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Plug-and-play high-quality synth and instrument sounds for your guitar.
The Roland GR-20 Guitar Synthesizer with GK-3 Divided Pickup is the ultimate MIDI pedal for guitars. Ever wanted to thicken up your guitar sound with a warm synth pad? Or how about a screaming lead sound that puts you in front? The GR-20 Guitar Synthesizer makes playing high-quality synthesizer and instrument sounds from your guitar as simple as 1-2-3. First, attach the included GK-3 Divided Pickup to your steel-stringed electric (no drilling necessary). Second, select the type of sound you want using the Bank knob. Third, choose a sound variation using the Number/Value dial and start playing. With the GR-20, it's easy to tap into the power of guitar synthesis.
Guitar Synth or Compact Pedal?
With the GR-20, it feels like both. Selecting a sound is like choosing an effect. First, select a sound category using the Bank knob. Categories include Strings/Orchestral, Wind, Brass, Bass/Guitar, Organ/Keyboard, Piano, Synth/Lead, Voice/Pad, Ethnic, and Rhythm/Percussion. Now you can select individual sounds using the Number/Value dial.
Roland's Finest Sounds with Exceptional Tracking
At the heart of the GR-20 is an advanced sound engine based on Roland's professional synthesizers. Sounds can be played with up to 48-voice polyphony for full, rich-sounding patches. And the sounds are equally impressive. From expressive string ensembles to spiritual tabla loops coupled with sitar--all with adjustable attack and release. Sophisticated DSP makes the GR-20's pitch detection ultrareliable, so you can strum with confidence.
Take Your Guitar Playing Further
Want to create a sound that's all your own? Try blending the natural sound of your guitar pickups with the GR-20. Thankfully, the GK-3 Divided Pickup makes this easy via a larger and smoother knob. Imagine playing chords and then slowly fading in a swirling, breathy pad to create intensity. Or how about playing a distorted lead on your guitar with a thick synth lead sound? Now take this a step further with the GR-20's Patch Link function. It allows you to easily assign GR-20 patches to match effect patches in MIDI-capable processors such as the BOSS GT-6.
Includes the GK-3 Divided Pickup
When you buy a GR-20, you also get a GK-3 Divided Pickup and GK cable in the box. In other words, everything you need to start playing synth sounds is included! The GK-3 is 30% thinner than its predecessor, and it now uses a 1/4" jack for normal guitar input. The pickup includes an adjustable curve design to keep an even distance between the strings for better response (the pickup cable length is also adjustable). Owners of LP-type guitars can install the GK-3 pickup safely using a special attachment plate included in the box.
The fattest rhythm sounds, with leads full of sting--or how about a synth string section doubling your riffs? It's all possible. Order the GR-20 now.
Reviewed by 41 customers
I tried this thing out at my local music shop just to see why Roland's charging so much for this little thing... Turns out there's no reason; they're just charging you for their outdated name.This thing is noisy, unintuitive, has terrible tracking of your notes and when you compare it to a Digitech multi effect like RP1000, there is NO need to pay this much for a pedal that does so little.
I've owned the GR20 now for a couple years and the GR1 for maybe 10 years. I've gigged with both extensively using the strings, sax, organ, and several of its "synthesizer" patches religiously. My classic rock band (typical 2 guitar, bass, drum and vocal lead and harmony scenario) desperately depend and insist on the synth's continuous contribution. Regarding the GR20, I love the way it fills up the space and provides the full sounds. Breathy Sax is a head turner as well as the full chord sax sound (where are all the folks making that full horn section sound?) not to mention the incredible full organ sounds, and the Sitar on Stone's 'Painted Black' and Beatle's "Norwegian Wood", etc. Great stuff! Biggest disappointment, however is when solo performance or even in the 4 piece band when changing patches from patch to patch. For example, form pretty synth sound to some other patch---that being my GR1 allows previous patch to gradually trail off perfectly and brings in selected patch smoothly blending in with guitar and gradual dissaperance of previous patch sound. Can't do that no how, no way with GR20. Tried to figure out how but giving up. The GR20 abruptly kills the previous patch and it feels like the "bottom dropped out" with aweful embarassing emptiness and nakedness. Musician's worst nightmare (especially a soloist performance). Tried boosting the release, delay, reverb but GR20 kills it all instantly. Wish Roland kept that feature cause I can't find it at all in the GR20 like the GR1. Other than that, i'm okay with it.
This is a really good synth. A lot of very good sounding pads, strings, synths, etc. and a lot of the instruments are very real sounding, (flutes, pipes, violin, sitar etc., and the sax is really good. The thing you have to know is that you are not playing "guitar" when you use this, your tecnique has to change when you play it. You have to be very precice, this picks up everything. When I've read reviews from people who are frustrated with it, it is usually because they are trying to play these voices with straight guitar tecnique, for example when you play a keyboard or organ-type voice you can't just strum chords and expect to sound like the instrument, you have to think like the voice you're using. The only thing I don't really like here is the pickup. It does a pretty good job, and you don't have to drill holes which is nice. What I don't like is that it seems fragile to me. If it gets bomped wrong the whole operation could get screwed up very easily. And you have to run the synth through your guitar pedal chain, which I like to keep as true bypass as I can. So I'm saving up for a Carvin Synth acess guitar that has the synth pickup built in, and a seperate jack for midi out and guitar out.
It took me about an hour to install the pickup and control on my Stratocaster, and almost needed no adjustment. I didn't even have to take the strings off, just drilled the pilot holes and installed the screws per instructions and I was good to go. After plugging in and hooking up, I was immediately able to use the unit, very user-friendly, and the volume/expression pedal is nice- there are so many features on this that I haven't had time to demo them all, but some very nice sounds.I immediately did some recording to put this thing through the paces, and over all my finding is that it tracks very well, misses very few notes even on 'machine-gun' staccato-type leads (provided you are using the lead-type voices, that is) and have noticed very few 'artifacts' (digital synth transients) mentioned as 'normal operation' by the user manual- just keep your axe in tune, and you will not be dissapointed. I did not notice any extraneous 'hiss' that another reviewer complained about, but I hooked up through an analog mixer straight into my computer sound-card, and any engineer will tell you an analog source will require SOME noise-reduction in the post-processing. The manual does mention that placing the unit near RF signals will likely introduce noise, so maybe that reviewer had it in a bad location.I love the 'mix' feature, where I can have my original guitar sound simultaneous with the gr synth, because I can use my Crybaby Wah pedal to add an extra 'zing' to the sound.The only reason this does not get an overall '5' is the contruction of the pedal is not really 'road-worthy', although I would not say it is as flimsy as others have described it- it's good enough for my project studio, which is where it will stay for the time-being.
I received my GR20 yesterday (sad day for everyone else but me!) and I love it. It took about an hour and a half to put it together and get started and for the most part it was pretty simple. I definitely those who said they had a problem. Take your time and follow directions (except you really don?t have to take the strings off with the double sided tape) and with just a bit of luck you should be fine. The trick is to get the p/u as close to the strings as possible. Anyway, I played with this for six hours last night and overall I rate it very good. Tracking is good (not perfect) and most of the sounds are reasonable realistic (too many to break down and talk about). I would rate this more than a toy but not quite something that you would want to seriously play live with (although I have a friend who does, so there you go) but somewhere in between. Great for recording and worth the money, I don?t regret this purchase. Make sure this does not get delivered on a work night!
I've had the Roland GR-20 for a few months now, and have used it extensively on stage. Just a few comments:1. Construction is cheap, lightweight plastic, hardly suitable for a unit this expensive. It has, however, held together so far, and I guard it carefully. There have been a small number of electronic glitches, such as the time the unit wouldn't recognize my second string and blocked the sound (I eventually fixed that more or less by accident).2. Some patches (many keyboard, strings, synth, voice, percussion) are quite good. The brass, however, produces horrible sounds very much like the cheapest synths available 20 years ago. The same is true for some woodwind patches (e.g., Wind ensemble).3. Very easy to use, with some experience and reading the manual. However, remember to calibrate your touch and string balance, following the manual. Those who have trouble with tracking I suspect have never read the manual and did not follow the explicit directions there (GK SEN). I have found tracking to be fast and accurate (although you're never going to get a pipe organ patch to play "Flight of the Bumblebee"). And in spite of the simplicity of use, Roland made a mistake, IMHO, in assigning numbers to the various patches instead of names (on the unit itself): do you know what "ORGAN/KB 20 is? Of course not, you need the manual to tell you (it's a fine cathedral organ patch). So don't lose that handbook.Overall, I would buy this unit again if mine got stepped on by an elephant (a.k.a. one of our acoustic guitar players), but I would be glad to see significant improvement in contruction and sound quality overall.
i bought one these about 2 yrs ago and it has really been a big help to me. it has really goodpiano sounds and strings as well however after playing it for a few weeks while moving aroundplaying there maybe a short somewhere in the gkitself makes a buzzing noise but overall it has been great i would reccomend it to a friend.
I ordered this somewhat tentatively unsure about mounting anything on one of my guitars. However, I decided to put the pickup on my American Deluxe Tele and it went on great. With no contour on the end of the Tele the control fit perfectly and the metal plate under the bridge pickup meant I used the double sided tape for the pickup on metal, not guitar finish. Some minor tweaking of the saddle height and tracking is all but perfect. This thing has so many sounds, I will never use them all but I am having a blast trying. It is opening up entire new vistas for recording as well as gigging with my trio. The unit is a bit flimsy feeling, not road-worthy.
Well, getting this synth was awesome. It can do anything and is very editable. They only problem this thing has is that its so damn fragile. It breaks so easily. Its not very road-worthy all. If your careful though it can be a great musical tool.
I first heard synth guitar from my friends that went to a worship conference. I thought this would be an awesome dynamic to have in our worship at church for my electric guitar, so I got it, and it hasn't disappointed. Don't let reviews of latency and lack of sounds prevent you from buying this unit. There are a lot of cool pad and synths and when combined with guitar, so I can get a lot of the fatty U2ish sounds that I was looking for. It's not cheap, but I think, at least for worship, its worth it- especially if you are passionate about making the sound the best you can
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