Roland GP-8

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Roland GP-8

Post by Von Junzt »

Hi folks,

I recently purchased a Roland GP-8 preamp/ effects unit. It is a fun unit that is rather cheaply available, and will give you those wonderful 80s guitar sounds in a box. It is also a rather cost effective way to get several Boss stompboxes.

One question though - the Roland FB-300 MIDI-controller has a "RRC2" connector - is there some sort of RRC to RRC2 connector available? Or do I need the FB-100? Or has anyone been using it with a regular MIDI floorboard?

Apart from that, does anyone know of any albums featuring the GP-8?
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by Wonks »

The cable seems to be just a way of getting the GP-8 to power the floor controller and provide a MIDI connection at the same time. I can't find any reference to an RCC to an RCC2 cable nor how to make one (or even if it's possible). If no-one else knows of such a cable, I'd just connect using two standard MIDI leads and power the FC-300 from a PSU (or batteries if pushed).
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by BigRedX »

That's interesting. As an ex-owner of both a GP8 and an FB-100 as well as various MIDI footswitches I'd always assumed that the RRC and MIDI connections on the back of the GP8 used completely different protocols, especially since there was a switch that only allowed one of the connectors to be used at a time.

However it appears that the RRC connector is essentially an non-optoisloated MIDI connector plus a power supply to drive the FC-100 footswitch. Have a look at this page for more details.

The GP8 works perfectly well (within the MIDI limitations of the device itself) with any MIDI footswitch. After my FC-100 died I swapped to an FC-200. The only down-sides are the fact that the patches are arranged in banks of 8 on the GP8 whilst most modern Footswitches work in banks of 10 which made remembering the program numbering differences between the two somewhat challenging, also the need for a separate PSU wasn't ideal, but I found that the FC-200 used up batteries too quickly for that to be a serious option.

However that fact that you could connect the footswtich via cheap and easily obtainable MIDi cables instead of the expensive and rare RRC cable was a definite plus.
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by Von Junzt »

Thanks guys, that basically answers my question regarding the floorboard. I somehow thought RRC was an odd implementation of MIDI. So I can use any other floorboard and select patches with it.

Being a bit of a gear snob and owning a vintage amp, I always avoided Boss and went for boutique gear. Having moved abroad, I find it quite a lot easier to use a unit like the GP-8, which is several Boss pedals in a box, plus a digital delay and chorus. I am having quite a lot of fun using it, and the distortion is even good for some metal applications (no, not Djent).
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by DC-Choppah »

Man, I used to gig all over with that in a Jazz Fusion band.

Don't forget about the fact that the whole point is to recall your setting for all you stomp boxes at once!

What I am waiting for (anyone reading this can have my idea for free cause I just want it), is stomp boxes that have a universal interface so that they can all be controlled and set up from a master controller.

So let's say you have 10 stomp boxes. Classic stuff. Sounds good man!

But they all interconnect together with some new cable that runs between them all.

Then you can have this master box that can store the presets for all of them.

Like the GP-8 with all the custom presets, but works across anybody's custom stomp box.

I love my Gain Changer, Boss Octaver, Philospher's stone, EH Electric Mistress, etc.

It would be cool to be able to preset settings and recall them.

Just like the GTR rack in Waves but with real stomp boxes.
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by muzines »

DC-Choppah wrote:But they all interconnect together with some new cable that runs between them all.
Then you can have this master box that can store the presets for all of them.
Like the GP-8 with all the custom presets, but works across anybody's custom stomp box.

So you have like little motorised grabbers that snap onto the knobs and turn them under processor control to change settings?
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by Drew Stephenson »

desmond wrote:
DC-Choppah wrote:But they all interconnect together with some new cable that runs between them all.
Then you can have this master box that can store the presets for all of them.
Like the GP-8 with all the custom presets, but works across anybody's custom stomp box.

So you have like little motorised grabbers that snap onto the knobs and turn them under processor control to change settings?

I would go to a gig just to watch someone use such a device! :)
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by Wonks »

But there would be so much kit on top of the stomp boxes that you wouldn't be able to see anything. And the boxes would be out of the way with just a preset controller in front of the guitarist.
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by Von Junzt »

DC-Choppah wrote:Man, I used to gig all over with that in a Jazz Fusion band.

Don't forget about the fact that the whole point is to recall your setting for all you stomp boxes at once!

What I am waiting for (anyone reading this can have my idea for free cause I just want it), is stomp boxes that have a universal interface so that they can all be controlled and set up from a master controller.

So let's say you have 10 stomp boxes. Classic stuff. Sounds good man!

But they all interconnect together with some new cable that runs between them all.

Then you can have this master box that can store the presets for all of them.

Like the GP-8 with all the custom presets, but works across anybody's custom stomp box.

I love my Gain Changer, Boss Octaver, Philospher's stone, EH Electric Mistress, etc.

It would be cool to be able to preset settings and recall them.

Just like the GTR rack in Waves but with real stomp boxes.

Wouldn't the Kemper be an idea?
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by Wonks »

Von Junzt wrote:Wouldn't the Kemper be an idea?

The Kemper can't profile time-based effects, so for compression, chorus, echo, flange. phase and reverb you'd have to use the supplied Kemper ones. It can do drives and distortions, though I have no idea how easy it is to do and how many knobs and switches you can add in for each effect.

You'd probably get further with the Line 6 Helix stuff, where you have a much wider selection of modelled (not profiled) effects available. But you still probably won't get anywhere near your preferred mix of stomp boxes as there are just too many of those available now. E.g. Andertons currently stock 444 types of drive pedals - and that's certainly not all that are available.

Just counted all the pedals that Andertons currently sell that change the sound in some way (excluding tuners, volume and looper pedals) and there are 1485 different pedals - and I'm sure that number keeps growing by the day.
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by Sam Spoons »

Wonks wrote:Just counted all the pedals that Andertons currently sell that change the sound in some way (excluding tuners, volume and looper pedals) and there are 1485 different pedals - and I'm sure that number keeps growing by the day.

You need to get out more (and not just to guitar shops......) :bouncy:
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by Wonks »

I only had to add up the numbers listed at the top of each pedal type section, rather than count them individually. :D
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by Sam Spoons »

:frown: Disappointed now, I had visualised you counting them on the shelves in the shop.......
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by Wonks »

But a lot are kept in their warehouse.... :(
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by Sam Spoons »

Well, that shouldn't be a problem for you in 'cloak mode' :D
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by arkieboy »

Wonks wrote:You'd probably get further with the Line 6 Helix stuff, where you have a much wider selection of modelled (not profiled) effects available. But you still probably won't get anywhere near your preferred mix of stomp boxes as there are just too many of those available now. E.g. Andertons currently stock 444 types of drive pedals - and that's certainly not all that are available.

But as with the nature of these things, lots of those designs essentially cluster around a few classics, and Line 6 have done a brilliant job of covering those bases I think. I have 29 different boost/drive/fuzz box emulations in my Helix from the Dallas Rangemaster through Analogue Man King of Tone to the Zvex Fuzz Factory. The kind of thing we're missing are emulations of the ambient time-based stuff by Strymon - Line 6 have form and a some good takes on ambient delays and reverbs, but you won't get exactly the same thing - and things like EHX Hog/Pog and their synth range which may be incoming judging on the jobs L6 have been advertising.

I don't really touch the sides of some of this - I like the Maxxon take on the TS and the Prince/King of Tone emulations, I'll use the Rangemaster if I'm feeling 70s and the Rat if I want some fuzz. But I love having the choice and its a lot of fun to play with all of this gear I could never afford to own at once.
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by DC-Choppah »

desmond wrote:
DC-Choppah wrote:But they all interconnect together with some new cable that runs between them all.
Then you can have this master box that can store the presets for all of them.
Like the GP-8 with all the custom presets, but works across anybody's custom stomp box.

So you have like little motorised grabbers that snap onto the knobs and turn them under processor control to change settings?

No no no :headbang:

When the controller cable is plugged in, the settings on the knob are overrided. Only the setting from the controller sets the controls. Unplug the cable and the setting snap back to the knob.

I would also like a little light that shows me where the current setting has the knobs pointed on the controller. If I align the knobs with the light, then when I unplug the cable the sound is the same.

get it!

I turn in my old stomp boxes. The new ones sound the same, but have this feature. Stomp boxes for the 21st century.
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by ManFromGlass »

Cool Idea. A number of the newer stomp boxes from the smaller shops have some serious midi control being built in. So much so that you can’t connect enough foot controllers to match the number of parameters. Some form of universal controller would work. But that would still leave many less midi endowed pedals uncontrolled unless your system was invented.
An add on to the midi spec we could call Pedal Midi could work if all pedal makers jumped on board.
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by adrian_k »

ManFromGlass wrote:... jumped on board.

See what you did there :bouncy:
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by DC-Choppah »

ManFromGlass wrote:Cool Idea. A number of the newer stomp boxes from the smaller shops have some serious midi control being built in. So much so that you can’t connect enough foot controllers to match the number of parameters. Some form of universal controller would work. But that would still leave many less midi endowed pedals uncontrolled unless your system was invented.
An add on to the midi spec we could call Pedal Midi could work if all pedal makers jumped on board.

Right. But I am talking about the classic stuff. So you get the exact same stomp box and sound, but it has the ability to store presets for a gig.

Everyone would re-issue their stomp boxes with the ability to use the controller. Digital control of analog. That's the future man!

Analog sounds better
Digital is better for controls and storing presets
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by DC-Choppah »

And of course I don't want to fiddle with some menu interface to program this.

When I get the knobs where I like them, I just hit the STORE SETTING button. Like VI plugin.

The controller then let's me place it on the universal controller as a setting.

When I used to use the GP-8 I had every song on the gig list available as a stored group. Then there were 8 setting for that song available.

The problem with the GP-8 is that it sounds dated, and you sort of sound like everyone else. Kind of generic.

So now we switch back to all these little stomp boxes, but lose the ability to prestore all of the tunes for the gig.

I want the best of both.
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by DC-Choppah »

Von Junzt wrote:
Apart from that, does anyone know of any albums featuring the GP-8?

https://equipboard.com/items/roland-gp-8
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by muzines »

Basically, you want every manufacturer to add a digital interface (eg MIDI), and a digital control mechanism (digital control of all analog knobs/switches etc) to all their analog pedals.

That's a significant cost and complexity (and redesign) for each pedal for something that pedal owners will only benefit from if they buy the master controller too - otherwise all that digital tech in there is effectively unused in the regular pedal use.

Realistically, it's not a compelling feature to add for the cost/benefit analysis. I think most guitarists would either be fine with regular analog control of their pedals, and the ones that require more complex patch requirements will already be using a lot of digital effects with patch recall, for at least part of their system.

From what I see, most guitarists that have a fairly extensive pedal collection to get a range of tones typically use each pedal for more or less one thing, and their patch recall is more turning on/off different pedal combinations - and that's already something that can be easily interfaced up to a digital patch recall system (and there are plenty of these out there).

A lot of pedals are kind of single purpose and don't necessarily have ten or more great sounds to be had out of them. For instance, a nice chorus pedal will have a few flavours of chorus, and rate and depth. You basically tune it to how you like chorus to sound, and turn it on or off depending on whether you want chorus or not. There's probably not a whole bunch of different chorus sounds you like in there. At most, you may have two or three nice positions for a given pedal - and you can always get a second pedal if an extra setting is important and needs to be regularly switched to in performance etc. The pedals that have a lot of different possibilities - your Strymon-type things etc, probably already are digital and have patch recall built in.

So while it's a nice idea, it's not that practical, and that's probably the best reason to why it doesn't already exist.

That's not to say a manufacturer might not come up with a modular effects pedal system that has digital control designed in from the outset, and a master controller, and has that interfacing system built into all of it's pedals - some of that kind of thing has been done in various guises in the past. But to expect a cross-manufacturer digital interfacing standard compelling enough to add to all new pedals (both analog and digital), and to retrofit all their old ones, is much more unlikely than the initiative that got MIDI started in the first place - and most people consider that an almost unrepeatable situation in modern times as it is...
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by Sam Spoons »

IIRC my Boss GT3 had an analogue distortions and 'modelled' everything else. I've done both digital and analogue over the years (including various floor multifx units and a Boss GX700 with a rack power amp and FC200). I'm currently enjoying the simplicity of a few pedals and a small hand wired valve combo. I think the inherent problem with digital multifx is that you have the opportunity to throw everything including the kitchen sink at a patch (and the presets frequently do just that) when all you really need is a bit of reverb and a nice overdrive.

I'm constantly on the lookout for a single pedal that will cover all those 'additional pedals' that only get used a couple of times in a set*, something like Eventide H9 or Line 6 Helix fx maybe.

* maybe as well as a full time reverb
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by DC-Choppah »

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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by Random Guitarist »

This has got me thinking though, cheap stepper motors and an arduino to automate fx settings via midi. It would be mad, expensive, and temperamental, but so cool.
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by muzines »

Random Guitarist wrote:This has got me thinking though, cheap stepper motors and an arduino to automate fx settings via midi. It would be mad, expensive, and temperamental, but so cool.

Well if you do it, you know who to credit for the idea... :tongue::think:8-):thumbup:
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by DC-Choppah »

Oh dear

https://reverb.com/item/6929801-t-i-p-t ... third-hand

So you could run these mechanical knob turning cables back to your central controller and control them all. No need to put the motors right up on the pedal.

I still want to override it and turn it manually too sometimes.

No need to modify the pedal.

Some of my pedals have little switches too. Hmmm
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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by n o i s e f l e ur »

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Re: Roland GP-8

Post by DC-Choppah »

n o i s e f l e ur wrote:https://geckotool.com/en/

:)
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