Roland GR-500 Guitar Synthesizer

Saturday Synth Porn: Synth porn or not?

The Roland GR-500 Guitar Synthesizer was Roland’s first guitar synth, pre-MIDI.

The synth module is controlled by a guitar with a special pickup system that connects to a synth module via Roland’s own 24-pin interface. It uses CV/GATE signals generated by the guitar’s pickup system.

The synthesizer module included Bass, Solo Synth, and String sounds. Sliders are available to adjust the VCO, VCF, VCA, and LFO sections, but no patch memory.

Images via frepi.jp

9 thoughts on “Roland GR-500 Guitar Synthesizer

  1. The latency on some of these old guitar controllers was terrible. I had a Black Ibanez IMG-2010, and it was a great guitar, but a lousy midi guitar for fast playing. I ended up selling it back to the guy I bought it from who owned the store. He sold it to me after getting one of the roland models as he said it had more synth options, but the tracking was the same. At the time I had one Yamaha DX synth to use with it, but it just wasn't that practical, and I traded it for nice bass, which I still have. The article here says that only 500 were made, so i probably should have kept it lol. http://www.joness.com/gr300/img2010.htm

  2. The latency on some of these old guitar controllers was terrible. I had a Black Ibanez IMG-2010, and it was a great guitar, but a lousy midi guitar for fast playing. I ended up selling it back to the guy I bought it from who owned the store. He sold it to me after getting one of the roland models as he said it had more synth options, but the tracking was the same. At the time I had one Yamaha DX synth to use with it, but it just wasn't that practical, and I traded it for nice bass, which I still have. The article here says that only 500 were made, so i probably should have kept it lol. http://www.joness.com/gr300/img2010.htm

  3. The latency on some of these old guitar controllers was terrible. I had a Black Ibanez IMG-2010, and it was a great guitar, but a lousy midi guitar for fast playing. I ended up selling it back to the guy I bought it from who owned the store. He sold it to me after getting one of the roland models as he said it had more synth options, but the tracking was the same. At the time I had one Yamaha DX synth to use with it, but it just wasn't that practical, and I traded it for nice bass, which I still have. The article here says that only 500 were made, so i probably should have kept it lol. http://www.joness.com/gr300/img2010.htm

  4. The latency on some of these old guitar controllers was terrible. I had a Black Ibanez IMG-2010, and it was a great guitar, but a lousy midi guitar for fast playing. I ended up selling it back to the guy I bought it from who owned the store. He sold it to me after getting one of the roland models as he said it had more synth options, but the tracking was the same. At the time I had one Yamaha DX synth to use with it, but it just wasn't that practical, and I traded it for nice bass, which I still have. The article here says that only 500 were made, so i probably should have kept it lol. http://www.joness.com/gr300/img2010.htm

  5. The latency on some of these old guitar controllers was terrible. I had a Black Ibanez IMG-2010, and it was a great guitar, but a lousy midi guitar for fast playing. I ended up selling it back to the guy I bought it from who owned the store. He sold it to me after getting one of the roland models as he said it had more synth options, but the tracking was the same. At the time I had one Yamaha DX synth to use with it, but it just wasn't that practical, and I traded it for nice bass, which I still have. The article here says that only 500 were made, so i probably should have kept it lol. http://www.joness.com/gr300/img2010.htm

  6. The latency on some of these old guitar controllers was terrible. I had a Black Ibanez IMG-2010, and it was a great guitar, but a lousy midi guitar for fast playing. I ended up selling it back to the guy I bought it from who owned the store. He sold it to me after getting one of the roland models as he said it had more synth options, but the tracking was the same. At the time I had one Yamaha DX synth to use with it, but it just wasn't that practical, and I traded it for nice bass, which I still have. The article here says that only 500 were made, so i probably should have kept it lol. http://www.joness.com/gr300/img2010.htm

    1. Since you checked back in, have you kept up with guitar synth technology? Have you used the new Roland Gr-55? I haven’t heard anyone comment on the latency of the new synths with divided pickups, but I have heard that it helps to have a very, very clean playing style. I’ve never played one, but I’ve often considered getting one, it would be interesting to hear first hand if the latency problems have disappeared.

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