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Re: need info on GR300 Help!

I had a GR300 and a GR808 controller (neck through the body, maple and
walnut body and neck, gold hardware) in the early 1980s.  Here are the
important things to understand about the GR300:

1.  It is not programmable.  You can't jump from a flute patch to a cello
patch with the press of a button.

2.  There is only one oscillator per string.  However, you can get the
effect of two oscillators per string by mixing the sound of the string with
the sound of the synth.

3.  You cannot select different waveforms for the oscillators.  Also, it
only has an Attack control--not an ASDR.

4.  No MIDI.

5.  The hex fuzz sounds cheesy--at least to my ears.

6.  The knobs are large enough so that you can adjust them with your feet.

7.  Before I bought the GR300, I had an ARP 2600.  The 2600 had an infinite
amount of patching possibilities, while the GR300 was very limited.  It was
easy to get strange sounds out of the 2600, but difficult to get anything
strange out of the GR300.  Then I realized the big difference--the GR300 
much more expressive than the 2600.  The guitar controller let me pitch 
and change dynamics much more naturally than the 2600's keyboard and knobs
and sliders.

8.  There is a slight amount of delay between plucking the string and
hearing the GR300.  That's why most GR300 users favor the Pat Metheny
"trumpet" sound.  In fact, if you listen to recordings of guitarists who
used the GR300 (Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, Belew, Fripp, Elliott Easton on
the Cars, Steve Howe, Steve Hackett, etc.), only Fripp and Belew used 
that were different than the "trumpet" sound.  (I think the GR30 or GR09
come with a factory patch called "GR300.")

9.  It's ruggedly housed in a thick metal box.  However, be careful of the
bottom edges, they're sharp.  I sliced four of my fingertips on my left 
(only hours away from a gig) when I picked up the GR300 by the bottom edge
of the box.

10.  Here's an example of how responsive the GR300 was:  My GR808 had a 
spot on the neck at the 7th fret on the B string.  The GR300 always tracked
this note exactly as the GR808 produced it--dead with no sustain.  I could
play the same note on the G string and it would sustain just fine.  This
really bothered me, but looking back, the GR300 was only acting as
expressively as the GR808.

11.  My GR808 was neck heavy.  I did not like this.  It made me use my left
hand to "lift" the neck to my prefered playing angle.

12.  The patch cord that goes between the GR300 and the GR808 may or may 
still be available.  If possible, buy as many as you can find.

13.  The GR300 produced slightly less gain than the average guitar.

14.  For additional sonic possibilities, Roland made a box that let you
control two GR300s from one guitar.  Pat Metheny used this setup.  Again,
this box may no longer be available.

Bottom line:  I thought the GR300 was a one-trick pony that did its trick
very well considering the limitations of technology in the early 1980s.

I hope this helps.

Mark Kata

-----Original Message-----
From: legion <legion@voicenet.com>
To: Loopers-Delight@annihilist.com <Loopers-Delight@annihilist.com>
Date: Thursday, October 15, 1998 10:33 PM
Subject: need info on GR300 Help!

>I know it's not looping exactly but i but someone here can fill in the
>blanks on this creature.
>I have a chance to buy a GR300 (roland analog guitar synth) and GR303
>controller (evidently the two cutaway "SG" type model). I have never
>played one of these and only know the hype:
>"It tracks really weel"
>"Fripp et all played them"
>What I'm looking for is some more indepth practical info on it. Or even
>the GR303 guitar for that matter. how is the tracking compared to a
>decent midi comtrller guitar (I use a casio MG series and like it but
>it's obviously not perfect)
>Anything I should look out for or check tomake sure it's 100%.
>I have a ton of synths (including polyphonic rolands and lots of analog
>monosynths and some modular stuff). Does this unit offer anything unique
>in sound or style that other synths and guitar/midi guitars in
>particular are missing?
>The price ain't low but it seem reasonable for such a rare piece. i just
>want to be sure I can use the sucker.
>Any info on insight appreciated. All I have right now is a JPG of the
>floor unit and no specs. I've tried two archives but didn't come up with
>much more.
>thanks for any/all help!