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Thread: Can I Use My Roland GR-30 Guitar-Synth as a MIDI Controller??

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    Can I Use My Roland GR-30 Guitar-Synth as a MIDI Controller??

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    I have a Roland GR-30 Guitar-Synthesizer, which has MIDI in/out.

    I also have a Digitech Workstation Vocalist EX and a Cascio WK1300 keyboard with MIDI in's and out's on both.

    Is it feasible to use my GR-30 to control the Vocalist (vocal harmonizer) and my keyboard in sequence? In other words, does the GR-30 do what a sequencer does???... or do I need to buy a sequencer to put it all together in a chain??? Also, do I have to use *both* the in's and out's on all 3 of these units?... or can I just come out of the MIDI-out of the GR-30 to the "in" of each successive unit in the chain?

    Lastly, what is the learning curve (for someone who has no MIDI experience) on getting it all sync'd up?

    Am I setting myself up for a lot of frustration????


    Any help is appreciated!

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    The short answer is yes. If there's a MIDI Out, it sends MIDI messages.

    But your question is a little mixed up. You say, "Is it feasible to use my GR-30 to control the Vocalist (vocal harmonizer) and my keyboard in sequence? In other words, does the GR-30 do what a sequencer does???"

    Well, no, except insofar as a sequencer usually has MIDI outputs. The GR-30 will create MIDI messages based on what you play on the guitar with the special Roland pickup and you can route them out to the Vocalist or the keyboard. But I don't believe it has any capacity for recording a series of MIDI messages onboard that you can playback or edit. In that way it's like a MIDI keyboard that has no built-in sequencer. You can play the keyboard and route its MIDI messages appropriately to any device as you play. A sequencer records MIDI messages so the sequence of them can be repeated whenever you want.

    The MIDI In of any device accepts insoming MIDI messages and the MID Out sends outgoing message -- which ordinarily would not include a copy of the messages it's receiving from its MIDI In. Many devices have an extra jack called MIDI Thru, which allows the same messages that are coming in the MIDI In port to be sent back out. Some devices (sequencing software on a PC, for example) can echo the MIDI In messages to the MIDI Out.

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    Thumbs up

    Thanx for the reply!

    I'm just starting to understand all of this MIDI stuff... it's somewhat complicated to an old fart like myself.

    OK, so if I connect my Roland GR-30 to my harmonizer, should I just go MIDI-Out (GR-30) to MIDI-In of the harmonizer?

    Or, should I also go MIDI-Out on the harmonizer back to MIDI-In on the GR-30?

    In other words, does it have to be like a "complete loop" to work properly (or more easily)???

    Sorry about asking so many questions, but I've got a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old and the wife and I both work full time... so it's basically impossible for me to take the time to read all these complicated manuals and spend all day fiddling with this stuff. I'm trying to get this to work as quickly and easily as possible.

    Thanx again for the help!

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    $1.62,

    No, don't arrange your devices in a loop!

    The MIDI connectors work like this:
    • IN receives messages (note on, note off, controller change, etc.) from another MIDI device.
    • OUT transmits messages that originate inside the device (keyboard, sequencer, etc.).
    • THRU re-transmits messages received at the IN connector.
    So, a typical MIDI "daisy chain" looks like this:

    [D1]OUT -> IN[D2]THRU -> IN[D3]THRU -> IN[D4]

    (where D1 through D4 are MIDI devices)

    In this setup, D1 controls D2, D3, and D4. Naturally, you'd want D1 to have good controller features, like keyboard zones and layers, to make the most effective use of this kind of setup.

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    Why do you want to control the harmonizer? Are you trying to send it note info to control the harmonies?

    Just so you are clear MIDI will not transmit actual audio.

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    Yes, Tex.... the way the harmonizer works is that you change the key manually on the unit itself (by hand) or do it MIDI by chord changes. Obviously, I can't do it manually in a live performance... so, I need to have it done in "real time" as I play.

    I guess I should've said that I was talking about using it live, huh?

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