths made.I'm trying to get info on samplers as you can't tweek much in the the GR33.

I have two of those short 13 pin cables and I use them all the time. Very handy length. They came with the Roland US-20 Unit Selector. I don't recall that they were sold separately as a retail item.

Maybe you can order then as a Roland Part.

The part number for the cables is GK Connecting cable: C-13D (1.2 m)

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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2011, 01:48:21 AM »

COOL thanks for the part number.Since I sit and play the short cable's are perfect for me.Since all I use is the telepartscaster I no longer have to worry about my palm muting and I like the fact that the GK works well with a Bigsby.I started with the Photone system that Gibson use to sell but tracking suc*ed thank goodness I got it free.Have you ever checked out the Roland ready strat?
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2011, 02:57:12 AM »

Hi unclrob,

The Roland Ready Strat - hmmm - well I'm not really a Strat guy so it never really appealed to me.  Now if I came across a GR 808  in good shape, I'd be tempted.



Everything works fine with the Bigsby except that - I keep pulling the top E string (highest sounding E string) right off the saddle.  I do a lot of right hand plucking and pinching and if I get my finger in too far under the string I pull it too far up.   I occasionally do this with my thumb too (lowest sounding E string)  but not as often. I think this could be happening because the break angle is so shallow. It's got 11's on it - that's standard for the guitar and most of my other electrics have 11's too.

Someone suggested that I cut the grooves in the saddles deeper and then raise the bridge. I just think this is a recipe for turning the saddles into string breakers.

I am gradually modifying my playing so that the problem with the strings is lessening. It's odd though - this is the first guitar where this has been an issue.  

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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2011, 03:46:32 AM »

My Oh My thats a pretty little thing isn't it.
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« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2011, 04:11:53 AM »

I have a vague recollection that the GR808's were made by Ibanez.

Very pretty. Very 80's. Very Heavy.

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« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2011, 04:47:14 AM »

I was thinking that also.I also I'm not a strat fan,just wondering.
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« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2011, 05:09:10 PM »

Hi unclrob,

I was just talking to Roland Parts up here in Canada.

The
 GK Connecting cable: C-13D (1.2 m)

IS available for approximately $25 - NOTE ---> that is 48" (four feet).

If you want one, and can't get one through your regular sources, let me know and I'll figure out a way to get one for you.
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« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2011, 07:39:10 PM »

Hi unclrob,

Nice to talk to you this morning.

That 10 foot cable we talked about is the Roland GKC-3
http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.php?ProductId=91

Hope you can track one down.
Sweetwater says they are no longer available but I'm sure that won't stop you.

Good to get to know you better and to have that chat about your L7.

I'm listening to that band you mentioned.  I hear what you mean about that vocalist.  Really nice.

Later dude.  Stay cool.
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« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2011, 09:56:12 PM »

Got my other camera back.

Test shots.





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« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2011, 10:06:35 PM »

Much better pix,thats a beauty.What pu's are in it.Also I think I found a place to buy the13 pin jack by itself.If its right I'll order a new cable and fix my old one.I let you know if its the right thing,I'm not totally sure the guy understood what I discribed so I ordered one.If correct I'll order more and then get a 15 footer to make into two shorts.I'll keep you updated.
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