Peter's gear pages

Guitar Synthesis

Basically, a special pickup (6 mini humbuckers - one per string) runs through a midi interface which drives a synthesizer.

Quick early history lesson.

Wayne Joness' GR300 pages are the place to go for Analogue Guitar Synthesis (think King Crimson 80's or Pat Metheny's sound)

Through the 90's and early 21st century Roland introduced some interfaces (GI series) and guitar synthisizers (Gr 1, 9, 20, 33). Then they began to work with COSM - modelling - (VG series - 8, 88, 99). These are very cool as you can use a single box to recreate the sounds of different guitar, amps and effect signal chains. Even better, you can mimic acoustic instruments, and use non-standard tunings at the press of a pedal. They were not true guitar synths, but the VG 88 and 99 can drive an external synth.

Enter the GR-55 ... brand new. It is a blend of the VG 99 modelling and guitar synthesis.

Programming and demo.

Last - here are the three winners of the recent Roland guitar synth contest.

Eldon Sully
Wayne Joness
David Wallimann

Roland is not the only player in the midi guitar world, but they have the geneology. At the moment the GR20 with GK3a pickup is under $600. For the same money you can get the new GR-55 without the pickup.

Later on I'll show you all how much synth gear a broke ex-teacher househusband can collect over the years :).


Peavey Delta Blues

Hey, I have to crow about the amp I just bought.

I wheeled and dealed some guitar synth innards, cash and an old but cool fuzz pedal into a Peavey Delta Blues 115 yesterday – the one in faux tweed with a honking 15” Blue Marvel speaker. At first listen I wasn’t sure I had made a good deal, but after reading, I began a bit of tube tweaking tube, contact cleaning, mechanical tightening and a cool reverb tank trick.

Now I seem to have opened Pandora’s Box – I’ve got a G & L S500 up here and that’s what I used. Until now I didn’t really get the strat honk, and the tele type clean sounds out of it. Presto – I can dial them in on the clean channel at the flick of the pickup selector. Touch the tone pots and the sound evolves. Add some reverb … magic. And tremolo – who ever thought there was a use for it? Well, it sounds great. Tomorrow I'll try the SG .... and since the 15" speaker moves enough air it might well sound good with some synth of the boxes - we'll see.

Even the dirty channel is good, although I think I’ll stick to the clean and use pedals through the effects loop.

So – why didn’t I chase this kind of thing down years ago? I suspect I was looking for the easy solution. Even though I’ve has tube amps, I’ve not had ones that sound so good without adding goof – so … I’m a happy camper.

Here’s the amp.

P - 110304