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GR-55 Setups & Settings Hints

Setups & voice parameters that impact tracking


Last updated by shawnb, 2 22 !"

#ackground
The information in the GR-55 manual regarding setting up the unit is pretty minimal. This doc is meant to supplement the manual with real-world experience. I wanted to pull together all of the best info I could find in one place, instead of scattered over a bunch of posts in a bunch of forums. And, very specifically, I wanted a "cook book", i.e., a specific set of steps to follow to make a setting properly and consistently.

$a%or Sources o& 'ssues with (racking & Ghost )otes


!laying "tyle. #ou really need play very consistently, near the bridge, with no incidental string contact, and you need to learn to mute unplayed strings with your palm. If your pic$ %rubs% the string at all, a tone is generated. If your pic$ %touches% the string at all and pauses for even the briefest instant, a tone is generated. #ou need a crisp pluc$, with your pic$ parallel to the string. & "tring "ensitivity'(elocity )ynamics'!lay *eel too high. This ma$es small issues have much higher volume+ I thin$ the boo$%s note to set sensitivity as high as possible led many fol$s to create hot setups. , The GR55 doubles up on notes very fre-uently. .ith /hromatic 0**, this shows up as a few pitch wheel events. .ith /hromatic 01, these wheel events become notes. I have found no way to eliminate doubled notes. 2 1uance. The .3045 !0I1T of 1uance is to ta$e subtle string contact 6 do something 7IG with it8 .e need to learn to use'leverage nuance properly or T9R1 IT 0**. 5 !ic$s and /ables cause all $inds of issues888 If wiggling your cable causes notes, use )eoxIT to clean. #ou want to minimi:e pic$ contact with the strings. !ointed pic$s wor$ better; smoother new pic$s wor$ better. )o not use any pic$s with any sign of wear. The rough %worn% portion of the pic$ acts as a bow, creating s-uelching sounds. (he purpose o& this document is to he*p you with +s 2, " & , above, and to provide you with some actionab*e things to try i& your setup isn-t working out. /// 0ery he*p&u* - 1hi*e setting up your guitar, you can monitor the $'2' output on the $'2' bus within your 231 or a too* *ike $'2' 45. (his provides hard data & measurements to con&irm your setups are working we**.

PARAMETERS

Page
na na

Values
na na

Book Description
na na

Notes
/ritical8 /ritical8

Calibration & Use


Tune it or die8 #ou need the GR55 to determine notes as accurately as possible. 1ote determination is more difficult 6 erroneous pitch wheel events will occur up the nec$ if intonation is incorrect. 9se the mm rule - when fretting each string at your highest fret, the G< !9 should be = mm from each string.

G6'(3R S7(68S
tuning intonation

pu height

na

na

na

/ritical8

S9S(7$ S7(68S
G con!ig string sensitivity >, ?5 >- >> !lay the @th string as strongly as you ever expect to play it in actual performance, and use the dial to adAust the sensitivity as high as possible without allowing the meter to reach the full-scale position. There are two schools of thought here. "ome fol$s believe %as high as possible without clipping% and others li$e it low. The %low% camp believes it can add expressiveness to the softer voices, and suggest settings at =&>-,> range. *or doing setups, I am in the %get the sensitivity meter up to B5-C>D% camp. Targeting B5-C>D gives plenty of signal to the engine, and provides your setup with plenty of headroom for occasional higher velocity actions. 5xpressiveness can be restored by properly setting other parameters, e.g., play'feel 6 velocity dynamics, below, as well as the !/E tone parameters described below. !lay with both strumming and pic$ing Fas hard as you play when you play hard8G on each string. )on%t let the meter 707R max out on 3)9 string. !ic$ close to the bridge Fwhere you should be pic$ing8G, it%s -uite sensitive there 6 may lead you to reduce your settings.

PARAMETERS
Velocit"

Page

Values

Book Description

Notes

Calibration & Use

velocity dynamics

?5

- >

IdAusts the sensitivity of the !/E toneJs volume FvelocityG change. The further you raise this setting, the more easy it becomes to produce higher values for velocity.

"ome general infoH Per!or# $elocit" tests using a single si#ple PCM $oice %it& tone le$el set lo%' ()* an+ "our output le$el set about &al!%a", This measures how -uic$ly you get to max volume - I tend to 1hen setting your 0e*ocity 2ynamics, the &irst step is to thin$ of this as input gain. To avoid clipping, you want set your -8*ay :ee*- to ,. headroom. In order to have some headroom, you need to be shy of max volume when playing your hardest. This tells the "tart with (elocity )ynamics at >. !lay your system how loud'hard you play when you play hard. hardest'loudest chords 6 notes - on I44 strings. )ecrease by 6 repeat. "top when the (elocity meter on the GR55 display )707R pea$s. The meter here not only tells you what you%re sending to the !/E voice, but out on the EI)I bus as well. -ou +o N.T %ant In alternative is to loo$ at EI)I notes generated in your to #a/ out on t&is #eter 0 EVER, T&is correspon+s to a !ull 123 on "our so!ts"nt& 0 "ou +o N.T %ant t&at' "ou4re clipping )I. or EI)I 0K. 4ower values until you never see out "our M5D5, velocities of &? FclippingG. 4ower values are preferred. FLim .illiams recommends this at =&.G If you find you need a higher value, experiment with setting your string sensitivities a bit higher. "et !lay *eel I*T5R you have set your (elocity )ynamics as described above. "tart at 5. !lay notes both soft 6 loud. )ecrease until you get the range and consistency you want. This is another setting where it is informative to monitor the EI)I note data generated while ma$ing this setting. Lim .illiams recommends this to be as low as you can tolerate - or &. #ou may lose a bit of dynamics, but the tradeoff is consistency 6 hopefully fewer mistriggered notes.

play feel

?5

-5

IdAusts the volume FvelocityG change curve of the !/E tone. The lower-numbered settings give you a wider range of volume change in response to your pic$ing dynamics. .ith higher-numbered settings, the volume becomes more consistent regardless of your pic$ing dynamics. The M5N setting gives you a completely fixed velocity. FOOO 1ote this is wrong - !lay*eel 2 provides the greatest dynamic range. "ee my &nd illustration at the end of this document.G

I !lay *eel of 5 means a constant 409) velocity. In EI)I terms, the velocity is fixed at &>. If you envision a simple line chart, in which your note%s EI)I velocity FvolumeG is your vertical axis and your pic$ing strength is your hori:ontal axis, !lay *eel values -2 will result in different %slopes% of the lines. !lay *eel is more compressed, and -uiet, !lay *eel & has a slightly broader dynamic range, moving up to !lay *eel 2 which has greatest dynamic range. F"ee my &nd chart below.G I picture tells a thousand words... !lease loo$ at my !lay*eel charts at the end of this document. FIpplicable for my setup, probably not yours, 6 meant to be illustrative.G In these charts, all other settings are constant. I set (elocity )ynamics to ,, measured soft pic$ing, medium pic$ing 6 hard pic$ing, and recorded the GR-55%s EI)I note velocity values for each note 6 for each !lay *eel setting. Then I set it to @ 6 repeated, 6 finally set it to > and repeated. This is why you want to set your !lay *eel to 2 before setting your (elocity )ynamics. It has the greatest dynamic range, allowing !lay *eel -, to be compressed usable curves. If you set !lay *eel to before adAusting (elocity )ynamics, you could very easily ma$e !lay *eel &-2 completely unusable Fli$e in my third chart belowG.

low vel cut

?5

>- >

#ou want to find the highest value that still triggers your softest "tart at >. !lay the softest performance you want IdAust this if simply touching a string causes a note to be unintentionally triggered. Raising this value will ma$e it more performance, including hammerons. T&is tells t&e engine &o% registered, including hammerons. If notes drop out, difficult to trigger notes. so!tl" "ou pla" %&en "ou pla" so!t' an+ %ill !ilter out an"t&ing decrease by 6 repeat. 6uieter' assu#ing it4s inci+ental string contact, If you set this too low you are opening yourself up to Conse6uentl"' t&is is possibl" t&e #ost i#portant para#eter spurious notes due to incidental string contact. FIs a in ter#s o! eli#inating acci+ental notes7 8ig&er is better' as result, Lim .illiams recommends this to be as high as you #ore erroneous notes get !iltere+ out, can tolerate, try ?-B.G

PARAMETERS
Nuance

Page

Values

Book Description

Notes
"ome General infoH 1uance settings help you ma$e changes to the !/E tone dependent on the attack of your performance. 1ote this is )4( the ve*ocity of your performance. Regardless of velocity, a finger-pic$ed note will have higher 1uance and pic$ usage will have a lower 1uance. Inother way to thin$ of itH If you want your patch to do something different when you put down your pic$ 6 use your fingers, then ma$e use of 1uance. 1ote that your lower strings'notes more easily register 1uance; this is the physics of the beast, I guess. 0n the other hand, my .>>C strings have a hard time registering 1uance. I envision a PscaleP from lowest to highest 1uanceH hard pic$ usage, soft pic$ usage, rapid finger pic$ing, gentle finger pic$ing, side of thumb pic$ing. #ou want a hard pic$ to register very little For :eroG and a soft side-of-thumb pluc$ to register a lot Fand Aust saturate the 1uance meterG. 1ote 1uance can also help you filter some spurious notes, see %level nuance sense% below. 5! not use+' since Nuance4s %&ole purpose in li!e is to #ake a big +eal out o! so!t per!or#ance +ata' TURN 5T .997

Calibration & Use


#ou want to set these to where soft finger pic$ing returns high 1uance and pic$ing returns :ero nuance. To properly calibrate 6 test, create a voice as described on page &BH !/E T015 settings T015 /IT5G0R#'19E75RH the tone sounded for a note played with a pic$ 45(54 19I1/5 "51"H Q5> !/E T015 & settings T015 /IT5G0R#'19E75RH the tone sounded for a note played with your finger 45(54 19I1/5 "51"H -5> 9se very distinguishable tones, e.g., a $alimba and a bass8 Ideally you want to be able to hear one voice 014# when finger pic$ing and the other voice 014# when using a pic$. Nuance settings are re!lecte+ in t&e M5D5 output as so!t pe+al controller e$ents :CC;3<, 8ig& $alues re!lect &ig& nuance' lo% $alues re!lect lo% nuance, Vie%ing t&ese M5D5 e$ents can &elp con!ir# "our nuance is con!igure+ correctl",

nuance dynamics

?5

>- >

IdAusts the sensitivity at which 1uance occurs. 3igher settings 1uance dynamics 6 nuance trim are directly parallel to velocity "et to >. (ery gently finger-pic$ the string. I suggest using will ma$e it easier to produce the 1uance effect. dynamics 6 low vel cut. the side of your thumb for this. If the 1uance bar is not fully engaged, increase. Repeat until soft side-of-thumb IdAust these settings so that the level meter reaches the 1uance dynamics boosts the nuance effect'measurement as pic$ing consistently registers most or all of the 1uance maximum position when you play with the softest touch, and nuance is detected. Too much and you can apply the nuance bar. F//@? value of &?G so that the level meter does not move very much when you effects to everything, even pic$ usage... Too little and it gets play normally. applied too little. #ou want a setting where all of your finger Try out all strings when ma$ing this setting. pic$ing clearly reflects some amount of %nuance%. 7ut not too much, or all finger pic$ing reflects a nuance of &? Fi.e., nuance %clipping%, or not very nuanced...G, and even pic$ usage gets reflected as %nuance%. Gotta find a good sweet spot. "pecifies the threshold value at which 1uance occurs. If the 1uance effect occurs more often than you would li$e with normal playing, lower this value. 4i$e low vel cut, 1uance Trim defines the %cuttoff point%. If you "et to >. 9se your pic$. If the nuance meter registers are happy with how nuance is reflected, but occasionally your nuance, decrease the value. Repeat until pic$ing pic$ing produces undesired nuance effect, then you can adAust consistently measures very low or :ero 1uance. the trim to ensure that all your pic$ usage properly reflects > nuance.

nuance trim

?5

>- >

GTR to #i+i chromatic

?C

on off

Turn this 01 if you want to play an external sound module chromatically.

1ote that with chromatic 01, pitch bends are converted to new notes. This system-level setting affects what is sent out over the MI I bus, and does !"T affect how the #$%% renders notes.

"ince pitch bends are very easily created accidentally, if you are getting too many spurious notes, turn /hromatic 0** - even for drums. If /hromatic 0** is causing problems with your external synth voice, try experimenting with filtering I44 or a range of pitch wheel events in your )I. before the events reach your synth.

PARAMETERS

Page

Values

Book Description

Notes
"ome general infoH 8;$ tone settings a&&ect how the GR55 renders the tone. <)4 8;$ settings are re&*ected on the $'2' bus.=

Calibration & Use

8;$ (4)7 S7(68S


Tone chromatic &5 on off Turn this M01N if you want the tone to sound in chromatic steps. If this is M01,N the pitch will change only in semitone steps even if you MbendN a string. .hen you play notes in a smoothly connected manner by hammering-on or pullingoff, only the pitch will change, and no attac$ will be heard for the subse-uently played note. The legato function can be used if /3R0EITI/ is 01. 1ote that with chromatic 01, pitch bends are converted to new notes. "ince pitch bends are very easily created accidentally, if you are getting too many spurious notes, turn /hromatic 0**. Turn on if you want to be able to slur notes 6 perform hammerons when /hromatic is 01.

4egato

&5

on off

If 4egato is 01, hammerons 6 slurs sound more li$e they%re %tied together%. Eany !/E voices employ a softer attac$ for hammerons 6 slurs. .ith it 0**, hammerons 6 slurs sound li$e distinctly new notes. 0nly seems to wor$ with /hromatic 0n, Aust li$e the boo$ says.

level vel sens

&5

-5>-Q5>

IdAusts the amount by which the toneJs volume will be affected by your playing strength. .ith positive MQN values, the volume will increase as you play more strongly. "pecifies whether nuances of your performance Fp. &BG will produce tonal change.

1egative values actually ma$e your guitar -uieter as you play harder, and louder as you play lighter. > is PnormalP+

8ositive va*ues may be used to try to ->uiet- your so&t notes &urther & make your *ouder notes more preva*ent.

nuance sw

&5

on off

Two possible uses, F G add effect for gentle playing'finger 5! not being use+' TURN 5T .997777 Nuance +oes a =.T o! pic$ing, 6 F&G usage as a filter to remove soft playing'incidental t&ings %it& "our gentlest per!or#ance7 5! "ou +on4t playing. F"ee level nuance sense, below.G %ant t&ose re!lecte+ in "our soun+' turn it o!!7 If on, can be confused with latency issues. .hen in doubt, explicitly turn portomento off when not in use. I don%t trust the T015 setting, mainly because you can%t see what it is doing+

portomento ".

&5

on off

0** !ortamento will not be applied. 01 !ortamento will be applied. T015 The setting most appropriate for the tone will be used.

TVA level nuance sense &? -5>-Q5> "pecifies how nuances of your performance Fp. &BG will affect Translates nuance to volume. .hen at -5>, this voice will 014# /an be used to filter %incidental% notes. "et nuance on 6 the volume. sound if played 1uanced FsoftG. .hen at Q5>, it will 014# play set to =Q,> or so8 )epending on how well nuance wor$s if played normally. for you, Q5> may be ideal. This can be leveraged as a filter for notes caused by incidental contact. 1ot perfect, but worth trying if your drums or piano voices are giving you grief.

2iagnostics

'ssue
5xtra 1otes

8ossib*e ;auses
"ensitivity too high (ellocity )ynamics too high !lay *eel too 3igh 4ow (el /ut too low Incidental /ontact /able 0xidi:ation *ret 7u:: /hromatic 0n !laying too high up the nec$ or too far from the bridge !laying too hard 1uance 0n and not used

(hings to (ry
IdAust "ensitivity per instructions above IdAust (elocity )ynamics per instructions above IdAust !lay *eel per instructions above 5xperiment with increasing 4ow (el /ut !ractice your palm muting8 !laying a guitar synth is 10T li$e playing a guitar. If wiggling the cable triggers notes, use )eoxIT If you have fret bu::, your guitar needs a proper setup Try /hromatic 0ff !ractice playing closer to the bridge8 !ractice playing with a lighter touch8 Turn off 1uance if not used !ractice your palm muting 6 practice cleaner pic$ing8 Try a new pic$, or a different style pic$ !ractice playing closer to the bridge8 !ractice playing with a lighter touch8 Turn off 1uance if not used Try filtering out pitch wheel bend events. Eany )I.s allow you to create filters. Try filtering all of them, or at least pitch wheel events R- 2>> and S 2>>. If you have fret bu::, your guitar needs a proper setup IdAust "ensitivity per instructions above IdAust (elocity )ynamics per instructions above IdAust 4ow (el /ut per instructions above Try 4egato 0n 4ower 1uance 4evel "ense setting or turn 1uance 0ff IdAust "ensitivity per instructions above IdAust (elocity )ynamics per instructions above !ractice playing closer to the bridge8 5xplicitly turn !ortamento 0ff !ractice playing with a lighter touch8 Try voices that have slower attac$ or are mellower in tone *ind the latest drivers for your gear IdAust sensitivity per instructions above IdAust (elocity )ynamics per instructions above IdAust !lay *eel per instructions above !ractice your palm muting8 !laying a guitar synth is 10T li$e playing a guitar. T915 IT8 /hec$ your setup Try /hromatic 0ff !ractice playing closer to the bridge8 Turn off 1uance if not used If you have fret bu::, your guitar needs a proper setup Try voices that have slower attac$ or are mellower in tone Try /hromatic 0** Fchec$ both !/E Tone settings; chec$ the GTR-EI)I setting if the doubling occurs on an external synthG. If wor$ing on an external synth, /hromatic 0** on the GR55 and a good pitch wheel event filter wor$ very well. Try a lower !lay *eel

Glitches, "-uelches

#ou%re playing incidental harmonics or pinch harmonics .orn pic$s !laying too high up the nec$ or too far from the bridge !laying too hard 1uance 0n and not used 0n external synthesi:ers+

*ret 7u:: )ropouts'3ammerons don%t sound "ensitivity too low (elocity )ynamics too low 4ow (el /ut too high 4egato 0ff 1uance on 6 1uance 4evel "ense high "ensitivity too high (ellocity )ynamics too high !laying too high up the nec$ or too far from the bridge !ortamento 0n !laying too hard )oubled notes too apparent F5xternal deviceG )river issues, older gear "ensitivity too high (ellocity )ynamics too high !lay *eel too 3igh Incidental /ontact Tuning or Intonation wrong /hromatic 0n !laying too high up the nec$ or too far from the bridge 1uance 0n and not used *ret 7u:: 1otes )oubling &I have not found any means to completely get rid of note doubling - it appears to be inherent in the #$-%% when playing se'uences of notes.( )ynamics ma$e it too obvious )oubled notes too apparent /hromatic 01

4atency

.rong 1otes

8*ay :ee* ;harts


I picture tells a thousand words... !lease loo$ at my !lay*eel charts at the end of this document. FIpplicable for my setup, probably not yours, 6 meant to be illustrative.G In these If you envision a simple line chart, in which your note%s EI)I charts, all other settings are constant. I set (elocity )ynamics velocity FvolumeG is your vertical axis and your pic$ing to ,, measured soft pic$ing, medium pic$ing 6 hard pic$ing, strength is your hori:ontal axis, !lay *eel values -2 will result and recorded the GR-55%s EI)I note velocity values for each in different %slopes% of the lines. !lay *eel is more note 6 for each !lay *eel setting. Then I set it to @ 6 repeated, compressed, and -uiet, !lay *eel & has a slightly broader 6 finally set it to > and repeated. dynamic range, moving up to !lay *eel 2 which has greatest dynamic range. F"eee my &nd chart below.G This is why you want to set your !lay *eel to 2 before setting your (elocity )ynamics. It has the greatest dynamic range, allowing !lay *eel -, to be compressed usab*e curves. If you set !lay *eel to before adAusting (elocity )ynamics, you could very easily ma$e !lay *eel &-2 completely unusable Fli$e in my third chart belowG. I !lay *eel of 5 means a constant 409) velocity. In EI)I terms, the velocity is fixed at &>.

2> &>

Pla" 9eel 0 Velocit" D"na#ics at )


M5D5 Note Velocit"
one two

2> &> >> B> @> 2> &> >

Pla" 9eel 0 Velocit" D"na#ics at ;


M5D5 Note Velocit"
one two three four five

2> &> >> B> @> 2> &> >

Pla" 9eel 0 Velocit" D"na#ics at 1*


one two three four five

M5D5 Note Velocit"

>> B> @> 2> &> > soft medium Picking Strengt& hard

three four five

soft

medium Picking Strengt&

hard

soft

medium Picking Strengt&

hard

))) These charts are meant to be illustrative only. *'uivalent charts for +",$ setup will likely be -*$+ different. ))) !onetheless, these help to show the relationship between -elocity ynamics, /lay 0eel, your picking strength and your note velocity &volume(. ))) !ote this is real, i.e., imperfect, data1