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Roland GK-3 Pickup

Roland GR-50 Saga (Part 3)

October 25, 2018 by Paul Storrie in Paul's Blog, The Roland GR-50 Diaries

Problems with the Pickups

The lack of output from the magnetic pickups turns out to be a problem with the rear input on the GX-700 which doesn’t work – a common problem I understand. In any event there’s no trim control with the rear input.

The next issue is the sound coming from the standard pickups – it’s gone completely dead. No top-end, horrid. Is this a fault with the throughput via the GK-3 or via the GR-50 or the fact that the signal now travels down one of the 13 strands within the Roland cable?

Guitar sound comes first of course, can’t compromise that! The only solution is a separate guitar cable taped to the Roland cable. It’s a bit messy, but effective!

Hang on though, now the three-way switch on the GK-3 won’t shift between the guitar and synth sounds or a blend of the two. Having said that, I kept knocking this switch anyway and I can’t play and switch it at the same time.

Also, I can’t play and use the volume control on the GK-3 simultaneously.

Hmm, I need foot controllers methinks!


Setting up the Footswitch

Using a latching footswitch plugged into the Control 1/2 Jack input on the rear of the GX-700, I can switch the magnetic pickups sound on and off by assigning the GX-700 “Bypass” function to that. This gives me complete control as to when the mag pickup sound is on or off.

Unfortunately, there’s no equivalent functionality with the GR-50 when one is controlling that using MIDI. I think you can do more with the GR-50 when controlling it via a Roland FC-100 foot controller (which uses the Roland RRC protocol). However, I have to have my FCB1010 MIDI controller for the JMP-1 and the GX-700. Also, I don’t want to have to press two different pedals on two different pedal boards to select guitar sounds and synth sounds. Even if I did, I’d need the whole stage to myself just to accommodate an FCB1010 and a FC-100.

I need a solution…

(P. S. These posts describe the morphing over time of the author’s guitar-synth setup – keep reading through to the current evolution)


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